Best Gaming PC Power Supplies (Black Friday - 2016)

By Published November 24, 2016 at 6:30 am
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Some PC parts garner a lot more attention than others: CPUs, GPUs, and SSDs have clear, exciting advancements and benefits that can be directly felt by the user. Some components, like PSUs, don’t get the same amount of coverage or excitement.

Nonetheless, power supplies are a vital part of a PC and a good PSU choice can last throughout multiple PCs, whereas a bad PSU choice could lead to strange issues and can even break other components. In anticipation of the holiday season coming up, we’ve once again compiled a list of ranked PSUs at different price points.

This is GN’s list of best power supplies for gaming PCs in 2016, ranging $45 to $300. Note that some of these power supplies will be on sale during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so keep an eye on anything that looks appealing for your PC build.

Power Supply Buyer's Guide - Best PSU Sales (Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2016)

Budget 500W PSU - EVGA 500B

evga-500b-psu

EVGA 500B ($45): First up is the EVGA 500B. Much of the time, for budget PCs, there isn’t money to buy a crazy high-end PSU. In such situations, a reasonably good but budget PSU like the 500B is needed. The 500B is a budget-oriented 500W PSU with little frills, but reliable performance. It is 80 Plus Bronze certified, so efficiency is fairly decent despite being cheap, and it’s got important protections including OVP (Over-Voltage Protection), UVP (Under-Voltage Protection), OCP (Over-Current Protection), OPP (Over-Power Protection), and SCP (Short-Circuit Protection).

The 500B is non-modular and includes all cables attachable. Two PCI-e headers are included for video cards. The PSU doesn’t have any fancy value-adds, like a “silent mode” for low load, or LEDs, modularity, or FD bearings, but it’s a starter PSU, and offers all we’d ask of such a unit.

The EVGA 500B comes with a 3-year warranty which, while short compared to the other power supplies in this list, isn’t bad for its price-point.

Mid-Range 520W PSU - SeaSonic S12II 520W

seasonic-s12ii-5120

Seasonic S12II ($55): Going up in price about $10, our next suggestion is the Seasonic S12II 520W. The S12II is 80+ Bronze certified and uses Japanese brand capacitors (which are generally considered to be higher quality than Korean or Chinese brand capacitors). It also includes similar important protections, such as OPP, OVP, UVP, and SCP. Overall it is a fairly standard power supply, but it does well for a mid-budget PC.

The S12II ships with 2x PCI-e headers (8/6), 6x SATA (on 2 cables), and the usual assortment of MOLEX and motherboard cables. A 120mm fan is used, but includes fluid-dynamic bearings for quieter operation and a life expectancy of 50,000 hours at 40C (operating temperature).

The Seasonic S12II 520W comes with a 5-year warranty.

Mid-Range 750W PSU - EVGA SuperNOVA B2 750W

evga-750-supernova

EVGA SuperNOVA B2 750W ($70): Moving up to PSUs capable of powering multiple GPUs (see: How Many Watts Does a Gaming PC Really Need? article), we’ve selected the EVGA SuperNOVA B2 750W as our mid-range PSU pick. The B2 750W features 80 Plus Bronze efficiency, Japanese brand capacitors, a semi-modular cable design, and 4x6+2 pin PCIe connectors (enough for most 2-card Crossfire and SLI configurations). It also has important protections such as OVP (Over Voltage Protection), UVP (Under Voltage Protection), OCP (Over Current Protection), OPP (Over Power Protection), and SCP (Short Circuit Protection).

Semi-modularity means that the ATX and EPS12V cables are permanently attached, but all PCI-e and peripheral cables are detachable. The PSU uses a 140mm double-ball bearing fan, whose size will assist in lowering noise levels a bit (though still not as impressive as the higher-end units, like those with passive modes).

The EVGA SuperNOVA B2 750W has a 5-year warranty.

High-End 750W PSU - Rosewill Photon 750W

rosewill-photon-750

Rosewill Photon 750W ($75): For our high-end 750W PSU pick, we’ve selected the Rosewill Photon 750W. The Photon 750W is 80 Plus Gold certified, has a fully modular cable design, and has 4x6+2 PCIe power connectors. Like the previous PSUs, it also has desired protections such as OTP (Over-Temperature Protection), OCP (Over-Current Protection), OVP (Over-Voltage Protection), OPP (Over-Power Protection), UVP (Under-Voltage Protection), and SCP (Short-Circuit Protection). Its primary advantages over the SuperNOVA are the full modularity and higher efficiency rating. The Photon performs well in suppressing and mitigating voltage ripple across its rails, useful for entry-level overclockers who can’t quite afford a higher-end unit.

