If you are an avid gamer like me and living in an area with constant power outages or lightning strikes, then adding a surge protector to your gaming setup would be a great idea. A surge protector or surge suppressor is purely made for protecting electronic devices from sudden voltage spikes by diverting excess voltage to the grounding wire.
Therefore, when there’s a power surge, let’s say the voltage exceeds 120V, the MOV (metal oxide varistor) part inside the surge protector absorbs it and redirects the excess voltage to the ground wire. Along with the MOV part, a surge protector also comes with a pre-installed fuse or circuit breaker to completely cut off the power supply in case of a prolonged surge.
So you can save your gaming PC from power outages and surges by investing in a high-quality surge protector. Unfortunately, a few years back I lost my gaming PC due to frequent power outage issues. Since then I always opt for surge protectors before turning on my newly built gaming machines.
And it’s not just the PC that gets the protection, but you can also pop in your phone, TV, and your gaming console into the surge protector power outlets at the same time.
Over time, I’ve come across different surge protector brands, and here in this guide, I’ll list only the ones that I believe produce the most value for the money.
List of the Best Surge Protectors for Gaming PCs
Based on all the important factors that make a surge protector an ideal choice, here are our top recommendations:
Belkin Power Strip Surge Protector – Overall Best Pick
Protection Rating: 4320 Joule | Total Power Outlets: 12 AC Outlets | Cord Length: 8ft
I’ve personally used this surge protector from Belkin to connect my router, gaming PC, and my OLED TV at the same time. It’s a simple and compact protector with a cutting-edge design to safeguard your electronic devices.
It comes with a total of 12 AC outlets out of which 8 are rotational and the other 4 are fixed (in the center). All of these 12 outlets are well-spaced, so you can seamlessly connect different plugs side by side without any issue.
The rotational outlets provide you with more flexibility and orientation to easily connect multiple electronic devices. Moreover, the rotational outlets also reduce the strain on cables and plugs that are meant to be plugged in for a longer period of time.
This Belkin Surge Protector comes with a higher 4320 Joule protection rating, which means you can connect powerful electronic devices to it.
As I’ve said earlier, to protect your PC from surges and power outages, any surge protector between 1000 to 2000 Joule will do the job. But your PC isn’t the only thing that you connect to a power source, most probably there are other devices that you use at the same time. So having an extra protection rating does make a lot of sense these days.
Witeem Surge Protector / Best Budget Pick
Protection Rating: 4360 Joule | Total Power Outlets: 12 AC Outlets | Cord Length: 6ft
If you have already invested in a gaming PC and now you want to save a few bucks on buying a surge protector, then here’s the right deal for you. Witeem surge protector comes with the same number of outlets that I found on the Belkin, however, these are not the rotational ones.
But to compensate for not having the rotational outlets, Witeem has installed 4 USB fast charging ports on one side to charge your devices or connect devices that run through a USB port. So adding these 4 USB outlets would make a total of 16 outlets on this surge protector.
All of these outlets are well-spaced, but I believe it would be hard for bulky plugs to be right next to each other on this surge protector. However, power plugs coming down from your LCD and power supply won’t face any issues sitting side by side.
Just like the Belkin surge protector, the Witeem surge protector also comes with a higher protection rating. However, Witeem adds a bit more numbers to the equation and moves up to 4260 Joule.
Despite its lower price tag, the Witeem surge protector can withstand power ratings up to 1875W. There are light indicators on the top of this device that show you the current state of your circuit.
Lastly, the 6ft cord protected via a tough PC shell enhances the overall lifespan of this product. I think 6ft length is enough to move this surge protector around a standard-size room.
But if the main power outlet is far away from your PC desk, then you’ll have to consider a surge protector with a long cable. Maybe the ones that come with 8ft or longer cords will do the job.
APC Performance Surge Protector – Best Value Pick
Protection Rating: 2630 Joule | Total Power Outlets: 11 AC Outlets | Cord Length: 8ft
APC is known for producing innovative surge protection devices. This one comes with 11 power outlets and two extra USB 2.4A charging slots. However, these are the most active fast-charging USB slots you’ll find on any surge protector on the market.
All the 11 AC outlets are well-apart from each other, making this surge protector a great choice for connecting beefy plugs at the same time.
The most innovative feature of this surge protector is the wiring fault indicator that warns you if there’s something wrong with your electrical circuit. This gives you enough time to save your files and turn off your computer.
Along with the wiring fault indicator, there are other useful indicators like a protection indicator and an overload indicator. All of these features put the APC surge protector ahead of the competition.
In terms of protection rating, this surge protector can absorb 2630 Joule of energy. This makes it a great deal for plugging in your expensive gaming PC. It’s a durable and high-quality surge protector that can handle energy-demanding appliances like a breeze.
