Here’s how big your PC power supply really needs to be

For the average gamer not trying to push the boundaries of tech and performance, it can be challenging to gauge how large your power supply needs to be – especially if this is your first PC build.

The power supply unit for a PC converts power from your plug point into a regulated low-voltage DC for the computer’s internal components.

As a result, the best way to determine the best power supply unit for your PC is to work out the total wattage of your current rig’s components, as the power supply will need to be able to run each simultaneously.

However, if you intend to build a mid-range PC capable of running most games without issue at medium to high settings, then there’s very much a specific range when looking at the Power Supply.

The average power requirement

In 2022 a budget to mid-range PC will likely boast a total power requirement of between 300 and 500 Watts.

This is based mainly on the average power requirements of the graphics card, CPU, and Motherboard – fans and storage contribute negligible amounts by comparison.

For example mid-range build in 2022, a Core i5 12th gen CPU will require around 150 watts, a GTX 1660 Ti Graphics card will require 120 watts, and the motherboard, fans, storage, and memory will average out to between 100 and 150 watts.

However, when building your PC and looking at your desired rigs specs, it’s crucial to remember that meeting the power requirements exactly isn’t always best.

Therefore, you should consider using a power supply that offers around 100 watts extra power. This extra power won’t have any benefit for performance but instead will ensure that when you do eventually upgrade components, you won’t need to buy a new Power Supply.

Along with that, it is essential that even if you’re not concerned with future upgrades, the Power Supply you get can meet the requirements of your components.

Excess wattage will have no notable effect on performance, but having too little can lead to severe issues – ranging from computer crashes to damaged components.

Recommendation

So given this and the current requirements for a mid-range PC, the recommended power supply size would be 600 to 700 watts, with a bias towards the higher figure.

While this won’t increase your PC’s performance, it will ensure that you won’t have to worry about getting a new power supply when upgrading your PC for years to come.

Thankfully, power supplies aren’t the most expensive component when building a PC, and if you buy a high-quality supply, then it will also be one of the longest-lasting components.

For a power supply of good quality and brand, you’re looking at between R1,000 and R2,000 for a 700 watt capacity – a relatively small sum to pay for a component that will probably outlast the rest of your rig.

For this, you’ll want to get a Power Supply with at least an 80 Plus Gold certification as this refers to the manufacturers having sent the component for testing to ensure its quality.

On most websites, this certification can clearly be seen as a little stamp on the image or in the product’s description.

While this is our recommendation, it cannot be stressed enough to always carefully check and add up the power requirements for each of your PC components before buying anything.


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Here’s how big your PC power supply really needs to be

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