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The PC Power Supply Guide for the Masses

  1. Introduction
  2. PSU Abbreviations and Glossary
  3. Connectors used in a PC Power Supply
  4. PSU cables: Non-Modular, Modular and the middle-ground!
  5. Power Supply Labels
  6. Power Supply Form-Factor- ATX12V
  7. Power Supply Form-Factor- SFX12V
  8. Basic requirements of a power supply
  9. Facts about 80 Plus Certification
  10. Protection Circuits and Features
  11. List of Power Supplies, OEM and Review Links
  12. Common PC Power Supply Myths
  13. Resource Links and References
  14. View All

There are three types- the non-modular, semi-modular and modular power supplies. The reason these are out there is for two reasons- aesthetics and convenience.

Non-modular power supplies:

All the cables in non-modular power supplies are not removable. In the case of having unused cables, you end up usually stuffing them in some area of the case or tie it together with a cable tie and letting it be around. Depending on the case that you have, and the number of wires being used they would add a cable clutter around the case. Some case have that luxury of space where you can hide it, some do not. Most users buy cases with transparent side panel to show off their components, and the last thing such users want is a cable mess. If you take a mini-ITX case, having few unused cables greatly contributes to a clutter within the system, which would be an obstacle for the case’s airflow.

Fully-modular power supplies:

A modular power supply is where you can detach ALL the cables from the power supply unit. This helps you to use the cables that you require. Such power supplies carry an extra premium and usually they’re justified by using it in a very good power supply with high efficiency and reliability.

There are certain aftermarket PSU cable makers that custom-sleeve power supply cables with certain colour combination. Boutique system makers and modders love fully modular power supplies exactly for that reason.

Semi-modular power supplies:

semi-modular

The middle ground is the semi-modular power supply. I’ve heard some call it ‘hybrid’. It doesn’t matter.

This is a healthier option and makes a lot more sense than full-modular. Certain cables that will always be required by the system will be connected- like the 24-pin and 4/8pin ATX/EPS connector. Some power supplies also have PCIe included with the non-removable bunch. The rest are removable- Molex/SATA and additional PCIe.

Unless you REALLY need to have an after-market sleeving for mandatory cables like 24-pin and ATX cables, this is perfect for the masses. Depending on the components used, they cost lesser than fully modular power supplies. This is also a feasible option for manufacturers to implement on a power supply rated for 400- 600w of a certain quality.

2 comments

  1. Koolest ripper guide to What is and what is not on SMPS!
    Thanks for adding those SMPS suggestions! 🙂

  2. Much appreciated!

    I plan on putting more guides per component so that many people from newbies to regular users can understand “what is” and “what is not” for many components to help them make better purchase decisions! This way, we can guide even the newest of end users to understand whenever they read our reviews!

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