Build PC Gaming configuration – Choose power source

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Computer power source – PSU is a device that helps convert alternating current from the grid into direct current to supply electronic components in the computer. This is one of the devices that determines the longevity, durability, stability… of the entire hardware system on the computer. If the computer power source does not have enough capacity, it will certainly cause a series of annoying errors such as: the computer automatically restarts, when playing heavy games or using graphics software it will freeze continuously, the video card will freeze continuously. The image is broken, strange characters appear, the mainboard is blistered and swollen…

In addition, it is one of the components that is rarely replaced according to the list “RAM>Hard drive>Graphics card>Case>Power>CPU>Mainboard” because they are almost never outdated, so choose a source A good computer that meets the capacity required by the components is important.

Important parameters of computer power


More important than capacity and standards is the manufacturer. A power source with a capacity of 1000W and an 80 Plus Platinum certificate does not mean anything when it is manufactured by a strange company, especially with all the Chinese language on it. Who dares to guarantee whether the parameters they announced are true or not when no one can verify?

Therefore, for those new to PC building, Biareview recommends that you only use power supplies from manufacturers such as: Asus, Cooler Master, Cosair, EVGA, Gigabyte, SeaSonic, SilverStone, Super Flower. Especially FSP computer sources are of very good quality and distributed by Biareview, so the warranty period, if any, will be significantly faster than other brands. When using computer sources from these companies, you can rest assured about the published parameters and their products also have many reviews online for your reference.


Just like when choosing a hard drive, the most important parameter is storage capacity, when choosing to buy a source, the most important thing is to pay attention to whether the capacity is enough to meet the system needs. As mentioned in the article “Instructions for choosing a graphics card – VGA”, the graphics card is the component that consumes the most electricity and needs the most attention when buying a computer power source. To easily estimate the power capacity needed for your system, Biareview has the following summary table for reference:

GPU name of the graphics cardActual capacity of recommended source
GTX1650350W or more
RX570, GTX1650 SUPER, GTX1660400W or more
GTX1660 SUPER, GTX1660 Ti450W or more
RTX2060, RTX2060 SUPER, RX5700500W or more
RTX2070, RTX2070 SUPER, RX5700XT550w or more
RTX2080, RTX2080 SUPER, RTX2080 Ti650w or more

Of course, behind the graphics card, the CPU is also a component that requires a lot of power and needs to be paid attention to when buying a PC. However, unless you intend to overclock the CPU or build a gaming configuration with Core i9-9900K, Ryzen 9-3900(X), you will have to calculate additional power for the source. In other cases, the CPU capacity has also been calculated in the above summary table. Another component that also consumes quite a bit of electricity is… a custom water radiator. If you intend to install it later for beauty, you should add 20 to 50W to the power capacity. The remaining components consume almost negligible electricity according to the reference list on Makeuseof as follows:

CPU: 55 to 150W

Graphics card: 25 to 350W

Drive: 15 to 27W (But who still uses drives anymore?)

HDD: 0.7 to 9W

RAM: 2 to 5.5W

Case fans: 0.6 to 6W

SSD: 0.6 to 3W

If you “unfortunately” choose excess power capacity, you can rest assured that the components will not be overloaded and explode. In fact, the power supply will automatically adjust the output voltage to match the requirements from the components. For example, if you have an 800W source but the components only need 500W, the source will only run at 62.5% capacity. Excess capacity is also quite good because the power supply operates most efficiently at 50% load, you can read more about it below.

What if the power capacity is “a little lacking”? For example, the component needs 500W but I only choose 450W source? The answer is no, no and no. Never choose a power source with a capacity lower than the power required by the components, even by just a few W.

Performance – Standard 80 Plus

If you browse through computer sources – PSUs, you will probably see products labeled “80 Plus Standard” or “80 Plus White”, sometimes there is only “80 Plus”, some products have “80 Plus Bronze”, “80 Plus Gold”,… so what do these words mean? They are the efficiency of the computer power source, for example a PSU with a real capacity of 500W with “80 Plus Standard” will actually draw 625W from your power outlet, wasting 125W due to heat generation. In general, the higher the 80 Plus standard, the less electricity it will consume, and in the long run it will save you more money on your electricity bill, but in return, their cost is also higher.

In general, if you use the computer more than 12 hours a day, you should choose the source with the highest 80 Plus standard that your budget can meet (Titanium perhaps?). If you simply play games for a few hours a day, it is not necessary. The 80 Plus standard is ranked from low to high according to the following table (80 Plus Titanium is the highest). You can see, the power efficiency is highest when running at about 50% load.

Full Modular

In addition, if you pay attention, you will also see some PSU codes that say Full Modular, most do not have this line. Simply put, Full Modular codes are detachable wires from the power source to components inside the computer, limiting excess wires that cause loss of aesthetics in the computer case. Of course, the price of Full Modular models will be more expensive and if you use a steel case or put it under the table, then Full or not Modular is not very important.


In short, when choosing a computer source, you should choose products from reputable brands, pay attention to meeting the required capacity of the components, especially VGA and CPU, you should choose 80 Plus standard sources if you want to save electricity and always remember that it is better to choose excess capacity than under.

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