When deciding what power supply or PSU to purchase for your computer, there are obvious factors for your choice, such as price, wattage, and size. Another option that you can consider is choosing between a modular and non-modular PSU.
What is a modular power supply?
A non-modular power supply offers a fixed set of cables, that can’t be removed. If your PC doesn’t need all of those cables, then you have to just leave those cables lying around in your case.
A modular power supply allows you to plug and unplug all of the cables from the power supply individually. This means if there’s a cable that you don’t need, you can remove it entirely and keep it in the box, in case you need it later. This means you don’t have to find a safe spot to leave your unused cables in your case, reducing clutter, making cable management easier, and potentially helping airflow.
Some power supply manufacturers offer a middle ground semi-modular power supply. These tend to include all the cables most users are almost certain to need, such as a motherboard connector. They also have a few modular slots for extra components that may not be applicable to you. This gives you the choice to plug in or leave disconnected those cables that you may or may not need.
Which is better?
There are no specific differences inherent between the three classes of power supply. However, the modular power supply gives you more options. For example, if you need to return your PSU, you can unplug the cables and return just the PSU, saving you the time of rewiring your PC again. Additionally, you could purchase third party cables that fit your colour scheme or are shorter or longer to fit the size of your case.
The two downsides of modular power supplies are that they generally cost a bit more than equivalent non-modular power supplies, and they are generally a little larger than non-modular PSUs.