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Is a modular psu worth it?

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July 12, 2009 2:37:48 PM

Hey so I was wondering do you get alot better airflow with a modular beacuse I'm looking at the corsair 550vx(non modular) and the 520hx should a spring for an extra $20 and get the modular? Or should I just hide the extra cables in a drive bay, I am only going to have one hard drive and optical drive too, what do you think?

More about : modular psu worth

July 12, 2009 2:53:59 PM

There are studies that say modular PSUs may be less reliable and even if that is not true I would never pay more just so I don't have to spend 10 minutes routing cables.
July 12, 2009 3:01:13 PM

Ya, do you think all the extra cables would fit snug in a extra drive bay lol first time builder or does anyone else have a alternate opinion on modular psus thanks.
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July 12, 2009 3:04:38 PM

With some finesse you will be fine, I have used none modular 1000w PSUs and their extra cables are still easy to store. Your only problem is bundling the wires in a way that will allow it to fit in there with out too much trouble, just analyze it and take your time.
a c 243 ) Power supply
July 12, 2009 3:18:22 PM

I'm still going to spend the time to route the cables, there's just going to be less of them to try to hide.
VX550 has;
1- 24 pin main
1- 4+4 CPU
2- 3 connector molex runs
2- 3 connector sata runs
2- pcie runs

The HX520 would allow the OP to do away with at least 3 cable sets, maybe 4 or 5 depending on video choice, which is helpful in smaller cases where there isn't much room to hide or route cables.
a b ) Power supply
July 12, 2009 3:23:06 PM

Just about all of us have hidden unused wires in a drive bay, some of the newer cases have enough room behind the M/B tray to hide them back there, and thats a whole lot neater.

The most important thing is not to disrupt the airflow path of the case, and hopefully you have purchased one with good airflow.

Snag yourself some Nylon Wire Ties it makes for a lot nicer and easy to deal with situation, personally I've never bought a modular P/S and have excellent airflow.

I know it takes more time but if you plan your wire routing all through the build you won't have a mess to deal with in the end.
a b ) Power supply
July 12, 2009 3:52:35 PM

The_Blood_Raven said:
There are studies that say modular PSUs may be less reliable


Link(s) please. And PC P&C doesn't count.
a b ) Power supply
July 12, 2009 3:57:44 PM

It's not usually worth the extra money for me, but i have used the 520 on a smaller microATX build with a single HD/burner and it made routing the cables easier and cleaner. Both are good quality power supplies, a first time builder may have fewer hassles with the modular.
July 12, 2009 4:01:03 PM

Ya thats what I was thinking are they any good cases with a bottom psu anyone could recommend with a vent so I can keep the psu fan facing down in the $50 area thanks?
a c 243 ) Power supply
July 12, 2009 4:18:27 PM

theAnimal said:
And PC P&C doesn't count.

I tend to shy away from typing things like this , but LOL.
July 12, 2009 6:43:05 PM

I really like the coolmaster 690 though I'm going to wait for it to be $70 with free shipping on newegg cause I'm a budget and I'm planning on getting the amd phenom 2 x3 720.
a b ) Power supply
July 12, 2009 9:32:43 PM

The_Blood_Raven said:
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/power-supplies-psu,801...

And some other article I read somewhere but can't find. I never said that modular power supplies are THAT much at a disadvantage, just that there is no arguing about the fact that the modular connection adds resistance, but I doubt that it is anything serious.


Since the only quote in the article is from PC P&C (of course not backed up with any facts), it really doesn't count.

Was it this article?
http://www.motherboards.org/articles/guides/1488_1.html
July 12, 2009 9:42:29 PM

My article was from Enermax, Seasonic, and Corsair too.

Yeah that was the article. Their findings showed some results that supported what Tom's said, but their attitude and conclusion were too biased to reflect that.

Do notice that I do not necessarily agree with the report from Tom's, but that's what is out there.
a c 243 ) Power supply
July 12, 2009 9:58:13 PM

The_Blood_Raven said:
Their findings showed some results that supported what Tom's said, but their attitude and conclusion were too biased to reflect that.


I doubt that there was any bias there, the author , Jon Gerow , is also known as "jonnyguru".
a b ) Power supply
July 12, 2009 10:48:48 PM

The_Blood_Raven said:
My article was from Enermax, Seasonic, and Corsair too.

But they actually make modular PSUs, which means they don't think there is any issue. Besides which there were no quotes from them.

Quote:
Do notice that I do not necessarily agree with the report from Tom's, but that's what is out there.

No problem. :) 
a b ) Power supply
July 12, 2009 11:03:40 PM

I have a 520 mentioned above. I also have non modulars. If you have a lot to hook up either will be a "mess" to deal with. If on the other hand you only need to run a few cables the modular will do for a neater job.

Back to the 520. The cables are stiff and hard to work with to an extent. If you want neatness, the Ultra's used to have round cables and seemed to me to give a slightly neater job. not sure if they still make them that way or not. Read around and if the "ribbon' type wires are flexible I'd go for one of those. ( Ultra )
July 12, 2009 11:10:06 PM

modular PSUs definitely are less efficient because of the added cable connections. with the extra money for modular, u can get non-modular psu and use the extra money on a better case (if u don't already have it), one that enables u to route the cables behind the case side.
a b ) Power supply
July 12, 2009 11:53:57 PM

jimishtar said:
modular PSUs definitely are less efficient because of the added cable connections.


There is more resistance in the actual cable than the connectors.

