If truth be told, PSUs can be some of the most difficult components to properly understand. You can categorize them by wattage, efficiency, and modularity – to name the most common. For that reason, choosing the next power supply for your build can be a tricky little prospect.
Fortunately, we’re here to lend a helping hand – and have summarized each for your peace of mind.
The first and most important factor you should consider before purchasing a PSU is the wattage. The wattage of your PSU refers to how much power it can deliver to your system. If you don’t have enough wattage for your PC parts, your system simply won’t load. Worse yet, you could potentially damage some of the hardware by not providing adequate wattage.
Everything affects wattage, including RGB, overclocking, and even water cooling.
Luckily, you can calculate how much power you require using our simple PSU calculator.
Next up we have efficiency. If you have a little bit of experience with PSUs, you may have noticed its efficiency ‘rating’ – often labelled 80+ bronze, silver, gold, and so on. This refers to how efficient the PSU is at delivering the wattage from the wall to the PC. Often, many lower-quality PSUs will struggle to provide decent efficiency at the higher end of the ‘curve’.
That’s not all though, alongside efficiency, the rating also helps us understand how safe the PSU is. Whilst the chances of a PSU bursting into flames is incredibly slim, it still does happen – even more so when your PSU has no efficiency rating whatsoever.
Finally, we have modularity. Modularity is more in reference to the physical design of your PSU. Whilst it won’t affect physical dimensions, it definitely affects the cables that go to and from your power supply.
For modularity, PSUs can be divided into three clear categories – Fully modular, semi-modular, and non-modular.
Non-modular is the least desirable of the bunch, coming equipped with cables that can not be removed – at all. Semi-modular, by comparison, offers a design where some of the cables can be removed. And fully modular – that’s right, you guessed it – boast the ability to have all their cables removed.