How to Choose a PC Power Supply

Power Supply indeed is one of the components which the users tend to give the least importance to. What is the reason behind this mindset? Is it that they think Power Supply isn’t that important, and they can get any PSU in the end? Well, the case is not very delicate here. Power Supply is one of the most important, or even you can call it an essential component of a PC.

But why is it that important? Well, the reason is simple! You cannot just power up the components of your PC with the current flowing through your house. Instead, you will have to offer them a Direct Current source that could power your components up. For this sole reason, it is imperative to get a better PSU for your PC as all of its components are relying on it.

A little fluctuation can harm your components in case you don’t get a good PSU for your parts. So choose your components wisely so that you can spend a little extra on the PSU as well.

What aspects to Look in PSU Before Buying in 2021

Let’s go through the aspects of a Power Supply that you should keep in mind when buying one. Don’t forget to study each thing so that you could know the importance of it.

Determining the Power Output needed by your components

It indeed is the one thing that most of the users check when buying a Power Supply. But do you exactly know of how much Power Output or Wattage do your components need to run efficiently? Well, most of the Gamers don’t, and that is why they face some serious consequences later.

But the question that pops up here is how you can determine the power output needed by your PC or Components? It is effortless! There are several online Wattage and Power Supply Calculators available that you can use to know exactly how much power your components need according to their official brands. You have to select every component that you are going to integrate into your PC and their quantity also so that the online calculator could give you accurate results. In the end, you will unquestionably be able to know what Power Supply you will be going to need as per the accordance of your components.

There is also a manual method to calculate the wattage needed by your components in case you don’t trust the online calculators (Which should not be the case, as most of the mare reliable and trusted). You will have to check out the official site of each of your components and check out for their power consumption. In the end, you can add up the whole amount, and you will know how much wattage you will need.

Should I go for the Power Supply with a little extra Wattage then anticipated?

The question is, why not? It is always best to get a power supply with 25-50 extra wattage then the anticipated by the online calculator. This will ensure that your components would ever get the desired power without any fluctuation in any case. So don’t compromise in the power output, as it can save your components on a rainy day.

Does 80 Plus certification matter in a Power Supply?

YES! In fact, it matters a lot for a Power Supply if you want to get your hands on a reliable one. You might have seen many Power Supplies with different stickers stating different certifications levels, but do you know how they work? These certifications state the power efficiency of a Power Supply and how good is it to handle the components. Here is the list stating the certification levels from lowest to highest:

  1. 80 Plus
  2. 80 Plus Bronze
  3. 80 Plus Silver
  4. 80 Plus Gold
  5. 80 Plus Platinum
  6. 80 Plus Titanium

Well, we can conclude by their names division that which one is the most efficient. Now, the question is, shat certification level should your Power Supply has? All of the levels stated above are certified, which means that, in any unexpected case, the Power Supplies with these certifications will never let anything happen to your components.

They might get defected themselves, but they will save your components from any damage. So, you can always spend as much you want and get the one with higher certification, in case your components are pricy enough that you don’t want to take risks.

Single-Rail PSU Vs. Multi-Rail PSU!

Most of the PC enthusiasts get confused in this aspect and search out the whole internet to get their questions solved. If you are actually planning to use SLI or CrossFire GPUs in your system, it is best to get the Multi-Rail Power Supply as it can offer more efficiency in power distribution to your components. But this distribution is only valid for components as the dual-rail cannot provide equal distribution of power output in its rails.

For instance, if you have a PSU of 1000 Watts and your components have used almost 900w, then in the single rail PSU, there will be equal 100w left. But in the dual-rail case, that 100w will be divided into two unequal portions that might not be good when you use them later. But this aspect doesn’t matter nowadays, and most of the latest PSU manufacturers are producing dual rail power supplies. You can get any of them without any hesitation.

The size or form factor of a Power Supply

You might know that every Power Supply can’t really fit in your PC Case. The PC Case comes in different sizes, and the same scenario goes for the Power Supply. So which PSU size you should select for your PC? Well, you will have to decide and determine that yourself by checking out some simple things. You can mostly find the Power Supplies in these Form Factors:

  1. ATX
  2. ATX12V
  3. EPS12V and others

ATX power supply is undoubtedly one of the most used types in the PC Industry. It offers multiple features and power distribution to the components, which makes it even more reliable for a PC. You will surely not really have to worry about the placement of PSU in your PC, as most of the cases easily support the ATX Power Supplies. These power supplies usually offer an extra +3.3 rail for different use. Not only that, for the main power, but it also provides the 20 pins single connector to make it more efficient.

