Recent developments in powder-based additive manufacturing (AM) technology have prompted a need for designer feedstock material. To bridge the gap in processing and performance capabilities of traditional feedstock powder, various powders have been designed specifically for AM processes. Research was conducted to investigate whether these designer powders prove advantageous for AM processes. Narrow distributions in powder morphology, as well as enhanced powder properties, are indicative of optimal powder for AM. Given powder properties are strongly correlated to their internal microstructure, it is crucial to control the microstructure for desired powder performance. A powder's microstructural evolution can be finely controlled by thermal treatment, thus both heat treated and as-received powders were tested. The powder morphology was characterized using a size-and-shape particle analyzer, and the microstructure was analyzed using scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, and nanoindentation. Analysis was guided through the use of computation thermodynamic and kinetic models.