Best SMPS to choose for your Gaming PC

Are you building up your own gaming PC? Then you must be looking for the best SMPS for your gaming rig. Read this detailed article on the best SMPS to choose for your gaming PC.

Although for a casual user a Power Supply Unit (PSU) is not much of a concern, but for a gamer, it is indeed a serious issue. And it has been noted that most of us often ignore this precious component while building our custom gaming PC. After carefully picking up each component, we do stuff our custom machine well but often overlook the need for a good PSU and thus end up with a cheap PSU that sits up at the top level of the machine. I am 100% sure that almost everyone of us would be satisfied enough to have built a gaming beast with a carefully selected graphics card, a six core or most probably an 8-core processor and an 8 GB RAM stick. But the fact is - we end up with a bottlenecked system that does not perform as expected. And this is where a PSU that you ignored, is to be blamed for such a dismal performance.

So, with this in mind and a careful research on the topic, I have come up with my informative article on the best SMPS to choose for your gaming PC. But before we start, let me make the topic a bit clearer. What I found after consulting various technology experts is that only 2 parts of a PC are power thirsty, that is, a GPU and CPU. All other parts like HDD, RAM and Motherboard don't require much power for their functioning. On an average, all three of them would take no more than 30 watts power supply. And keyboard, mouse, adapters and speakers consume very less power and hence can be ignored while choosing a suitable SMPS for your system.

Best SMPS to choose for a very casual gaming machine

Considering a very casual gaming requirement with mostly Facebook games on your list, I will guide you with the best power supply option for your PC. For a system with atleast an Nvidia Geforce GT 210 (128-Bit Asus Variant), a Dual Core or lets say a Core 2 Duo clocked at around 2.4 GHz and 2 GB of RAM, a PSU with just 200 watts power supply would be far enough to handle all the components. And for that purpose, you can use any of the PSU that's rated atleast 200 watts but always remember to buy from a trusted brand only.

Although, I doubt anyone would go for a rig specified above, I have included it just for the sake of casual gamers who do not prefer to play modern games. Lets now roll on for something that interests us.

Best SMPS to choose for an entry level gaming machine

Now if you plan to build a gaming rig to play most of the games at low - mid settings then you have probably included atleast an AMD 7770 (GHz Edition), an AMD FX 4300 which comes clocked at 3.8 GHz and atleast 4 GB RAM. I have tested this setup with many games at 720p resolution, and I found that this kind of gaming rig would still play most of the games at low-medium settings with playable FPS. But again, the performance would not be good if you choose an improper PSU. Now, lets calculate the minimum power supply which would be required to keep all the parts running smoothly and intact.

Upon referring to the official websites of the respective manufacturers, I found AMD 7770 requires 400 watts and FX 4300 CPU requires 60 watts of power supply for their proper performance. However, upon using this setup myself, I found that AMD 7770 GPU on an average drew just 133 watts of power supply while AMD FX 4300 CPU drew much higher power than expected, reaching to around 132 watts on an average. So, taking these actual values into consideration along with rest of the components, I recommend you to go for a 300 watt power supply. However, upon checking the internet, I didn't find any trusted brand for such a low power supply requirement. So, in this case, I recommend you to buy Antec Basiq BP350 350 watt Power Supply.

Best SMPS to choose for a mid-end gaming machine

For a mid-end gaming machine that is meant to play most of the graphic and CPU thirsty games at medium or high settings, we have to be very careful in choosing the right SMPS. And I have found that most of the mid-end gaming rigs do lack a proper power supply, which is the best reason for poor performance anyone of us would get inspite of spending a lot of cash on GPU and processor. So, lets find the critical power supply that would be required for such a gaming setup. For that purpose, let us consider a gaming rig with atleast a Nvidia Geforce GTX 660 or an equivalent AMD R9 270X in the setup. And for optimal performance, lets say we embedded an AMD FX 6300 CPU which comes clocked at 3.5 GHz frequency.

Upon referring to the manufacturer's stated values, we can easily find that a single AMD R9 270X has a minimum power requirement of 500 watts and the FX 6300 CPU requires just 95 watts of power for optimal performance. Nevertheless, these values are generally misleading and thus we have to perform our own tests on our custom built mid-level gaming setup. After performing all the required tests simultaneously, our experts found that the GPU actually drew 215 watts (50% of the manufacturer's stated value) while CPU drew much higher power, fluctuating around 132 watts. So, with these actual values in mind and of course taking all other components in view, I recommend you to buy a PSU rated at 450 watts for expecting satisfactory performance. And do remember what I said earlier - always buy from a trusted brand, Antec VP-450 450 Watt Energy Star Certified Power Supply is something which you could blindly buy for such a mid-end setup.

Best SMPS to choose for a high-end gaming machine

Now this is where you would definitely require a higher rated power supply to bind all your PC components properly. The cost of building a high-end gaming machine is pretty high and even higher are our hopes from such a custom built gaming beast. Now, I think till here you would have got some idea on how a PSU is selected and why the manufacturers stated values for their components are worth ignoring. So, let me be short and concise here and just skip to our tests with our custom built high-end gaming rig. But before moving further, let me tell you which components our experts used in building their gaming beast. Our gaming rig included an AMD Radeon R9 290X 4 GB GDDR5 GPU, an AMD FX 8350 CPU and 8 GB of Kingston HyperX DDR3 RAM. Upon putting this rig to several simultaneous tests, we found that the GPU on an average required a whopping 335 watts power supply while the CPU drew as much as 160 watts in the extreme conditions. So, as a whole, our gaming rig performed as expected when we paired up a 750 watt power supply to it. We used the Corsair CX750 Builder Series ATX 80 PLUS Bronze Certified Power Supply for this purpose.

My Verdict

After carefully testing all the above mentioned gaming setups with different power supplies, our technology experts were able to find the best one for each category. All the above mentioned PSUs are from trusted brands and we have taken utmost care to provide you with the best budget power supplies. So, if you are looking for the best PSU for your custom gaming PC, then you can blindly go for the PSUs that I mentioned above. If you have any doubts or queries, feel free to comment below and I will try my best to answer them as soon as possible.

Read How to choose the best SMPS for your computer?


Author: Timmappa Kamat03 Mar 2015 Member Level: Gold   Points : 0

An exclusive list of SMPSs for gamers out there. You have provided a complete list on the basis of the level of gamers. That would be helpful for people with varied interests to choose a proper SMPS based exactly on their needs.

Guest Author: sudha13 Aug 2015

I am planning to build a gaming pc with below configurations:
i5 4690k ,
Asus z97 pro gamer
Corsair vengenance 8GB or 16GB RAM
Zotac geforce GTX 750Ti DDR5 2GB graphics card
Dell s2240L -21.5inch LED monitor

I plan to get Corsair VS550watts with Cooler master cabinet. Is this OK or any other recommendations?

Author: Prashant Dalal24 Aug 2015 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 2

Yes, it will be alright. Because GTX 750 Ti consumes very less power even in extreme usage, most of the power would be drawn only by CPU. Considering the above specs, I am sure You would be fine with a 550 Watts PSU.

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