Assembling a new computer has a lot of nuances and subtleties. When buying a system unit, you will have to decide on the location of the power supply. In most cases, the choice is between top and bottom placement. What is the difference and what are the advantages of each of the methods – we will consider in this material.
Power supply top or bottom: which is better?
In system units from UltraTower (XL-ATX) to MiniTower (mATX), the power supply is usually located in the rear of the case. However, manufacturers offer a choice – top or bottom. In the early 2000s, almost all computers had an overhead power supply. However, as the components improved, the situation changed, and more and more cases began to appear, where the power supply was installed in the lower part.
Why do manufacturers do this? It’s all about heat dissipation. To make it easier for you to understand, let’s compare the two types of power supply locations:
The main problem with the overhead position is that air intake for cooling comes from the inside of the case. In office assemblies, this usually does not pose a big problem, since there is only a processor with a relatively low TPD inside. Cooling flow from the front is usually sufficient to maintain comfortable temperatures.
However, in the case of a powerful assembly, the situation changes. Inside the case, in addition to the processor with high heat dissipation, other heat sources appear – a video card, motherboard radiators, M.2 SSD and even RAM strips. If the power supply is installed on top, then it will swallow the already hot stream, practically not cooling. This can be partially compensated for by powerful blowing fans, but not in every case.
The solution to this problem was the appearance of cases with a lower location of the power supply. This is how the designers were able to separate the air flows. The power supply is cooled by external air, which it takes from the space under the case.
If you are going to buy a gaming assembly, then it is preferable to have a system unit with the lower location of the power supply because of the better cooling of all components.