Power supplies are a critical component of a computer system, but they’re often overlooked or left until last to decide on one that roughly fits the budget and power requirements of the system. It’s one area where scrimping really doesn’t make sense. Power supplies dictate the stability of a demanding system, and lower-end units or no-name brands often lack critical safety cut outs that act to protect your PC should things go wrong. In addition, they run hotter, are less efficient, and often rely on over-zealous fan-forced cooling which makes them loud.
For most gaming or creative systems with a moderately powerful CPU and GPU, 650W lands right on the sweet spot of price, performance and efficiency. It’s rare to find a single GPU system that requires more than 650W, and similarly even an entry-level system is better built with some PSU headroom to make a CPU or GPU upgrade down the line straight forwards. Finally, there’s the question of longevity: All of the PSU’s recommended below have great manufacturer warranties, some lasting 10 or 12 years. These PSU’s aren’t just for the system you build today, or the mid-cycle GPU upgrade in 2-3 years: They’ll power the complete PC overhaul you build in 5 years time to take advantage of whatever the latest technology advances are by then. That’s why it’s worth buying right the first time.
In this article I’ll run though options to suit all budgets and needs – so long as the systems needs don’t exceed 650W! All of these power supplies offer class leading electrical performance, high efficiency, and a full suite of protections as well as at least 5 years of warranty for peace of mind.
It’s worth noting as well that the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China have led to tariffs destabilising PSU prices and availability in the US. I’ve tried to account for this disruption by offering alternatives where possible.
Best 650W Power Supplies – My Recommendations
Best Budget 650W PSU (UK Option) – Riotoro Enigma G2
Riotoro? Who? Well, exactly. This budget component outfit have done the sensible thing with their power supplies: Used a proven existing design made by a competent manufacturer and re-branded it. This power supply is virtually identical to the Seasonic Focus PSU line and is made by the same manufacturer: Great Wall. It boasts a number of features that belie the affordable price point: Gold efficiency rating, Fully modular cables, Japanese Nichicon Capacitors and Zero fan mode with a fluid bearing fan. It even sports a 10 year warranty. So unless you’re a complete brand fanatic, or will have your power supply on display and don’t want to explain the above paragraph to everyone who sees it and asks, this PSU is an excellent choice and will save you £20-£30 over a more established brands equivalent offering.
Best Budget 650W PSU (US Option) – Corsair CXM 650W
In the US, the Corsair takes the prize: The CXM has been a stalwart foundation of the Corsair PSU range for years and with good reason. It offers everything you could reasonably want from an entry level power supply and keeps quality high. At $70 it’s a sound choice.
Best Mid-range 650W PSU – Corsair TX650M Gold
Corsairs TXM range offers a very high-quality power supply at an attractive price. The main compromise is their semi-modular format, meaning that the 24 pin ATX and 8 Pin EPS connectors are permanently connected to the power supply. However, every system needs these at a minimum and extension cables are affordable and universally compatible should you want to update the aesthetics so it’s no huge issue and allows Corsair to focus attention and money on the parts that matter most. Internally build quality is excellent and voltage regulation incredibly well managed (on a par with Seasonics prime platinum units at twice the price according to PSU Guru Jonnyguru) All expected safety cut-outs are present and correct to act as insurance for your valuable hardware and it’s backed by a 7-year warranty. So long as the semi-modular nature of the PSU doesn’t bother you, and you don’t need 2 EPS connectors (a rarity on 650W PSU’s and even rarer to actually need one – even when present current top tier CPU’s will run just fine without the additional 4pin connector populated), the TXM is a fantastic value choice in the mid-range and offers great performance in a no-frills package.
