When buying a new computer, don’t make the potentially very costly mistake of buying a cheap PSU. Since the PSU gives power to the entire system, it’s a very important component of your whole gaming setup, and having a bad one could even cause your graphics card to malfunction. So what are 5 of the most important things you need to know about your power supply?
How many watts?
When choosing the best PSU for gaming, the first thing you need to ask yourself is how many watts you need for your build. Although it’s the first question that pops up in your mind, it’s not the easiest one to answer, and searching for a designated calculator online might be your best bet to determine the optimal amount of wattage you need. As a general rule of thumb, keep in mind that the more heavy-duty gaming rigs typically require more watts than a typical office PC.
You can choose among the following three options:
– Direct cable: while this option is the cheapest, it’s not a good idea if you’re planning to change your build every once in a while. Since you’re going to have to deal with a huge mess of cables, it’s not the most elegant either.
– Semi-modular: the advantage of this is that you won’t have to deal with as many cables, and certain connectors are modular, which allows you to remove them whenever you desire. This is the middle ground between price and convenience.
– Full-modular: with this option, you can remove all cables at will. Managing cables is a breeze and if you want to change your build at a certain point, you won’t have a problem.
Thanks to the 80PLUS organization, we now have a standard to which all the power supply units correlate. In essence, if the PSU has an 80PLUS seal, it’s going to be energy-efficient, have 100% accurate wattage, and have an active power factor correlator.
The dangers of cheap PSUs
Here is what, specifically, you risk by trying to cheap out on your PSU:
– Short lifespan: it may not even last you for a couple of years.
– Bad resale value: if you want to upgrade your PSU later on, you’re going to find the old one is quite difficult to sell if it’s cheap.
– It can damage your PC: no-name brands and cheap models pose a significant threat to your PC, since they can easily fry your graphics card or motherboard.
The type of wattage
Certain manufacturers proudly display the wattage number on the face of the box, but be careful, as these numbers may not give you the big picture! In other words, there is a difference between peak wattage and continuous wattage: the former relates to the maximum power it can deliver (but it may not be consistent), while continuous wattage represents the power it can deliver continuously (as in without fluctuating). You need to be on the lookout for the latter.
Without diving too deeply into the world of complex technical terms, we’ve tried our best to familiarize you with 5 of the most important things you need to know about your power supply. Now that you know all of this, the next logical step is to purchase the unit that best matches your needs. Happy shopping!