Which is the Most Power Efficient PSU For Gaming?
Which is the most energy-efficient power supply for gaming? Here we'll take a look at the Seasonic PRIME Fanless PX-450, EVGA 750 GQ, Thermaltake Smart 700, and Corsair SF750. But there are many more to consider. Which one should you buy? And how do you know which one will be best for your gaming system? Read on for our complete review of each unit.
Understanding Power Efficiency in PSUs
Power efficiency in PSUs refers to how effectively the unit converts the incoming AC power from the wall outlet to the required DC power for your gaming components. The efficiency rating of a PSU is expressed as a percentage and can be found on the PSU's label or specification sheet. A more efficient PSU will waste less power as heat, resulting in lower electricity bills and reduced environmental impact.
The efficiency rating is categorized into different 80 PLUS certifications, such as 80 PLUS, 80 PLUS Bronze, 80 PLUS Silver, 80 PLUS Gold, 80 PLUS Platinum, and 80 PLUS Titanium. The higher the certification level, the more power-efficient the PSU is. For instance, an 80 PLUS Titanium PSU is considered to be extremely efficient, wasting minimal power as heat.
How Power Efficiency Impacts Gaming
When it comes to gaming, the power efficiency of a PSU (Power Supply Unit) holds significant importance, impacting various aspects of the gaming experience in more ways than you might think:
Energy Savings for Cost-Effectiveness
The power efficiency of a PSU directly influences the amount of electricity it consumes. For gamers who often leave their gaming systems running for extended periods, especially during intense gaming sessions, a highly efficient PSU can lead to substantial energy savings over time. By consuming less electricity, it translates into noticeable reductions in your electricity bills, making gaming more cost-effective in the long run.
Heat Reduction for Enhanced System Performance
Efficiency in PSUs plays a critical role in heat generation during operation. When a PSU operates inefficiently, it produces more heat as a byproduct of power conversion. Excessive heat can adversely affect the overall stability and longevity of your gaming components, potentially leading to performance issues and even hardware failures. On the other hand, a power-efficient PSU ensures that minimal power is wasted as heat, resulting in a cooler and more stable system. This cooling effect not only enhances the lifespan of your gaming rig but also allows it to perform optimally even during extended gaming sessions.
Improved Gaming Performance with Stable Power Supply
For serious gamers, a stable and consistent power supply is vital for achieving high-performance gaming experiences. Power-efficient PSUs provide a reliable and clean power output, reducing the likelihood of voltage fluctuations and power spikes that could harm sensitive gaming hardware. When your gaming system receives a steady power flow, it can better support demanding graphics, processing, and memory-intensive tasks, resulting in smoother gameplay, reduced lag, and overall improved gaming performance.
Contributing to a Greener Environment
Making a conscious choice of using a power-efficient PSU can also positively impact the environment. By wasting less power as heat, energy consumption is minimized, leading to a reduction in your carbon footprint. As a responsible gamer, opting for energy-efficient components contributes to less overall strain on energy resources and minimizes the environmental impact of your gaming activities. By reducing energy consumption, you become part of the efforts to preserve natural resources and combat climate change, all while enjoying your favorite games.
Top Power-Efficient PSUs for Gaming
Now that we understand the importance of power efficiency in PSUs for gaming, let's take a look at some of the top options available:
Seasonic PRIME Fanless PX-450
The PRIME Fanless PX series of power supplies use fanless technology to eliminate noise. This is especially important in situations that require a quiet operation.
It is made of high-quality components and features a modern circuit design and fully modular cables. These also allow for more cable management. With the PRIME Fanless PX-450 PSU, you can finally enjoy the quiet operation of your system.
While this power supply is fairly inexpensive compared to other fanless power supplies, it still does have its drawbacks.
For one, its fanless design means that you can use only the cables that you need. Additionally, this fanless power supply will keep your computer cool and clean. This system is 80 PLUS Platinum-certified and comes with a twelve-year warranty. It will not break the bank, but it is definitely worth the money.
This power supply features 80+ Platinum certifications, 100% modular design, and completely silent operation.
Its regulated output voltage is within a tight range, and the power consumption is below 0.5 percent. This power supply is ideal for high-performance systems and can power configurations with the most demanding components.
Because it uses passive cooling based on heat dissipation, it is quieter and more efficient than other power supplies. It also helps you save money on your utility bills by reducing energy consumption.
EVGA 750 GQ
The EVGA 750 GQ ATX12V and EPS12V power supplies have a single +12 V rail and can provide up to 62.4 A of output.
They also feature an Eco mode and a single-phase design that eliminates unnecessary wires. Moreover, the unit's active clamp circuit layout and ECO mode allow for silent operation during low-to-moderate loads.
