This guide is intended to provide quick buying recommendations (US market only for now). For more exhaustive list of PSU recommendations please visit our PSU Tier List article.
Some things to keep in mind when choosing a PSU :
- Professional reviews is a very important tool in evaluating the end product quality and performance and that’s what you should base your PSU choices on. Even if a PSU is from a popular brand, has high efficiency 80+ rating, Japanese capacitors and is high wattage – that doesn’t mean that it would necessarily be good product. Any PSU that wasn’t properly reviewed is not a good choice. That includes a number of budget units from Seasonic, EVGA, Super Flower and FSP, and also Amazon ‘best-sellers’ by 1st Player, AZZA, Apexgaming, Aresgame, Gamemax etc. Some of them may end-up being good products but it’s simply dangerous to assume that if that wasn’t proven by professional reviews. Marketplace user rating also means little as it’s prone to manipulation.
- Don’t assume that two PSUs with similar model names would be close or identical. Even a single changed letter in the name may mean a completely different design or significant difference in quality or performance.
- SFX form factor is especially demanding to the ability of the OEM to design and manufacture high quality design, and the ability of the brand to evaluate it and make sure that the quality is consistent. And thus, please think twice before building a high wattage (850-1000W and up) SFX build. If you really need so much power then it might be a better decision to go for an ATX PSU, switching to the case which can accommodate it if needed.
- Be aware that not all PSUs can be used worldwide. Most mid/high-end PSUs are full-range, with input voltage range of 100-240V, but some, particularly very budget options are 200-240V only. And even if you live in a 220-240V country it’s still adviced to go for a full-range PSU if possible, as they would generally have higher quality components in the APFC circuit and would be more reliable in the long run, especially if the energy supply in your area is unreliable.
- We don’t recommend using a second hand PSU for a build of any importance. As there are numerous factors which can contribute to the loss of the ability of the PSU to work properly and you can’t know how and under what conditions it was used before.
- Also, general advice when buying products from Amazon & Newegg, buying a product from them directly is preferred (‘sold and shipped by Amazon/Newegg’) but if you’re buying from a third-party seller – pay attention to their age and reputation. It may be tempting to buy a product with significant discount from an unknown seller but it’s possible that you would be scammed or get an open box or used product instead of new. Also, make sure to register the product at manufacturer site and check the validity of it’s warranty
But don’t worry, we had all that in mind when compiling this list so you don’t have to.