It is appalling how small power supplies are in most new computers. How does anyone expect a serious gamer, or computer power user, to run all of their devices and power their add-ons with a tiny 135-Watt power supply? It is not going to happen. You need the power to spare to make sure your PC runs optimally.
How Much PC Power Do I Need?
The small power supplies in modern computers might work for the average home user but are inadequate if you are building a PC for gaming or serious graphic design. When you plan to push the limits of your PC and use add-ons to enhance the performance, you need to double, triple, or even quadruple the power. Let’s take a look at a few options which make sense for a power user.
500-Watt Power Supply – This would be our suggested low-end for a gaming or powerful computing setup. You want to have ample power for a good quality graphics card, added memory, a powerful processor and a few USB devices.
750-Watt PC Power Supply – 750 watts is a good medium range size. It provides enough power for dual graphics cards, a wide range of accessories, and multiple storage drives.
1000-Watt – The Big Dog – If you are buying high-end graphics cards, running multiple monitors, and are stuffing your case full of SSD drives, hard drives, and other gear, you should choose to go high-end and get a 1000-watt or higher power supply. You will have adequate power for everything with room to grow.
What Else Should You Watch For?
Connectors! One of the biggest frustrations when buying a power supply is the lack of power connectors. Yes, you can buy splitters to add more devices, but why should you need to? You are buying a high-end power supply to power all of your gear. Make sure the power supply has all the connectors for your system board, graphics cards, and plenty of power connectors for hard drives.
Silence The Roar While Staying Cool
Pay close attention to the description when buying a power supply. You want your PC power to run cool, but you don’t want your room sounding like a jet plane taking off. Some high-performance power supplies roar. Their fans make a loud whirring which can be heard through your microphone distracting your gameplay and the play of your teammates.
Choose a power supply with a quiet running fan. Make sure you read reviews carefully to make sure it receives good reviews for both coolness and quiet. Quiet and cool can coexist, but you will need to do a little research to find the right mix.
Warranty – Expected Life
A good indicator of the expected life of a power supply is the warranty the manufacturer provides. As a great example, Corsair’s top of the line power supplies carry a 10-year warranty. They last. The average power supply in a generic case has a 3-month to 1-year warranty. They die. Look for a power supply with a longer warranty and it will last longer.
Check the efficiency rating promised on the power supply. You should always choose PC power with an 80% or higher rating. This assures you get smooth consistent power.
Hopefully, these tips help you pick the right power supply for your gaming or power PC.