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Choosing the Best Power Supply for your Computer
One of the most crucial yet often forgotten components of any PC is the power supply or PSU. Every component from the motherboard to CPU and even hard drives need to be connected to an adequate power supply to function properly. The most popular sizes of power supply are 750w, 500w, 600w, and 1000w. While multiple options may work for your setup, determining the best specific power supply for your PC can help to reduce build costs and increase system efficiency.
When choosing a PC power supply, the most important factor to consider is the power provided by the device measured in wattage. 750 watt power supplies are the most common and are sufficient for most computers while leaving ample room for future upgrades. Power supplies for gaming PCs may require a higher wattage because of their powerful graphics cards and processors. Other features commonly found in power supplies for gaming PCs are addressable RGB LEDs or support for multiple graphics cards. Corsair power supplies take customization a step further by easily integrating with other Corsair products such as RGB fans or RAM. The best way to determine how powerful your PSU needs to be is to look at the other components in your computer and how much power they will draw. The second primary specification to look for when choosing a pc power supply is the device's 80 Plus certification. Often EVGA, Corsair, or other brands of PC power supply will have a standardized 80 Plus certification. The available 80 Plus certifications in ascending order of efficiency are 80 Plus White, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Titanium. These ratings tell you the operating energy efficiency of the device and can help to narrow down the perfect power supply for your PC. For example, a 600 watt 80 Plus Gold power supply may outperform a 750 watt Bronze certified device for specific tasks.
Another major factor to consider when choosing a PC power supply is how the device connects to other components. Modular power supplies are the most customizable because cables can be added and removed easily, so you are only using the connections needed in your PC. Cable management and case organization are much easier with modular power supplies due to this key feature. Non modular power supplies can function in the same capacity as their modular counterparts, however cables come pre connected to the device and cannot be removed. Semi modular power supplies are a cost efficient compromise because they have some pre assembled cables as well as removable ones. While this specification primarily affects aesthetics and cable management, it is still crucial to ensure your power supply has all the required connections for your PC. A power supply's form factor, while less varied than other specifications, is arguably the most important. If your PSU doesn't fit inside your case, none of the other features will matter. Most commonly, you will find ATX power supplies, which are considered full size and fit in almost any consumer PC. Smaller form factors do exist, such as SFX, FlexATX, and TFX. To find which form factor your PC supports, you can check the specifications of your case.