It is no longer a secret that various PSU brands come swarming in the market, making it harder for anyone who needs it to make a good choice. If you are still on the stage of deciding which one among the many PSU brands is the best choice, then the information that you will gather from this buying guide will be of help. Plus you will gain a few details about the most popular and the best PSU brands today, helping you make an informed decision.
Why Do you Need a Power Supply?
There are actually several reasons why you need to invest on the best power supply brand and install it in your system. Note that it is one of the most vital components in a PC. Aside from powering up the entire system, not having a PSU also means that the PC is significantly incomplete. It can improve your PC’s performance and efficiency. Other than that, you’ll have a hundred percent assurance that your use of the system – whether for basic or demanding tasks or serious gaming – will go uninterrupted.
A poorly functioning and low quality PSU even has the tendency of causing your expensive graphics card and motherboard to malfunction. That said, it is really necessary to go for a high-quality power supply unit (PSU). Avoid going for the cheap ones. You need to look for the best power supply brand, which will improve the performance of your PC and provide you with a wonderful experience when you are using it.
But before we go to the factors of consideration for the best choice, let’s first highlight the five best products brands on the market.
Best PSU Brands: A Short Review of Each
1. Corsair Power Supplies
Corsair is one of the best PSU brands at present with lots of good reasons. Most of the brand’s PSUs are manufactured by Seasonic, a leading power supply manufacturer in the computer industry. Note that the brand has several options offered to the public, including the following:
a) CX Basic Series
It is the entry-level series of the PSU family offered by Corsair. Units in this series often have 80PLUS power efficiency, giving you an energy-saving feature. They also often come with sleeve-bearing fans, reducing the amount of noise they produce. This makes the series ideal for basic workstations, gaming systems and work computers.
b) AXi Series
The flagship line of the brand’s power supplies. Units in this series are ideal for ultra-high performance PC systems. Controlled by digital signal processors, you can expect the units to deliver excellent efficiency without compromising performance.
c) HX and HXi Series
The units here are ideal for overclocking systems, gaming rigs, as well as systems that require rock-solid stability. They also hold the 80PLUS platinum certification, allowing them to operate quietly and efficiently without the risk of overheating. They also feature upgraded fans, and Corsair Link control and monitoring.
d) RMx and RMi Series
These units are designed in such a way that they can deliver excellent performance with minimal noise. Their 80PLUS Gold certification shows how efficient they are while also delivering tight voltage regulation and silent operation. The units also often come with fully modular cable set, making cable management and installation easier.
Mentioned are just few of the many units holding the Corsair brand. It would be best to study the features of each, as well as any possible limitations, so you can pick the best choice.
For budget gaming rigs, we recommend:
Corsair CX Series, CX600, 600 Watt (600W) Power Supply
2. XFX Power Supplies
Working closely with Seasonic, XFX is another of the best PSU brands that tend to deliver what it promises. XFX is actually one of the divisions of PINE Technology Holdings Ltd. The main products of this division are PSUs and graphics cards.
The good thing about this PSU brand is that it covers almost all of the market segments in this category. It delivers capacities between 500 to 1250 watts. Presently, it has a few active PSU lines that deliver exceptional performance.
a) XFX TS Series
This line of power supply from XFS boasts of several capacities – including its 550W, 750W, and 1250W capacities. Featuring an innovative design, it is no longer surprising why many prefer to use this brand and line over the others. The units are ideal for hardcore DIY enthusiasts and gamers.
With their 80PLUS bronze certification, you are also assured of its efficiency. Furthermore, it makes use of the Advanced EasyRail technology, which lets you run components that require too much power without worrying about reaching their rail limitations.
b) XFX XTR Series
This PSU line is ideal for DIY professionals and gamers. All the units in these series feature an 80PLUS gold efficiency certification. One of the popular units in this series is the XTR-650, which comes with a hybrid fan profile. It uses only high-quality capacitors designed to improve its reliability.
c) XFX XTS Series
This power supply series from XFS can help improve the experience of users, particularly serious gamers. The units are capable of supplying the most stable and the cleanest power ideal for demanding workstations and gaming rigs. They are highly efficient, feature modular designs and come with large fans designed to cool your system and function silently.
These power supply lines from XFX show that the brand will never be left behind in terms of quality and performance.
For a budget rig we recommend:
XFX ATX12V/EPS12V 650W Power Supply P1650BBEFX
3. EVGA Power Supplies
EVGA is also one of the most popular PSU brands. Founded in 1999, it has been supplying the public with lots of high-quality products designed to improve their experience when using their PC units. Some of the products you can access from EVGA, aside from their power supply units, are graphic cards, specialized VGA coolers, water blocks, displays and motherboards.
One popular power supply line offered by the EVGA brand is the SuperNova. The units in this line utilize Japanese caps exclusively. They are also full of high-quality components. Some of the features that you can expect the units in this line to have are the following:
- Modular cabling – Designed for ease of cable management while also saving space.
