For PC users, modular vs. non-modular is always a dilemma. You can be a veteran gamer, programmer, or even a beginner in PC building. But, with renowned companies making heads turn with their new and advanced PSU or power supply units, it becomes hard to choose.
While a modular PSU means almost no cables, a regular PSU comes with pre-attached cables. Confused? Let’s check the details about modular and non-modular PSU units to help you in this journey!
- What is a Modular Power Supply Unit?
- What is a Non-Modular Power Supply Unit?
- Modular Vs Non-Modular Power Supply Unit- Differences!
- Which is Better for you, Modular or Non-Modular PSU?
- Modular Vs Non Modular PSU FAQs –
- Conclusion –
What is a Modular Power Supply Unit?
A modular power supply unit or Modular PSU is a unit that comes with removable cables. Simply put, you can remove the cables and connectors when not used. It offers a lot of customization and benefits for any PC user. In the case of a fully modular PSU, you can remove the PCIe cables, 8-pin cables, and other peripherals except the 24 Pin cable. While you need the other cables when the system is starting, as soon as the machine starts, you can remove them if you want to!
Advantages & Disadvantages of Modular PSU
Let’s first check the advantages of Modular PSU units-
- The first advantage is the modularity or the freedom of detaching the connecting cables. When not in use, you can detach any cable you like and reattach them again in their designated port. It also allows you to detect damaged cables faster and also allows you to repeal the cables easily.
- With modular PSU units, you get better chances of customization. Depending on your budget and personal preference, you can change the wires, customize the machine and vent the wire length, color, or type.
- The next advantage of using a modular power supply is better airflow and heat management; since there are fewer cables, the airflow is easier, and the machine is not vulnerable to overheating. It improves the machine’s lifespan and prevents damage due to overheating.
- The performance is also another advantage of a modular PSU unit. With their highly advanced mechanism, these machines can manage hardcore gaming or programming for longer.
Now, let us consider the disadvantage of soft eh modular PSU units-
- The main issue with modular systems is their high price tag. While you can get a modular PSU for $170 to $200, the setup becomes expensive as you need specialized cables, connectors, peripherals, and a larger ATX box. So, the budget can be an issue for someone.
- Even though you can detach and reattach the cables, there is some risk of failure and post of resistance. When inserting or removing the cable, it can damage the pins if not done correctly.
- You need to buy special cables compatible with the modular Psu units. Most PSU models have a set of compatible modular cables, and you can use nothing else. Hence, it can be difficult sometimes to buy and replace the cables.
What is a Non-Modular Power Supply Unit?
A non-modular Psu or non-modular power supply unit is a unit that needs permanently connected cables to function. The cables that carry the power cannot be detached, and all the cables come pre-attached. Hence, nothing is removable. Most regularly used PSU units are non-modular PSU models.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Non-modular PSU
The main advantages of the non-modular PSU units are-
- Their price is extremely pocket-friendly. Besides that, you can set up a whole PC without spending much money using non-modular cables.
- Another advantage is the abundance of options. You can use any wire with any PSU unit, as most non-modular connectors are compatible with almost all the available non-modular PSU models in the market. Hence, you do not need to search a lot for components while building a PC.
- The cables are easily available, and you can easily buy them anywhere.
Let’s talk about the disadvantages-
- The main disadvantage of a non-modular system is that the cables are fixed and cannot be removed. Hence you need to manage multiple cables even if you don’t need those.
- Since there are more cables, the airflow is often blocked, resulting in overheating, dust, and dirt buildup.
- If you check out the efficiency, the non-modular systems may not perform like the modular ones.
Modular Vs Non-Modular Power Supply Unit- Differences!
Proper airflow is required to maintain the health and lifespan of the whole PC unit. The airflow path gets blocked if there are many power supply cables (which happens for non-modular systems). There may need more than a small cooling fan to dissipate the heat from the PSU units. Besides, since there is little airflow, the PC units are also more vulnerable to dust and dirt buildup! This buildup also blocks the cool air and prevents warm air from coming from the heated PSU unit.
On the contrary, since a modular power supply means less or practically no cables, there are fewer blockages in the airflow path. Besides that, the cool air enters and the warm air exits from the machines freely. Hence, there is less dirt and dust buildup on the machine. It can dramatically increase the lifespan and performance of the PC unit.
