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An Overview of PSU Modularity – Guide + Recommendation

Learn about the different levels of PSU modularity and their importance in gaming PCs. Whether you’re considering non-modular, semi-modular, or fully modular power supplies, discover how they impact future upgrades and cable management. Read our guide to gain insights into choosing the right PSU modularity for your gaming needs.

Power supplies for gaming PCs can be categorized as non-modular, semi-modular, or fully modular. While power supply modularity may not be the primary concern during PC assembly, it becomes significant when considering future upgrades and cable management. In this article, we will elucidate and explore the distinctions between these PSU modularities.

Non-modular power supplies represent the most basic type available in the market. They come with all necessary cables permanently attached to the unit, leaving no option to remove unwanted cables. Furthermore, non-modular power supplies generally offer fewer features compared to their modular counterparts. However, they are often more affordable, making them a suitable choice for budget-conscious buyers.

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Semi-modular power supplies provide a middle ground between non-modular and fully modular units. They come with some cables pre-attached, while also including a selection of modular cables that can be used as needed. This grants a degree of flexibility during installation and enables customization of cable management to some extent.

Semi-modular power supplies also tend to be more affordable than fully modular units, making them an attractive option for those seeking more flexibility than non-modular units offer without the additional cost associated with fully modular models.

Fully modular power supplies offer the highest level of flexibility when it comes to installation and cable management. As the name implies, all cables on a fully modular unit are detachable, allowing you to utilize only the necessary cables. This results in a cleaner and simpler installation process, free from excess cables obstructing the way. Additionally, fully modular units provide the freedom to use cables that are more appropriate for your specific build. For instance, if you don’t require two GPU cables, you can remove one and replace it with an extra SATA power cable to accommodate additional storage. Fully modular units often boast more features compared to non-modular or semi-modular units, targeting enthusiasts who are willing to pay extra for those added functionalities.

Nevertheless, the advantages of a fully modular PSU may not be as relevant to budget-conscious buyers. It is recommended to consider fully modular units only if cable management and flexibility are significant priorities for you.

Recommendation for non-modular PSU: Corsair CX450

The Corsair CX450 non-modular PSU is an excellent choice for budget-conscious buyers seeking a reliable power supply unit for their PC builds. Priced at $60/£60 or less, it offers great value for money without compromising on essential features. Let’s dive into its specifications and reasons why it’s worth considering.

In terms of specifications, the manufacturer (OEM) for this PSU is either Channel Well Technology or Great Wall, both reputable companies in the industry. The maximum DC output is 450W, providing sufficient power for most mid-range gaming systems. It carries an efficiency rating of 80 PLUS Bronze, ensuring a reasonable level of energy efficiency. Furthermore, the PSU has been certified by Cybenetics as Bronze (CWT) or Silver (GW), indicating its solid performance in terms of efficiency.

Noise levels are an important consideration, and the Corsair CX450 PSU performs admirably in this aspect. According to Cybenetics, the CWT version operates at a noise level of A- (20-25 dBA), while the GW version falls under the Standard+ category (35-40 dBA). This means that it remains relatively quiet during regular usage, contributing to a more pleasant gaming or computing experience.

Corsair CX450
Corsair CX450 – photo Corsair

The PSU’s form factor is ATX12V v2.4, complying with the latest industry standards. It is equipped with a 120mm Rifle Bearing Fan, either the HA1225M12F-Z or D12SM-12 model, which helps in keeping the temperatures under control while operating silently. Although the unit is non-modular, meaning that the cables are permanently attached, it still provides sufficient connectivity options with 1x EPS and 1x PCIe connectors.

Corsair ensures reliability and peace of mind with a generous 5-year warranty, demonstrating their confidence in the product’s durability and performance. This warranty period surpasses the industry average, assuring users that the PSU is built to last.

Now, let’s explore the reasons to consider buying the Corsair CX450 PSU. First and foremost, its low price is a major advantage, especially for those on a tight budget. Despite the affordable price tag, this PSU doesn’t compromise on important features, making it a compelling option.

The unit also comes with a full set of protection features, safeguarding your PC components against voltage spikes, overcurrent, and other potential hazards. This ensures that your system remains safe and stable, providing additional peace of mind.

Corsair’s attention to detail is evident in the excellent soldering quality of this PSU. This enhances its reliability and overall performance, reducing the chances of any manufacturing defects or potential failures down the line.

The inclusion of a Rifle Bearing Fan is another notable highlight. This type of fan offers efficient cooling while operating quietly, ensuring that your PC stays cool even during intense gaming sessions or demanding tasks.

Lastly, the Corsair CX450 PSU is backed by a five-year warranty, which is impressive considering its price point. This extended warranty period demonstrates the brand’s commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.

The Corsair CX450 PSU is a top choice for budget-conscious buyers seeking an affordable and reliable power supply unit. With its low price, full set of protection features, excellent soldering quality, rifle bearing fan, and a five-year warranty, it provides excellent value for money. If you’re looking to build a cost-effective gaming or computing system without compromising on performance, the Corsair CX450 PSU should definitely be on your list.

Recommendation for semi-modular PSU: Seasonic Core-GM-500 500W Semi Modular Power Supply

The Seasonic Core-GM-500 is a reliable and efficient power supply unit that caters to the needs of PC enthusiasts and gamers. With its impressive features and specifications, it stands out as a solid option for those seeking a semi-modular PSU. Let’s delve into the details to understand why it’s worth considering.

One of the key highlights of the Seasonic Core-GM-500 is its 80 PLUS Gold certification, indicating excellent energy efficiency. This certification ensures that the power supply operates at high efficiency levels, resulting in reduced power consumption and lower energy bills. It is an environmentally-friendly choice that also minimizes heat generation.