- Selectable semi-passive mode, as well as a 10-year warranty – both of which are among the strongest features and assets of EVGA
- 80PLUS Platinum certification, which aids in improving its efficiency
- Increased SATA connectors with 4-pin Molex connectors designed to cover the majority of fan and storage configurations
Note, however, that there are a few minor problems to the SuperNova series of EVGA. One is its short distance between the peripheral and SATA connectors. More distance is essential in between them as both can feed components more efficiently if they are spread farther apart.
Still, rest assured that you will never go wrong if you choose any of the units offered by EVGA. The brand focuses more on performance, efficiency, power output and other vital features, so you have an assurance that despite its minor flaws, you will still have a satisfactory experience.
For budget builds we recommend:
EVGA 600 B1, 80+ BRONZE 600W
4. Cooler Master Power Supplies
Cooler Master is another of the best PSU brands as most of its power supply units garnered positive feedback from the majority of their users. The brand replaced its lower-capacity V-series with an excellently performing one. It is important to note that Cooler Master offers three fully modular and high-end V-series PSUs manufactured by Seasonic, as well as three semi-modular V models from Enhance Electronics.
However, in the past couple of years, Cooler Master decided to further improve its line by offering more units. The most recent ones are the V550, V650 and V750 units. Here are just some of the common features that you can find in these units offered by Cooler Master:
- 80PLUS gold efficiency, which is a strong indicator of how highly efficient the units are
- Fully modular cabling – Such system is designed in such a way that it can eliminate potential clutter from too many cables that are hard to manage.
- Smaller dimensions, making it easier for the units to manage
- High-quality loop dynamic bearing fan
Aside from the 80PLUS certification and modular cables, you can also expect the units to have a complete set of protection capacities. It features OTP or over-temperature protection to almost all the platforms that it offers. This is one of the most vital protection capacities a PSU must have.
The incredibly small dimensions of the units along with their decent capacity are also among the major reasons why they tend to hold high-power density scores. They also target potential users who wish to invest on small PSUs without sacrificing throughput.
For a budget rig we recommend:
Cooler Master Elite V2 - 550W
5. Thermaltake Power Supplies
Thermaltake is another brand of PSU, which recently gained some attention in the computer industry. While the brand’s main focus is on thermal solution, it still maintained a few product lines that focus on power supplies for quite some time now. Thermaltake actually entered the PSU market introducing two of its models that feature around 450W and 650W. The two were manufactured by Enhance Electronics.
One of the most recent mainstream power supply series offered by Thermaltake is the TR2 Bronze. It holds the 80PLUS Bronze certification. Some of the features that this specific model from Thermaltake offers are:
- Cables protected with nylon sleeves – You can find cables for the main motherboard, two ATX12V connectors, four SATA power connectors, three SATA power connectors, and four standard peripheral power connectors.
- Quiet 120mm cooling fan – Expect this cooling fan to deliver good airflow with low noise level.
- Has adequate support for multiple core high-end CPU and graphic cards
- Heavy-duty protection circuitry
Note, however, that this specific unit does not come with a modular design. Thermaltake also seems to fall short in terms of the performance and reliability of its power supplies considering the fact that it is still basically new in this area. Still, if you are in search for the best PSU brands offered at affordable prices and have all the basic features you need, Thermaltake is still one you can trust.
For budget builds we recommend:
Thermaltake TR2 600 Watt ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire
How to Choose the Right PSU Brand?
While choosing the best PSU brands is challenging with the many choices that you have, you can significantly improve your experience with the help of the following tips:
1. Buy only from a reliable and reputable manufacturer
Check reviews so you will know which brands perform really well in providing the best PSU. Stay away from generic and cheap power supplies that have substandard quality. Get in touch with reputable brands that also offer excellent support and solid warranties. Conducting an extensive research is the key to finding the best brand out there.
2. If possible, go for larger and heavier units
Many prefer larger ones over the lightweight and small models because the size is also indicative of their quality. Keep in mind that power supplies that are higher in quality often use better and bigger capacitors and internal components.
Most of them also come with bigger heatsinks designed to promote superior heat dissipation. That said, heavier and larger PSUs almost always guarantee that they will perform well and deliver what they promise.
3. Determine the specific amount of watts you need
Note that not all PCs are the same. That said, each one requires a different amount of power, thus, requiring different wattage. If you are into high-end gaming, then you will need a higher wattage than the one used for a simple home office system. If possible, go for a bit higher than what you specifically need. This is an advantage, especially if you have plans to add more parts into your rig eventually.
Aside from the mentioned tips, you also need to check the energy-efficiency of the unit. It should not cause you to consume too much energy.
While there are several brands of PSUs that continue to emerge in the market, note that it is still possible for you to find the best one. All it takes is ample research. You also need to study how you intend to use the units. Note that serious gamers require a different PSU capacity than those who just need to use their PCs for basic functions.
Also, determine if there is a need for you to further modify or upgrade your system. This is also a huge help in deciding which among the best PSU brands today can really meet your needs.