There’s no subtle way to put it, when it comes to building the best PC you can muster, there’s nothing more important than picking up one of the best power supplies. We know you might be tempted to splurge one one of the best graphics cards on the market, at the cost of your PSU, but trust us – it’s just not worth it. Every component in your PC relies on your power supply for, well, power, and if you buy a cheap power supply and it fails – you could risk bricking your entire system.
A failing power supply is a nightmare – trust us. And the worst part is, a lot of the time you won’t even know your power supply is on its last legs until it’s too late. Sure, there are some symptoms as in your face as your PC flat out refusing to boot, but they could be as subtle as some lost power efficiency. Do yourself a favor, if you’re building a PC, go out and buy the best power supply you can muster. No one wants to have their house catch fire to save a little cash.
It’s not all gloom-and-doom however, as there is a wide variety of fantastic PSUs available in 2018. Even if you’re on a budget you can get one of the best power supplies with no frills so that you can power your PC reliably. And, if you have some cash to spare, there are some amazing high power units that can generate a ludicrous amount of power, which is a match made in heaven for some of the best gaming PCs. Either way, regardless of what you need, you can be confident that you’ll find the best power supply for your needs on this list – they’ve all been tested in-house here at TechRadar.
Best power supply: Corsair RM750x
The best all-around power supply for your needs
Form factor: ATX | Capacity: 750W | Efficiency rating: 80 Plus Gold | Modularity: Full | Warranty: 10-year
The Corsair RM750x tops our list for one simple reason: it’s the most well-rounded power supply on the market. On top of a 10 year warranty and an 80 Gold Plus efficiency rating, the Corsair has a fully modular cabling system. That means you only need to install the cables you need. Not having unused cables in your case is great for air-flow and for those who appreciate the value of good cable management.
Best budget power supply: EVGA 500 B1
Everything you need to get started
Form factor: ATX | Capacity: 500W | Efficiency rating: 80 Plus Bronze | Modularity: None | Warranty: 3-year
When you’re trying to keep the price of your PC similar to that of a console, you don’t want to blow a lot of your budget on a power supply. That’s where more economical options like the EVGA 500 B1 come in handy. This PSU is essentialist without neglecting the needs of its audience. For less than $50 USD, you can expect 500 watts of power transmitted through several SATA cables and two PCIe slots. A three-year warranty is merely icing on the cake.
Best silent power supply: be quiet! Straight Power 10
Quiet as the night
Form factor: ATX | Capacity: 400W – 700W | Efficiency rating: 80 Plus Gold | Modularity: Semi | Warranty: 5-year
Power supply fans seem to run the loudest, and unlike case fans, they aren't quickly swappable. Fortunately the Straight Power 10 line up runs nice a quiet. Options range from 400w to 700w, and they're SLI and Crossfire certified. They also have a modular design, letting you use only the cables you absolutely need to use. It's also low-profile, freeing up even more space inside your computer tower.
Best compact power supply: Silverstone SFX Series SST-SX550
Perfect for Micro ATX and Mini ITX PC builds
Form factor: SFX | Capacity: 550W | Efficiency rating: 80 Plus Gold | Modularity: None | Warranty: 3-year
Power supplies can occupy a ton of space in your desktop tower, however time has allowed for the units to get smaller while the power they emit only expands in magnitude. The Silverstone SX550 is almost half the size of other power supplies, so that you can better facilitate cables and airflow inside your computer. This makes it notably ideal for micro ATX and mini-ITX builds, though you could slide it into a mid- or full-size tower as well if you deem it necessary.
Best high capacity power supply: Corsair AX1500i
Form factor: EPS | Capacity: 1500W | Efficiency rating: 80 Plus Titanium | Modularity: Fully | Warranty: 10-year
This is an absolute monster of a power supply. This is for the serious builder who plans on powering multiple graphics cards, cooling systems, and perhaps a small village in rural North Dakota. It has the highest possible 80 Plus Titanium efficiency rating, and is fully modular so you only need to add the cables required by your build. If you have the money to go big, this is the power supply to get.
- Pick up the best processors while you're at it
Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article