Gaming requires expensive PC components that perform optimally under consistent and cool conditions. It’s often tempting to skimp on your PSU because at first, it doesn’t seem like it would directly affect your computer’s overall speed and performance. However, getting a good PSU is perhaps one of the most essential pieces of the overall puzzle. By switching power from your outlet (AC) to Direct current (DC) it allows your computer and all of those expensive components to run. A poor or under-powered power supply can lead to strain or even failure of your components. In this post we’ll cover how to determine how much power you need for your build and take a look at some of the best rated power supplies overall.
How Much Power is Enough?
CPUs, fans, memory, hard drives, graphics cards, they all require power. So, how do you know exactly how much power you need? You could do it the old fashioned way and count it piece by piece, but I like to use Thermaltake’s PSU calculator which takes an in-depth look at your overall build and then gives you your total power needs. From there I’d add another 100-200 watts. It’s always good to be safe rather than sorry. For example, single GPU builds should not need more than 550-600 watts, but I always purchase a 650-700 watt power supply to be on the safe side.
Efficiency – 80 PLUS Certified Power Supplies
When building standard office computers I tend to go with power supplies that are less than 80% efficient, but with your rig I recommend you stick to PSU that are 80 % plus efficient. You can find your PSU’s efficiency in most manufacturer or retailer product pages. Efficiency level certifications are given out which also include at what level 80% each of the power supplies operate. These include:
80 PLUS – 80%
80 PLUS BRONZE – 82%
80 PLUS SILVER – 85%
80 PLUS GOLD – 87%
80 PLUS PLATINUM – 90%
80 PLUS TITANIUM – These are typically in workstations or data centers.
Did you know? Power supplies waste energy through heat? Because 80 PLUS power supplies are more energy efficient they give off less heat, require less air to cool, and therefore are quieter than sub 80 Plus PSU.
Best Rated Gaming PSU 2013
You can find complete specifications for all of the PSU below in our PSU comparison table.
Before beginning I want to mention that our picks have more to do with overall rating, specifications, and price rather than whatever PSU is simply the best. Power supplies often have rebates, so be sure to check out the manufacturer’s most recent rebate forms in order to get the best deal.
1. Corsair Enthusiast Series
Formally known as the TX series the enthusiast series from Corsair is one of the most trusted among gamers. While this is a great power supply it would be even better if Corsair went ahead and made it modular. For v 2.0 the cords are a bit longer, so if you need to wrap or tuck them, then you should be able to do that.
2. OCZ ModXStream Pro
An inexpensive modular power supply with 86% typical load efficiency. OCZ puts out regular rebates that make this one of the better deals out there.
3. Corsair Builder Series
A less expensive option when compared to Corsair’s Enthusiast series, the Builder series only goes up to 600 watts.
4. RAIDMAX HYBRID 2
It’s modular, has LED lights, is inexpensive, and 80+ efficient. What more could you want?
5. Cooler Master Silent Pro Modular Power Supplies
6. Rosewill Bronze Series
The Rosewill bronze series is up to 85% power efficient and bronze certified. Includes a 135mm Blue LED Dual-ball-bearing fan.
7. Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold (SPG)
8. Corsair Professional Series
Corsair’s professional series is gold certified at up to 90% energy efficiency. It’s used regularly by enthusiast builders and overclockers for stability. Models go up to 1200 watts.
9. PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk III
10. SeaSonic X Series
11. OCZ ZT Series
12. Thermaltake Black Widow
13. Antec NEO ECO
14. OCZ Fatal1ty
15. Antec High Current Gamer Series
That’s our wrap-up of the top 15 best rated power supplies for gaming. Be sure to check out our specification table for more information.