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Thread: Pros & Cons of buying a none modular PSU and cutting/removing unneeded cables?

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    Pros & Cons of buying a none modular PSU and cutting/removing unneeded cables?

    As my title says. Modular versus none modular seems to be quite high in price. I am building a Micro-ITX build (so space is a factor) and so after looking around, I thought I could always cut or try and remove cables (as in put them back if needed later). Has anyone tried this? My plan is to buy a decent PSU (for gaming) 450~ watt PSU and remove the extra cables.

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    Re: Pros & Cons of buying a none modular PSU and cutting/removing unneeded cables?

    I wouldn't try to cut cables. Paying a little bit more is the cost of going for a smaller build, though to be fair some semi-modular PSUs aren't much more than fully fixed PSUs. Over the life of the PC it's not worth worrying about.

    Some options for you though:

    https://www.overclockers.co.uk/be-qu...ca-114-bq.html

    http://www.ebuyer.com/745621-corsair...-cp-9020101-uk
    Last edited by kalniel; 05-01-2017 at 10:02 AM.

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    Re: Pros & Cons of buying a none modular PSU and cutting/removing unneeded cables?

    Sometimes, modular PSUs with their additional connectors require more rear clearance than non-modular, depending on the case design. This is most noticeable on very PSU -restrictive cases like the Prodigy, with a solid plate determining the the rear PSU limit.

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    Re: Pros & Cons of buying a none modular PSU and cutting/removing unneeded cables?

    Cutting the cables is one thing, you then need to make sure the cut ends are insulated, and if you are thinking about replacing them at a later date, how are you going to do that safely and reliably?

    Basically, I'd strongly advise against doing it (apart from anything else, you have instantly voided any warranty). Either hide the cables in the case, cable ties are good for that, or do the job properly and go modular.

    SFF power supplies generally have few cables anyway as the space in a miniitx case limits the addition of peripherals anyway.
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    Re: Pros & Cons of buying a none modular PSU and cutting/removing unneeded cables?

    Hi it is possible to convert standard PSU into modular or semi, but it requires a bit of skill and understanding of electrics. Have a look: http://www.bit-tech.net/modding/2007..._modular_psu/1 and video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysV9mGVqEwI
    If you like to tinker and have parts and tools laying around it might be worth it and fun, but if you don't, then you have to calculate how much such project would cost you in the end. Another option could be to desolder unneeded cables from PCB, but I don't really know as it depends on your skills and particular PSU.

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    Re: Pros & Cons of buying a none modular PSU and cutting/removing unneeded cables?

    What case/PSU options are you looking at in particular? You shouldn't need much space - a spare 5.25" or even 3.5" bay is probably enough to shove unnecessary cables and keep them from obstructing fans/airflow.

    Keep an eye on the depth of the PSU as well as the number/type of cables (if the case fits a full ATX PSU). I think they range from 14cm up to ~18cm in some instances and I'd be more worried about that than having to stash a couple of cables in a spare drive bay.
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    Re: Pros & Cons of buying a none modular PSU and cutting/removing unneeded cables?

    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    Sometimes, modular PSUs with their additional connectors require more rear clearance than non-modular, depending on the case design. This is most noticeable on very PSU -restrictive cases like the Prodigy, with a solid plate determining the the rear PSU limit.
    So if I understand you correctly, it's possibly a Pro rather than a con to go with a non modular PSU as it's smaller and requires less space, and getting rid of some cables to save the space and improve on airflow? Did not notice that when I was looking at sizes, maybe I missed it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lanky123 View Post
    What case/PSU options are you looking at in particular? You shouldn't need much space - a spare 5.25" or even 3.5" bay is probably enough to shove unnecessary cables and keep them from obstructing fans/airflow.

    Keep an eye on the depth of the PSU as well as the number/type of cables (if the case fits a full ATX PSU). I think they range from 14cm up to ~18cm in some instances and I'd be more worried about that than having to stash a couple of cables in a spare drive bay.
    Case is a Fractal Design Core 500, have not chosen a PSU yet, but the whole idea we're assuming the build is pretty much going to be a one off build with no future adjustments, such as due to the limited space the build will stay the same - maybe upgrade the graphics card in 2 years and maybe an additional storage so not cutting the extra SATA cables.

    Pros and cons so far:

    Pros:
    Save cash with buying a modular PSU, which means you can go for higher PSU ranges,
    Benefit from the reduction of cables, possibly improving airflow and gaining the space, if building a tight tig.

    Cons:
    Would most likely void the warranty, unless you got written agreement that it wouldn't,

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    Re: Pros & Cons of buying a none modular PSU and cutting/removing unneeded cables?

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Cutting the cables is one thing, you then need to make sure the cut ends are insulated, and if you are thinking about replacing them at a later date, how are you going to do that safely and reliably?

    Basically, I'd strongly advise against doing it (apart from anything else, you have instantly voided any warranty). Either hide the cables in the case, cable ties are good for that, or do the job properly and go modular.

    SFF power supplies generally have few cables anyway as the space in a miniitx case limits the addition of peripherals anyway.
    Safely and reliably? Well if I insulated it exactly like a pin holder would then removing such insulation should be the reverse, I don't see any drastic difference. It seems to be the biggest drawback in this (for my set up at least) is voiding the warranty, so that saved cash might backfire if any unlucky PSU dies early.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nasing Speshal View Post
    Hi it is possible to convert standard PSU into modular or semi, but it requires a bit of skill and understanding of electrics. Have a look: http://www.bit-tech.net/modding/2007..._modular_psu/1 and video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysV9mGVqEwI
    If you like to tinker and have parts and tools laying around it might be worth it and fun, but if you don't, then you have to calculate how much such project would cost you in the end. Another option could be to desolder unneeded cables from PCB, but I don't really know as it depends on your skills and particular PSU.
    Thanks for the links. These were probably just as semi modular PSU's were coming into the market so the price differences I assume might have possibly made it worth it at the time, most likely not now on a quality PSU as you're modding the actual unit which would definitely void the warranty and require a bit more time/effort.

