The power supply is the most important component of our computer. ¿Why is it so important? Simply because it is the one that is responsible for giving energy to all our components. A bad power supply can degrade, burn or not withstand a peak of voltage that will break one or more components of our computer.
That’s why when we see many YouTubers use $ 30 power supplies to assemble equipment with graphics cards with a high TDP, we put our hands to the head. If you are looking for a good power supply, we have prepared this hierarchy guide and if you have any questions we will advise you.
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What Is a Power Supply or PSU and What Is It For?
The power supply can basically be defined as a component responsible for transforming and rectifying the 115 / 230V alternating current of the home to several direct current outputs at low voltages. These outputs are what feed the electrical energy needs of the equipment components. Therefore, the source is one of the most important components to consider, being the true “heart” of the equipment that “pumps blood” to all parts.
It is essential to choose a power supply that meets several factors: it must have sufficient power to meet the needs of our components, in a format that fits in our box, that is of good quality, that has the necessary connectors, among other things. Throughout this guide, we will clarify each of these concepts briefly, and we will give you a list of recommended models for you to make the best decision.
How To Choose The Right PSU?
How Much Money to Spend?
The first question that needs to be resolved is how much money is needed to spend on the power supply to obtain a quality model according to our computer. The truth is that you always have to invest an adequate amount in such an important component, and we are talking in all cases of at least $ 40. The following recommendation scale could be established according to the team:
- We recommend investing $ 40-60 in basic equipment with modest graphics or APU where the budget is very tight, or to revive some old equipment.
- For mid-range PCs, that is, with CPUs such as an AMD Ryzen 5 or an Intel Core i5 and graphics in the style of the GTX 1060 or the RX 580, we recommend spending between $ 55 and 70.
- For equipment where high-quality sources are sought, ready to last, silent and that support more powerful graphics, we recommend exceeding $80, or if you want all possible features, $ 100 to 120.
Choosing the right power from our power supply is one of the key factors when making the purchase. There are a lot of myths around it, such as the 50% myth that says that to maximize efficiency and minimize consumption, we must choose the power so that the source is at a 50% load in high consumption uses. I. e., if our computer needs 400W in games or stress tests, we should buy an 800W source.
The truth is that this is an extreme simplification that in few or no cases is met. It is based on the erroneous premise that the peak efficiency of a source is always at 50% load, which is not the case, although it is usually found nearby (at 30 and 60%).
PSU Tier List: Major PSU Hierarchy
Cheap Power supply
In this range, we can find very basic sources that are perfectly suitable for affordable gaming equipment, and for that office equipment or for other uses in which a quality source is sought.
The best source based on a cheap price range is the Corsair CX450. Since its quality is at the same levels as the CX550.
- Pretty low quality compared to others.
- 5-year warranty
- Efficiency between 80 Plus Bronze and 80 Plus Silver.
- Continuous and real 450W power guaranteed at ambient temperatures up to 40 degrees.
Mid-Range Power Supplies
At this level, you can see very good quality sources prepared to support high-performance equipment.
Bitfenix Formula 650W
The Bitfenix Formula is a range that stands out for three essential points: quality, protection, and silence. In the first aspect it has an enviable internal quality, in the second with an excellent multi-rail system that offers OCP protection in 12V, and in the third a very relaxed fan control that makes it almost inaudible.
- Very high internal quality, comparable to that of higher-priced sources.
- 5-year warranty
- High efficiency.
- Being multi-rail offers a plus of protections. These rails are very well distributed in the 650W model so we can assemble any Mono-GPU configuration and even some Multi-GPU.
High-end Power Supplies
It is from here when we find the best balance between quality, price, and performance. Here, the internal quality is similar in all cases, and in fact very similar to higher-priced models.
Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 650W
The Toughpower GF1 is one of the most balanced sources we can find in this range. If we consider that its 650W model is usually below $ 100, it is one of the best options that can be considered, if not the best. Basically, it is a range that does not have any notable weaknesses, and that leaves us satisfied in all aspects.
- 10-year warranty
- One of the quietest sources in its class along with Corsair’s RMx range.
- It is the only range, along with the RMx, that we consider having a well-designed semi-passive mode.
- Wiring well thought out and without annoying capacitors.
Investing money in your computer to obtain good performance and avoid having problems, will be necessary for your PC to continue with ‘life’. Luckily, you can choose the PSU that suits you better, always depending on the use you give to your computer.
But do not hesitate to purchase a PSU if you have an old computer to prevent it from getting hot and then stop working.