The classic location of the power supply in the system unit is at the back-top. But now “system units” with an alternative location of the power supply are becoming more and more popular. On the side, below, in a separate compartment … Does this make sense? The answers are in our article.
The device and purpose of the power supply
Why do you need a power supply in a computer? Supply electricity to all PC components, of course! But the creators of the first system blocks would consider such an answer incomplete. Until now, many low-power PCs do not have case fans. In such assemblies, only the PSU fan organizes the movement of air inside the case. So the power supply also cools the PC components. With this function in mind, the design of a computer power supply was formed.
On the back cover are installed: input 230 V, a switch, sometimes an exhaust fan.
The power outlet is located on the front cover. In simple power supplies, this is a bundle of wires with connectors for various components. In more advanced models, connectors are located on the front cover. You can connect the appropriate power cables to them.
Below is a ventilation grill through which air enters the case. Often a large suction fan is mounted on the grate. At the same time, the fan is no longer placed on the blower.Classic body design
In a classic design, the PSU maintains the natural movement of air in the case. Cold air passes through the system components, heats up and rises. Then it passes through the power supply and is output to the outside.
This design provides good cooling with a minimum of fans. This made it extremely popular.
However, there are also disadvantages.
The power supply “hangs” over the motherboard, making it difficult to connect connectors and install components. In some assemblies, such a PSU will not allow you to install large tower coolers or LSS. Or it will prevent you from installing memory strips. In addition, it is often impossible to get close to those located along the edge of the motherboard. You have to remove the power supply.
If powerful components are installed in the case, the air in it warms up a lot. Despite the fact that hot air constantly flows through the power supply. Under such conditions, the power supply will begin to deteriorate. The efficiency of the power supply decreases, the risk of breakdown increases. In addition, high temperature reduces the life of the PSU electrolytic capacitors.
Inconvenient cable management. The power cables to the drives are pulled obliquely through the entire case. The remaining cables, including unused ones, hang in the air inside the case. This impairs cooling.
The emergence of very “hot” builds forced manufacturers to look for alternatives to the classic design.
Non-standard top position
An interesting option is with the top vertical arrangement of the power supply on the front of the case . Where storage is usually located
HDD and SSD can be put anywhere, there is no special need for disk drives today. So this place can be used for installing a PSU. With this arrangement, the power supply does not interfere with the installation of the cooler and the connection of connectors to the motherboard. Yes, and cables are easier to lay.Another advantage is a very compact arrangement of elements. Such cases have minimal dimensions while maintaining the internal volume.
As a rule, in this arrangement, the PSU takes air from the case. This is not the best option for “hot” high-end builds.
Here you can use cases in which the power supply takes air from the outside, through a grill in the front cover.
The “top” layout has its drawbacks. In such an assembly, the power supply switch will be under the cover. To get to it, you will first have to remove the top case cover.
And if you want to put a Bluray drive or a sound card with front panel control, you won’t be able to do it. The place is busy!
Another unusual moment is the connection of the power supply through an extension cord. It is inserted into the block, passes through the PC case and exits from the back – with the socket out. It looks strange, but the main goal is achieved – saving space.