The GQ series is EVGA's answer to the price-conscious consumer. EVGA 750 GQ power supplies come with 80 Plus Gold certification and a five-year warranty. They feature a 750-watt capacity and an 850-watt capacity.
However, they do not include over-temperature protection and do not offer ripple suppression. These power supplies aren't the cheapest options on the market, so it is important to consider the features that are important to you before buying one.
If you're in the market for a new power supply, you've probably already heard about the W1 and N1 lines.
While they are both entry-level power supplies, they are still highly efficient and compact. Corsair offers a great selection, including the RM series, which is very quiet. You can even purchase a replacement for your old power supply with the EVGA 750 GQ.
EVGA also offers a 10-year warranty on its power supplies, which is uncommon among PSU manufacturers. This warranty covers all models, though sometimes you can get a promo that adds an extra two years.
EVGA T series power supplies are among the best energy-efficient options on the market. Additionally, some good power supply makers include Super Flower. This is the best way to determine which power supply is right for your needs and budget.
Considering the price difference between the two, it's hard to choose between the EVGA 750 GQ and Corsair 750 GQ. For the price difference, the SuperNOVA P2 features a more powerful fan, and Corsair's fan is smaller but louder.
Both units feature an excellent warranty and come with excellent reviews. The Corsair RM750X has better warranty coverage than EVGA.
The CORSAIR SF750 80 PLUS Platinum SFX Power Supply is a remarkable and extremely power-dense PSU for the most cutting-edge small-form-factor PCs.
Featuring a silent and ultra-efficient design, this power supply is equipped with a 92-mm fan. Premium electrical components such as 105-degree Japanese capacitors ensure optimal thermal performance.
This powerful power supply is compatible with most top-tier SFX builds and is even suitable for large ATX cases. However, because it is extremely powerful, it is quite expensive and will cost a pretty penny.
It should be a no-brainer for high-end PCs but may be too expensive for some budget-conscious users. Regardless of the price, this SFX power supply is definitely worth the investment.
Its impressive efficiency levels have made it a top choice for power supply units for gaming systems. The SF750 Platinum has achieved a high efficiency rating of eighty percent at full load. This impressive performance is made possible by the presence of an active PFC.
The Corsair SF750 Platinum's power factor is 0.99, which means it uses less power during the idle state. It also meets the ERP standards, so you'll be getting the best out of your power supply.
While the Corsair SF750 is highly efficient, it's not the best choice for a low-end gaming build. For a lower-end build, an ATX power supply can be added to a smaller case. Then again, the SF750 is very small and takes up less space than its 750-watt counterpart.
Also, many SFX power supplies can be added to an ATX case with a bracket. Regardless of the power supply's size, the best power supply for your gaming system should be able to handle high-end GPUs and other components.
Thermaltake Smart 700
With an A+ LAMBDA rating, the Thermaltake Smart RGB 700W is the most energy-efficient PSU available. It has an enviable compact build, comes with cables already attached, and boasts a 700W rated capacity.
The Smart RGB 700W is a great choice for gamers because of its 256 color RGB Cycle and 10 LED Light Bulbs. It also boasts an 87% efficiency rating and is 80 PLUS certified, which means it will be the most efficient PSU on the market.
The Thermaltake Smart RGB 700W PSU is a fantastic choice for those on a budget. With a price tag under PS60, it's the perfect match for the majority of enthusiasts.
Its single +12V rail eliminates voltage distribution limitations, providing powerful, stable power to your CPU and VGA. The Smart RGB 700W is also one of the most affordable PSUs on the market.
Despite the fact that it doesn't earn a bronze efficiency rating, the Smart RGB 700w is still a power supply worthy of a high-end gaming system. It boasts good efficiency levels, and its 750W capacity is more than sufficient for most needs. It also comes with a five-year warranty.
Video about Power Supply For PC
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Power-Efficient PSU
When selecting a power-efficient PSU for your gaming rig, it's crucial to consider various factors to ensure optimal performance, compatibility, and future-proofing. Here's a detailed guide to help you make an informed decision:
Wattage and Power Requirements
Start by calculating the power requirements of your gaming system. Sum up the power consumption of all components, including the graphics card, CPU, RAM, storage drives, and peripherals. It's essential to choose a PSU with a wattage rating slightly above the total power consumption to provide headroom for future upgrades and to ensure the PSU operates efficiently under heavy loads.
