How to Choose a Power Supply

A power supply is the most critical component to a PC’s stability and long-term reliability, but many users don’t take time to consider their PSU choice. This article will explore what aspects you should look for when selecting one and how they can affect performance in both good ways or bad ones.

It has been assumed that more wattage always equates better for years—this couldn’t be farther from reality! Suppose companies made high-grade PSUs instead of graphics cards and SSDs. In that case, we may have an easier time understanding which is worth spending money on because at least then people could see where all those volts go after being converted into image quality…which leads us back again.

The best power supply for your needs is out there but can be a little tricky to find. Thankfully we’ve put together this guide to help you locate the perfect match and get it installed in no time!


You can’t go wrong with a high-quality power supply. Look for reviews from reputable sources and avoid generic brands, which are often substandard in quality anyway! Brands like Corsair, Seasonic (though they may have some duds), EVGA, or Antec produce excellent units that offer solid warranties as well. Still, it’s essential to do your research. Hence, you know what makes their product stand apart from others on the market today–and be prepared to invest wisely if this is something where price matters because even these top companies make mistakes sometimes when mass producing products.

Choosing a power supply

More significant, heavier units are preferable to puny and lightweight models. Higher-quality power supplies have superior components such as bigger capacitors that come outfitted with larger heatsinks for better heat dissipation—all of which translates into more weight! More giant cooling fans typically move air while making less noise than smaller ones, so they’re another plus point in favor of opting for this type over others.

If you are looking for multiple power devices at once, the 20+4 pin connector is what you should choose. But if only one or two of your electronics need enough juice for an extended period without interruption, then consider investing in an extension cord as well!

The good news? There’s plenty out there with just about any type and style imaginable including those that can do double duty by acting both like regular household plugs OR provide greater Length than expected based on their design (like The Outlander Set above).

Ready to power your PC? The vast majority of consumer PCs use standard ATX power supplies. Smaller units and ones specially designed for enterprise or server applications are also available. Still, for standard desktop systems, these will do the trick – make sure you have one that has a minimum capacity labeled as “ATX.”

When looking for a power supply, make sure to keep your eyes on three crucial features. The first is the output – how much wattage can it provide? Another important specification is whether or not the computer has compatible rails in which you install hardware and monitor placement with ease of management (think mouse cables). Finally, efficiency will also factor into what kind of system meets specific needs from users by telling them just how much energy they’ll use during operation time!


A higher wattage PSU can supply more power. For example, a 200-watt unit might be able to operate on a 15 amp outlet while maintaining continuous operations, but1800 watts would need an extra-strong 120V plug or multiple outlets available at once for it to run continuously without drawing too much current from your computer’s system resources (CPUs & RAM).

A better number when looking into powering hardware like computers are listed under “Sustained / Continuous” rather than just Peak since they represent average requirements over time – not just what will happen during peak times where loading websites quickly could cause spikes up near 50% excess usage.

Best Power Supply

An efficient PSU is a better PSU

A power supply’s efficiency rating is critical because higher-efficiency units tend to have better components, waste less power and generate less heat–all of which contribute in a significant way towards making your PC quieter. For example: With an 80% efficient PSU (Power Supply Unit), you’ll get 20 percent more watts out of it than with one rated at only 50%.

A powerful computer system needs an equally potent volt/amps brick for all those juice packs! So if sound matters as well – grab yourself one that doesn’t make too much noise when under load or crunching numbers on max speed.

In opting for a power supply, you must look at the certification. Though this process isn’t particularly stringent and doesn’t always guarantee efficiency with only 80% of units making their way to being certified on these levels (though there are other certifications in place), if your PSU has been labeled as an “80 Plus” unit then make sure not only do they have this mark but also go up by tier corresponding accordingly: Bronze which stands around 60%, Silver at 70%. 

However, keep note prices tend to be higher when purchasing Gold or Platinum rated supplies unless found on sale since even though users may require more energy-efficient usage than average consumers typically see from what most people would need while gaming, etc., price tags will reflect those costs; again considering lower.

Rail Debate

The number of +12V rails a power supply has will affect how much juice it has and what you can do with your computer. A single-rail PSU provides just enough power for one component; however, if that’s not good enough, most modern systems require at least two or more high-powered rails to operate efficiently.

For example, suppose there is only one +12v solid rail. In that case, the entire system runs smoothly because all parts receive exactly as much electricity they need from this dedicated source. Still, in my experience, multi+rail supplies make everything run faster, distributing its wattage in several different ways.

Chris Stobing
Chris Stobing is a hardware analyst at PhenomBuilts. He is a graduate of New York University. Chris brings his experience benchmarking and reviewing gadgets and PC hardware such as graphics cards, monitors, storage, and networking equipment.
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