The power supply is a critical component of our system as it delivers the required power to all our system’s components. But, many users wonder whether the power supply has any role in overclocking or not.
This article will give you an exact idea about whether the Power Supply matters for overclocking.
Yes! Power Supply matters for overclocking because it can affect the overclocking performance. During overclocking, our components consume higher power than usual; that’s why experts recommend overclocking the components only when you have a decent power supply.
Not just the wattage of the Power Supply, numerous PSU factors, like the 80+ certification, brand, protections, fan & capacitors quality, could also affect the overclocking performance.
That’s why we must pick a Power Supply carefully to overclock our different PC components.
By the end of this article, everything will be clear regarding Power Supply & overclocking.
Power Supply Plays An Important Role In Overclocking
The Power Supply plays an essential role in overclocking; to understand this, we have to dive deeper into what overclocking is!
Usually, the overclocking term indicates the increase of the clock rate of the computer to exceed that certified by the manufacturer. We can overclock different types of PC components, including the CPU, GPU, and Ram.
These different components come from the factory set to run at a maximum speed; now, if you want to get more speed, you can overclock these components to boost the speed to another level.
We can overclock RAM speed from 3200 Mhz to 3600 Mhz speed if the CPU & motherboard allows it. Similarly, we can overclock the CPU clock rate from 3.5 to 4 GHz if the CPU is unlocked and the motherboard supports overclocking.
The components will require more power than usual during overclocking, so getting a PSU that supplies this extra power to our components is important.
Let’s understand this deeply by taking examples-
One 16 GB RAM with 3200MHz speed consumes 7 Watts of power at normal; now, if we increase the speed from 3200MHz to 3600MHz, then the RAM will take more power from the PSU, around 10 to 12 watts.
Similarly, if we have a CPU that has 3.5 GHz speed and it takes 105 watts from the power supply and if we overclock the CPU’s speed from 3.5 GHz to 3.8 GHz, then the CPU will require more power than 105W, it will require around 125W or above.
If the power supply we are using won’t be able to give this extra power for overclocking, then you won’t notice any improvement in the speed.
5 Factors To Check About PSU Before Overclocking
There are five factors through which you can easily understand whether the power supply will be sufficient enough for overclocking. Here we will discuss all these factors one by one-
PSU Watts Need For Overclocking
Many users pick a PSU with 750W for overclocking, but whether this 750W PSU will be enough for overclocking or not depends on how much you overclock your components.
If you will overclock your components for minimal improvement in speed, then 750W PSU is more than enough. But, for extreme overclocking, even the 750W PSU is not enough.
How much power supply watts you need for overclocking also depends on what components you will overclock. For example, the CPU & RAM overclock require less power than GPU overclock.
During minimal overclocking, the motherboard consumes 20 to 50 watts more than usual, your ram consumes 2 to 3 watts per stick more, and the SSDs and the system’s fans consume 1 or 2 watts more than usual.
Many experts recommend picking a Power Supply with 100 watts extra for minimal overclocking. This means if your system’s power requirement is 500W, then you have to pick a PSU with 600W if you are going to overclock.
But this calculation won’t imply for extreme overclocking; for extreme overclocking, you require more power. Extreme overclocking means we are overclocking powerful GPUs and CPUs simultaneously.
We must pick a Power Supply for extreme overclocking by multiplying the total wattage by (1.5). Let’s understand this by taking an example-
Suppose we want to do extreme overclocking, and our overall system components require 400W power at normal; now calculate 400W * 1.5= 600W. The 600 Watts Power Supply would be good enough.
The quality of the Power Supply also depends on its efficiency level, and experts always recommend choosing an 80+ certification Power Supply for the system.
The 80+ certification means the Power Supply has at least 80% energy efficiency when the PSU runs at 20% load, 50% load, and 100% load.
If a power supply is installed in a computer and turned on, it will pull AC power from the wall and convert it into DC power for the computer. But during this conversion, some Power was lost due to heat.
Based on this lost power, the Power Supply efficiency ratings are measured and divided into categories like- 80+ bronze, 80+ Silver, 80+ Gold, 80+ Platinum, and 80+ Titanium.
Experts recommend picking an 80+ silver or above efficiency-rated Power Supply if you will overclock your system’s components.
The materials used inside the Power Supply also matter a lot if you overclock any of your system’s components.
The first thing you must check through the specifications is whether the Power Supply is made of Japanese capacitors; Japanese capacitors don’t heat up quickly and last longer than Chinese ones.
Secondly, you have to check the fan quality of the Power Supply to see whether the fan is good enough to provide a good cooling solution during overclocking or not.
Remember to check the noise level of the Power Supply because if your PSU fan has high noise, its sound will irritate you while overclocking.
Power Supply with good internal components also has quality cables, which also matters because bad cables can cause no-display problems. Read this article about How Bad PSUs can cause no-display issues?
Before picking a Power Supply for overclocking, check whether the Power Supply has all kinds of necessary protection or not. Some of the protection include the following-
- Over-Current protection
- Over-Voltage protection
- Under-Voltage protection
- Over-Temperature Protection
- Short-Circuit Protection
Many beginners need clarification about which Power Supply brand is best for overclocking. However, there are a lot of manufacturers that exist in the market that makes good PSUs. Some of those popular brands are- Corsair, Cooler Master, EVGA, Seasonic, etc.
Before picking any PSU, always check the brand’s overall reputation; I researched the Corsair brand and wrote this article about whether Corsair PSUs are Good or bad.
Minimum PSU For Overclocking
There is nothing like minimum PSU specs for overclocking; it all depends on your system’s components and how much you want to overclock them.
For minimal CPU or RAM overclocking, you need a Power Supply between 650W to 750W from a reputed brand, including all kinds of protections.
For extreme CPU or GPU overclocking, you need a Power Supply between 750W to 850W, depending on how much power your CPU & GPU will consume.
Don’t Overclock On Low-End PSUs
It is always advised to use a high-end Power Supply for overclocking-related stuff; if you overclock with a low-end insufficient Power Supply, then you won’t get the advantage of overclocking.
Before overclocking the CPU or GPU, always check whether your Power Supply can provide the necessary power to your system’s components or not.
If you overclock with a low-end insufficient power supply, your components won’t get the extra power from the PSU. Moreover, it can reduce the lifespan of your components.
In the worst-case scenario, an insufficient Power Supply for overclocking can damage our hardware components like CPU, GPU, and motherboard.
Does Overclocking Damage The Power Supply?
Overclocking is safe if you use a suitable power supply, but using a cheap non-branded power supply can damage the PSU and other hardware components.
Cheap power supplies have Chinese capacitors and poor-quality fans inside PSU, and these components heat up quickly. The overclocking also increases the temperature inside the PC.
Due to this extra temperature, the cheap PSUs heated up to an extreme level and, after some time, it damaged.
The branded Power Supply has Japanese capacitors and uses a good quality fan, which brings good airflow and protects the PSU from overheating.
The gist of the entire article is that the Power Supply does matter for overclocking. Before overclocking components, we have to check whether the Power Supply has sufficient wattage, whether the PSU has Japanese capacitors and a good quality fan, and whether the PSU has all types of necessary protection or not.
This article explains why Power Supply matters for overclocking & what factors you have to check before picking a PSU. If you have any queries, then ask me in the comment section.