Alternative Mid-range 650W PSU – Bitfenix Whisper M
Bitfenix is a relative newcomer to the PSU market but they’ve hit the mark with the Whisper M. This unit is made by Channel Well Technology, who also make high-end Corsair units so they’re capable of high-quality production. The feature set is complete with Gold efficiency rating, fully modular cables, and excellent performance for efficiency and voltage regulation. The name might indicate silence but it’s not a fanless unit – Bitfenix have simply set it up so that until load exceeds about 400W the fan won’t need to power on, and when it does other components in the system will be making more noise than the PSU. It’s backed by a 7-year warranty and keenly priced at £79.99 currently. Unfortunately, US availability looks scarce at the moment, but should it reappear on the market it’s a good option.
Best Performance 650W PSU – Seasonic Prime Ultra 650W Titanium
The 2018 refresh of the already excellent 2017 Prime PSU doesn’t rock the boat, but merely adds a couple of updates and tweaks. This unit comes with top-notch build quality throughout, high-end components with Japanese capacitors of course, and a full suite of modular cables including SATA 3.3 for the most recent hard drive power protocols. Titanium rating dictates at least 90% efficiency right across the load range even if you’re in a 120V region – no mean feat. This PSU also offers zero fan mode and excellent thermal performance so in lighter workloads it will be silent which is a great quality of life feature and something we expect from top tier power supplies. It’s backed by a 12-year warranty, indicating Seasonics faith in the components and build process.
Best Quiet 650W PSU (UK/EU) – BeQuiet! Dark Power Pro 11 650W
This fully modular and platinum rated PSU from BeQuiet! isn’t fanless – a 650W rated PSU needs the fall back of active cooling when loads increase. Instead, it uses a Bequiet silentwings 3 135mm fan which can run slower and therefore quieter than the 120mm fans found in other power supplies. Combined with a laid back fan profile this renders the unit what BeQuiet! Call ‘Virtually inaudible’. Silicon trim around the edges of the casing help isolate it from the system case and suppress any vibration noise. It can be configured in multi or single rail mode (useful for overclockers with a powerful GPU, but irrelevant to most users) using a supplied jumper bracket. It’s manufactured to a very high standard by FSP using all Japanese 105oC capacitors. The semi-modular design is restricted to only the ATX 24 pin cable – forgivable since it’s essential to every system and frees up some more space on the output side of the PSU for the rest of the cables. This PSU is an excellent choice for a workstation or gaming rig where quiet operation takes precedence, but you do pay a premium for those unique quality of life features. It’s backed by a 5-year warranty which is the shortest in this recommendations list, but still plenty of reassurance.
Best Quiet 650W PSU (US Option) – Corsair RMx (2018) 650W
In the US the BeQuiet! is prohibitively expensive and certainly not worth a $200+ asking price, so it’s left to Corsair to offer an alternative. The RMx isn’t marketed as a quiet PSU, but it is. It has zero fan mode and a high-quality fan which lead to it being silent at any time you’d want it to be. It has high efficiency and exceptionally good voltage regulation and is backed by a ten-year warranty for peace of mind.
Best SFX 650W PSU for ITX Builds – Corsair SF600 Platinum
The Small Form Factor PC Scene is a rapidly expanding market, and the ATX format of PSU has quickly shown itself to be the limiting factor in shrinking system size. SFX PSU’s are considerably smaller and recently more powerful options from Corsair and Silverstone, in particular, have been released. These cater to the demands of enthusiasts seeking to shoe-horn in top tier CPU’s and GPU’s into tiny spaces.
No, it’s not 650W – but the Silverstone 650W PSU is a hard sell with worse voltage regulation and hands on reviewers being unable to trigger thermal protection.
The Corsair 600W Platinum PSU has a full suite of features, including full modularity, Zero fan mode for quiet operation, Platinum efficiency rating and exceptionally high build quality. Those 50 Watts don’t matter, getting the best PSU for your build DOES matter: for a powerful mITX build, that PSU is the Corsair 600W Platinum.
The PSU market can feel like a minefield at times – on the surface they’re all black boxes with wires that power the PC, and digging deep into reviews can yield conflicting opinions. I hope this rundown gives you some options to consider when choosing your next 650W PSU. Any one of them will provide good service for years to come, so buy with confidence.