How long do you trust your PSU?

wicked_chicken

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I have a Seasonic X-1050 1050W that's been in the system for nearly 8 years. The warranty was 5 years. It's been bulletproof. Never overclocked, and frankly, probably never used at 50% capacity.

I'm doing a significant system refresh. Should I trust it moving forward, or retire it for a new one?
 

[Spectre]

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I did a few of these rereviews when [H] was active. The only power supply to still be good 7 years after being put into a system was the Seasonic X-750 that was the last review we published.
 

GiGaBiTe

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Capacitors ultimately decide how long a power supply will last since the electrolyte doesn't last forever.

I'd say 5-7 years for power supplies with normal aluminum electrolytic capacitors, 8-12 years for power supplies with aluminum polymer capacitors. These estimates go down for power supplies which have been heavily loaded and/or in hot environments for most of their working life. But even new-old stock power supplies that have never been used can fail due to the capacitors going bad.

You can extend the life of power supplies for decades if you keep recapping them, but by that point, other components start to fail. Usually heat sensitive components like resistors, diodes and transistors start to go out that require more extensive diagnostics to repair. It's not something I'd recommend to the average PC user, but for those of us who dabble in computers of decades past, it's basically a way of life. Older gear isn't made anymore and when it fails, it's up to us to get it working again, or let it be lost to time.
 

lt1s10

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Till they die. I probably don't push my power supplies as hard as the average user here though. Currently on a Seasonic M12 from March 2017.

It replaced a Corsair modular power supply from around 2004 maybe? That Corsair was a trooper and kept going through multiple builds. I always have a backup system or my laptop to get through a couple days until a replacement shows up also.
 

SmokeRngs

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I used an Antec NeoHE 650 for about 12 years. I did this out of necessity but never had a single problem with it. I did eventually replace it several months ago with a Seasonic Focus Gold GX-650 because I had the money finally and 12 years was beyond how long I would want to use a PSU. That PSU was run 24/7/365 but probably never or hardly ever ran 50% capacity much less anything above that.

I still have the PSU as a backup and I'll use it if I need to because it was perfectly fine when I pulled it. Generally speaking I'll keep using a PSU until I build a new system as I tend to keep the old system up and running and need a new PSU anyway.

I'd be surprised if the PSU doesn't have plenty of life left and if budget is a concern I'd go ahead and reuse it until you have the money to get a quality replacement. If budget isn't a concern then I'd get a new PSU for the new system.
 

w1retap

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At work, I have preventative maintenance tasks setup for power supplies containing electrolytic capacitors to be exchanged or refurbished every 8 years. (PC's, servers, PLC's, multiplexer nests, distributed control systems, etc) However, these run 24/7/365. The majority easily make it that long, but there is maybe 3% to 5% that don't make it. I've also noticed that when something runs 24/7/365 for 7 or 8 years straight, late into the lifespan if you power it down and power it back up, there's a good chance it won't turn back on. Every time we shut down an electrical bus and UPS for scheduled maintenance, these power supplies that have been running for almost 10 years have maybe a 1/3 failure rate. This is usually caused by current inrush killing the degraded components when powered back up.
 
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I had a seasonic x1050 in my back up rig until just recently thats about the same age as yours (Excellent unit). I wouldnt have had any problem using it as a replacement in my main rig (evga 1300 g2). I like to keep equally solid psus in my back up rigs in case i ever need them.
So yes, i would continue to run it being that youve only used it lightly and it is a high quality unit to begin with.
 

zandor

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What happens to caps when they just sit? Like powered off in a corner in the basement. I've got this 850W Corsair a friend gave me a few years ago along with the old rig it was in. He bought it to replace a PSU in a rig I helped him build in 2006, but barely used the machine after replacing the PSU and gave it to me before he moved to Hong Kong. The PSU has about as much dust on it as a new one out of the box, but it's been around a while. I think it's a 2011 model or so. It's total overkill but it's running my home file server. i3 + a couple disks running Linux.

I have a PC Power & Cooling Silencer 950W that I've been running since April 2012. So far so good. That's probably the longest I've run a PSU. It's in the socket 2011/i7-3820 machine that was my main rig for a long time. The most recent PSU I bought has a 12 year warranty. Seasonic Prime TX1000. I think this one will last me a while.

I haven't had a PSU pop on me since maybe 2001 or so. Cheap one that came with a case I bought in 1997. I had another one break... sort of. The PSU fan went out in the machine my parents bought me when I started college in 1993 sometime around 1999 or so. I noticed it was out because the top of the case was really rather warm. Picked up a replacement 80mm fan at Radio Shack and that PSU kept going until I tossed that old 486 a year or two later. Of course that was a 200W or so PSU. Perhaps those can take more abuse than something than can put out 750 or 1000W in the same space?

