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Thread: Is it worth going semi or full modular?

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    Is it worth going semi or full modular?

    I’m gonna build a £500 budget PC soon, and was wondering if there was any point in spending the extra on a semi or full modular PSU? Or should I just save the money and get non modular one and just hide the unused cables in the back..

    Thanks!

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    Re: Is it worth going semi or full modular?

    In my opinion, no. But I'm sure you'll get other answers, too.

    All I care about is not obstructing access to plug things in, or obstructing airflow through the machine. But I don't like cases with window sides, and certainly not all glowy colours. A PC for me is a utilitarian device and I want the insides on display about as much as I want the insides of a TV or car engine on display. If you want to display the insides of your PC, then yeah, make it neat and tidy. If you're like me, make it functional and ignore appearance.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: Is it worth going semi or full modular?

    It will have a glass side, no flashy lights or anything, I just like seeing the hardware, but there is a back area for cables, so yeah, I’m thinking of just going non modular.

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    Re: Is it worth going semi or full modular?

    I agree, not worth it. Functionally it won't make a difference, as long as you get a decent brand with proven reliability (not a cheap PSU).

    And if you're on a budget, I'd think it's better to spend that extra cash on something that'll improve performance.
    Last edited by Scryder; 07-02-2021 at 11:03 AM.
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    Re: Is it worth going semi or full modular?

    Since just about all builds are ultimately "on a budget", then I think given a choice between a three supplies with simplistic quality-of-innards and price ratings:
    A non-modular: 80 quality, 80 price
    B semi-modular: 70 quality, 90 price
    C fully-modular: 60 quality, 100 price
    Point being that modular adds to the cost, so for any given budget I would first of all spend of the quality of the innards (the supply itself) before spending on the cosmetics.

    Finally, I rarely see the point the of fully modular as the fixed cables in a semi-modular supply are those cables which no build can do without anyhow so even in the tighest ITX the only time semi would be limiting factor is if you can get the fully modular cables flat or something to fit into a crazily tight space.

    Having said all of the above, manufacturers don't really make certain classes of supplies non-modular anyhow. If you go to skinflint or similar comparison sites and filter for Titanium rated supplies, you will only fully modular. If you filter for Platinum rated or above you'll only find either semi or fully.

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    Re: Is it worth going semi or full modular?

    I think at that price point, you won't be able to build something (like an ITX build) that would warrant a modular PSU. I wouldn't worry about the PSU being modular as much as the actual quality of the PSU itself.

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    Re: Is it worth going semi or full modular?

    I like fully modular, as I connect the cables to the components first, and then route them to the PSU. Much tidier that way. It also means you can eliminate any cables you don't need, which really helps in a small case.
    I feel a PSU is not something to cheap out on, so most of what I'd buy will be fully modular by default anyway.
    But if the difference has that much of an impact on your budget, go with what fits that best.
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    Re: Is it worth going semi or full modular?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    ....
    I feel a PSU is not something to cheap out on, ....
    Now that, I would 100% agree with. Always, always get a decent PSU. That doesn't necessarily mean most expensive, but one where the money has gone into a solid design and quality components.

    As a victim (about 25 years ago) of a nasty quality failure of a single PSU component (a capacitor) failing, I can vouch for that. It dumped a massive charge in one go though a PSU with minimal protection, that 50p (or less) component blew a £1200 graphics card, £500 RAID controller, four hard drives, and cost me several days of my time (as self-employed) to rebuild. It also stank my office out for a good month. I never used a pre-built case (with their choice of PSU) again.
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    Re: Is it worth going semi or full modular?

    If you have a window in the side then yes, I would go semi, or fully modular, the less cables ou have the less you have to hide.

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    Re: Is it worth going semi or full modular?

    Quote Originally Posted by [GSV]Trig View Post
    If you have a window in the side then yes, I would go semi, or fully modular, the less cables ou have the less you have to hide.
    One of my cases has a window in the side. I solved that problem with some sandpaper (for keying), and a can of matt black paint (the case being black). No more worries about unsightly cables.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: Is it worth going semi or full modular?

