If you’re looking to build a brand-new PC, there is no better time to do so than now. The latest CPUs have been released by Intel, AMD’s Ryzen Zen3 announcements are just around the corner, DDR4 RAM has reached its peak (both in performance and in price) and, of course, we have the release of the latest Nvidia GeForce Ampere RTX 3000 Series GPUs. Of the three announced graphics cards, the RTX Ampere 3080 is the only one that has been released… and it was sold out within eight seconds. So, whether you are one of the lucky few that was able to get their hands on an RTX 3080, whether you are waiting for more RTX 3080s to restock, or whether you’re looking forward to September the 26th for the RTX Ampere 3090 to be released (and hopefully not sell out within seconds), then you are going to want to build a PC that can support the power of these beastly GPUs.
What’s important to note, is that every component of a new build is important – so it is not just the GPU, the CPU, and the RAM that you should worry about. Every hardware component is like a link in a chain: If one is weak, the entire chain can break. Let’s start off with the CPU. Anything in the range of a i7 or i9 10th generation CPU from Intel, or a R7 to R9 CPU from AMD should suffice for pairing with these upper tier RTX Ampere GPUs. The RAM we would recommend would be either a 3600 MHz C16 or 3200 MHz C14, dual channel, memory sticks – with at least 16 GB of storage, depending on the intended use. The case and cooling within also need to be adequate to support overclocking the CPU, GPU and RAM, and, generally speaking, it is hard to go wrong with Noctua case-fans and CPU coolers, as well as Fractal noise cancelling or tempered glass paneled cases.
But one of the most neglected hardware components that is crucial to the overall smooth operation of a PC is the PSU. Having an insufficient power supply can make cause hardware components to not receive the necessary power they need, which translates to unwanted freezes, stuttering, and even shutdowns or startup inability. Additionally, if the efficiency of the PSU is not a good match for your build, that will translate to more money spent on electric bills, and more unnecessary heat emanating from the PSU that is transferred to your other hardware. Even the noise from a PSU at high loads can be infuriating, so the extra research necessary to make the right choice for a component that can last you several years to come is well worth the while. The key aspects to look for, and that we’ve taken into account for this list of PSUs, is having the power supplies be modular to some capacity, meaning you can remove cables that you don’t need instead of cramming them in the case, making sure that the fan included has premium bearings and PWM controls, so that it does not spin unnecessarily, that the wattage is appropriate for your build.
Best PSUs for RTX 3080 & 3090 – Our Selections
Best Budget PSU for RTX 3080 and 3090
Seasonic is one of the oldest and most consistent PSU manufacturers out there. They are in fact the first brand to manufacture an 80 PLUS Gold-rated PSU, which shows their commitment and innovation in the power supply industry. If you’re in the market for a PSU devoid of any fluff, that is still reliable and energy-efficient, then the Gold-rated Seasonic Focus GM-850 is the way to go.
Firstly, this power supply is semi-modular, meaning that only the necessary cables are fully integrated, while the peripheral cables can be removed and connected when necessary. The former cables feature web sleeves, while the latter are simply flat black cables. If you are worried that the PSU won’t output enough wattage in the +12V rail, then you’ll be happy to know that the Focus GM-850 actually outputs 70 amps, or 840W; therefore there is no need to worry.
Surprisingly enough, despite its price, the fan on this PSU actually has fluid dynamic bearings, which are the most silent and durable bearings – second only to magnetic levitation bearings that are non-existent in power supplies. This 120mm fan is also regulated by Seasonic’s Smart and Silent fan controls, which means that the fan will spin accordingly with the PSU’s load and temperature. This means silent operation is guaranteed for low loads, and that the fan itself will last longer. In fact, Seasonic backs the durability of the PSU with a seven-year warranty, while certifying the GM-850 with a mean time between failures (MTBF) of 100,000 hours of operation.
So how much will the Focus GM-850 cost you? Well, this PSU has sold for as low as $129.99, but do keep an eye out for it, since it can sell out quite quickly.
Best Gaming PSU for RTX 3080 and 3090
What makes the ASUS ROG the PSU for a new gaming rig is not just its stylish exterior, but also its multitude of certifications. This 850W power supply has an 80 PLUS Platinum certification (so a guaranteed efficiency of at least 89%-92%) as well as LAMBDA A+ and ETA A energy ratings. In fact, its +12V rail can output even slightly above the 850 wattage of this PSU; for a maximum of 71 amps, or 852 Watts.
