Today, modular or semi-modular power supplies have dropped enough in price so that enthusiasts can quietly consider acquiring one of them. In today’s article, we will talk about what is a modular power supply and its advantages and disadvantages compared to traditional models.
In terms of aesthetics and internal ventilation of the box and the components that are mounted in it, one of the major failures of traditional power supplies, is the number of cables that remain unused , and then the user must look for life to be able to hide in a more or less adequate way, so that they do not interfere with the operation of the rest of the components of your equipment.
The latter may have a more or less simple solution since the power supply began to be installed at the bottom of the boxes of computers, but when the box only had the space to install the fountain on its roof, it was a nightmare faced by any computer installer.
To try to eliminate these problems, quite a few years ago, some manufacturers decided to create modular power supplies. This type of power supply is characterized by the fact that they do not connect the power cables to the components to the body of the power supply; if not, they go apart.
When manufactured in this way, the user only uses those cables that he really needs from the power supply to power his components, being able to leave the rest of them stored in the corresponding bag of cables that usually accompanies this type of power supply.
What is a modular power supply?
The modular power supply is the ones that have all the rails and cables separately, even the 24 pins of the board, and you will be wondering, For what myths are these cables removed if they are practically needed for any PC? Why would I want to remove them?
The truth is that it is a good question, and at first you don’t need it. But if you broaden the point of view, what happens if you have to send the power supply as RMA? And if you make boxes and assemble the PCs and want to integrate the wiring into them for specific power supply with which you will assemble the equipment?
In the first case you will simply have to disconnect the cables from the power supply to be able to have it repaired or even replace it with another similar model with the same connections, so you will not have to touch anything that has been connected inside your box, Perfect if you have a hard-working inside the PC, a complicated configuration, or you have simply decided to leave the wiring practically fixed.
On the other hand, you can fully adapt the cables, integrate them into the box, and assemble the compatible power supply, or change them without worrying about removing and reassembling the cables. It is practically a similar assumption, although the origin is different. On the other hand, we have the visual aspect.
Just imagine that you want the colors inside your box to be one in particular, if you could not remove them it would be impossible unless they were manufactured like this, but with this method you can change them all, even put ones that go with the right length so that they occupy the minimum inside the box.
Today the contacts of the professional modular power supply are so well finished that the voltage difference can hardly be distinguished, in addition to being more efficient because they carry better electronics.
Modular power supplies have more advantages than disadvantages
Since the launch of the first modular power supplies, these have been divided into two categories :
- Semi-modular power supplies: those in which the cables that go to the main power connector of the motherboard (ATX 24 pin) and the power supply to the processor (EPS 8 pin) are permanently attached to the power supply body, not so the rest of the cables.
- Fully modular power supplies: in this type of power supply, all cables have been separated from the power supply body.
Many users may think that it is silly to have all the power cables separated from the power supply body since precisely, those two cables are essential for the equipment to function. However, this is usually done for certain types of users who need to cascade several power supplies to move their equipment. This type of situation is quite common in users who work in professional cryptocurrency mining, who need to feed several graphics cards in the rigs they use.
In general, the main problem with these types of power supply is the small loss of power and cleanliness of the current signal that occurs when the jump is made from the internal connector of the power supply to the cable connector, which has to take it to the corresponding component. However, both values are so small that they can really be considered negligible.
They also have the disadvantage of having to connect all the cables that are going to be needed, before mounting the power supply in the equipment, at least if in our equipment it is in a place of difficult access of the box, like those that have all the Bottom covered by a cover.
Modular vs. Non-modular pc power supply which one to choose?
Choosing a power supply is one of the things we tend to worry about the least when it comes to riding a pc. We have already seen in the first part of this article:
- What is a modular power supply?
- What are the benefits of using a modular power supply?
But even so, when deciding on one type or another, we may have some doubts. I will explain the differences between modular and non-modular power supplies as well as what advantages one has over the other so that you choose the one that best suits your new (or old) equipment.
If we talk about the characteristics in terms of rails and detachable cables, we enter the field of modularity in power supplies, and before focusing on each one, I will give a review above so that you get a general idea of what we are going to try.
If it is a non-modular power supply, it means that all cables are integrated into it and cannot be removed. In a modular power supply the cables can be placed and removed as it suits us, while in a totally modular power supply we have on the one hand the cables and on the other the power supply with connectors to be able to put only those that we need including those that go to board It doesn’t make much sense because we will always need it, but it will depend on what we want to use the font for.
Modular vs non-modular power supply
So, if the differences are so simple, what power supply should I choose and why? Despite looking like such a simple thing, there are several factors to consider when selecting our power supply in terms of the cables that we will need.
Non-modular power supply
Having all the fixed cables in the power supply and not being able to remove, we can find the case (almost certainly) that we will not use them all, and therefore we will have to look for a corner where to put them inside the box. This, of course, affects the cooling of the same, and therefore at best does not reduce the space inside the box for the rest of the components.
In an atx or higher tower, you may not have a problem or do not mind, but if you are one of those with a barebone, you will know how important space is and that the air flows freely.
Semi-modular or modular power supply
These power supplies differ from the previous ones by having the cables that are always used (base plate), fixed (they cannot be disassembled), but the rest of the rails have them with separate cables and depending on what we need we can put more or less.
This helps to ensure that the amount of cables inside the box is as small as possible, in addition to channeling the performance of the power supply on the rails that are connected.
And finally, we hope that this article helps you better understand what is modular power supply and answer all your confusion about which one to use in your machine.
Marziano is a seasoned tech expert with over 15 years of experience in the industry. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and multiple certifications, including CompTIA A+, Network+, and Cisco’s CCNA, he has a well-rounded and robust understanding of various aspects of technology.