The Rosewill Photon 750W offers a 5-year warranty.

PSU for SLI & Cross-Fire with Overclocking - Rosewill Quark 850W

rosewill-quark-850

Rosewill Quark 850W ($95): For most dual-GPU systems, a 750W PSU should suffice, but for a system with a large amount of other high-power consumption components (especially if they are overclocked), an 850W PSU may be in order. For such a setup, we suggest the Rosewill Quark 850W as an OC-ready, multi-GPU-ready PSU that also doesn’t break the bank. The Quark 850W features 80 Plus Platinum certification, a fully modular cable design, Japanese brand capacitors, and a 135mm cooling fan. It also includes all the required protections a PSU at this level needs, including OCP, OTP, OVP, OPP, UVP, and SCP.

The Rosewill Quark 850W has a 5-year warranty.

High-End 850W PSU - EVGA SuperNOVA G2 850W

evga-supernova-g2-850

EVGA SuperNOVA G2 850W ($118): Going up the price ladder a bit we come to the EVGA SuperNOVA G2 850W. On its spec sheet is listed 80 Plus Gold certification, a fully modular cable design, and Nippon Chemi-Con Japanese capacitors. The SuperNOVA G2 850W also has the necessary protections on a PSU of its price range and wattage, including, again, OVP, UVP, OCP, OPP, and SCP. For cooling, it utilizes a 140mm double-ball bearing fan.

The EVGA SuperNOVA G2 850W is backed by a 10-year warranty.

Mid-Range 1200W PSU - Rosewill Capstone G1200

rosewill-capstone-g1200

Rosewill Capstone G1200 ($113): Jumping up the wattage a fair bit – to the point where 3-way SLI/Crossfire with overclocking is possible – we’ve chosen the Rosewill Capstone G1200 as our first >1000W PSU pick. The popularity of >1000W PSUs should be more-or-less dead at this point, since any single GPU configuration can pretty effortlessly run on a 600W PSU. Multi-card configurations are becoming less common, what with the current state of SLI/CrossFire performance in low-level API games, but are still the driving factor for higher wattage PSUs. Having some extra overhead is ideal, anyway.

Normally, this unit has been priced at about $150, but recently its price on Newegg had dropped a bit (making it more competitive with even lower wattage PSU, like the EVGA SuperNOVA G2 850W). Regardless of temporary price drops, the Capstone G1200 features 80+ Gold certification, a semi-modular cable design, a 135mm cooling fan, Japanese brand capacitors, and 8x6+2 PCIe power connectors (ie: enough). It also has the necessary protections including OVP, OPP, OCP, OTP, SCP, and UVP.

The Rosewill Capstone G1200 has a 5-year warranty.

High-End 1600W PSU - EVGA SuperNOVA P2 1600W

evga-supernova-1600

EVGA SuperNOVA P2 1600W ($340): For the most expansive of gaming PCs (think: watercooled quad-GPU plus LGA 2011 CPUs, overclocking, and a ton of hard drives), a truly high-end PSU is needed. But that’s almost never -- but if you’re one of those people, our suggestion is the EVGA SuperNOVA P2 1600W. The SuperNOVA P2 1600W is practically the highest-end there is for consumer power supplies. It is 80 Plus Platinum certified, uses a 140mm double-ball bearing cooling fan, uses Japanese Nippon Chemi-Con capacitors, and a fully modular cable design. It also has the necessary protections including OVP (Over Voltage Protection), UVP (Under Voltage Protection), OCP (Over Current Protection), OPP (Over Power Protection), SCP (Short Circuit Protection), and OTP (Over Temperature Protection).

The power supply includes a self-test adapter (not really that special -- basically a glorified paper clip) and 12-gauge power cord. Voltage is exceptionally stable in its delivery and ripple is minimized.

The EVGA SuperNOVA P2 1600W has a 10 year warranty.

For one-on-one assistance, feel free to check out our user forums!

- Michael "The Bear" Kerns.

Michael Kerns

Michael Kerns first found us when GN's Editor-in-Chief was tirelessly answering questions on reddit pertaining to a new product launch, likely after the Editor had stayed up all night writing the news post. Michael offered a tired Editor reprieve, taking over the role of questions-answerer-extraordinaire when it was most needed. These days, Michael can be found pulling his mechanical keyboard collection apart and building Frankenstein's Monster-like monsters of keyboards. Michael wrote the vast majority of our mechanical keyboard dictionary and is an expert in keyboards.

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