What happens when your new modular power supply comes with short cables?
Long-time subscriber Gene Consolvo wrote to ask a question about building a desktop computer:
Just wondering if you had any trouble with the 4pin or 8pin cable from the power supply to the motherboard? Have seen posts that say the cables are very short and required the use of extension cables. Also what are your thoughts on modular power supplies?
I’m not sure where Gene’s saw posts about short cables, as I haven’t had any such problems and I use full-size tower computers.
Rather than a power supply problem, I think this is a case problem — some cases require that the power supply be mounted at the top of the case, while others, such as the LIAN LI Lancool PC-K58W "Dragonlord" case that I used in my new homebuilt desktop computer, mount the power supply at the bottom of the case.
Having said that, sometimes cables need to be routed directly to the connection.
Some people want to hide the internal cables as much as they can, rather than have them running this way and that through the computer case. There are two reasons for this: air flow (less of a problem without the wide ribbon IDE cables) and esthetics (making it look pretty). Obviously, if the cables aren’t long enough to hide, that doesn’t work too well.
With a full-tower case, if the power supply is mounted at the bottom of the case, both the main 20-pin power connector and the 8-pin power cables will have to go almost straight to their connection points on the motherboard.
In answer to Gene’s questions about whether I like modular power supplies or not, I absolutely like them. The advantage is that, if you need additional power connections, you click additional cables into the power supply (of course, the power supply needs to include those cables, which they do).
There are two types of modular power supplies — the fully-modular ones, which do not have any cables permanently wired to the power supply, and the semi-modular ones.
The semi-modular power supplies are cheaper (no real reason why, just marketing, I think) and have the main motherboard power connections and one or two SATA power cables permanently wired to the power supply. Their other connections are separate cables that can be clicked into place to add additional power connections in your computer.