Are you cheaping out on PSU? Pick right PSU for your build.


You might've heard a lot of tech influencers and even people on public PC forums multiple times repeating the same statement over and over again, "Never cheap out on PSU". 

But the issue is, an average consumer might not be able to differentiate between a good PSU and a bad PSU. While most of them could be aware that 80+ Bronze rating or higher is better, only a few of them know that it doesn't necessarily translates to longevity or reliability of the unit. Yes, looking for 80+ Bronze or better automatically eliminates a lot of bad PSUs from options, but there are bad options in higher rated PSUs too. Best example of this was Gigabyte's exploding PSUs in 2021. What makes it worse that they weren't just cheap models, 750 and 850 watt 80+ Gold rated PSUs were also in the batch of exploding PSUs too. 

That incident triggered a rise in popularity of "PSU tier list(s)" among new PC builders and shoppers. Earlier PSU Tier List on LTT forum was probably the most popular list but that list hasn't been updated in a while. Now PSU Tier List on Cultlist website is the most popular. 

But, problem with those lists is the number of PSUs out there, no one can test all aspects or PSU safety and reliability without a massive financial aide. That's where Cybernetics and Linus Media Group(LMG) come in. LMG recently acquired the machinery to properly test the PSUs, so PSU tier list on LTT forum may be revived or an entire new page/database may show up. 

In the meantime, Cybernetics is our one and only saviour. Cybernetics has come up with their own rating systems. They use 2 certification/rating systems: PSU efficiency - which, though sounds similar to existing PSU rating, is a little different. It is to indicate how reliable and safe the PSU is. 

Noise level - it is to indicate how noisy/quiet the PSU operates. 

Now there is a caveat with Cybernetics as well, not saying they aren't reliable, they're just a small company. Properly testing a PSU can take weeks even with proper equipment. They can't just buy dozens of the testing gear and test multiple PSU at once. Those machines literally cost thousands of dollars, so their database is growing slowly. It will be a while before they have tested all popular PSUs available in the markets everywhere. 

But the good news is, they have tested most of the common models available almost everywhere. 

How to pick PSU based on the info I provided so far?

Now that you know about the reference websites, here's how to use them for decision making. Use PSU tier list for shortlisting the good options. I know PSU tier list is really long and can be confusing. So let me break it down in simpler manner. 

  • Tier A is for no expense spared builds, only for those who have the money and want best of the best. 
  • Tier B is for typical high end pc build where money is spent sensibly. 
  • Tier C is for budget to mid range pc builds. 
  • Tier D is for iGPU builds that may use low power dedicated GPU in future.
  • Tier E and F should be avoided or replaced if you already own them.

Again, there are multiple PSUs listed in each tier, how would you pick among them? Units written in Gold color font are the best of the segment, you should pick one of the gold font models over black font ones. 

So where does the Cybernetics database come in? It's for those scenario when multiple gold font units from PSU tier list are available at similar price and you don't know which to pick. Then you can use Cybernetics data as tie breaker. Just enter the PSU model in search bar in PSU database page, if it is tested already, it will show up in dropdown list, select the PSU and a new page will open with their testing data. If you are a geek, you can go through the results, otherwise scroll to the very bottom of the page and you'll get the ratings. 

Corsair RM750e Ratings from Cybernetics


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