When it comes to looks, though, ASUS did not go with the conventional fan-lit RGB display. Instead, they opted for a more practical RGB-lit side-display (the PSU is usually situated sideways, so the RGB-lit fan is not always visible) as well as a stylish, and useful, OLED screen which displays how much power your hardware is currently drawing. Thus, with just a glance toward your PC case, you can see the load which the PSU is operating under, and adjust fan speeds accordingly.
The fan included is 135mm in diameter, has a patented Wing-Blade fan design which is optimized for longevity, and double ball bearings. These bearings are better than sleeve or regular ball bearings, but not as good as hydraulic bearings. That being said, to keep thermals in check, the PSU has integrated heatsinks that ASUS claims can drop the internal temperatures by up to 20% – which is a significant amount. Given that the fan operates at very low RPM during low to medium loads, having the heatsinks draw heat away also translates to a more silent PSU.
The internal components of the ROG Thor are of the highest quality, with all Japanese, 105 degrees C certified, capacitors. The cables themselves are all sleeved, and the ROG Thor 850 has a fully modular design. If the RGB and OLED display doesn’t entice you, the price certainly will, as you can currently find the ASUS ROG Thor 850 for only $219.99 – a great deal for a Platinum certified, 850W, PSU.
Best Silent PSU for the RTX 3080
Many PC building enthusiasts, especially though that use their setup in a professional environment, would gladly trade RGB lighting displays for more peace and quiet. Having so many fans in a case – like those found in the CPU cooler, the GPU, the case fans, and of course, the PSU – means that noise emissions can quickly become irritating, especially at high loads. For a virtually inaudible PSU, we recommend be quiet!’s Straight Power 11.
This power supply may lack a fancy exterior and RGB lighting displays, but it makes up for it with the quality of its fan and fan motor. The fan has be quiet’s Silent Wings 3 technology, which features custom designed fan blades, advanced fluid dynamic bearings, and a 6-pole fan motor. Even without PWM controls, this fan will only reach audio levels of 7.7 to, a maximum of, 22 dB – meaning it is pretty much inaudible from a foot away. Additionally, due to both the wire-free internal configuration and its 80 PLUS Platinum, ErP, and Energy Star 7.0 ratings, the Straight Power 11 can maintain low temperatures within at all times; so the fan won’t have to spin at maximum RPM to keep it cool.
This PSU is quite different than the other listed units, as it features multiple +12V rails. Two of these rails can output 20 amps, while the other two can output 26 amps, for a total of 70.9 amps, or 849.6 watts, for its four +12V rails. The only difference between multiple and single +12V designs, is that with multiple rails the PSU can limit the current through each wire and therefore avoid high temperatures in any single one. In other words, having multiple rails is a design used purely as an additional safety measure.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this PSU is its current price, as the be quiet! Straight Power 11, with its Platinum rating and full modular design, currently costs only $174.90 – down from its $195.99 retail price. If you’re looking to make your setup as quite as possible, this is the PSU to go for.
Best RGB PSU for RTX 3080 and 3090
If you’re excited for the release of the Nvidia RTX Ampere 3080/3090, then chances are you are a gaming enthusiast. And if you’re a gaming enthusiast, then chances are you like you some RGB lighting on your hardware components. If that’s the case, then Thermaltake has you covered with their Toughpower iRGB Plus PSU. This power supply has an RGB lit fan with 18 addressable LEDs, together with Thermaltake’s patented Riing Plus design, that is capable of displaying 16.8 million different colors, in multiple patterns and effects that you can choose from. This illuminated display can also be synced with Razer peripherals, via the Razer Chroma software.
The Toughpower iRGB Plus has an 80 PLUS Gold rating (and can also be found with a Platinum rating) so it isn’t all style and no substance. The RGB-lit fan itself is 140mm in diameter, equipped with concentrated compression fan blades, is situated onto an anti-vibration mount, and comes equipped with hydro-dynamic bearings for less noise emission and additionally durability. Its 850W power output can be fully utilized by the single +12V rail, for a total of 70.83 amps. Additionally, the PSU has all Japanese, 105-degree Celsius certified capacitors, and is fully modular – so all cables can be removed or attached as needed.
An aspect about the Toughpower iRGB Plus that has been either hit or miss with many users, is the included software. This software compiles statistics of the operation of the PSU and uploads them to a cloud, where a Smart Power Management program displays them either on one’s PC, or through a mobile application. Many reviewers report that this software actually uses significant CPU and RAM power, while the mobile application can be glitchy at times. A neat software feature that is included, is compatibility for Amazon’s Alexa, which you can use to change the color and effects of the RGB lighting; though it is difficult to imagine a scenario where this would be used regularly.
The Thermaltake Toughpower iRGB Plus can usually be found with a price around the $190-$210 mark; and it includes an impressive MTBF of 120,000 hours and a 10-year warranty.