Modular vs. Non-Modular PSUs
Power supplies come in two main designs: modular and non-modular. Modular PSUs allow you to detach unnecessary cables, reducing cable clutter inside your PC case and improving airflow. This results in better cooling and a cleaner-looking build. On the other hand, non-modular PSUs have fixed cables, which might lead to some unused cables creating an untidy build. For better cable management and a more organized build, opt for a fully or semi-modular PSU.
PSU Efficiency Rating
PSU efficiency is rated using the 80 PLUS certification system. The higher the certification level, the more power-efficient the PSU is. However, higher certification levels often come with higher price tags. Consider your budget and the level of efficiency you need based on your usage patterns. For most gamers, an 80 PLUS Gold or Platinum PSU should be sufficient to strike a balance between energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Brand Reputation and Warranty
Choose a power supply from reputable brands known for producing high-quality and reliable products. Brands like Corsair, Seasonic, EVGA, be quiet!, and Thermaltake have established themselves as trusted names in the PSU market. A reputable brand ensures you're investing in a well-built and durable product. Additionally, check for PSUs with extended warranties, as this indicates the manufacturer's confidence in the product's longevity and reliability.
Connectivity and Future-Proofing
Ensure that the PSU has sufficient connectors to support all your gaming components. Pay attention to the number of PCIe connectors for your graphics card and SATA connectors for storage drives. If you plan to upgrade your system in the future, consider getting a PSU with additional connectors to accommodate new components. Future-proofing your PSU ensures it remains compatible with upcoming gaming hardware.
Noise Levels and Cooling
Look for PSUs with advanced cooling technologies and quiet fans. Efficient cooling not only prolongs the life of your PSU but also contributes to a quieter gaming environment. Quiet operation is particularly essential for gamers who prefer an immersive gaming experience without distracting background noise.
Prioritize PSUs with various safety features, such as overcurrent protection (OCP), overvoltage protection (OVP), undervoltage protection (UVP), short-circuit protection (SCP), and over-temperature protection (OTP). These safety mechanisms safeguard your gaming components from potential damage due to electrical issues, ensuring a more reliable and secure gaming setup.
Installation and Safety Tips for Power-Efficient PSUs
Installing a power-efficient PSU requires meticulous attention to safety and proper installation procedures to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Follow these detailed tips for a smooth and safe PSU installation:
Unplug and Discharge
Begin by disconnecting your PC from the power source to prevent any electrical hazards during installation. Additionally, press the power button once after unplugging to discharge any residual power in the system. This precautionary step reduces the risk of electric shock and protects your components from potential damage.
Proper cable management is crucial for maintaining good airflow within your PC case and minimizing the risk of accidental damage to cables or components. Utilize cable ties, Velcro straps, or cable routing channels in your PC case to organize and secure the PSU cables neatly. This not only enhances the overall aesthetics of your build but also improves the cooling efficiency by allowing air to flow freely through the case.
Mounting the PSU
Securely mount the PSU in the designated PSU bracket inside your PC case. Ensure that the PSU is aligned correctly with the fan facing outward to facilitate proper cooling. Adequate ventilation around the PSU is essential for heat dissipation and preventing overheating during extended gaming sessions.
Connectors and Cables
Take your time and exercise caution while connecting the PSU cables to the appropriate components. Refer to your motherboard and component manuals to identify the correct connectors and their respective sockets. Gently insert the connectors, making sure they fit snugly and securely. Avoid using excessive force to prevent any damage to the connectors or components.
Testing and Monitoring
Once the installation is complete, power on your system and perform a thorough check to ensure everything is functioning correctly. Verify that all components are properly recognized by your system's BIOS or UEFI. To monitor the PSU's performance and temperature, consider using software utilities specifically designed for this purpose. Monitoring software can provide real-time information on the PSU's efficiency, voltage outputs, and temperature, allowing you to ensure it operates within safe limits.
Power-efficient PSUs, like any other hardware, benefit from regular maintenance. Periodically inspect the PSU and its cables for signs of wear or damage. Dust and debris can accumulate over time and affect the PSU's cooling efficiency, so it's essential to clean the PSU and surrounding components regularly. However, always unplug your PC and follow proper safety precautions before attempting any cleaning or maintenance.
As a passionate gamer, the search for the most power-efficient PSU for my gaming rig has been an enlightening journey. Understanding the importance of power efficiency in PSUs has opened my eyes to how this seemingly minor component can significantly impact my gaming experience. Not only does it save me money on electricity bills, but it also ensures that my gaming system remains cool, stable, and ready to handle any demanding gaming session.
After extensive research, I've narrowed down my choices to a few standout options: the Seasonic PRIME Fanless PX-450, EVGA 750 GQ, Thermaltake Smart 700, and Corsair SF750. Each of these power supplies brings something unique to the table, catering to different budgets and gaming needs.