This is a bit off topic, but my dad had the same thing happen around that time, though his replacement fan was much, much better. Rather than a rat shack fan he used the one out of the Toshiba 100 computer he bought in 1982 or so. That took a little hacking since it was an AC fan, but we all wish we could get fans with that kind of quality without spending $100. Twenty years old and the bearings were still so good you could hold it flat in your hand, rotate the frame, and the blades would basically stay in the same place. It would keep spinning for a minute or so after you turned it off. Kind of goes with the 1982 machine though. All the electrical contacts were gold plated, etc.
 

GiGaBiTe

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What happens to caps when they just sit? Like powered off in a corner in the basement.

Eventually the electrolyte will start to degrade, which can cause performance characteristics to change. Another thing that can happen is the rubber plugs on the bottom of the capacitor used to seal it can dry rot and shrink, allowing air inside the capacitor. This will dry out the electrolyte, or allow it to leak onto the board and cause damage since many electrolyte formulas are corrosive. It also makes the capacitor turn into a resistor or short out, causing problems in the circuit it's part of.

Sometimes electrolytic capacitors can be "reformed" by applying a specific set of voltages for x amount of time, which allows them to self-heal damage caused from sitting. I don't recommend doing it unless you have a specialized capacitor that doesn't exist anymore, or has some specific uncommon value that can't be substituted.
 

GotNoRice

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My primary and secondary computers are both running 1000w power supplies from 2007-2008 or so. I keep them cool and clean, and they continue to get the job done generation after generation. I got the power supply I'm using now when I was running a Q9650 @ 4.4Ghz with 2x 4870X2 in Quad-Crossfire. That setup probably pulled more power than my current 3900X + 2080 RTX does. My backup computer still pushes it's PSU pretty hard with the power-hungry 5820K and the Triple-SLI setup.

I don't see any reason to stop using these psus just because they are "old". While it's possible for a PSU to take out other hardware if it dies a spectacular death, I can say that this almost never happens. 99% of the time the PSU will either just unceremoniously stop working, or worst case create stability issues that can be diagnosed easy enough. When they need to be replaced, they get replaced, but "no reason to fix it if it ain't broke". Obviously there are lot of cheap PSUs out there, as well as good PSUs that used bad caps, and PSUs that are neglected with bad airflow, dust, and debris. But if/when those PSUs die, it's because of those specific reasons, not "because they were old".

It actually seems kind of crazy to talk about needing to replace electronics that aren't even a decade old yet, especially when they still work. It's obviously not an apples to apples comparison, but most of the gear in my Stereo system is 40-45 years old and it all still works great. Stereo gear can last half a century but a PSU should be retired after less than a decade?
 
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JoseJones

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Quick question, I still use my 8 year old Seasonic X Series X-750 PSU and have never had an issue with it. The issue now is that it's time for a new GPU as I suspect my Radeon RX 480 4g has seen better days so, I was looking into the RX 6800 XT series ... the reference cards recommend a 750 watt PSU while many of the AIB's or 3rd party actually says for example the PowerColor Red Devil RX 6800 XT and the Sapphire RX 6800 XT NITRO+ and I quote: "Minimum 850 watt power supply."

Will my 8 year old Seasonic X Series X-750 PSU be fine with a new GPU that says it requires a "Minimum 850 watt power supply" - if they're saying "minimum" then I assume no ... even thought it'll work I suspect it's an electrical issue? One of the quickest way to destroy something electronic that requires a lot of power is often to under power it. I'd prefer to use my 750 until it dies on me.
 

motqalden

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Quick question, I still use my 8 year old Seasonic X Series X-750 PSU and have never had an issue with it. The issue now is that it's time for a new GPU as I suspect my Radeon RX 480 4g has seen better days so, I was looking into the RX 6800 XT series ... the reference cards recommend a 750 watt PSU while many of the AIB's or 3rd party actually says for example the PowerColor Red Devil RX 6800 XT and the Sapphire RX 6800 XT NITRO+ and I quote: "Minimum 850 watt power supply."

Will my 8 year old Seasonic X Series X-750 PSU be fine with a new GPU that says it requires a "Minimum 850 watt power supply" - if they're saying "minimum" then I assume no ... even thought it'll work I suspect it's an electrical issue? One of the quickest way to destroy something electronic that requires a lot of power is often to under power it. I'd prefer to use my 750 until it dies on me.

Those "minimum 850w" are like worst case scenario. even factory overclocked cards like the red devil are only pulling like 350w so for you to have a "need" for 850w you would probably need to be running a high core count CPU that is also overclocked. You will be running a higher load on the PSU with the 6800xt than with your 480 however and while likely perfectly fine the extra stress could end up being a problem for your tired old PSU. If you plan to spend a bunch of money on a new GPU the safe bet would be to replace that 8y/o PSU, but you could probably get away with using it as long as the rest of your system specs are not too high or too much overclocking going on.
 