There are far more 80Plus Bronze & Silver modular PSUs on newegg than non-modular.
July 13, 2009 12:13:01 AM

there is resistance only if the cable is used (running electricity). direct connection is less resistant than a +connector line. like someone said above, this resistance is not something that can bother a user.
why there are far more modular PSUs on newegg ? -> modular are more attractive. people sell what people buy, right?
a b ) Power supply
July 13, 2009 2:05:37 AM

First time pc builder said:
Ya thats what I was thinking are they any good cases with a bottom psu anyone could recommend with a vent so I can keep the psu fan facing down in the $50 area thanks?



The COOLER MASTER Centurion 590, is an excellent case, great airflow and wire hiding capability behind the M/B mounting plate.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119152&Tpk=Coolermaster%20Centurion%20590

I have one myself and heres my Non-Modular wire tucking job with a 750Watt PCP&C Power Supply.






a b ) Power supply
July 13, 2009 2:16:15 AM

Before you tell somebody the 590 is a good case why don't you tell them how easy it is to push the front "screens" in. One little slip and it's over. The 690 is much better in that respect.
a b ) Power supply
July 13, 2009 2:28:50 AM

swifty_morgan said:
Before you tell somebody the 590 is a good case why don't you tell them how easy it is to push the front "screens" in. One little slip and it's over. The 690 is much better in that respect.



Well that hasn't been a problem so why should I forewarn of something that hasn't even happened, the front screens allow airflow through basically the entire front of the case.

IMO the 590 is an excellent case for my purposes or I wouldn't recommend it.
a b ) Power supply
July 13, 2009 2:49:05 AM

If the case has harsh cable management then yes, if you can tuck them away w/o restricting air flow then the non modular is fine. I do not recommend hiding them in the drive bay unless there is no fan in that area being used as an intake. Ex : Antec 300.
July 13, 2009 2:59:05 AM

Thermaltake modular power supplies are all I use, never have a problem with them.
a b ) Power supply
July 13, 2009 3:08:00 AM

baddad said:
Thermaltake modular power supplies are all I use, never have a problem with them.


I second that. Thermaltake modular is superb but pricey....

Currently using Thermaltake TP 850w and Thermaltake TP 1000w and have had 0 issues nada.........

With a sweet 5 year warranty.....




a b ) Power supply
July 13, 2009 3:27:14 AM

jimishtar said:
there is resistance only if the cable is used (running electricity).

Well how else would you power the computer?

Quote:
why there are far more modular PSUs on newegg ? -> modular are more attractive. people sell what people buy, right?

Wrong. There are more non-modular PSUs, but the most efficient PSUs have more modular.
July 13, 2009 5:10:48 AM

theAnimal said:

Quote:
why there are far more modular PSUs on newegg ? -> modular are more attractive. people sell what people buy, right?

Wrong. There are more non-modular PSUs, but the most efficient PSUs have more modular.


Correct, and this is because a lot of the non-modular power supplies on newegg are from a time before 80+ certified and modular PSUs even existed.
July 13, 2009 8:06:25 AM

people, go to your college or high school science professor and he will explain u scientifically why modular psu are less efficient.
there are 3 things that affect ressitance on a cable: 1-cable material (silver-least resistant, copper-most widely used), 2-cable dimensions (thickness and length), 3-connectors (more connectors = more resistance). this loss of efficiency is very low, maybe modular psu is less than 1% less efficient that its non-modular version.

almost all modular have the gpu and main power cables as native, something that I belive is important and should always stay native.

dont get confused about 80plus and so on. like i said, people sell what people buy. at the moment, modular PSUs are popular, so manufacturers and sellers are concentrated on that. that doesn't mean that modular are better than non-modular.
July 13, 2009 8:09:00 AM

btw I have corsair hx750, its modular :) 
July 13, 2009 1:12:06 PM

It's personal preference here more than anything. There are good and bad modular PSU's just like any other PSU. You need to read the reviews, and check the specs.

I find though that hiding, routing cables etc. to control heat, or just so you don't have a mess to look at, is no harder with one than the other, whether it is modular or not, you still have cables to deal with. I have found that the cables on a modular PSU can actually be thicker, heavier, and harder to route and conceal than those on a non modular PSU. There may be fewer of them since you only install what you need, but they are harder physically to route and hide.

I have owned several of both, and I prefer non-modular types myself.
July 13, 2009 3:12:16 PM

I ended up getting the modular for simplicity thanks to everyone for their help.
July 13, 2009 4:27:25 PM

jimishtar said:
people, go to your college or high school science professor and he will explain u scientifically why modular psu are less efficient.
there are 3 things that affect ressitance on a cable: 1-cable material (silver-least resistant, copper-most widely used), 2-cable dimensions (thickness and length), 3-connectors (more connectors = more resistance). this loss of efficiency is very low, maybe modular psu is less than 1% less efficient that its non-modular version.

almost all modular have the gpu and main power cables as native, something that I belive is important and should always stay native.

dont get confused about 80plus and so on. like i said, people sell what people buy. at the moment, modular PSUs are popular, so manufacturers and sellers are concentrated on that. that doesn't mean that modular are better than non-modular.

Actually, that entirely depends on the connector type. Some connectors actually have less resistance than an equivalent length (an inch or so) of wire. I don't think the connectors used in modular PSUs fall into this category, but it isn't always true that a plug is less efficient. Also, the loss of efficiency is probably quite a bit less than 1%.
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