Embarking on the thrilling adventure of building a custom PC means every component plays a pivotal role in determining its ultimate performance and efficiency, which means you will search out the best PSU, CPU, GPU and more.
Amidst the dazzling graphics cards, sleek processors, and cutting-edge cooling systems, one critical component often gets overshadowed: the power supply unit (PSU). The unsung hero of any computer system, the PSU unobtrusively powers all other components. Selecting the right PSU can make the difference between a seamless, high-performance gaming experience and a disastrous, gut-wrenching system meltdown.
Wattage is the primary factor to consider when choosing a PSU. Underestimating your power requirements can result in poor performance, abrupt shutdowns, or even irreparable damage to your prized components. Conversely, overestimating your system’s power needs can create an inefficient power-guzzling machine that drains your wallet.
With countless factors to consider when building a new system, from the individual components to the case that houses them all, CGMagazine is here to simplify the process and help you pick the best PSU for your next-gen components. We examine everything from power output, form factor, and noise level to compatibility, ensuring only the best and most efficient PSUs make our list.
In the modern world of high-end gaming, the best PSU for a gaming PC changed greatly from even 3 years ago. No longer is 500 watts enough to experience the latest and greatest, with 850 watts of power only scratching the surface of the needs of many top-end graphics cards. Thankfully, the PSU landscape is changing, giving more options that bring more power, efficiency and features, all made to power the next generation of hardware.
The PSU is a vital component of any PC build, and its selection warrants careful consideration. That’s why we’re here to help you break down what’s important and offer a range of the best PSUs suitable for even the most extreme gaming PCs. With options available at various prices, no matter your objectives or power requirements for your new PC, we have a power supply that will deliver power where it matters most.
NZXT C1200 Gold
NZXT has long been a top PC hardware brand, renowned for delivering an exceptional blend of value, performance, and sleek look. The NZXT C1200 Gold power supply lives up to that reputation, catering to the needs of next-generation GPUs like NVIDIA’s powerful RTX 4090 while meeting the power requirements of modern PC hardware. With ATX v3.0 form factor and PCIe 5.0 compatibility, it’s a future-proof solution for those seeking the best PSU for their next-gen CPUs and GPUS, capable of handling whatever they throw at it.
Modular PSUs have been around for years, but the inclusion of the 16-pin PCIe 12VHPWR connector is a more recent development. The NZXT C1200 Gold features this connector, allowing it to deliver up to 600 watts of power through a single cable. This innovation not only simplifies cable management but also ensures that powerful GPUs get the energy they need for optimal performance.
As a result, users can expect a streamlined and efficient system ready for the most demanding graphics-intensive applications. After all, when you build your new Ryzen 9 7950X system, the last thing you want is to have messy cable management take away from the look of the system. Thankfully, NZXT C1200 Gold makes this task a tad easier, and the clean look of the PSU will fit most gaming rigs.
With an impressive 90.5% efficiency peak at 50% load, the NZXT C1200 Gold PSU significantly reduces temperatures, energy consumption, and noise levels. This high-efficiency performance not only fosters a more environmentally friendly system but also contributes to a more enjoyable computing experience, free from the noise of a roaring PC gaming rig. The PSU also features a Zero Fan Mode, which automatically stops the fan under light loads, keeping noise to a minimum during less demanding tasks.
Equipped with a 135mm PWM fan boasting fluid dynamic bearing technology, the NZXT C1200 Gold minimizes noise levels without sacrificing cooling performance, striking the perfect balance between efficiency and comfort. To ensure durability and stability under demanding conditions, the PSU is constructed with high-quality Japanese 105°C capacitors.
Competitively priced and offering a robust set of features, the NZXT C1200 Gold is one of the best PSUs you can get, especially for those looking to be prepared for any hardware they might include in their new system, be it the latest CPU from AMD or Intel or a new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090. With its future-proof concept and high performance, the NZXT C1200 Gold stands out as an exceptional option for building a new gaming PC or upgrading an existing one.
be quiet! Pure Power 12 M
Entering the ATX 3.0 era is the be quiet! Pure Power 12 M which brings top-tier technology to the table. The PSU series boasts an impressive LLC topology and accommodates up to five PCI express connectors, catering to both PCIe 5.0 GPUs and GPUs with PCIe 6+2 connectors. Capable of effortlessly handling power excursions up to double its rated capacity, Pure Power 12 M emerges as the ideal choice for those seeking a high-performance PSU that maintains minimal noise levels for their current or next-gen graphics card.
With 80 PLUS Gold certification, the be quiet! Pure Power 12 M modular power supply is an incredibly efficient offering. Combined with up to 1000 watts of power and 2 independent 12V rails, it’s equipped to handle even the most demanding systems. Luckily, even something this powerful deserves a little attention to style, and the modular design and high-quality sleeved cables make component installation a breeze while reducing annoying clutter and streamlining the overall build process. With an ATX 3.0 form factor, it includes up to 5 PCIe connectors, making it compatible with both current and next-generation GPUs for future-proofing.
