Beginner PC builders have several questions in mind, and one of the most popular questions they ask is how powerful PSU they need?
I have been building PC for the last couple of years, and after researching this topic, I am writing this article to give you a detailed explanation.
So, Can PSU Be Too Powerful?
No! there are no such things as a powerful PSU because the PSU delivers the power your systems asked for. Having a too powerful PSU gives users enough room for upgrades, and they may also last longer due to them never reaching their power limit.
But, expert PC builders always recommend picking a PSU after calculating your system’s overall power requirements. Otherwise, it will negatively impact your wallet.
To know more about how powerful a power supply you require, keep reading this article till the end.
Is My PSU Powerful Enough?
Picking an appropriate power supply for a PC is not easy because if you choose the wrong power supply, it can damage your PC components.
The power supply is the primary power source for all the PC components and converts the AC to DC current.
But before selecting a power supply, beginner PC builders ask a common question about which PSU will be enough for their use.
The answer to this question is not so easy because it entirely depends on the user’s utility and other PC components.
That’s why experienced PC builders pick the power supply at the end, which helps them calculate the wattage required.
So, if you are confused about how powerful PSU you should need, then you can use any PSU Calculator which will inform you of your power supply wattage. But to do this calculation, you need to know all the components you use inside your PC.
How Powerful PSU Do You Need?
There is no straightforward answer to this question; the answer entirely depends on the user’s requirements and what other components users use inside a PC.
So, before you decide what power supply you should use, you need to know all the other components you have inside your PC or the different components you want to include inside your PC.
You need to calculate all the component’s wattage; based on that, you have to decide your power supply needs.
Here are some of the crucial factors that you need to check before buying a power supply-
- Motherboard: This is the first thing you must check; just be sure what kind of motherboard or what form factor you want to put in your new build. It’s important to know the motherboard very well because all the other components obtain power from it.
- CPU: The second thing you need to check is the CPU; before picking the PSU, you need to know the CPU model and sockets.
- GPU: The power supply has different power pins inside; some PSUs have 6,8,6+6 pins while others have 6+8 or 8+8 pins. So, before picking the power supply, just ensure your PSU has enough cable to support GPU, although most of the power supply has at least one cable that supports the six or 8-pin connector.
- RAM: Before selecting the power supply, you also have to check the number of RAM slots and the size of your motherboard.
- Solid State Drive (SSD): If you use SSD, then before choosing the PSU, you need to know the size (GB) of the SSD.
- Hard Disk Drive (HDD): Similar to SSD, if you want to include a hard drive inside a PC system, you need to know the size and RPM of the hard drive.
- Peripherals: Some peoples also want to include peripheral devices like RGB fan cases, so, in that case, they need the know the power wattage of these devices.
You should pick your power supply after considering all these components based on the wattage. If you manually calculate, you must multiply the total amps of all components by the total volts of all components. The result will be the total watts that your PC requires.
Otherwise, you can use the power supply calculator I mentioned above to calculate all the component’s wattage.
I hope you understand how powerful the power supply you require for your PC system.
Also Read: Do You Need all Motherboard Screws?
Is It Bad to have Too Powerful PSU?
It’s a myth that a powerful power supply damages your system’s components. The power supply will not deliver more power than the components demand.
If you buy a too-small power supply, it can harm your CPU or graphics card, so playing safe with a powerful power supply is better.
Another thing we need to consider is that having a higher wattage unit at half capacity is always better than a lower wattage unit at total capacity.
Moreover, another great advantage of having a powerful PSU is that you will have a lot of room for upgrades, and they may also last longer due to them never reaching their power limit.
Many experts also recommend leaving 20% headroom between what you need and the PSU’s maximum capacity.
Although the power supply will provide the needed wattage, for instance, a PC that requires 250 watts only receives 250 watts from the power supply, not the entire 500 watts.
But the excellent option is to estimate the actual load of your systems and then buy the power supply according to your requirement.
What Happens If Your PSU is Too Powerful?
There are various benefits of using a more powerful power supply than needed, but there are some drawbacks too-
If you buy a too powerful power supply that is not needed, it is insufficient for your wallet. But sometimes sales are running, where you can get something like a 1000W semi- module power supply cheaper than a fully modular 500 to 700 Watts unit. In that case, you can go for that.
Another thing you need to check is your electric bill. Suppose you need 400 Watt for your systems, but you are using 800W; now, in a worst-case scenario, you will waste a small bit of electricity by being overpowered.
So, that’s why it’s recommended to pick an appropriate power supply by calculating the power you require for your system.
Also Read: Is Thermal Paste Bad for Motherboards?
What Happens When Your PSU isn’t Powerful Enough?
The power supply is the primary power source for the PC components, and if the power supply is too weak, it may not be able to provide enough power to the components in the system, which can cause different PC issues. So, let’s take a look at these issues-
- Firstly, if your PC isn’t powerful enough, then the PC won’t start Windows. While loading to Windows, your PC will freeze or will start repeatedly. This is mostly when the CPU goes suddenly to 100% usage, and the PSU can’t keep up with the fast load ramp.
- Secondly, If your PSU isn’t strong enough, but if you have a power-hungry GPU, in that case, you can’t play games because when you try to play games, your PC might restart.
- If your power supply is strong enough to keep GPU + CPU running, but it is a limit, then your PSU will overheat and deteriorate over time.
- In some instances, if the PSU goes bad, it can wreck other system’s components like the motherboard, RAM, Hard Disk, SSD or Video Cards.
- In worst-case scenarios, if your PSU isn’t capable enough to provide power to all components, it can overheat the other PC components or even cause a fire.
So, you can notice the importance of selecting the correct power supply for your PC system. To know more about these things, you can read this article.
Can A Powerful PSU Fry A Motherboard?
Generally speaking, no powerful power supply never fry motherboard because the PSU just provide the power that the motherboard asks for. It does not push all its power output onto the motherboard.
Another thing is that being a high-capacity power supply doesn’t mean it too much for motherboards. All the power ratings of a PSU mean how much power it can supply, not what it does supply.
Technically there are chances that even a 100W power supply can damage or fry a motherboard, but in that case, there may be some issues in the power supply, or you buy such a worst PSU.
Also Read: Does Mac Use Intel Processors?
Based on all the facts, it has to be said that picking a too powerful PSU or a less powerful PSU gives discomfort; therefore, it’s a better choice to choose the appropriate power supply based on your system’s power requirements.
I hope this article is helpful for you, and if you want to know more about the power supplies, PC Building and other PC components, then follow this blog regularly.