These are the 12 best gaming PC power supplies for every budget

Now that GPU prices are finally coming down, are you planning to build a gaming PC? You’ve probably spent a lot of time researching which GPU, processor, memory and motherboard you want, but what about the power supply?

For many, the PSU simply needs to work and fit their budget, but as you’ll see shortly, not all PSUs (power supply units) are created equal.

PSU Basics

perfomance

The main specification for a PSU is of course wattage and this is a measure of how much power the PSU can deliver. Some high-performance PC components, like GPUs, have power requirements that have only increased over the years. It’s widely rumored that Nvidia’s GTX 4000 series GPUs require even more power than the 3000 series, which itself draws quite a bit of power.

How much power? Well, Nvidia’s GTX 3090 Ti can draw more than 400 watts of power, which is about as much as a small window air conditioner.

When purchasing a power supply, you need to add up all of the potential loads in your gaming PC. For example, if you have an Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti (450 watts) and an AMD Ryzen 5800X3D (105 watts) plus 200 watts for SSDs, RAM and onboard components, you will need a power supply rated at at least 750 watts.

However, it is not a good idea to push a power supply to its maximum capacity as it may struggle to provide stable voltages to all components. This, in turn, causes glitches throughout your system that are difficult to fix. The point is, if you intend to push your gaming PC hard, you should buy a power supply with about 20 percent more capacity than your system requires on paper.

efficiency rating

Have you ever wondered why some power supplies are rated “Bronze”, “Gold” or “Platinum”? These ratings indicate the entirety of a power supply efficiency, That’s really just a fancy way of saying how much waste heat a PSU generates.

A PC power supply converts AC power from your wall outlet into DC power that the components in your PC can use. So let’s say you have a 1,000 watt power supply and you’re running it at 100 percent load just for the sake of simplicity. A Titan power supply can convert that 1,000 watts of AC power into 900 watts of DC power and 100 watts of heat.

And to take this example a little further, if you have a 1,000 watt unit bronze-Tier power supply, it could convert only 80 percent of the incoming AC voltage, generating 200 watts of heat in the process. If you put it that way, I think it really illustrates the key differences between PSU ratings. It’s no joke to waste 20 percent of your energy as heat.

As you might imagine, higher efficiency power supplies cost more money. However, I have used many bronze rated power supplies in my day and honestly most of them have been great. I think for many people it makes sense to save the money upfront and just eat up the electricity bills, but with energy prices rising around the world I’m not sure calculus makes more sense, especially if you’re running power-hungry games, 3D modeling or programming.

Notes on extreme systems

For most systems with a GPU (even top-end GPUs), a 1000-watt power supply is usually sufficient. However, systems with more than one GPU will need something in the 1,200 to 1,600 watt range. However, if you live in North America on 110 volt AC, keep in mind that a 15 amp circuit breaker can only deliver 1,650 watts Max.

Our power supply picks

The power supplies listed below are ordered by energy efficiency class. Each category includes high, mid, and low wattage power supplies, and each was chosen based on their specifications, online reviews, and other intangibles like warranty.

Input may receive a portion of sales when you purchase a product through a link in this article. We only include products that have been independently selected by the Input editorial team.

titanium

Titanium rate power supplies are the cream of the crop. They offer more than 90 percent efficiency, but cost a a lot of more than their lower rated equivalents. These will appeal to real performance tuners and people who love to move.

Platinum power supplies

Platinum-rated power supplies lag just behind Titanium-rated devices in terms of efficiency, but fall behind by a few percentage points at 100 percent load. These are good power supplies for gamers and people who need workstation-class performance but are fine without the absolute peak efficiency.

Golden power supplies

Gold tier power supplies are in an ideal place for people who value efficiency but are also price conscious in my opinion. They’re almost 90 percent efficient if you squint, and you can get them for a lot less money.

Silver and Bronze power supplies

I’m bundling silver and bronze tier power supplies because they only differ in efficiency by two percent, and if you’re buying a power supply in one of these categories you’re probably trying to find something that’s reliable and affordable. The tricky thing about Bronze and Silver tier PSUs is that some are utter crap while others are rock solid. The ones we’ve picked below have tons of user reviews and are a great compromise between price and performance.