    All about thinking outside the box, taking advantage knowing this is what I need and want, saving the £ on doing so.

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    Re: Pros & Cons of buying a none modular PSU and cutting/removing unneeded cables?

    There is also an electrocution risk from the stored 400V on any primary capacitors when you open the PSU up.

    If space is the issue, the slightly expensive option is an SFX psu. The Silverstone ones come with an adapter plate so you can mount it in an ATX PSU position, it runs semi fanless but in shoebox cases I find you get way better airflow and often allows for better CPU cooler choice if the PSU lives over the CPU as it often does.

    https://www.scan.co.uk/products/500w...lus12v-1x120mm

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    Re: Pros & Cons of buying a none modular PSU and cutting/removing unneeded cables?

    Quote Originally Posted by Savas View Post
    ... Case is a Fractal Design Core 500 ...
    Looking at the hexus review of that case (http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/chassi...sign-core-500/) there's actually plenty of space to tuck unused wires out of the way (unless you're planning to go for a huge GPU), and they won't interfere with the airflow too much due to the way the case vents.

    I can understand the temptation to cut wires, but for the minimal improvements to airflow you'd see in a well-design case I personally wouldn't be inclined to risk voiding the warranty or accidentally cutting the wrong wire (and I'm not averse to modding PSUs). Either spend the extra money on a semi-modular, or buy a huge bag of wire ties and spend a little time on cable management. Either would be a better use of resources than cutting cables off a new PSU.

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    Re: Pros & Cons of buying a none modular PSU and cutting/removing unneeded cables?

    Quote Originally Posted by Savas View Post
    So if I understand you correctly, it's possibly a Pro rather than a con to go with a non modular PSU as it's smaller and requires less space, and getting rid of some cables to save the space and improve on airflow? Did not notice that when I was looking at sizes, maybe I missed it.



    Case is a Fractal Design Core 500, have not chosen a PSU yet, but the whole idea we're assuming the build is pretty much going to be a one off build with no future adjustments, such as due to the limited space the build will stay the same - maybe upgrade the graphics card in 2 years and maybe an additional storage so not cutting the extra SATA cables.
    Yes, and looking at the specs for that case, there are limits related to the length of the PSU that vary on the modular/non-modular aspect, also PSU/GPU length:

    ATX PSUs, up to 170mm in length (non modular PSUs); ATX PSUs, up to 160mm in length (modular PSUs)
    Graphics cards up to 310 mm in length (note: graphics cards longer than 170 mm will not fit with PSUs that exceed 170 mm)
    http://www.fractal-design.com/home/p...eries/core-500


    EDIT: if you do consider going the SFX PSU route:

    a) more noise due to the smaller fan hitting higher revs under load, better to go larger on PSU wattage to lower the chances of the fan spinning up into the *very loud* region during gaming or other high wattage scenarios.

    b) there's an offset SFX adapter available, which might allow better airflow and/or taller CPU coolers: https://www.scan.co.uk/products/silv...-sfx-psu-black
    Last edited by satrow; 06-01-2017 at 02:37 PM.

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    Re: Pros & Cons of buying a none modular PSU and cutting/removing unneeded cables?

    i think the length of cables depend on how many rails the PSU has, you are better off with a PSU with a single rail so all power is sent equally

    modular PSU's cost more because you have to pay for industrial plugs that are used in aircrafts etc
    Last edited by me-yeah; 26-01-2017 at 05:58 AM.

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    Re: Pros & Cons of buying a none modular PSU and cutting/removing unneeded cables?

    Quote Originally Posted by me-yeah View Post
    modular PSU's cost more because you have to pay for industrial plugs that are used in aircrafts etc
    While it's true that the plugs and sockets add to the cost of a modular power supply, if they were rated for aviation use, the power supplies would be VERY expensive! . The plugs and sockets used and generally standard duty industrial multiple pin types made by Molex and similar companies.
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    Re: Pros & Cons of buying a none modular PSU and cutting/removing unneeded cables?

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    While it's true that the plugs and sockets add to the cost of a modular power supply, if they were rated for aviation use, the power supplies would be VERY expensive! . The plugs and sockets used and generally standard duty industrial multiple pin types made by Molex and similar companies.
    they are still alot better then the standard white flimsy plugs in car engines that melt with any small amount of heat

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    Re: Pros & Cons of buying a none modular PSU and cutting/removing unneeded cables?

    Quote Originally Posted by me-yeah View Post
    they are still alot better then the standard white flimsy plugs in car engines that melt with any small amount of heat
    Depends on the car! The automotive environment is quite harsh and there are standards for plugs manufactured for automotive use, particularly in the engine bay.
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    Re: Pros & Cons of buying a none modular PSU and cutting/removing unneeded cables?

    Quote Originally Posted by me-yeah View Post
    ... modular PSU's cost more because you have to pay for industrial plugs that are used in aircrafts etc
    This must be one of those "alternative facts" I keep hearing about...

    The PSU-end connectors used in modular PSUs are the same quality & construction as the component-end connectors. They cost more because they have more connectors - each cable group has two extra connectors - and because the chassis has to be cut/drilled to take the additional connectors (whereas a fully-wired PSU will just feed all the cables through a single hole).

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