Our Top Pick for 2018: Sentey MBP1000-HM Metal Blade Power 1000 Watt PSU
Read our full review.
It’s hard to imagine a genre of gaming that has grown as much as PC gaming. Quantum leaps have been made in increasing the power of the various PC peripherals; and as a result, to run a truly well-performing gaming machine today, you need to power it with more than the run-of-the-mill power supply. There are many great models of power supply available on the market today; so much so, that it could be daunting to figure out what’s the best unit for your dedicated gaming machine. To help you with this, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best power supplies (or PSUs) on the market today and even selected one that you can use to provide all the power you need at a very budget-friendly price.
Let’s Have a Quick Look of Our Top 4 Picks:
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#1. Sentey MBP1000-HM Metal Blade Power 1000 Watt PSU
Sentey has been dedicated to providing quality computer components since the company’s inception in 2001. Primarily focusing on IT hardware solutions, Sentey has nevertheless developed an excellent line of components that fit the consumer market as well. While not explicitly a gaming computer, the feature-rich nature of their MBP1000 power supply has everything that you will need to power an exceptional gaming machine.
Aesthetically, this power supply is comprised of black metal and utilizes a metal-bladed fan for high performance cooling. This power supply is also semi-modular; this means that you’ll have some choice in how many cables you have running in your PC as you won’t have to have all of the included cabling inside the computer if you don’t need it. Some cables are permanently attached to the power supply though, which is why it’s a “semi” unit. The permanently attached, mesh coated cables include a motherboard 20+4 pin connector to power motherboards of this type and a CPU 12V 4+4 pin connector to power the other type of motherboard interface. The difference between the two is electrical connection type and they can vary dependent on your setup.
The modular connections included with this power supply are one CPU 12V 8 Pin to power your processor, six PCI-E 6+2 pins that can be used to power your graphic cards, and an amazing eight SATA cables for the powering of your hard and optical drives. For legacy peripherals, this PSU also includes four Molex connectors for IDE connecting hard and optical drives as well as a floppy connector for those who still utilize this connection.
Our Gold Pick also has the distinction of being the power supply that also has the highest wattage of any of the units on our list. At a crisp 1000 watts, you can expect that you’ll be able to place a fairly high power draw on this system without much trouble; as a matter of fact, this is a great power supply to utilize on a gaming system that utilizes a scalable link interface (SLI) or the proprietary ATI Crossfire system. Systems that run these types of interfaces have the capability of running multiple graphics processing units (GPUs or graphics cards) in one system. Typically, any system that runs this setup will draw a lot of power; the higher end the card the more draw, and this power supply is certainly up to the challenge.
No one wants a computer that puts a sizable dent in the monthly electric bill. Even for a gaming machine, power supplies can still ensure that your computer is running as efficiently as possible and thusly not draining your monthly power allotment. Conceptualized in 2004, the 80 Plus Standard of power draw efficiency is the primary rating system that the majority of power supply manufacturers utilize to ensure that their devices are as energy efficient as possible. We’ll get into more of the details of the rating system in the pre-purchase considerations but for now you just need to know that the higher the status above 80 Plus, the better the efficiency. This PSU does fairly well in this rating system and has scored a 80 Plus: Bronze status.
Internally, this device runs a single strong +12v Rail system that utilizes a 100-240V auto-switching system to manage the voltage. Rail technology simply means that with one rail, all peripherals are receiving power from one connector. Multi rails balance the amount of power for different peripherals by utilizing several rails.
As our Gold Pick, this device has to fair really well with consumers and critics, and this power supply certainly performs well in both regards. Currently on Amazon, 89 percent of 520 reviews are very positive for this power supply; at least a four star rating level. One positive, five star review states, “I purchased this power supply to replace a defective Corsair Professional series Gold certified high performance power supply (CMPSU-850AX). The Sentey is working flawlessly and is holding up to all of our household gaming needs. It not only provides ample power for the MB (ASUS Sabertooth X79 /w 32gigs ram – 2SSD’s – 1tb WD Blk), but it also has the extra leads for those of you with two gaming video cards in your system.”
#2. FirePower Fatal1ty 550W 80Plus Semi-Modular Gaming ATX PC Power Supply
The Fatal1ty brand name has become more synonymous with high-end gaming as nearly any other line of gaming peripherals. The name was established by Johnathan Wendel as a gamertag in 1999 when he became a world champion in Quake III Arena. Johnathan’s gamertag garnished so much recognition that he was able to partner with hardware manufacturers in order to turn it into a recognizable brand. The FirePower Fatal1ty line of PSUs provides great power for some of the computing world’s most demanding peripherals. As a result of this quality, their 550 Watt power supply is our runner up Silver Pick.
To start, this is a slightly lower wattage power supply than our Gold Pick. This doesn’t make this PSU any worse for gaming; it’s just designed for a different type of gaming set up. Primarily you’d be using this for a machine that needs stable power that will run reliably when overclocked. You can SLI and ATI Crossfire this device and since it’s gaming ready, you shouldn’t have many issues.
