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How long does a psu last??


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#1 OFFLINE   59abbot

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:51 PM


Hi guys. For a good quality PSU, is there a good "rule of thumb" to go by as to the usable life span?

I ask only because I am on the home stretch of building my 1155 system, and I currently have a Cooler Master GX 650W psu that's getting to be about 4 years old. It's been powerering the system in my sig since purchased new. On average, I'd say my computer is on about 60 hours a week, with 50% of those hours used for gaming. The rest of the time it is either powered off or in Sleep Mode.

Should I consider a new PSU, or should the GX 650 keep chugging along for quite some time yet?

#2 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:35 PM

Speaking from a purely electronic component viewpoint, there really is no sure-fire formula. I have an Antec PS outside in my shop system that has provided years of service without a blip of any sort. I have even older supplies that are still functioning. I have a bench 12v supply that is nearly 35 years old. It still works great. I pop the breaker occasionally, but that's not the device's fault.

The rule of thumb before the Chinese took over the world market was that you usually get what you paid for. In other words, a $20 power supply was not going to be as high quality as a $75 power supply from a known quality manufacturer. However, these days, it seems that it's all the same junk from the same Chinese factory where the little girls earn their two bowls of rice a day for assembling and packing these units. They just stick different brand stickers on them.

Oh phooey! I'm just being the cynical old electronic technician here. A good rule to follow these days is still that the main line manufacturers still provide a better quality product than the cheaper no-name stuff. Stick with Antec. You won't go wrong.

Something else to think about... heat is a KILLER of electronics. Keep your PSUs clean and well ventilated. Also, ALL electronics components have a lifetime. If you're not using the computer, disconnect power from it. That will spare you from wasting component lifetime when you're not even at home. A powered computer that is not being used for anything is just a waste of electricity. That's my old codger opinion. Others here will beg to differ, I'm sure.

Oh, and WELCOME to Scot's! smile.gif

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#3 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:38 PM

Well first off, welcome to the forums!! thumbsup.gif

As far as the psu, I do not think they really have a shelf life but it mainly depends on what hardware you are powering. I personally have Ultra LSP750 750w Power Supply(for the last 2 years) and I have no problem powering 5.5x 1tb drives(3.5tb internal sata and 2tb external usb3), Radeon 6790 powering three monitors, i5 processor and 16gb ram. So you should not have an issue but like I said, it depends on your hardware.
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#4 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:40 PM

WOW! It's not every support forum that you go to where TWO Admins answer a new member's query right off the bat. Man! We AIM TO PLEASE here at Scot's, huh? w00t.gif

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#5 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:42 PM

Well, I have to disagree with leaving your computer on but that is just my opinion. I have not turned my machine off in almost a year besides the occasional reboot(kernel update and hardweare upgrade).  The only machines I have had issues with are laptops. I have had a battery fail to hold a charge and one screen stopped working from leaving it on all the time but it could just been inferior hardware.

That said, I agree with Eric about the rest of his statement.  hysterical.gif
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#6 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:45 PM

QUOTE (V.T. Eric Layton @ Feb 15 2012, 09:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
WOW! It's not every support forum that you go to where TWO Admins answer a new member's query right off the bat. Man! We AIM TO PLEASE here at Scot's, huh? w00t.gif

Actually, it would been a lot faster but I was at work when I read the post earlier. Good ole email notification cool.gif
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#7 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:48 PM

Well, until one of us around here hits that Lottery, I guess you'll have to keep working. wink.gif

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#8 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:49 PM

QUOTE (V.T. Eric Layton @ Feb 15 2012, 09:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well, until one of us around here hits that Lottery, I guess you'll have to keep working. wink.gif

Nah this is far from working. I actually enjoy this stuff, go figure  wacko.gif blink.gif  cool.gif
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#9 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:53 PM

I didn't mean what you do here. I meant your paying job across the street. Or do you not work across the street anymore?

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#10 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:55 PM

QUOTE (V.T. Eric Layton @ Feb 15 2012, 09:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I didn't mean what you do here. I meant your paying job across the street. Or do you not work across the street anymore?

