Traditionally, choosing a PC revolved around a high-end CPU or a fantastic graphics card. No one really paid much attention to a supply power unit, which can be every bit as important.
Nowadays, computer buyers are realizing the importance of power supplies, which is why there has been a rise in the popularity of efficient power supplies. When I say power supply unit, it goes way beyond simple AC DC power supply.
In technical terms, a power supply unit is the part of the PC that directly goes into a wall unit and of course brings back power. We might as well name it Superman, because it is responsible for saving your PC in the event of a power surge. That is one of the advantages of a power supply.
That said, choosing a power supply unit becomes very important. Imagine settling on a poor power supply unit and an electric surge leaves your 2000-dollar rig fried up real and nice.
Simply put, these are power supplies whose cables or some of the cables are detachable. This is never the case with regular power supplies, whose cables are permanently fused to the unit.
They come in 3 shades:
1. Non Modular
All the cables are permanently attached or soldered like is the case in regular AC DC power supply units. They however work just the same as other modular PSUs. They mostly are used in server systems.
The cables usually are fixed to the internal circuit of the source. The exit usually is a small hole mounted in the back of the computer. All the cables are fixed into the computer so you cannot remove any of them.
If you are working on a budget, this PSU is tailor made for you. Non-modular PSUs are great budget builds and as a bonus, they still can power your CPU quite efficiently.
On top of being cheap, these PSUs are also the most common units as seen in stationary computers – sometimes even in gaming CPUs.
There are a lot of wires involved and all of them are fixed so you have to have great cable management to optimize airflow, which is important in combating overheating. Good cable management also helps with the aesthetics.
2. Semi Modular
In semi modular power supply, some of the cables are permanently attached – usually the most important ones. The built-in cables are usually for the main components like the motherboard and processor.
That’s not the entirety of the cables so some will be detachable. You can attach and detach cables separately as need be when mounting the equipment in whatever unit of the computer you need.
Selective components of the AC power supply can be detached, which minimizes the number of cables inside the PC case. This greatly reduces the size of the PC case.
With the reduction of cables required, you save some coins because you don’t have to buy unused cables. If it’s not necessary, just use the already-connected significant cables.
Compared to non-modular power units, the price may be a little high.
3. Fully Modular Power Supply
These come with absolutely no cables attached. In other words, there are no cables inbuilt into a unit of this kind. As such, you need additional cables to plug each wire into its own socket for AC power supply to all computer components. What this means is you can connect and disconnect whatever unit as you so desire.
The advantages of a fully modular unit are very much alike those of a semi modular unit. There are no pre-connected cables which gives you total freedom to make use of any device for connection.
Of all the power supplies I have discussed, the fully modular will cost you the most, is the biggest drawback of the fully modular PSU.