Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspect of building a PC is the power supply unit or the PSU. Since most computer casing comes with a stock PSU, most PC builders would just use the included PSU to build their custom rig. If you are planning to build a PC for gaming, then you must consider the best possible PSU for your system.
What can a PSU unit do for your gaming PC you might ask. The power supply unit as the name suggest is responsible for electrical power used by the various computer hardware components in your system. It converts the AC current to DC current of various voltages usually 12V, 5V and 3.3V, -12V, -5V, and -3.3V. DC current is what’s used by your computer’s circuitry, for example the 5V DC current powers your motherboard. The PSU is also responsible for short circuit protection and power surges.
First thing you need to consider when shopping for a power supply is the form factor. The PSU must be able to fit with the casing that you have in terms of the size and the mounts for the screws. For a Gaming PC, the standard ATX from factor is commonly used.
Next to take into account is how much power you need to run your system. A stock power supply unit included in a computer casing is usually a 300 to 500 Watts. For a gaming PC or for any other PC, the more hardware you have the more power you need. You can purchase PSU’s with the power rating of 600 Watts all the way up to 1800W. For a gaming PC lower-end, 600 Watts of power is sufficient to do the job but it is recommended to get PSU with a higher power rating to leave room for future upgrades and hardware add-ons.
Cooling is also another point that you want to consider when buying a PSU. As with most hardware on your PC, the PSU generates heat and you need to have a good cooling system to function properly. Try searching for a PSU with a larger fan than a standard unit. Some PSUs even come with dual fans. An added benefit of buying a PSU that has a larger fan is that it is also low on noise.
Warranty is equally important for a PSU among other things, since in most cases the PSU is always the first to have issues, a good warranty on a PSU can save you a lot of money and headache. Certain brands offer longer warranties, normally because they know the quality of the power supply and how long it will last. The lifespan of or the MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) is also a factor that needs to be considered.
Perhaps the most important factor that needs to be considered is the surge and short circuit protection of your PSU. With a good protection your PSU should protect all other components from excessive currents that can fry the electrical components on your system.
Last thing no remember is that there is no harm in visiting support forums to help you pick out the best PSU for your gaming rig. Even reading up on comments and reviews about a particular power supply can help you decide which is the best for your gaming PC.