Power supplies are one of those parts which people tend to overlook when building their own computers. People often try to save money by getting an old or low-quality power supply instead of buying from reputable manufacturers. This decision may seem okay in the short term but over time it could cause serious damage to hardware components that run on your machine. In fact, if you use a substandard PSU for long enough, it can even lead to permanent harm to your system.
Especially if you’re going with an RTX 3080, a powerful and high-quality PSU is pretty much a requirement, otherwise, there’s a good chance it won’t even be able to support it during gaming sessions where the GPU is at maximum output.
So what exactly does a “good” power supply look like? Why should you care about a quality PSU and how much wattage should it have? We will answer all those questions, but first, we will tell you our PSU recommendations.
Top 3 Best PSU For RTX 3080 & 3080 TI
|EVGA Supernova 650 GT 80+ Gold||650w|
|EVGA 210-GQ-0650-V1 650 GQ, 80+ GOLD||650w|
|Corsair RM650x 80+ Gold||650w|
The EVGA SuperNOVA 650 GT uses only the best premium components to ensure the best stability, quality, and performance. It features 80 PLUS Gold-certified efficiency, and clean, continuous power to every component. The fully modular design allows you to individually select which cables to use for a clean and tidy build—no more cables you don’t need! The EVGA SuperNOVA 650 GT also has full protections against OVP, UVP, OCP, OPP, SCP, and Dual OTP making it one of the top choices!
Introducing the next generation in value; the EVGA GQ power supply lineup. These power supplies take some of the best features from EVGA’s award-winning power supplies, like EVGA ECO fan mode for near-silent operation, Japanese Capacitor Design, and a highly efficient design, at an excellent value. These new power supplies are 80 Plus Gold rated and offer an outstanding 5 Year Warranty that’s backed by world-class EVGA support.
The CORSAIR RM650x fully modular power supply provides reliable 80 PLUS Gold-certified efficiency and clean, continuous power to your system. Featuring a single +12V rail, it can effortlessly meet the demands of high-end PCs. 100% industrial-grade 105°C rated Japanese capacitors ensure unwavering power and reliability, even when you’re pushing the limits with your latest build.
Zero RPM fan mode ensures that the fan only spins up in response to temperature, so it’s silent at low and medium loads. A 135mm FDB fan efficiently cools and minimizes noise, while a carefully calculated fan curve balances noise and cooling for optimal, quiet operation. Backed by a ten-year warranty and world-class CORSAIR technical support and customer service. Build your next system with confidence – install a CORSAIR RM650x power supply.
What Is A Power Supply Unit?
A power supply (PSU) converts AC electricity into usable DC voltage needed by various electronic devices. Your CPU, graphics card, motherboard, hard drives, fans, etc all require specific amounts of current, so these units convert the mains electrical energy into appropriate levels of direct current (DC). Generally speaking, every piece of consumer electronics requires at least 12V of output as standard. However, some items such as laptops might only support up to 5V while others like certain processors or GPUs can operate with higher voltages.
There are many different brands of power supplies available today. Some companies specialize in making small form factor ATX cases, whereas other large corporations make big tower PCs. Smaller vendors often provide cheaper models with fewer features than bigger ones, leading them to rely more heavily on external power cables. Most popular mainboards nowadays also feature integrated USB ports, allowing users to plug-in peripherals directly without needing extra adapters.
However, just because there are many different brands doesn’t necessarily mean any brand would work well for your needs. For example, not all brands produce equal products across all price points. So before rushing off to purchase something online, take a moment to consider whether you want a budget model or a premium product. And most importantly, read our list below outlining several key things you must consider when shopping for a new PSU.
How Does The Quality Of My Computer’s Power Supply Affect It?
The following tips apply specifically to desktop machines. If you’re looking at buying a laptop power supply unit please refer to our separate guide dedicated entirely to portable computing gear.
If you’ve already built your first rig using a cheap power supply, don’t fret too much. You can still upgrade to a better one later on down the line. But keep in mind that upgrading to a top-of-the-line PSU won’t magically improve performance. Also, bear in mind that newer Nvidia cards might require a slightly lower input voltage compared to older generations.
Here are three essential aspects you should always check when purchasing a new power supply:
- Check the efficiency rating of the PSU. Efficiency refers to the amount of real watts produced per rated watt consumed. As a rule of thumb, anything above 80% is considered good, though efficiencies of 90%, 95% and 100% are becoming increasingly common among modern PSUs. Keep in mind that the actual number quoted isn’t always accurate due to differences between testing methods used by each individual vendor.
