The PSU (power supply unit) is usually the neglected component especially when building a PC on a tight budget. Some think that any PSU will do as long as it can get the PC working. The function of the PSU is to convert the high-voltage AC electricity from the convenience outlet in your house to a low-voltage DC electricity that the PC components can use. A PSU of poor quality can also do that function but there is a possibility that the life span of your PC’s components will be shortened. In some cases, bad PSU’s can explode and damage other components like the CPU, motherboard, and graphics card.
To save you the trouble of going to Facebook or online forums asking random people on the internet about what PSU you should buy, we have prepared a list PSU’s which have been tested by review sites that have a proper test methodology for reviewing PSU’s. There are many good PSU’s sold globally but we only included those which are available here in the Philippines to make selection easier.
Just some REMINDERS before you proceed:
The prices are based on the item listing of Dyna Quest, Easy PC, PC Hub, and Tech On Site. Price may change without prior notice so call the store to verify the updated price on your chosen day of purchase.
Should I get modular or non-modular?ANSWER: How clean do you want your system to be? If you have a compact case or just want a very tidy setup, a modular/semi-modular PSU will allow flexibility in using only the cables you need in your system. Modular PSUs tend to have a higher price than their non-modular counter-part and this is something to consider especially for mainstream models that have modular and non-modular versions. For high-end PSUs, its typically common to only find modular/semi-modular models.
Is brand X/Y/Z bad? ANSWER: A brand doesn’t automatically mean a bad product but its become a common misconception that some brands are just so bad, everyone should avoid them like the plague. As a rule of thumb, we tend to look at brands that have good visibility and feedback from users to be generally favorable. Brands and OEMs like Corsair and Seasonic are well-known for their good quality but in recent years plenty of brands have improved on their designs and quality including FSP which has seen very decent improvements in their designs in recent years. Some users actively protest against these brands because of experiences from like 5-8 years ago and refuse to accept the improvements some of them have had in recent times.
Should I get Bronze, Gold or Platinum? ANSWER: Overall savings from 80 PLUS rating are generally not that big so the 80 PLUS stamp has mostly been reserved in categorizing the quality of the PSU. Platinum and Gold PSUs will tend to sit on the top of the product lineups as they exude the best-in-class features while Bronze and 80 PLUS PSUs will be more on mainstream. Going back to savings, the difference in efficiency from Bronze to Platinum isn’t that large and an ROI from savings will typically span years. When choosing a PSU for performance usage, we highly recommend the 80 PLUS Bronze rating as the most basic requirement. For those that can afford it, if the difference between Gold and Platinum is only by a small margin that you can earn in a month, go for the higher model. In addition, the 80PLUS certification’s test methodology is flawed as pointed out by Hardware Secrets and by Tom’s Hardware. Check the PSU review if you are interested in its efficiency in real world conditions.
What’s the difference between budget PSU versus high-end PSUs? ANSWER: Expanding on the answer above with regards to efficiency rating, PSUs also have features that vary between models. Some high-end PSUs today will feature digital monitoring and management as well as extra aesthetic improvements like flat cables, sleeving or LED lights. All these features add value to the PSU but doesn’t change its power delivery quality but do keep in mind that there are use-case scenario where flat cables may be an advantage as well as other extra features that may be unique to each model. Consider your situation wisely and if its a need rather than a want, make it a higher-priority consideration. Adding to this is quality of components which help in delivering more stable current and and voltage to the system components. Higher-end PSUs will have more stable current and voltages resulting in cleaner delivery which reduces possibility of wear in electronic components. (Thanks Brian Chong for this input.)
How do I know how much wattage will my PC consume?ANSWER: You can use a popular PSU consumption calculator that will provide an estimate rating of your system based on choices you input in their app like which CPU you use, the VGAs etc. Check it out here: http://outervision.com/power-supply-calculator
Can I use my PSU if I exceed my capacity? ANSWER: Yes but we highly recommend AGAINST it. Good PSUs are rated to show their sustained rating rather than peak which means some PSUs may be able to deliver more than what they show on the box. While this means you can go beyond it, it doesn’t mean the PSU is designed to handle that load for extended periods of time. A typical scenario would be if you were using a 400w system right now on a 500w PSU, you add in a component that makes your system consume 520w. A good PSU can deliver that load just fine but that will either trip their protection or start to deteriorate faster when used extensively. We highly recommend to calculate your system requirements before adding new components on an existing system unless you have a very large capacity power supply.
If you have more questions, suggestions and comments, kindly leave a message and discuss your own insights if you have anything to share in the comments below.