While many hardware components like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 can set you back more than a PS5, the be quiet! Pure Power 12 M is a much more affordable option. Starting at $134.90 for the 850W variant, the be quiet! Pure Power 12 M (ATX 3.0) is an exceptional solution for gamers, offering solid build quality, quiet fans and a 10-year warranty. For new PC builds, or as a replacement for an aging power supply, the be quiet! Pure Power 12 M is an easy choice for those looking for the best PSU that won’t break the bank while still being well-equipped to be the new centrepiece of any gaming PC.
Corsair RM850X Shift
In a world where cable management and power efficiency are paramount, CORSAIR’s RMx SHIFT Series power supplies emerge as game changers for cutting-edge PC builds. These fully modular PSUs showcase an ingenious side cable interface, bringing all your connections effortlessly within reach. What does that mean for you? Unrivalled convenience, 80 PLUS Gold-certified efficiency, and compatibility with PCIe 5.0 12VHPWR GPUs make it an ideal solution for any gaming PC enthusiast.
I have a confession, the Corsair RM850X Shift caught our eye largely because of its innovative side cable interface. Gone are the days of cramming cables into tight spaces or struggling to swap wires due to their position in the case. The RMx SHIFT Series’ groundbreaking side panel makes cable management a breeze, streamlining the process in ways we never thought possible. No more wrestling with the PSU every time you need to add a component to your system; this game-changing innovation keeps everything clean, modern, and accessible.
Consistent with the high standards on this list, the Corsair RM Shift Series comes equipped with PCIe 5.0 12VHPWR GPU cables, designed for use with cutting-edge graphics cards like the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 Series—while still supporting GPUs from AMD and Intel. And, since it’s fully modular, you won’t have to contend with a tangle of unnecessary wires cluttering your system’s sleek, minimalist aesthetic.
We can’t overstate just how much we adore the side panel, so it is no wonder it made the list of best PSUs, especially since it encompasses everything needed for a contemporary PC gaming rig. As the landscape of PC building continues to evolve, CORSAIR’s RMx SHIFT Series power supplies are making a splash with their groundbreaking concept and unparalleled efficiency—a trend we expect other hardware manufacturers will soon embrace.
Cooler Master V 850 i Gold
As the tech world gradually embraces Nvidia’s cutting-edge 40 series RTX GPUs, Cooler Master is already paving the way with their pioneering ATX 3.0 power supply lineup. This new series combines the brand’s renowned performance, quality, and design with the latest ATX 3.0 and PCIe Gen 5 connector requirements.
While adapters can make older PSUs compatible with the new connectors, a power supply with built-in support is always the superior choice. The 12-pin plus 4-signal connector configuration enables GPUs to recognize the wattage supplied by the power supply to the entire system—a significant leap forward in power management. Cooler Master’s V 850 i Gold unit checked all the boxes during our testing, delivering power, efficiency, and an uncluttered cable setup.
The V Gold power supply units—an evolution of the original V series—carry forward the brand’s signature qualities while incorporating features essential for the next generation of PCs. The revamped V Gold i series, available in 750W and 850W versions with an 80 Plus Gold rating efficiency, is designed with forward-thinking high-end PC builders in mind and should provide plenty of power for most gaming needs. The series boasts a half-bridge LLC converter, a 135mm fan, and a semi-digital design that lets users monitor the unit’s status through Cooler Master’s proprietary software, MasterControl.
Developed in collaboration with the community, Cooler Master’s new power supply lineups are engineered to meet and surpass user expectations, so it is no wonder it made our best PSU list. The V Gold i series, priced at an MSRP of $189.99 for the 750 Watt model and $209.99 for the 850 Watt model, presents a compelling choice for those seeking to future-proof their PCs.
be quiet! Dark Power 13
It is not often we will include two selections from a single company on a best PSU list, but we had to make an exception this time around. In the ever-evolving world of PC components, the be quiet! Dark Power 13 power supply range stands out as a top contender, offering a compelling blend of efficiency, performance, and next-gen GPU compatibility. This ATX 3.0 power supply boasts an impressive 80 PLUS Titanium efficiency rating—up to 95.2%—ensuring optimal energy usage without compromising on performance.
Designed with full support for PCIe 5.0 GPUs and GPUs featuring 6+2 pin connectors, the Dark Power 13 1000W is primed for the latest in graphics technology and built to provide enough power for anything your new system could need. Its virtually inaudible operation is made possible by an improved frameless Silent Wings fan, while a full-mesh front and funnel-shaped air inlet maintain the unit’s superior air circulation capabilities.
For enthusiasts seeking added versatility, the overclocking key allows users to switch between four 12V rails and one massive 12V rail, providing plenty of power distribution for their specific needs. The integration of Active Rectifier and full bridge LLC technology ensures unmatched signal stability and an incredibly high level of efficiency.
To enhance user convenience, the Dark Power 13 1000W features modular cable management, streamlining cable organization and eliminating unnecessary clutter. And, to top it all off, be quiet! stands behind their product with a robust 10-year manufacturer’s warranty, offering peace of mind for the long haul.
The be quiet! Dark Power 13 range of power supplies is a shining example of some of the best PSUs on the market, marrying efficiency, innovation, and next-gen compatibility—all while maintaining the quiet operation that’s become synonymous with the brand. The Dark Power 13 power supply is ideal for users seeking a high-quality product that can handle the demands of high-end graphics cards, such as the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4000 series. With a focus on efficiency and performance, this power supply is an excellent choice for gamers and PC enthusiasts alike.