This is a cool looking power supply. Utilizing an aesthetic that is decisively gaming-friendly, this PSU is comprised of black metal and sports red decals. Under the grill is a 120mm fan that is made of clear plastic. At first glance, you might think that this is cheaply made, but when you power up this supply, you’ll find that the clear plastic is there to help emphasize the fact that this PSU has a red LED that shines wickedly inside your computer.
This is another semi-modular power supply that has all of the mandatory wiring that you need permanently attached to the body of the unit. This power supply “ponytail” consists of a 20+4 pin connector and two EPS-style connectors; an eight pin as well as a 4+4 connector. Both our gold and silver picks each have a dedicated pouch for the modular cables, the Fatal1ty PSU comes equipped with two PCI-Express cables for your graphics cards; these include two connector types, a 6+2 and a standard 6 for Crossfire and SLI. Also included are four molex connectors as well as two four pin connectors for extension, and finally, six SATA connectors for your hard, solid state, and optical drives. Two of these Serial ATA connectors are set at a right angle, which is really nice for cable management.
Insofar as efficiency, this device is 80 Plus: Gold rated. This is a great level of efficiency that will keep your electricity bill at a manageable level. This power supply utilizes a dual rail system. Each rail provides 12 volts of current and around 25 amps each. This Fatal1ty unit is also guaranteed to go for 100,000 hours without experiencing a failure.
73 percent of 119 Amazon reviewers felt that power supply was worth at least a four star rating. Of the 59 percent that comprised the five star ratings, one user had this to say about this product: “When I ended up buying the GTX470 I felt a little worried because it consumed much more power. This power supply far exceeded my expectations! It was able to run the GTX470 with games at Max settings and all my other components with no issues at ALL!”.
#3. Thermaltake TOUGHPOWER 850W 80 PLUS GOLD Full Modular Power Supply
Thermaltake, one of the leading manufacturers of computer components that span the realm of CPU fans to gaming controllers, started out as the dream of its president Kenny Lin. One year later the company produced the world’s first turbine cooler; the Golden Orb. Since then, they’ve expanded their product line greatly; and as a result, they have produced some of the best power supplies available on the market. Their Toughpower 850 Watt Gold is one such power supply that would be perfect for your gaming rig.
Firstly, while this unit is described as full modular, it is in actuality a semi modular styled power supply. This isn’t much of an issue as the permanently attached cabling powers items that are required to be connected in order for you to compute at all. These cables are the 20+4 motherboard connector and a 4+4 and eight pin connectors. These pre-attached cables are colored black like the rest of the unit and, for the sake of storage, are very flat. The fan itself is 135mm and is comprised of black plastic and has an ultra quiet design that will cut revolutions per minute if there is not a large need for cooling. From a power point of view, this PSU pumps out a very sizable 850 watts.
In addition to the pre-attached cabling, Thermaltake has been very generous with the modular cables. Included in the heavy duty Thermaltake pouch are an amazing six PCI-E connectors for powering multiple graphics cards in either a SLI or ATI Crossfire setup, a full 12 SATA connectors for all of your modern drive needs, and eight molex connectors for older-type drives. Thermaltake has even included a floppy drive for those that still use this technology. Like the attached cables, each of these are flat and easy to store inside the body of your gaming rig.
Internally, this unit packs a lot of power. Firstly, Thermaltake utilized a high-quality Japanese capacitor that performs exceedingly well while maintaining low impedence characteristics. This feature allows for this PSU to provide steady reliability over its lifetime. Power is delivered on a single rail 12 volt system. With such good output, you can expect all of the attached peripherals to be powered efficiently. When it comes to efficiency, this power supply is 80 Plus: Gold rated, which will deliver 87 percent rated load at 20 percent power draw, 90 percent at 50 percent power draw, and 87 percent at 100 percent power draw. This high level of efficiency makes this the most efficient unit on our list of gaming power supplies.
Of all the 81 reviews on Amazon, 81 percent have felt that this produce deserves a four star or more rating. One five star reviewer said this:“This model of power supply by Thermaltake, which puts out 750 watts of power, is very well constructed, and looks great in a computer case, particularly if you are going with a black and/or red scheme (motherboard, RAM, fans, etc.). But regardless of the aesthetics, this has a high quality fan that is stated to have a very stable and clean electrical output.”
#4. Sentey Xplus Power Supply 725 Watt
View it on Amazon: $44.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
With a myriad of gaming peripherals out there that have a hefty price tag, you might think that you’ll need a ton of money to create a beastly gaming rig. This is certainly not the case; you can even get a great high wattage power supply, even if you are ballin’ on a budget. Sentey, the same manufacturer of our Gold Pick has produced this Xplus model that is a great option for those who want to game at a high level without breaking the bank.
To start, for the price, this is a very high wattage model. The Xplus has a full 725 watts of available power. The fan is also of a large size; a full 144mm and performs at near whisper-quiet levels; even under load. This large fan design is a large part of the aesthetic of this power supply, and is set in a hexagonal housing with black wire grates. The body of the power supply itself is comprised of metal that is coated in a sandy black scratch-resistant coating, and along the side, you will find the Xplus Power logo as well as large “725 Watts” stylized lettering.