JoseJones

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Yeah, when I use the power supply calculator I end up only barley getting to 600 watts (565w) - even with the new RX 6800 XT. I'm not an overclocker at all and I don't have a bunch of other stuff in my system. Pretty standard system. I'm currently using the Gigabyte X470 rev. 1.1 mobo and the 2700X CPU. What throws me off is when the manufacturer says it requires a "Minimum 850 watt power supply" for those AIB's or 3rd party cards like PowerColor Red Devil RX 6800 XT and the Sapphire RX 6800 XT NITRO+

I just double-checked and I only hit 600 watts on the PSU calculator - even with a 3080 GPU and the AMD 5950 CPU. I only hit 635 watts with a 3090 GPU.
 
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EnderW

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My Corsair AX 850 from September 2010 is still running strong. Has been in almost continuous use for a decade albeit at probably 100 watt typical load at idle. Have thought about replacing it but hard to get rid of something that works.
 

mnewxcv

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I figure for and hope for at least 2x the warranty period of the hardware I buy.
 

Nebulous

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I've used psu's well beyond the 7-10 year mark. Last psu I used was a Silverstone 1350w and i wasn't even pushing it past 40% fullly loaded. I regretted down stepping to the current unit now because for the new video card I'm going to need the beef and I don't have it.

"You don't need that much wattage" they said. " All the new hardware including video cards are more power efficient" they said.
 

Ripskin

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I'll use them till they break as Taco said. However I typically end up having to upgrade with my main system builds as power requirements grow. But the old ones get handed down to other systems. My oldest PC Power and Cooling served me for 10 to 12 years in 2 systems then got sold to a friend who has been using it for another 3 or 4 years at this point.
 

///AMG

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Personally it depends on where I use it. If its in my gaming rig and SFF (gets hot and typically has less airflow) I replace it as the warranty runs out. For other use I keep them until they die.
 

dpoverlord

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I have the G2-1300 by EVGA, I trust it because I trust EVGA. I had a cross shipment done in 2013 and it has been running ever since. I figure if it goes for another 3-5 years I got my monies worth. They are excellent with standing by their product so it was def worth it.
 

SmokeRngs

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Keep in mind that most of the requirements such as "minimum 750w PSU or 850w PSU" are about covering the manufacturers asses. A lot of people buy the cheapest, shittiest PSUs you could imagine which can never run anywhere near the advertised wattage. The oversized PSU recommendations by video card manufacturers take those into account.

A quality PSU is a very different beast from the cheap, shitty PSUs you can find everywhere. Plus, you're rarely going to be running every single component at 100% load. As a matter of fact I'd say it's almost impossible to do even when trying. I run distributed computing projects, mostly just CPU. Even with one of those running the CPU 100% while gaming I still don't even hit 50% load on my 650w PSU. It's obviously not a power hungry system. At one point I was running the CPU 100% with one distributed computing program and the video card 100% with a different one. The d/c program running on the video card chewed up more power than any game ever has and I was still under 50% load on the PSU. At the time I was using an 11 or 12 year old Antec Neopower HE650.

Recommendations are just that, recommendations. The idea is to cover the largest range of (shitty) hardware with a built in buffer while remaining relatively safe in the recommendation. That means they will add in a large buffer to recommendations on PSUs.
 

JoseJones

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This could be an electrical issue and we can't just take somebody's word for it that a 750 watt PSU is ok when it is not. Under powering something is a quick way to destroy it so, we need clear answers on this PSU issue. When they say "Required: 850 watt minimum" - they are NOT saying that a 750 watt is ok. That's NOT how it works at all and I lose trust in those who attempt to claim otherwise. Those requirements are there for a reason - they don't just pull those PSU requirements out of their arse. They either need to re-word it to say "750 watt PSU minimum / 850 watt recommended" or something or stand by the 850 watt PSU minimum.
 

legcramp

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This could be an electrical issue and we can't just take somebody's word for it that a 750 watt PSU is ok when it is not. Under powering something is a quick way to destroy it so, we need clear answers on this PSU issue. When they say "Required: 850 watt minimum" - they are NOT saying that a 750 watt is ok. That's NOT how it works at all and I lose trust in those who attempt to claim otherwise. Those requirements are there for a reason - they don't just pull those PSU requirements out of their arse. They either need to re-word it to say "750 watt PSU minimum / 850 watt recommended" or something or stand by the 850 watt PSU minimum.
Or they are just assuming some people actually buy these for $50

AGZ8D201111UYZH9.jpg

https://www.newegg.com/p/2S7-06CR-00SG4
 

oshia86

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I used a Corsair HX850 for over 10 years. Just replaced it today with a Super Flower Leadex unit in the sig. Just starting to refresh the decade old items now, but gotta wait until xmas to swap the case out.That should be the last of the decade old parts.
 

jdempsey

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I have a Seasonic X-1050 1050W that's been in the system for nearly 8 years. The warranty was 5 years. It's been bulletproof. Never overclocked, and frankly, probably never used at 50% capacity.