Tripp Lite 2 Traveler – Best Space-Saving Surge Protector
Protection Rating: 1050 Joule | Total Power Outlets: 2 AC Outlets | Cord Length: N/A
Sometimes all you need is a compact surge protector to connect a single device to the main power source. And if somehow you are traveling or you have limited space in your room, then it’s better to have a small footprint surge protector like the Tripp Lite 2.
It’s a small unit with just two power outlets and a protection rating of 1050 Joule. Just like the previous surge protectors on our list, it has the most useful light indicator to let you know if the unit is working or not.
Due to its smaller dimensions, you can easily fit this surge protector in your bag and carry it anywhere you want. For me, this pocket surge protector would be a great deal if I own a high-end gaming laptop.
For regular desktop gaming PCs, I’ll still prefer going with the previous units that I’ve mentioned on this list. Although the 1050 Joule protection rating and 400 clamping voltage option on this tiny surge protector are enough to handle a desktop gaming PC, you must not take risks.
So for gaming laptops and charging your phone at the same time, it’s a good choice. The added lifetime warranty on this unit gives you peace of mind to replace it if something goes wrong with it in the future.
Refrigmatic WS-36300 – A Tiny Surge Protector
Protection Rating: 1081 Joule | Total Power Outlets: 1 AC Outlet | Cord Length: N/A
Although this surge protector looks tiny, it has got enough juice to protect your PC, LCD, gaming console, and other important equipment from the impact of sudden voltage surges and power outages.
Right out of the box, the Refrigmatic WS-36300 comes with a protection rating of 1081 Joule. And with just only one power output, this unit is limited to care of only one piece of electronic piece of equipment. So I’ll recommend you plug in the cord coming from your PC’s power supply.
Due to its compact size, you can carry this surge protector anywhere with you. Despite using this with a desktop gaming PC, it’s better to use this protector with a high-end gaming laptop.
There are four light indicators on this surge protector, the most useful ones are the high voltage, low voltage, and time delay indicators.
Refrigmatic recommends you plug this surge protector into your power source and wait for three minutes before you connect your PC to the AC outlet. This is just for safety purposes and I believe it’s OK to wait for this short time period.
All in all, it’s a simple-to-install unit and it does delay connectivity to the utility after any fault or surge occurs in your electrical circuit. Furthermore, the lower price tag on this surge protector makes it a great deal if you don’t want to break your bank account.
Also, Read About: Surge Protector vs Power Strip to know what’s the main difference between these two.
Finally, these were some of the best surge protectors for gaming PCs and notebooks. I’ve personally tested some of them at my lab and they truly perform the job they are made for.
I personally recommend you to go with Belkin Power Strip Surge Protector which has numerous AC outlets on it and has a higher protection rating. The rotational power outlets on this protector allow you to plug in different types of plugs into it seamlessly.
At the same time if you travel a lot and need a compact surge protector, then Tripp Lite 2 Traveler would be my second choice. It would be a great deal to go with if you have a gaming laptop rather than a regular desktop gaming PC.
How much surge protection do I need for a gaming PC?
Generally, if you have a high-end gaming PC on your desk, then I’ll recommend you get a 2,000 to 3,000 Joules surge protector. To me, this is the least you should go with when you have spent a lot of money on building a gaming machine.
Is 1000 Joules surge protector enough for a gaming PC?
Like I’ve said earlier, this depends upon the type of gaming PC and other hardware that you’ll plug into the surge protector. If you are just connecting the power cable and monitor cable, then a 1,000 Joules surge protector will do the job. However, if you have other power-hungry components to connect as well, then consider at least 2,000 or 3,000 Joules options.
How long do surge protectors last?
The lifespan of a surge protector usually depends on the MOV material used in making it. More often, a good surge protector will last between 3 to 5 years on average. However, if you are living in an area that is highly exposed to lightning strikes and power outages, then you should change your surge protector every 2 years or so.
Is it OK to leave the surge protector on all the time?
Well, if you have connected multiple devices to a surge protector that needs to power on all the time, then you should always leave it on. However, if you have just connected your gaming PC, then it’s better to turn off your surge protector when you are not using your computer.
Also, in case of extreme weather conditions, it’s better to turn off your gadgets and unplug your surge protector to be on the safe side.
Are expensive surge protectors worth it?
I don’t think it’s really worth spending a lot of money on buying just a surge protector. Like I’ve said earlier, you should prefer the Joules rating of a surge protector rather than the features it comes with. But in the case where you need more advanced features on a surge protector, then you’ll have to come out of your comfort zone to get an expensive surge protector.
Do surge protectors work 100% of the time?
Yes, a surge protector offers maximum protection to a device connected to it. But to ensure higher protection, you should invest in a top-quality surge protector. Still, it’s advisable to completely turn off all your devices when there are frequent fluctuations in voltage.
Hi, this is Masab, the Founder of PC Building Lab. I’m a PC enthusiast who loves to share the prior knowledge and experience that I have with computers. Well, troubleshooting computers is in my DNA, what else I could say….