This power supply is the only non-modular unit on our list, and while this might be a deal breaker to those who want to have the neatest cable set up as possible, Sentey did a great job at making sure that the cabling is as protected and out of the way as is possible with this type of cabling setup. Each cable is protected by a mesh that will prevent damage to the wires themselves; in addition to this, the ends of the mesh are heat-shrunk to add another layer of protection for each of the cables.
The included cable sets are; for system power, there is a 20+4 pin connector, a 4+4 pin connector, and a eight pin connector. When it comes to graphics support, this unit provides enough power to easily provision two SLI’d or Crossfired graphics cards, and to facilitate this, they’ve included two permanently attached PCI-E cables. Since this power supply isn’t designed to power a beast that has four separate GPUs, this is more than enough when it comes to graphics.
In addition to the graphics cables, Sentey included five SATA cables, three molex, and a floppy cable. This power supply has a single, 12V rail will provide protected, even power to all of your peripherals. While this power supply doesn’t rate in regards to the 80 Plus system, it is still capable of performing at 75 percent efficiency under 100 percent power draw.
91 percent of the 480 reviewers on Amazon had a positive experience with this power supply, garnering it at least a four star rating. Of the 78 percent that were five star rated, here is just one of the reviews: “This is a fantastic 725W PSU. I needed something large enough to run a HTPC. This thing is spot on . Really, really quiet PSU with no load on it. Under load, it’s really not loud either. I dumped it into my new Cooler Master HAF XB box for my media machine.”
Gaming machines can employ a monstrous amount of cabling. Some gamers have multiple SATA drives for their files, a solid state drive (SSD) for their operating system and a few key programs, multiple Blu-Ray drives for their movies and software, and power hungry graphics cards that need extra PCI-E cabling for high performance. All of these things will need power from your PSU, so be 100 percent sure that your prospective power supply has enough connectors so that you don’t have to perform peripheral triage in order to get your system up and running. Also, keep an eye on the connector type on the PSU, it wouldn’t do to have too much of a nominally used type of connection and not enough of one that you need much more urgently.
Over Temperature Protection (OTP)
Power supplies can generate a lot of energy and as a result they can get blazingly hot; especially if you are overclocking your system. Gaming PSUs with this protection will shut down and start the cooling off process if temperatures approach a pre-set high value. This is definitely a feature that you should consider if you are planning on overclocking a system that is going to be running a SLI’d set of high powered graphics cards. You certainly don’t want to fry your system.
The majority of power supplies on the market today use the 80 Plus efficiency ratings system. This rating system is entirely voluntary yet is very valued by the majority of power supply manufacturers. These ratings certify whether or not a specific power supply can operate at 80 percent efficiency at 20 percent, 50 percent, and 100 percent of a pre-set power load. These ratings range from a sufficiently efficient 80 Plus rating, to an incredibly efficient 80 Plus Titanium. As a rule, higher rated power supplies tend to go for more cash. Also, when you employ energy levels that are slightly higher, this tends to decrease efficiency, though not always.
Modular vs. Non-Modular
Cables can be the bane of a gamer’s existence. Many power supplies come with the cables that connect your SATA, SSD, optical drives, motherboard, and graphics cards directly to the supply. These cables are permanently attached and there isn’t much to do about cables that you aren’t using. These types are called non-modular power supplies; and as a rule, they do the job, but the inside of your case can be a cabled mess. Modular power supplies eliminate the excessive cable content by allowing you to remove you don’t need or attach any cabling that you do. This ensures that if you only have one SATA drive, you don’t have to have three more empty SATA connectors inside your PC. Some of these types of supplies even come with a handy bag to put your additional cables in when you don’t need them. There are also semi-modular power supplies that do have some permanent cables, but only for the components that absolutely have to be powered for your computer to work.
Additional “Bells and Whistles”
This might seem silly to some, but nothing is cooler for a PC gamer than a machine that screams “GAMER” when you look at it. Many gamers purchase system fans that have LED light functionality, cases that have increased illumination, and even keyboards and mice that can almost light up an entire room, so why not have a power supply that glows an eerie blue? Many gamer targeting power supply companies are offering models of power supply that glow various colors when plugged in. These utilize LED technology and it can really make your computer look cool and gaming worthy. When you are looking for a new power supply, don’t ignore some aesthetic “bells and whistles” for your power supply; you know it’s providing great power for your system, why not have it be recognizable too?
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
It’s definitely a great time to be a PC gamer. With the advent of new graphics technologies, better multi-platform games that don’t simply exist only on consoles, and PC friendly communities like STEAM, the realm of PC-based gaming is bound to gain even more popularity in the coming years. Make sure that you are prepared by having a great power supply that can handle the load of today’s games. We’ve provided this guide so that you can get an idea about some of the better power supplies that are available to power a dedicated gaming rig as well as some pre-purchase considerations. Just remember: when constructing your killer gaming rig, make sure that you have all of the peripherals to provide you with hours of gaming enjoyment.