Whether you’re building a new gaming desktop or updating a computer, the power supply is the heart of your computer. So you want to make sure you pick a PC power supply that will keep everything running smoothly and safely.
First, you need to find out how much power you actually need. This is based on the components inside your PC and is measured in the total number of watts the computer power supply unit (PSU) is capable of outputting. If you’re building with a single video graphics card, you probably won’t need more than 400–500 watts. You can also find calculators online that will give you an estimate of the wattage you need based on your components, such as your RAM and CPU. Using an insufficient wattage can cause unexpected outages and wear and tear over time. If you choose a power supply unit that’s way too much wattage, your system efficiency will be lower. Once you determine how much wattage you’ll need, look for the continuous wattage rating, rather than the peak rating, to find a power supply that will continually deliver what you need for your system. A power supply operates optimally about 15%–25% above its total capacity.
Efficiency Benefits of a Gaming Computer Power Supply
When you see a power supply branded with Ecos Consulting 80 PLUS certification, it means that at 20%, 50% and 100% of maximum load, the power supply is at least 80% efficient. Bronze, silver, gold, platinum and titanium ratings offer even higher efficiency levels. Another benefit of a more efficient power supply is a cooler system, as heat is created from the AC power from the wall that isn’t converted into DC power for your computer. This can result in a quieter system, since your fan doesn’t need to run as much. Plus, it keeps components like your motherboard and internal hard drive cool.