I'm doing a significant system refresh. Should I trust it moving forward, or retire it for a new one?

I just had a Seasonic X650 Gold modular PSU which I purchased new in Nov 2012 crap out on me. Turns out it's what was causing me to have issues with my other 1080ti, which I thought was dead (it's fine), ran fine for a while without that card in it, but finally heard a pop and saw the magic smoke go free. Inside, you can see all the clear enamel (whatever it actually is in this case) coating of the various coils inside flaking off in long sheets. Kind of surprised it kept going but something obviously shorted. Wasnt running it much, as issues I was having prompted me to build a newer system, and that was my secondary machine just for doing workstation stuff, which was never run for more than an hour or two at a time.

I've got plenty of 50+ year old electronics, with plenty of coils/magnet wire in them still going strong though. Not going to complain too much about getting 8 years out of it, but there are certainly PSUs that last decades. Like everything I guess though, quality gets crappier the further margins get pushed down and expectations for quarterly growth go up. Running a 1200w Corsair Plat refurb in my main system since rebuild, at the time miners had made it impossible to find PSUs for decent prices new, and got a good deal. Been strong so far, but honestly PSU prices seem pretty high to ever since.
 

cyclone3d

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I have an old BFG 1200W PSU that I used until it started having issues with some of the SATA power connectors.

PSU still works just fine though. Just need to make some new SATA power cables for it.

Right now I have a Seasonic 1150 I think. Can't see the label. It is about 4 years old now I think.

Basically if it is a good brand and a well designed power supply you can use it for years. Even longer if you keep it running cool. Lots of cases now have the PSU bottom mounted and they pull cool air directly into the PSU and that right there will make them last a whole lot longer than a PSU that is pulling warm/hot air through it from inside the case. Just have to make sure to either have a filter for the intake and clean that every once in a while or blow the dust out with canned air or a compressor every once in a while.

The main thing is the capacitors as others have said. The better PSUs will use 105c rated Japanese capacitors.

If you really want to know a more specific time-frame for the capacitor life, find out what capacitors your PSU has and then go look at the data sheet for those capacitors. They will usually have a MTBF graph based on heat.
 

3dprophet

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The only PSU I had to RMA was a Seasonic.

Problems with the Focus line, no OTP/OCP on the S12III, coil whine problems, rating PSUs at 40 degrees while their competitors still do 50. IMO Seasonic doesn't deserve their amazing reputation.
 
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[Spectre]

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The only PSU I had to RMA was a Seasonic.

Problems with the Focus line, no OTP/OCP on the S12III, coil whine problems, rating PSUs at 40 degrees while their competitors still do 50. IMO Seasonic doesn't deserve their amazing reputation.

Coil whine can happen with any power supply from any vendor but more often than not is actually due to your GPU interactions and the rated at temperature doesn't mean a thing (still most people do not rate their units at 50C). As is common with lower end units, like the S12III, it uses the OPP in place of the OCP.

There really is nothing there that you have posted that would mean anything to longevity or quality. It is just a bunch of unconnected rants that get people who don't know anything about a product wound up.
 

munkle

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I did a few of these rereviews when [H] was active. The only power supply to still be good 7 years after being put into a system was the Seasonic X-750 that was the last review we published.
Running this exact one for 7 years now I think maybe longer.
 

Unabomber

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It depends...

The Seasonic MII 620 watt unit that I bought 2.5 years ago is one that I would expect to last at least another 3-5 years. Any decent power supply should be able to give you 5 years of service, minimum, assuming regular use where you're not trying to push it to the absolute limits.

That being said, I have a 13 years old Antec Truepower Trio 650 unit that's still chugging along, powering up my work PC. The system still has that old Gigabyte 970 chipset motherboard, an AMD FX-4100 clocked to 4.4 GHz, and a GeForce 960 GTX. No hiccups, but I wouldn't be surprised if the old warhorse dies of old age any day now.
 

DrezKill

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My X99 system is using a Seasonic-built Corsair PSU that was in my previous X58 system. Been running daily for over 10 years now. I'll probably replace it when I build my next system sometime in the next few years.
 

Epos7

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I bought a slightly used TX750 in 2009, and used it 24/7 for 6 years. After that I put it into a build for a friend, and he's been using it every day since.

I guess I got pretty lucky, but I've been wondering when I should mention to him he might want to look into a replacement.
 

3dprophet

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There really is nothing there that you have posted that would mean anything to longevity or quality. It is just a bunch of unconnected rants that get people who don't know anything about a product wound up.

No, it's just some reasons why I don't like the brand. Hope nobody's feelings got hurt.
 
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