    I'd definitely agree with making sure you buy a good quality PSU. I made the mistake of buying a cheap no-name Chinese PSU years ago, which sadly took out a motherboard when it blew. It's the kind of mistake you only make once!

    If you're building in an ATX case & the system will make use of most of the PSU connections anyway, a non-modular PSU will save a few pounds.

    The only advantage of a fully-modular PSU I can see is if you're building in, for example, an ITX case & you want to use a short cable set to reduce clutter. Other than that, semi-modular or non-modular are probably the way to go. You might find though that the higher power PSUs are only available in fully-modular formats.

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    Re: Is it worth going semi or full modular?

    I agree, if on a budget I wouldn't worry about it being modular, and as someone said semi modular is plenty enough, as you'll need the main cables anyway, so going modular doesn't make much difference from a cable clutter perspective.

    Above all I'd just make sure to get a psu with quality components inside!

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    Re: Is it worth going semi or full modular?

    I've never had a PSU crap out on me.

    That's in part because I've always made sure to get a good one. Not something to recommend cheaping out on.

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    Re: Is it worth going semi or full modular?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrJim View Post
    I'd definitely agree with making sure you buy a good quality PSU. I made the mistake of buying a cheap no-name Chinese PSU years ago, which sadly took out a motherboard when it blew. It's the kind of mistake you only make once!

    If you're building in an ATX case & the system will make use of most of the PSU connections anyway, a non-modular PSU will save a few pounds.

    The only advantage of a fully-modular PSU I can see is if you're building in, for example, an ITX case & you want to use a short cable set to reduce clutter. Other than that, semi-modular or non-modular are probably the way to go. You might find though that the higher power PSUs are only available in fully-modular formats.
    I think we all make that mistake once, me, it took out itself, the motherboard, ram & cpu!

    I've had a good quality PSU commit Harakiri and that had the good grace to only remove itself from the game and was promtly replaced for free under it's 10 year warranty.

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    Re: Is it worth going semi or full modular?

    Had two go in work machines. They really make a noise (and smell) when they go!

    I've not had a domestic one go pop, but I spec well and run them well under max load for good measure so I'm at best efficiency on the load-power curve (50%), and keeping the noise to sensible levels. Of course there's no way to guarantee you won't get a dud cap. Statistics is a pig like that

    I always prefer fully modular as it makes installing cables much easier, irrespective of case size. You can insert cables from the back and just feed the two ends through rather than having to manipulate everything, pulling it through each hole in turn etc. It also means if you need to swap psu for RMA replacement /a new one by the same manufacturer then you can just take the unit out and swap in the new one without having to rerun all the cables.

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    Re: Is it worth going semi or full modular?

    Quote Originally Posted by kompukare View Post
    Since just about all builds are ultimately "on a budget", then I think given a choice between a three supplies with simplistic quality-of-innards and price ratings:
    A non-modular: 80 quality, 80 price
    B semi-modular: 70 quality, 90 price
    C fully-modular: 60 quality, 100 price
    Point being that modular adds to the cost, so for any given budget I would first of all spend of the quality of the innards (the supply itself) before spending on the cosmetics.

    Finally, I rarely see the point the of fully modular as the fixed cables in a semi-modular supply are those cables which no build can do without anyhow so even in the tighest ITX the only time semi would be limiting factor is if you can get the fully modular cables flat or something to fit into a crazily tight space.

    Having said all of the above, manufacturers don't really make certain classes of supplies non-modular anyhow. If you go to skinflint or similar comparison sites and filter for Titanium rated supplies, you will only fully modular. If you filter for Platinum rated or above you'll only find either semi or fully.


    I'd agree that, if you have the space to tidy away the unused cables, a captive cable PSU is absolutely a sensible option, but arguing that fully modular PSUs are lower quality than captive cable models? You got any evidence back that up, because it sounds like a load of bobbins.
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