How Do We Choose Our Computer Power Supply

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How Do We Choose Our Computer Power Supply
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The computer power supply is undoubtedly the most underestimated component of a computer. When someone makes a budget for a new PC, they are often not interested in the power supply. Although in terms of performance the source does not bring any contribution, it brings something at least as important.

A good power supply will bring you stability and peace. It will allow your PC to run like a kitten without suspicious interruptions. A good power supply will allow your PC to run for longer and the components will not fail. You know how it is, we’re too poor to buy cheap stuff.

What do we look at when we want to buy a power supply? I’m convinced that many people wonder why they should keep in mind when you want to buy a power supply? Of course, after you got your budget approval from the cute girlfriend/wife.

Power : Consumption of components is calculated in watts, so you must take a source to cover this consumption. To figure out what source you need for your PC, it’s best to use a power calculator (estimative). You can find such a computer here. You choose from there all the components and you will see how much power you will need.

This is probably the most important criterion, and this is also used by manufacturers of cheap sources, throwing on the market all sorts of products of dubious quality and low price, but which apparently have a very high power. As you will see below, it is not enough.

The Company : refers to the quality of the components used in the construction of the source. Good companies lice Antec, Corsair, Seasonic use quality components and this is seen in the PC’s stability. So take great care and go to known companies. But … obviously it is also a but – the quality costs.

Quality costs, but it saves you more money in the future. A cheap power supply has the tendency to ruin other components of the PC if it drops! Try to read a review of the source you want. An excellent link that gathers reviews for a bunch of sources you can find here. As a conclusion, never buy a cheap source!

Amperage 12V :  if you want to install a powerful video card on the system, you need to know that it needs a certain amperage on the + 12V line. So besides power, you have to keep in mind the amperage and take a source that ticks both points. Fortunately, the internet is an inexhaustible source of information, so you can find out what source you need for a particular video card here.

Connections Offered : a new source and made by a known manufacturer should have all the connections you need. Otherwise, you need to be careful with the video card that can have 8-pin or 6-pin connectors. If your video card is in your PC, you look at it and see what connectors it needs.

Energy Efficiency : what does that mean? The more efficient the power suply, the less electricity is lost to provide the necessary power. It is advisable to take a certified source with a minimum of 80 Plus. An 80 Plus efficiency means that at a 50% load, the source will lose 20% of the energy consumed as heat

Below you can see a table with source efficiency on various load levels and different degrees of certification. In most cases, it guarantees you that more quality components have been used than a non-certified source. However, great attention, do not rely too much on that! Lately, low-end producers have also begun to have certification sources, which unfortunately do not guarantee a high quality of their products.

The Best Power Supply You Can Choose

Below you can find my recommendations. At each recommendation I went through the video card models that can work with that source, because as you well know the video card is the most resource consuming. As a maximum I stopped at 750W because I’m convinced that those who want to make SLI configurations know what to choose as the source and do not need my help.

Recommendation power supply 450W : Corsair ECX450M

  • Recommended Video Cards : AMD RX 470, RX 460, R7 360, NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB, GTX 1050, GTX 960, GTX 950
  • Total power : 450W
  • Protection : OVP, UVP, SCP, OTP, OPP
  • Efficiency : 80 PLUS Bronze certification
  • Amperage + 12V: 37.4 A (single rail)
  • Other : semi-modular, 12 cm fan, 1 PCI-E connector

Corsair are known for their quality sources. The 450W CX series is a very good source and deserves a full recommendation, being part of the mid-range series of this producer. With such a source we can use silence up to an RX 470 from AMD or GTX 1060 6 GB from Nvidia. Estimated life expectancy (MTBF) is 100,000 hours, so long and quiet life!

Recommendation power supply 500W : Corsair CX500M

  • Recommended Video Cards : AMD RX 480, NVIDIA GTX 1070, GTX 970
  • Total power: 500W
  • Protection : OVP, UVP, SCP, OTP, OPP
  • Efficiency : certification 80 PLUS BRONZE
  • Amperage + 12V : 38A (single rail)
  • Othe r: semi-modular, 12 cm fan, 2 PCI-E connectors

At 500 W we also have a Corsair source. With it you can effortlessly feed an AMD RX480 or NVIDIA GTX 1070. The fact that it is semi-modular is a big thing, it does not hang the cables through the casing and you do a professional cable management. The price is @ $110. 

Recommendation power supply : Corsair CX550M

  • Recommended Video Cards : AMD R9 380, NVIDIA GTX 1080, GTX 980
  • Total power : 550W
  • Protection : OVP, UVP, SCP, OTP, OPP
  • Efficiency : certification 80 PLUS BRONZE
  • Amperage + 12V: 45.8 A (single rail)
  • Other : semi-modular, 12cm fan, 2 PCI-E connectors

Honestly I searched other options, let me say that Corsair dosen`t pay me, but it seems to me that it offers enough and at a reasonable price – up to $100. This is semi-modular also and have a good quality construction. With this source you get a GTX 1080.

Recommendation power supply : Antec NeoECO NE650M

  • Recommended Video Cards : AMD R9 Fury X, R9 Fury, R9 390, NVIDIA GTX 1080Ti, GTX 980Ti
  • Total power : 650W
  • Protection : UVP, OVP, SCP, OPP, OCP, OTP
  • Efficiency : certification 80 PLUS BRONZE
  • Amperage + 12V: 50A (single rail)
  • Other : semi-modular, 12 cm fan, 4 PCI-E connectors

Already 650 W cam covers the most powerful video cards (with a few exceptions) being enough for 95% of users. I mean, with a source of this power you are covered, considering that both NVIDIA and AMD have taken energy-efficient models in the past. As a recommendation, I chose a model from Antec to crack a little Corsair monotony. It’s not a high-end version, it’s also an intermediate option, but I think it’s enough. 

Recommendation power supply : Corsair RM750X

  • Recommended Video Cards : AMD R9 390X, NVIDIA GTX Titan Z, GTX 1080 SLI
  • Total power : 750W
  • Protection : UVP, OVP, SCP, OPP, OCP, OTP
  • Efficiency : 90% – 80 PLUS GOLD certification
  • Amperage + 12V : 62.5A (single rail or multi rail, optional)
  • Other : modular, 13.5 cm fan, 100% Japanese capacitors, 6 PCI-E connectors, fan-less operation.

This Corsair source (manufactured by CWT) is a true-beast being part of the premium class. We also have an application with which we can monitor the activity of the source.

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