Now that we have all these wonderful computer components, we slot them into the motherboard and hit the switch. Nothing happens. That’s because we don’t have a power supply yet. Not too many things to consider when buying a PSU, the total wattage, the efficiency rating and the brand. It isn’t too often you’ll here me write about the importance of the brand, but with PSUs a cheap brand not only leads to poor performance, it can also lead to a burning building.
PSU – What to Buy in 2017
That’s right, cheap power supplies can kill, low quality components have been known to fail with disastrous results. I’ll be leaving a small list of companies to avoid at the bottom of the article. I’ll be recommending three PSUs in total today. A bottom of the barrel price, a mid range price and a high end price. These are all relative terms of course, as the focal point of this series of articles is budget, and I assure you that the price of even the most expensive PSU I recommend won’t break the bank.
So if you’ve been following my articles you’ll have a set number of parts by now. To run them you’ll need at least a 500W PSU, so that’s where I’ve put the line in the sand. Another thing to consider is modular, partially modular, or not modular cabling. With modular cables you only have to plug in the wires that you need. If you go for a case that does not have a handy back panel to hide the cables then going for a fully modular PSU can really clean up the look of your PC’s internals. If you have then it won’t really matter. They are more expensive though, so I went with exclusively non-modular PSUs.
Best Cheap Power Supplies For Gaming
First up is the cheapest of the cheap. The eVGA 500B. It’s a 500W power supply and is rated 80+ Bronze. The certification is a voluntary program that indicates the power supplies efficiency at various loads. 80+ Bronze means at 20% load you’ll have 81% efficiency, 50% load/ 84% efficiency and at 100% Load/ 81% efficiency minimum. The eVGA uses high quality components and comes with all the connectors you’ll need for your parts, if you go with the R9 280X you’ll need two six pin connectors, something you tend to not see on cheaper PSUs, but this PSU has them. Click here to get the EVGA B1 at Amazon.com with all discounts automatically applied
Our middle of the road option is the Corsair CX600 Builder. As the name would suggest this is a 600W power supply. Corsair have a reputation for high quality parts, and this one is no exception. At less than $65 this is a bargain price for the PSU. It too is 80+ Bronze certified and non-modular and has all the connectors you’ll need for you first gaming build.]Click here to get the Corsair CX600 Power Supply at Amazon.com with all discounts automatically applied
Lastly we come to the most expensive PSU I’ll recommend. The XFX TS 550W. Out of the 3 this is probably the best value for a high quality gaming PSU. Being gold certified means an energy efficiency of 88%, 92% and 88% at 20% Load, 50% Load and 100% Load respectively. You’re not going to find a cheaper PSU with that rating, and this high a build quality at a lower price. Again, non-modular and has all the connectors you need. Really can’t get over how low this item is priced. Click here to get the XFX TS 550w Power Supply at Amazon.com with all discounts automatically applied
PSU Companies to Avoid
Not much else to say on power supplies. So long as you stick to these manufacturers you should be okay. As I mentioned in the beginning there are a few companies to avoid. While I knew around half of the companies on this list by their reputation it was a user on the Tom’s Hardware Forums that compiled this list.
Broadway Com Corp
iStar computer co.
Norwood Micro/ CompUSA
Remember to take a look at all the articles in this series on building a budget gaming computer.