When building a PC whether it’s for gaming, or video editing, the universal rule is that you buy a high quality power supply. You should never purchase a cheap power supply because it could put PC hardware and possibly yourself in harms way.
Having a power supply that can supply more power than what your components require will not increase performance in any area whether it’s for gaming or video editing. The only time you’ll see a performance increase is if your components aren’t getting enough power, or the power supply is unstable.
The most important thing you can do when purchasing a power supply is to ensure that your components will get enough wattage from the unit & ensure that the PSU you’re purchasing is coming from a reputable brand.
What Makes A Power Supply Good?
Power supply efficiency – Is an important metric to keep an eye on. Low efficiency power supplies tend to draw more power from the socket, generate more heat and have lower quality components. Look for units that have the 80PLUS certification, this means the power supply will provide 80% of its rated wattage, the other 20% is lost to heat.
The power supply brand matters – There are some power supply brands that will sell power supplies that could cause damage to your components. A lot of power supply brands such as corsair outsource their PSUs from OEMs which means some of their power supplies could not be as high quality as others.
You get what you pay for – You really shouldn’t cheap out on a power supply because the cheaper power supplies use lower quality components. Cheaper power supplies are prone to blow up and destroy other components with it.
Does Overclocking Require A Greater Power Supply?
When overclocking your CPU or GPU, you will be increasing the voltage that these components need therefore increasing the overall power draw. Depending on the overclock, it may be significant enough to prompt you to get a better power supply. But before you even consider overclocking, you should know an estimate of how much wattage your system actually needs and then buy a power supply that provides a little headroom for overclocking.
Tools that can help you find the right power supply for your system are – Power supply calculator.
Signs Of A Bad Power Supply
Signs of a bad power supply may not be always obvious for example, constant crashing could be caused from many hardware devices to software issues. However, there are certain things you should watch out for.
Burning smell – If there’s a burning smell being produced from your computer, it is likely that your power supply is the culprit. This is a sign of a dead power supply and it may emit smoke from the system. It is recommended you dispose this power supply to avoid further damage to the computer.
Random resets – Random resets can be caused by a faulty power supply, this is a sign you should replace your PSU soon.
Grinding fan noise – This is a sign that your power supply fan is going bad, eventually you’ll need to replace the power supply to avoid overheating.
What Are The Best Power Supply Brands?
There are power supply brands that are highly reputable, and there are brands that you should generally avoid. Here we will talk about some of the best brands for power supplies.
Seasonic – Seasonic are an OEM in the power supply industry, they outsource many of their power supplies to other brands. Seasonic have been in the power supply industry for at least 40 years, so they have a lot of experience when it comes to making them. Seasonic also offers a 12 year warranty for their power supplies, very few companies do this. Only a company confident in their product will offer such a long warranty.
EVGA – EVGA is popular among gamers and they outsource some of their power supplies from Seasonic. Their popular line of power supplies is the “supernova” series, they’re generally very durable. They also have decent customer support.
Corsair – Corsair is another highly reputable power supply brand, and their power supplies are ranked amongst the best available. With these products you can expect to have between 7-10 years of warranty.
In conclusion, if your computer hardware is being sufficiently powered, then increasing the wattage will not increase performance in any way. However, you can increase performance when overclocking, and a power supply that provides you with wattage headroom can be advantageous.