The heart is the most important “stuff”: without this, even well functioning brain, lungs, kidneys etc. could not be alive… and, in a computer, the heart is the PSU – power supply unit. A quite underrated component, often chosen mostly by the remains of the budget. But I had a bad experience with one of them, so I was ready to give it more importance than before – because, well.. it IS important, very much!
First of all: do you know how much power do you need? It is not a simple question, but luckily there is a very simple tool to find the right answer: a power calculator!
Just input all the gears you want (think to) buy, and that’s it! You got a (quite precise) idea of the wattage you need for your new PSU!
So, what PSU did I need? The anwer was: still uncertain… why? Well, I DID know which CPU, MB, cooler, HDDs I had to use, yet still uncertain about GPU; yep, I could always input the most power hungry, so if I went with a less requiring one the wattage would be enough… but, what if I wanted to add a second GPU, if not more? I decided to calculate the power needed to feed two GPU, just in case – better safe than sorry, after all!
I ended with a 1300W need; not low, huh? Still, think there is a 2000W PSU for sale – yes, 2KW! Far from 2GW needed for a DeLorean time machine, yet big enough to scare people… but fear not! If you buy a 2000W PSU, it will NOT draw 2000W from your electricity socket – well, not usually, and not always – as a PSU will draw only the needed power, no more.
Now that I knew the wattage, which model? Difficult choice, indeed; as there are a lot of experts, reviews, benchmarks about CPUs and GPUs – and even MBs, there are less about PSU. I started consulting a PSU hierarchy list – like this one, for example: https://www.gamingscan.com/psu-hierarchy/ (but there are others, of course) – and I decided to stick only with the top tiers; at the end, a PSU will last many years, and it’s not unusual for one to be the heart of two or more systems, during ten or more years.
There are not so many 1300W or more PSUs, so in a way I was lucky, as the choice were limited; the selected models were the following (all 1300W if not otherwise noted):
Antec HPC, Cooler Master MasterWatt 1500W, Corsair AXi 1500W/1600W, Enermax Platimax 1500W/1700W, EVGA G2 1300W/1600W, EVGA P2 1600W, EVGA T2 1600W, Seasonic Prime, Super Flower Leadex.
They are more or less in the same league; preference went to the Titanium, even if Platinum were closer – they are efficiency class, where Titanium is more efficient than Platinum, that is more efficient than Gold and so on; I’d go no lower than Gold, though.
The PSU best candidates were:
Antec HPC 1300W – because it could be connected to a second PSU if you need more power
Enermax Platimax 1700W – that should be able to feed even three or four GPUs
EVGA G2 1300W – even if only gold, it has a very good price and features