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I have been reading a lot of things in the internet today about power supplies and I still cannot come to a conclusion on what exact PSU should I buy. The image below shows what I think is my power needs.

enter image description here

There are several power supplies that have, for instance, 500w, but the price range varies hugely where there are more expensive power supplies with lower wattage than the cheaper ones. Isn't the wattage the main thing that most people refer to when buying a PSU for their PC needs? Why do I need to consider 80 bronze vs 80 gold? Full modular vs not?

[80 Bronze]

Seasonic ECO PLUS 500, 500 watts - $43.78

Seasonic ECO PLUS 600, 600 watts - $51.27

Seasonic S12II, 520 watts - $58.95

Seasonic S12II, 620 watts - $68.94

Seasonic M12II, 520 watts, Full modular - $68.94

Seasonic M12II Evo, 620 watts, Full modular - $77.19

[80 Gold]

Seasonic S12G, 550 watts - $77.19

What is the cheapest possible PSU I can get without the risk of destroying my RX 570 GPU or any other components in my computer? I do not want any super high quality power supply that is expensive or anything that will end up destroying my components. Can I use an old (10 years old), generic, working PSU (my current one) that is like $10-$15 cheap that has 600w, but combine it with a surge protector and not risk my components from being fried? I only had a built in GPU in my motherboard until now where I plan to buy the RX 570. So I never had large power needs.

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    Why do you think a higher quality PS would destroy your components but are willing to accept using a 10 year old generic? – user1691 Jun 10 '19 at 15:22
  • If money is an issue for you, rather buy a reliable 450w psu – Henk Blaauw Jul 11 '19 at 9:17
  • @user1691, " I do not want [A] any super high quality power supply that is expensive or [B] anything that will end up destroying my components." -- I read that sentence as specifying two separate requirements. – Romen Nov 7 '19 at 18:50
  • The Bronze/Silver/Gold rating doesn't directly imply anything about reliability of a PSU. It does imply that some more thought went into the design and that higher efficiency components are being used, but those components could still fail just as soon as the less efficient versions. If you really want to get a guarantee of reliability, there are all sorts of reviews out there where experts have opened up PSUs to critique a specific model's workmanship and choice of components. – Romen Nov 7 '19 at 18:59
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Okay, so firstly, the difference between expensive and cheap PSU's that give out the same wattage can be a few things. There can be a difference on the 12v rail, it can be about the bronze/silver/gold/platinum rating. Basically the different ratings show different levels of reliability towards being able to constantly supply 500w for instance. I'd say there are a few PSU brands that I would stay away from, e.g Raidmax, but Superflower and Corsair are mostly good, safe choices.

Honestly, I would advise you to never cheap out on a power supply. I have seen way too many computer's die because of someone wanting to save a buck. I'd buy at least a silver rated PSU. And age also does have an effect. 10 years old? I'd stay away from that. Rather buy a 450w/550w PSU. The EVGA one in the image you supplied is perfect. If you want a cheaper option, go for the Superflower equivalent. Modularity, this is more focused on customisability. To give an example, a fully modular PSU you only have to use the cables that you need, i.e. no need for a second 6-pin cable to dangle next to the GPU.

Buying well known and trustworthy brands. Do not overclock, and if you do, have decent cooling. Heck, have decent cooling in general. As power surging go, buy a surge protector.

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  • "Basically the different ratings show different levels of reliability towards being able to constantly supply 500w for instance." The 80 Plus rating is just about efficiency. A 500W PSU that is 100% efficient uses 500W from the wall. 500W at 80% would mean 625W pulled from the wall. Obviously the higher rated PSUs have higher quality components, but even a low efficiency PSU should be able to supply the advertised wattage constantly. – Romen Nov 7 '19 at 18:46

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