I do, shhh...   whistling.gif  ph34r.gif
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#11 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:58 PM

You like that job? That's COOL! Liking your job is 90% of the battle. I envy you. I don't have a job at the moment, but there haven't been many that I truly liked... or if I did like them in the beginning, it didn't last. Kinda' like my love affairs. wink.gif

59abbot - Sorry for trashing your thread. Say the word and we can split these post off of this thread for you. smile.gif

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#12 OFFLINE   Temmu

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:30 AM

welcome, 59abbot!

hope you enjoy your stay, here at scot's!
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#13 OFFLINE   crp

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 01:27 PM

From my experience, the important factor is weight. I've had more than a couple of fancy shmancy psu go out in less than a year and quite a few cheap psu last for over 7 years (even over 10 years). from what i've been able to tell, the psu with heavy cases are the ones that last.
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#14 OFFLINE   lewmur

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:35 PM

QUOTE (59abbot @ Feb 15 2012, 07:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi guys. For a good quality PSU, is there a good "rule of thumb" to go by as to the usable life span?

I ask only because I am on the home stretch of building my 1155 system, and I currently have a Cooler Master GX 650W psu that's getting to be about 4 years old. It's been powerering the system in my sig since purchased new. On average, I'd say my computer is on about 60 hours a week, with 50% of those hours used for gaming. The rest of the time it is either powered off or in Sleep Mode.

Should I consider a new PSU, or should the GX 650 keep chugging along for quite some time yet?

The simple answer is "no".  The two main culprits it PSU failure are overheating and leaking capacitors.  Overheating can be avoided by not pushing the PSU to close to its rated power and keeping the ventilation and fan clear of dust.  Fan failure can also lead to overheating but normally advertise eminent failure by getting noisy.  Leaking capacitors are normally the product of poor (cheap) manufacturing.  But if your current PSU has lasted four years, it will possibly last another four.  



#15 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 10:35 AM

And don't forget power fluctuations! Not all power is created equal ... from area to area, and from time of day to time of day. Spikes, brownouts, they can wreak havoc with 'sensitive' computer equipment and make everything work harder. And then there's thunderstorms that can be a real hazard too...

If you can condition your electricity with a UPS that has AVR (automatic voltage regulation) or Line Conditioning (as another company calls it) ... your system won't have to work so hard at being a good little working computer.

And I totally agree with good names in PSUs and I do like ANTEC probably best if they are as good as they used to be. They cost a little more, but you get what you pay for...usually.

Now as to whether you should use an older 4 year old PSU in a brand new system ... It will likely work for a while. I wouldn't do it though. I would buy a new one and use the 4 yr old in another not so new system. But another rule of thumb is that that one is tried and true and if it is working well with no caps ready to go etc. it could work a long time yet too. But are you willing to test that theory? That's your real question. Could use it initially, and get a new one ASAP and put that one away for emergencies too.

Any ANTEC, Corsair or Seasonic...all will serve you well.

Here's a few to look at (ANTEC is often best value but the Corsair at Amazon is a very good value too):

Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Power Supply - $88.99 - Amazon

Corsair Enthusiast Series 650-Watt 80 Plus Bronze Certified Power Supply Compatible with Intel Core i3, i5, i7 and AMD platforms - CMPSU-650TXV2 - $79.99 - Amazon

CORSAIR Professional Series HX650 (CMPSU-650HX) 650W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - $129.99 - NewEgg

Seasonic 660W 80 Plus Gold ATX12V/EPS12V Power Supply - X-660 SS-660KM - $160.70 - Amazon (they said they would gift wrap it and at that price, I would make them do it LOL!)

SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold ((SS-650KM Active PFC F3)) 650W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - $139.99 - NewEgg



Hope that helps!
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#16 OFFLINE   59abbot

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 11:54 AM

Thanks guys for all the input.  I'm  happy of being part of this community.

#17 OFFLINE   abarbarian

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 11:54 AM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/psu-ma...Ms%2011-14-2010

A great source of information.

Me I use Corsair psu's 5 year guarantee and Gold certification from a quality company with a unparallelled reputation in the memory field to protect.

