Top 5 Best Power Supply Buys – 2012

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Often overlooked and under-appreciated, if it’s inside of your PC, it’s only working because your power supply is doing its job. Buying a new power supply may not be as sexy as picking out a new video card or quad-core, but it’s just as important. If you buy a bargain-brand supply, you risk all your connected components with even press of the power button; buy a supply without enough electrical ‘oomph’ and you’ll be trading it in when it comes time to add that external SSD or SLI/CrossFire configuration. Below are top-notch supplies, from respectible brands from bare-bones electricity needs (380 Watts) all the way up to serious performance power (1000 Watts). Let’s have a look.

Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W

Price: $44.99

Quiet, efficient and powerful enough for most workstation, this Antec EarthWatts model is about as eco-friendly (and power bill friendly) as power supplies get. It’s low price is indicative of it’s low power output (average power supplies put out around 500 Watts), but not it’s low quality. If you don’t need more than 350 Watts, the Antec EA-380D is an excellent investment.

SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold (SS-650KM Active PFC F3)) 650W

Price: $139.99

Looking to power your SLI/Crossfire configuration for a good value? This SeaSonic X650 has got you covered: 650 Watts of dependable power, 4-6P/8P PCI-E connections to power up-to 4 video cards in series, efficient heat regulation and in-box modular cables to fit every connector need. If you’re worried about dependability, don’t be: just fill out the registration card to take advantage on a 5-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.

CORSAIR Professional Series HX750 (CMPSU-750HX) 750W

Price $149.99

650 Watts not enough? Bump up to CORSAIR HX750 for all the benefits of the SeaSonic X650 with an extra 100 Watts of oomph. Comes with 4 8-pin PCI-E connectors, 140 mm silent-running fan, and a 7-year warranty.

CORSAIR Professional Series HX850 (CMPSU-850HX) 850W

Price: $174.99

The big-brother in our CORSAIR Pro Series power supply reccomendations, the HX850 pack another 100 Watts into the same-sized supply for only an additional $30. Instead of 4 8-pin PCI-E connectors, the HX850 comes with six and why not: with 850 Watts you should be able to power 6 SLI/CrossFire cards in style (let’s hope you can say the same about your motherboard).

COOLER MASTER Silent Pro RSA00-AMBAJ3-US 1000W

Price: $174.99

“What’s this”, you say? “1000 Watts for the same price as the CORSAIR HX850? Why don’t I just spring for the 1000 Watt model and pay no more?” Why not indeed! This heavy-duty supply from overclocking/enthuiast favorite, COOLER MASTER, has the PureOverclock.com seal of approval and it’s not hard to imagine why. Like the HX850, the Silent Pro comes with 6 8-pin PCI-E connector and modular cabling, as well as a shock-absorbing rubber pad to keep vibrations from the 135 mm fan to a minimum. If you need the extra power, the price is certainly right, but if not, reconsider a moment: a larger power supply means a slightly higher annual electricity bill and a higher heat output, not to mention the warranty via COOLER MASTER is slightly shorter in coverage length: 5 years vs the HX850’s 7.

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