The temperature is directly linked with airflow. In a non-modular power supply, the locked airflow path leads to frequent overheating. It happens because the warm air is not exhausted correctly from the system, and the cool air doesn’t reach the internals adequately. Hence, the PC nits often become heated faster and more frequently.
On the contrary, the modular power supply requires almost no cable. Hence, the PSU units get better airflow, and the air channel makes the machine cooler even while it is on for a long time. In other words, the temperature is lower in the modular systems.
If you check out efficiency, the modular systems are highly efficient. The modular systems are designed to ensure a heavy workload for prolonged hours.
But that does not mean the non-modular systems are not efficient. These are also efficient, but the degree of efficiency is slightly less than that of the modular PSU units.
4. Degree of Modularity
The degree of modularity refers to the number of cables you can detach from the PSU units while the machine works. Most modular PSU units have detachable cables except those one or two that are needed to start the system.
In the case of modularity, modular systems are the highest priority because the machine allows you to detach or reattach the connecting cables per your work preference. In most modular PSU units, the 24-Pin connector cable is permanent; the others, like the PCIe, CPU, or any peripheral connectors, are optional and detachable.
On the contrary, non-modular systems have almost zero modularity as you cannot detach any cables while the machine is turned on.
The price is high for fully modular power supply units. Modularity requires advanced technology and better product design, which is often the leading cause of higher price tags.
If you check the price range, most modular PSU units are 10-20% or even 30% costlier than a regular non-modular PSU unit. But, the benefits of the modular model are highly sought after. You will get better performance and work experience than regular non-modular PSU units.
But, the overall cost is often related to the whole PC unit. You need to use larger ATX cases with modular PSU units. In this case, you can save a bit by switching to a mid-range ATX case.
But we assure you that you will not be disappointed about switching to a modular OSU unit!
The modular PSU units are more complex if you look at the design. These do not have multiple cables like a regular PSU unit. To counter that tedious cable management, the Modular power supply cables come with proprietary connectors that need special cables and are usually designed to be compatible with only some selected POSU units; hence, if you get a modular PSU, you need to buy the specified cables only. On top of that, these PSU units are also highly advanced and complex in design.
Compared to these, non-modular power supply unit management is simple. You can use any non-modular power supply unit with any non-modular PSU models!
7. Cable Management
Cable management is often a difficult task with non-modular PSU units. The non-modular power supply system relies on multiple cables to supply power, which cannot be detached at any cost.
With so many cables for so many connections, managing these can become tedious. On top of that, the huge array of cables also prevents airflow through the PSU unit, resulting in an overheated system that may get damaged if you work on it regularly.
On the other hand, a modular power supply allows you to ditch the cables from the PSU units when these are not in use. On top of that, the less number of cables also means better airflow and better cooling management for your PC unit. Considering the modular PSU units, you can get rid of nearly 1.5 meters of cable length inside the whole PC unit, besides the other cables.
Due to this fact, gamers or programmers often prefer the modular power supply, which means their PC unity will not get overheated frequently with fewer cables to manage!
Which is Better for you, Modular or Non-Modular PSU?
Well, the question differs from person to person. If you want to go for a highly efficient machine with optimal cable management, an angular system is good for you. Besides that, modern systems are ideal for anyone who wants to do tasks like computer programming or hardcore gaming. Modular systems can also be a great option for anyone who wants to focus on aesthetics and better customization. But please remember that this will cost you more, so have a sizable budget.
If you are not into cable management and do not mind the extra cables and cleaning them, a non-modular system is enough. Besides, it is lighter on the pocket, and you may even get an efficient PC build at a low budget range. You can always use the PC cage to mark unwanted cable appearances.
Modular Vs Non Modular PSU FAQs –
Ans: There are two types- fully modular and semi-modular.
Ans: No, non-modular cables are not compatible with modular PSU.
Ans: No, except for the cables relating to the optical drives like the mouse or keyboard, you cannot remove cables from a non-modular PSU.
Ans: Yes, you can always use a non-modular PSU for high-end gaming. There are many models in the market.
Ans: Well, removing or cutting the extra cables is impossible, as it can damage your non-modal. The best way is to group the cables and secure them with a zip tie for better cable management.
The modular PSU are highly advanced models that allow you to remove cables and customize your experience at your convenience while offering better performance and a cooling system. But that doesn’t mean that a non-modular PSU is bad. If you are not unhappy with the cables, a non-removable PSU is also great.
In the end, the choice lies with you. You can read the article and research to find the best suitable for you.