Gabriel knows her stuff

Check out the Awarded products list on the left of the article for further information on individual psu's.

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/blog/

From the above link

QUOTE
We are proud to be very well-known for exposing products that canít perform as expected, being open and very vocal in defending that all publications should have the same policy. However, we know of several websites that simply wonít post negative reviews, as they think manufacturers wonít advertise on them if they do. Some will even take money to post favorable reviews, or take down reviews if the manufacturer complains.




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Edited by abarbarian, 17 February 2012 - 12:23 PM.

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#18 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 03:00 PM

http://www.pcpower.com/index.html

PC Power and Cooling is a great company. I have one of their older Silencer power supplies.

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#19 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 10:00 PM

Might be a few places to buy that kind too Adam! biggrin.gif
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#20 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 12:52 AM

Personally, I always use the Ultra PSUs. Currently, I have a Ultra LSP750 750w Power Supply and they all come with a lifetime warranty.
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#21 OFFLINE   abarbarian

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 07:09 AM

QUOTE (securitybreach @ Feb 18 2012, 01:52 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Personally, I always use the Ultra PSUs. Currently, I have a Ultra LSP750 750w Power Supply and they all come with a lifetime warranty.


$45 thats cheap. That is one advantage to living in the USA.  cool.gif
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#22 OFFLINE   LilBambi

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 08:24 AM

QUOTE (securitybreach @ Feb 18 2012, 12:52 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Personally, I always use the Ultra PSUs. Currently, I have a Ultra LSP750 750w Power Supply and they all come with a lifetime warranty.

Great price and lifetime warranty if you register online, or 3 yr warranty even if you don't register. Not bad.

Are they quiet?
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#23 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 02:46 PM

QUOTE (LilBambi @ Feb 18 2012, 06:24 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Great price and lifetime warranty if you register online, or 3 yr warranty even if you don't register. Not bad.

Are they quiet?

Very quiet!!
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#24 OFFLINE   Tushman

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 11:58 PM

No one has mentioned this but just to add some info.

A power supply does lose power efficiency after some use.  A good rule of thumb to use is that there is roughly 5%-10% loss in efficiency after every year of regular use.  Antec is a good brand name but they do not make their own PSUs - some of their models are re-badged Seasonics.

I've used several Antec models and built a few a systems w/ Thermaltake.  For higher end systems, I prefer Seasonic and PC Power & Cooling like this model.

PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 950 Watt

Edited by Tushman, 19 February 2012 - 12:05 AM.


#25 OFFLINE   FuzzButt

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 02:44 PM

Just an FYI on rated wattage on the PSU and what it actually costs to run it 24x365.

I have a great Antec 650W PSU in my full size tower. It runs a C2Q6600 on an older Intel 975XBX2 board, 8 hard drives, a pair of DVD drives and a HD5450 GPU. Nothing too energy intensive except at startup. This power supply draws 2.2 amps off my UPS in normal running mode at 123VAC. That's about 270watts. My APC UPS is not 100% efficient but if it were DTE Energy (my electrical utility) says that my PC costs $334.94 to run my PC 168 hours a week 52 weeks a year. Is it still worth keeping it on all the time?

It is also interesting that this 650W rated PSU is only using 270W from the wall socket. Sticking in a higher rated capacity PSU will make it last longer. Keep it clean and it will reward you with years of use. Keep it on a good UPS and you might only have to replace it when it runs out of the plugs you need for one of your next PC's.

Just for giggles. My 22" LG LCD draws 50 watts where as my new Samsung 24" LED LCD draws so little that the meter doesn't move. Is the extra display worth an extra $60 a year (if it's on 24x365)? After seeing the 200 watt load my Windows Home Server has when it's running I have decided to scale back it's power on times to weekends only for primarily backup purposes only.

I had great service from PC Power & Cooling in the last too and can't recommend them highly enough. They even fixed one of my PSU's under warranty after a nearby lightning hit smoked it. If I were in the market for a good new PSU I'd look at efficiency and silence as the reasons for selecting one over another.

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