Being semi-modular, the Core-GM-500 strikes a good balance between convenience and flexibility. The essential cables, such as the motherboard power connector (20+4 pin ATX), are permanently attached to the unit, simplifying the installation process. At the same time, other cables can be connected as needed, reducing cable clutter and aiding in better cable management within the system.

Seasonic Core-GM-500
Seasonic Core-GM-500 – photo Seasonic

The power supply’s tight voltage regulation is another noteworthy feature. This means that it delivers stable and consistent power to your PC components, ensuring optimal performance and protection against voltage fluctuations. This is particularly crucial for sensitive components like CPUs, GPUs, and memory modules.

The Seasonic Core-GM-500 incorporates S2FC (Smart and Silent Fan Control) technology, which intelligently adjusts the fan speed based on the system’s temperature and load. This results in quieter operation during regular usage or light tasks, as the fan remains at lower speeds. However, when the system demands more power and higher cooling is required, the fan speed adjusts accordingly, maintaining optimal temperature levels.

The power supply utilizes a DC to DC converter design, which enhances overall efficiency and power delivery. This design allows for improved voltage regulation and reduced energy wastage, ensuring that your components receive stable and clean power.

In terms of specifications, the Seasonic Core-GM-500 offers a total power output of 500W, making it suitable for mid-range to high-end systems. The wide AC input voltage range of 100-240V ensures compatibility with various power sources around the world. The PSU conforms to the standard ATX form factor, fitting most PC cases seamlessly.

Cooling is handled by a 12cm fan, which efficiently dissipates heat generated by the power supply unit. This active cooling solution keeps temperatures under control, contributing to system stability and longevity.

The physical dimensions of the Core-GM-500 are compact and well-suited for various PC setups. With a width of 150mm, depth of 140mm, and height of 86mm, it should fit comfortably in most standard-sized cases.

The Seasonic Core-GM-500 500W Semi Modular Power Supply is an impressive choice for PC builders and gamers alike. Its 80 PLUS Gold certification ensures excellent energy efficiency, while the semi-modular design provides flexibility and convenience during installation. The tight voltage regulation, S2FC fan control, and DC to DC converter design contribute to stable and reliable power delivery. With a total power output of 500W and compact dimensions, it is well-suited for mid-range to high-end systems. If you prioritize efficiency, reliability, and optimal performance in your PC build, the Seasonic Core-GM-500 should be high on your list of considerations.

Recommendation for fully Modular PSU: CORSAIR RMx Series RM850x 80-Plus Gold (Fully-Modular)

The CORSAIR RMx Series RM850x is an exceptional power supply unit that combines high efficiency, modular design, and a range of impressive features. Designed with performance and reliability in mind, this PSU is an excellent choice for gaming enthusiasts and PC builders seeking top-notch power delivery. Let’s explore its specifications and features in detail.

With an 80-Plus Gold efficiency certification, the RM850x ensures optimal energy efficiency, translating to reduced power consumption and lower electricity costs. It meets high standards of performance, ensuring that your PC components receive clean and stable power while minimizing wastage.

The fully-modular design of the RM850x provides maximum flexibility during installation and cable management. All cables are detachable, allowing you to connect only the necessary ones, reducing cable clutter within the system. This not only enhances airflow but also makes the build process easier and more organized.

The PSU is compatible with ATX12V v2.4 and EPS12V 2.92 standards, ensuring broad compatibility with a wide range of motherboards and systems. Its ATX form factor fits most standard-sized PC cases, making it suitable for various builds.

CORSAIR RMx Series RM850x
CORSAIR RMx Series RM850x – photo CORSAIR

The RM850x is equipped with a 140mm fan featuring rifle bearing technology. This fan efficiently cools the PSU while maintaining low noise levels, contributing to a quieter and more comfortable computing experience. Additionally, the fan operates in a Zero RPM mode, meaning it remains completely silent when the load is low, further minimizing noise.

Corsair’s RM850x boasts impressive cable specifications. It includes two EPS connectors, providing compatibility with motherboards that require additional power for high-end CPUs. With 10 SATA connectors, you have plenty of options to connect multiple storage drives, while the inclusion of six PCI-E connectors makes the PSU suitable for multi-GPU setups.

The low-profile, all-black cables add a sleek and professional aesthetic to your PC build, enhancing its overall visual appeal. The inclusion of a single floppy connector ensures compatibility with legacy hardware.

With a continuous power output of 850 Watts, the RM850x is capable of delivering ample power to handle demanding gaming rigs and high-performance systems. Its robust build and high-quality components ensure stable power delivery, even under heavy loads.

Corsair demonstrates their confidence in the RM850x’s durability by offering an impressive 10-year warranty. This extended warranty period provides peace of mind and reflects the PSU’s reliability and longevity.

The CORSAIR RMx Series RM850x is a powerhouse of a power supply unit that delivers exceptional performance, efficiency, and flexibility. With its 80-Plus Gold efficiency, fully-modular design, advanced cooling features, and a comprehensive set of connectors, it meets the demands of high-end gaming systems and resource-intensive tasks. Backed by a 10-year warranty, this PSU offers longevity and reliability, making it an excellent investment for enthusiasts and builders. If you seek a top-tier power supply unit for your PC build, the CORSAIR RMx Series RM850x should undoubtedly be at the top of your list.

When choosing a PSU, considering modularity is important for future upgrades and overall system aesthetics. While non-modular PSUs are more affordable, they may present challenges in cable management. Semi-modular PSUs offer a middle ground, while fully modular PSUs provide the most flexibility and customization options. Ultimately, the choice of PSU modularity depends on individual needs, priorities, and budget.

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