- Make sure to find out the maximum load capacity of the power supply. Unless you plan on overclocking or running extremely demanding games, you probably won’t exceed 50 percent of the maximum load ratings listed here. That said, it’s worth keeping in mind that some smaller PSUs can handle upwards of 500 watts. Just remember that larger PSUs generally offer greater cooling capabilities and thus longer lasting warranties.
- Finally, pay attention to the total heat dissipation capability of the unit. This parameter has nothing to do with physical size, but rather relates to the internal design of the PSU. Higher end PSUs usually include additional thermal paste pads and metal plates inside the casing to dissipate excess heat effectively. Unfortunately, this means that you’ll likely see fewer warranty claims filed against defective PSUs sold through third party retailers. On the flip side, however, you get peace of mind knowing that your computer won’t melt itself away.
High-Quality vs Low-Quality PSUs – What’s The Difference?
Just like with CPUs, motherboards, RAM modules, solid-state drives, etc., there are countless types of PSUs manufactured by numerous different brands. Here is a quick rundown of several categories along with brief explanations regarding their functionality.
Single +12v rail: These are single rails that deliver either 12 volts (+12v), 24 volts (-24v), or 36 volts (+36v) depending on the exact configuration of each particular model. Single +12v rails typically come equipped with 4+4 pin connectors, although 8+8 connector configurations can sometimes be seen on mid-range PSUs.
Double +12v Rail: Double +12v rails are essentially dual outputs that allow consumers to hook up 2 graphic cards to the same power source. Having two identical rails allows users to draw double the required amperage from a single outlet, resulting in significant savings.
ATX12V / EPS12V: Both of these standards are specifications designed to ensure compatibility between different motherboard manufacturers. Essentially, this means that you can swap out the stock power supply provided by your board manufacturer for a compatible alternative. Note that since 2015, AMD’s APUs no longer require a +12v rail attached to the PCIe slot. Instead, they now utilize PCI Express 3.0 connectivity via the MIO pins located on the northbridge chip.
PCIe +12v / PCIe -12v: PCIe stands for Peripheral Component Interconnect Express, commonly referred to as a type of expansion port found on nearly every modern motherboard. PCIe slots accept multiple different kinds of video cards including NVidia, ATI/AMD Radeon, Mini ITX, Micro-ATX, Full-ATX, and DTX. Since 2011, NVIDIA’s GTX series of video cards no longer require a +12v rail. Rather, they utilize PCI Express 3.0 connections via the MIO pins located on the northbridge chip.
Fan Speed Control & Overheat Protection: Many modern PSUs enable users to control the speed of their respective fans based on internal sensors. Usually, these systems automatically shut down the computer when overheating occurs, ensuring safe operation.
Temperature Sensors & Active PFC: An active PFC (Pulse Width Modulation Controller) improves overall power efficiency by reducing wasted energy through constant cycling. Such technology reduces the operating temperatures of sensitive onboard circuits, especially if left unchecked. Temperature monitoring circuitry prevents malfunctioning components from reaching dangerous limits.
Maintaining optimal airflow within your case is crucial for achieving peak performance. We recommend investing in a decent air cooler that comes bundled with a set of high-quality intake filters.
Recommended Wattage for RTX 3080?
When browsing for suitable power supplies, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with numbers and specs. After all, there are dozens of parameters to compare, ranging from core clock speeds to memory bandwidths. Thankfully, finding the right PSU shouldn’t pose too much of a challenge. Simply follow these guidelines:
Look for a minimum of 650 Watts. Anything less than 600W is not recommended at all if you have a 3080.
Anywhere between 650W and 900W offers ample headroom for future upgrades.
Check for proper cabling options. High quality PSUs almost always feature 1×6 cable inputs.
Find out whether the unit includes surge protection.
Take note of the length of included cords. Longer cables translate to easier transport and less clutter.
Lastly, never forget to check the return policy. If you ever decide to exchange the item for whatever reason, make sure to ask about restocking fees.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article and learned something useful! Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need assistance deciding on a new build.
John has been a gamer since the early age of 7, playing a huge variety of single-player games, and MMOs, and even participating in LAN Tournaments for FPS games such as Counter-Strike Global Offensive. Ever since he found his passion in gaming & in technology in general, he has continuously increased his knowledge in software, programming & hardware and is now working at TechReviewTeam helping readers, answering questions, writing articles & reviews for the team.