Modular vs. Non-modular PSUs

November 6, 2009 at 12:40:06
Specs: Windows XP
So, I'm trying to find a good 500-600w PSU and I heard that modular plugs create "resistance," are cheap, short out easily, and whole slew of a bunch of incoherent myths. So I looked up "modular power supplies" on google and I found this article. The experiment tested how much power is actually lost with modular power supplies. This guy tested multiple modular and non modular PSUs and concluded that amount of power is insignificant (about a difference of 0.25% power output because of the modular plugs at ) compared to the amount of power loss over the length of the PSU cords.

And if your about to gripe about modular plugs frying, that really depends on the quality of the plug-ins.

Just want to know what you guys thought of this, and if any of you have actually had bad experiences with specifically modular PSUs

See More: Modular vs. Non-modular PSUs

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November 6, 2009 at 13:00:01
My main system is powered by a modular Corsair 620w power supply. The CPU, RAM, and two video cards have been overclocked to the max, but the system is rock solid (and also heart touching, according to Asus).

My HTPC is powered by an older Enermax Liberty modular 500w PSU. Again, no problems.

Now fully Se7ened.

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November 6, 2009 at 13:33:04
So you're saying that modular PSUs don't have problems, contrary to the publicly accepted fact that they do? ;-)

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November 6, 2009 at 14:33:43
Well, Ultra "invented" the modular PSU, and most Ultra PSUs are crap. I'm guessing this is mostly what gave the modular PSU a bad rap.

A well built modular is just as good as a well built standard PSU.

Now fully Se7ened.

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November 6, 2009 at 15:00:50
Let's say you needed to get power to a garage that's approx 100' from your house. Would you rather use a 100' extension cord or 4 x 25' cords strung together? Obviously either way would work, but the 100' cord would be more efficient & probably cheaper. Why would you pay more for less efficiency? Because it's easier to roll up & store four 25' cords than it is one 100' cord?

The power supply manufacturer's themselves state that there is some loss with modular PSUs. And this is from an article written a few months ago, not a few years ago when modular PSUs where just hitting the market:

"Enermax, Seasonic, and Corsair all told us that if you're looking to maximize efficiency, go for a non-modular PSU"

And even in the article you sited, this comment is made:

"No doubt any modular connection causes resistance. Nobody's denying that."

So once again, why would you wanna pay more for a product that's less efficient? even if the difference is only minor?

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November 6, 2009 at 15:28:15
I have used both and had failures with both. Personally I won't use another moduler because a lot of times the cabling is stiff and difficult to work with not to mention often times shorter than the wiring from a regular psu. It is nice that you don't have all the wires to tie together and try to keep out of the airflow but if you do get one that the wiring is too long try stuffing that massive cable in that little space where you could stuff the regular wires.

I don't know about one being better than the other as far power and longevity go but physically working with modular can be a real pain.


I want to go like my grandfather did. Peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming at the top of my lungs like the passengers in his car.


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November 6, 2009 at 16:15:04
Did some of you not read the study that I posted a link too? He found that with one of the corsair modular PSUs the claim that the modular "drop in effeincey" is much less than the "2 Feet of wire" that the tom's hardware claims.(Only
0.25% of the power being routed was lost because of
the modular plugs!!! And that's a very tiny set back compared
to the leisure of the modular system)

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November 6, 2009 at 16:43:54
Yes, I read it. It's a 3 yr old article. Even so, it acknowleges that modular connections cause resistance & are therefore less efficient. The loss is minor, but it's there. And there is also the possibility of failure due to poor modular connections. Once again, the possibility is slight, but it's there.

Did you check my link from 2009 where 3 of the top power supply manufacturers recommend using non-modular units for max efficiency? even though all 3 manufacture modular units which are *usually* more expensive?

Personally, I don't give a sh!t what you use. But you asked the question & I gave my answer. Obviously it's not the answer you wanted to hear. You already had your mind made up when you posted, so why'd you bother asking in the 1st place?

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November 6, 2009 at 17:15:26
Well, here's my situation, I'm a bit torn on this topic. I want the convenience of only using the cords I need (that's why I am so defensive about it). But I wasn't sure about the some of the problems caused with modular, so I wanted to know if anybody on these forums has had any specific problems with this type of PSU. And from some of your responses (also because I'm on a tight budget anyways), I think I might actually go with non-modular.

Thank you for your (somewhat blunt) responses :-)

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