If we talk about the ATX12V Power Supplies, these are the choice of most o the users now. ATX12V Power Supplies are taking over the standard ATX ones as it comes with a little more features. The thing to confidently note here is that the only difference here arrives when we talk about the power distribution and the power rails. You will again not have to worry about its size as it will fit in most of the newer PC Cases without any problems. But to be on the actual safe side, you can pick the ATX12V for your PC for efficient performance.

You can also check out this detailed PC Case Buying Guide, which can solve out all of your queries related to the size and components placement.

In the end, EPS12V and similar types of PSUs are generally used in mini PCs and can’t be used in mainstream PCs.

Does PSU Build Quality matter?

The overall build quality of a Power Supply matters a lot when it comes to the quality of its railing. Most of the manufacturers indeed integrate the best cover for the overall body of the power supply, but do they protect the rails of it in the same way? Some do, and some don’t! That is why it is really best to check out if the rails of the power supply are covered with extra material. This will increase the performance, reliability, and durability of your power supply, and its rails will never get damaged in most cases.

Fan Speed and Noise

If you are more of a silent person who wants to game or perform your tasks in complete silence, then you will have to check out for the fan noise as well. If we go to a few years back, PSUs created a lot of noise, and that wasn’t very pleasant. But now, the manufacturers have updated the structure and algorithm of their Power Supplies.

Most of the latest PSUs now are silent even when their fans are running at full speed. These types of power supplies can be the best fit for those who game for hours. So don’t forget to check out for it!

Availability of Connectors and Sufficient Rails

A power supply cannot be useful if it could not offer the connectors for your components. You will certainly not be able to power up your components without it, and it can cause significant issues for later use. This is the reason it is crucial to check out for the connectors your intended power supply is offering for your PC. These are the components that would require the connectors:

  • Motherboard
  • Hard Disk
  • CD/DVD Drive
  • Graphics Unit
  • Case
  • Cooling Solutions (In some cases)

But this thing doesn’t end here. Most PSUs indeed offer the connectors for all these components, but they don’t provide extra rails or connectors for them. For instance, what if you would have to integrate another HDD in your PC, and there are no connectors available? That would be a significant problem, and you will have to get a new PSU or local connectors to supply power to that particular component. So never compromise on the extra connectors as they can make your PC future proof by offering the connectors to the different components.

What does it mean to get a Future-Proof Power Supply?

By the word “Future-Proof,” most of the people mean that to get a Power Supply that can support future peripherals. It is not actually possible to use the same components for multiple years if you want to run newer programs and games. You will actually have to replace them with the newer ones to make your PC efficient and powerful again.

That is why it is undoubtedly better to get a Power Supply that offers 150-200W more than your current consumption. This will allow you to integrate the components of higher wattage consumption in the future, and you will not have to replace your PSU with another one. That is why if you can spend a little extra and get a PSU with more capacity, you can make it future-proof.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q- How many watts of PSU do I need to run my PC without any problems?
A- As I stated earlier, you can check out manually or through the online Power Supply calculators to know precisely how much watts your PC would need.

Q- Does Power Supply improve the overall performance of a PC?
A- In some cases, it might. For example, if you are going to overclock your processor, RAM, or GPU, you will need more power to improve the performance.

Q- What if I get an underpowered PSU?
A- There can be a short circuit in the PC, your components can burn, some peripherals might get defected, or your PC would never work at all. So, always get a good PSU according to your components.

Q- Are there any premium brands for PSU?
A- Well, there are! You can buy the PSU of Thermaltake, Corsair Power Supply, Coolermaster, EVGA, Antec, or NZXT. There are also some other reliable brands that you can check out.

Q- Is it wrong to have too big of a PC Power Supply?
A- No! It is not bad if you want it to be future-proof, and it can easily fit in your PC Case.

Summary

By gathering all the essential points and summarizing them in short, you will have to check out for these things to get the perfect Power Supply for your PC:
1- Power Output/Wattage
2- Build Quality
3- Rails Type
4- Connectors availability
5- Fan speed and noise
6- Size
7- Certification

If you keep these little but crucial aspects in mind when buying the power supply, you will get the perfect one for your needs. There are some vital things like Wattage, Connectors, and Certification that you will have to keep an absolute eye on and never compromise on them. So go for the best one as PSU plays a crucial role in saving the lives of your components in unexpected scenarios.