Best Power Supply Units For Cryptocurrency Mining

Without a doubt, the component that takes the most stress in a cryptocurrency mining rig is its power supply. Of course, when you choose to install multiple GPUs for mining, you have to complement them with a powerful PSU or use more than one power supply to deal with the load. Given lots of demand right now, you might find the highest-capacity models out of stock. While it might be tempting to use a lower-capacity PSU pushed closer to its limit, that can lead to catastrophic results, especially since mining rigs often operate unattended. It goes without saying that mining requires a high-quality and ultra-reliable power source. Capacity and PCIe connector count shouldn't be the only factors that influence your purchasing decision. So, to help you pick the best PSU for your mining rig, we're digging deep into our comprehensive database of benchmark results to identify the top models. This list will grow as we continue testing power supplies for the in-depth reviews you're used to seeing from Tom's Hardware.

A mining PC's PSU needs to have some specific features and specifications if it's to survive the job you're giving it. We're going to use the requirements set forth by Cybenetics in its Mining-Ready PSU project as a foundation for our project. To that baseline, we'll make a couple of modifications to accommodate two different categories: Home Mining and Professional Mining.

We define home miners as folks dabbling in cryptocurrency mining on the side. They don't want to spend a fortune building dedicated mining machines. Instead, they're looking for something that'll yield some profit and won't cost much. The home miner's rigs are running somewhere inside the house, subjected to reasonable ambient temperatures. Still, noise can't be allowed to get out of control.

Below and you'll find our selections for the best PSUs for cyrptocurrency mining, a list of our requirements and recommendations, details on the selected PSUs, and some benchmark numbers based on critical criteria. This page is for those mining at home; the following page is for professional mining.

Best PSUs For CryptoCurrency Mining At Home

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These are the requirements and recommendations we're defining for home-based cryptocurrency mining PSUs:

Requirements

  • 1kW or higher capacity.
  • 80 PLUS Gold or Cybenetics ETA-C efficiency (or higher, if possible).
  • If the PSU is certified by Cybenetics, it must have a LAMBDA-B (30-35 dB[A]) noise rating, at least. If it isn’t certified by Cybenetics, we will accept all entries that satisfy the other requirements on one condition: if the PSU is certified by Cybenetics in the future and doesn’t achieve a LAMBDA-B or better rating, it will be immediately removed from the list. 
  • Lower than 50mV ripple at +12V under full load at increased operating temperatures (>40°C).
  • Quality fan (FDB or similar; ideally it should be DBB).
  • At least six 6+2-pin PCIe connectors, or eight 6+2-pin connectors on PSUs with over 1.1kW capacity.
  • At least four 4-pin Molex connectors on more than two cables.
  • All peripheral cables should use 18AWG wires minimum.
  • For 1.4kW and stronger PSUs, a C19 coupler is required. An AC power cord with 14AWG wires should be used. For lower-capacity PSUs, an AC power cord with at least 16AWG wires is required.
  • Support the essential protection features (SCP, OPP), including over-temperature protection.
  • Over 17ms hold-up time and an accurate power-good signal, which has to be at least 16ms. The power-good signal has to have at least a 1ms delay, dropping at least 1ms before the rails go out of spec.
  • Complete EMI filtering stage (minimum components: 4x Y caps, 2x X caps, two CM chokes, an MOV), along with inrush current protection (an NTC thermistor is required, which ideally should be supported by a bypass relay).
  • Impeccable build quality, including quality MOSFETs and high-quality bulk/filtering capacitors (105°C rating and a majority of filtering caps on the secondary side must have >4000h lifetime). The use of polymer caps on the secondary side is preferred.

Recommendations

  1. Dedicated PCIe cables are preferred, along with 16-gauge wires.
  2. Ideally, the peripheral connectors should have 15cm of distance between them.
  3. Ideally, every PSU with 1kW or more capacity should use a 14-gauge power cord along with a C19 coupler.

In total, we have 13 requirements and three recommendations for PSUs used in home-based cryptocurrency mining PCs. The most important are the efficiency and build quality factors, along with capacity. Inside of a home, where this type of mining rig will operate, climate control maintains comfortable temperatures, so in most cases we accept FDB fans and their derivatives. These don't have reliability issues below 35°C ambient. The fan does have to use a true FDB or high-quality rifle bearing, and not just a plain sleeve bearing. Those are the cheapest and most unreliable solutions for PSUs running 24/7.

Another recommendation is to use your PSU with 230V input whenever possible. Besides 1-2%-higher efficiency, this also reduces the amperage passing through the AC power cord by half. As a result, the cord endures much less stress. If you live in a region with 115V mains and can afford the installation of 230V sockets in your home, definitely use them for your mining ventures.

Best PSUs For CryptoCurrency Mining At Home

PSUs That Didn't Make It (And Why)

So far four PSUs from our database failed to satisfy the requirements set forth for cryptocurrency mining at home. These are the be quiet! Dark Pro 1200W, the Cooler Master MasterWatt Maker 1200, the FSP Aurum PT 1000FM, and Thermaltake's Toughpower DPS G RGB 1500W.

Their problem has to do with the power-good signals that we measured, which are either lower than the ATX spec recommends or inaccurate (or both). You can see where each of them fell short in our charts (in grey). Even in PSUs used for normal tasks, an inaccurate signal can prove fatal. So imagine what happens to your pricey graphics cards if the rails go out of spec and the PSU pretends everything is still good, rather than telling your motherboard to shut down immediately. Very low voltage levels will push the graphics card's and motherboard's DC-DC converters to their limits, potentially frying components. It's a shame to see such high-end PSUs reporting fake power-good signals. Although they satisfy the rest of our requirements, we strongly advise against them.

With a longer hold-up time and an accurate power-good signal, the 1.5kW Toughpower would be ideal for a home mining system since it offers lots of capacity and 10 PCIe connectors on dedicated cables. If Thermaltake listens to our recommendations and fixes this unit, we will surely add it to our list. Cooler Master's MasterWatt doesn't fall short by much. Should the company rectify its shortcomings, it'll only have to tune its power-good signal accordingly.

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