Best PSUs

Depending on its overall performance, your PSU plays a big part in determining reliability, so you have to be careful when it comes to picking the right one for your machine. A good PSU should also have the protection features able to save your components, including the power supply itself, should something go wrong.

The recommendations below are pulled from the top-level awarded products from our PSU reviews. As we continue reviewing units, this list will evolve and grow. continually representing the best of an incredibly important component.

November 2016 Updates?

We've reviewed four PSUs since we last updated this article: SilverStone ST85F-PT, In-Win C900, Silverstone SX700-LPT, and Corsair CX650M. Although only the Corsair scored high enough to gain an award, the SeaSonic Prime 650 already listed here is still a better unit.

The fact is, we've become very picky over the last few years. In PSUs, the bar is already set very high by some manufacturers like Flextronics, Seasonic, Super Flower, CWT etc. If a PSU fails to comply with one of the major ATX spec requirements, it's automatically out of the running for an award. Of course, we feel that some ATX requirements are far too loose - ripple suppression for one - and in these cases we've set our own much stricter standards. For example, we expect a high-end PSU to have less than 40mV of ripple on the +12V rail under full load and close to 45°C. We'd consider anything higher than that unacceptable for a top-end PSU.

Power Supply Unit Best Picks

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Power Supply Charts

When it comes to power supplies, the rule of thumb that "more is better" doesn't apply any more. Before deciding on your next PSU purchase, you should calculate how much power your system draws from the wall and look for a capacity point that satisfies your demands. A few years ago, all high-end graphics cards were power-hungry. However, this changed with Nvidia's latest architectures. It's simply not necessary to buy a 1kW PSU for a couple of GeForce GTX 980 Tis. A 750W model will do just fine, leaving plenty of headroom for an overclocked host processor. Fans of AMD's flagship Radeon cards need to plan for higher power use, pairing them with PSUs featuring greater maximum output.

In the relative performance charts provided with each one of our PSU reviews, we create an index of sorts that encapsulates overall performance, including load regulation, ripple suppression, efficiency, hold-up time and the maximum power each PSU can deliver. Hopefully this makes your life easier, since you don't have to decipher several data-heavy graphs to reach your own conclusions. You only need to take a quick look at our index to see where your PSU of choice stands against its competition. The second most important chart, derived from the relative performance score, is performance per dollar, which we're betting will become your favorite as you shop for an upgrade.

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Best SFX PSUs

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Best 550W PSU

Best 650W PSUs

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Best 750W PSUs

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Best 850W PSUs

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Best 1000W PSU

Best 1250W PSU

Best 1500W PSU

Best 1600W PSU

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