PSU Aging? When to Replace?

Zarathustra[H]

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I've been thinking about this one for a few months.

How long do you guys keep your power supplies. Until they die? Or does it make sense to preventatively replace them?

I have a 6 year old 1200W Silverstone Strider Gold (ST1200-G) that was pretty damned awesome when I bought it, but I have read that PSU's can age, what with the capacitors in there and all, and I've been thinking about whether or not it is time to replace it, for the good of my other components.

I never had this problem before, as prior to this PSU, I was constantly needing a larger one every few years, so I kept upgrading.

Whats the general consensus on this topic? Is there a good, easy way to tell if a PSU is still up to snuff, or if it is time to put it out to pasture?

Much obliged
 
I believe aging only becomes a real issue if the psu is often running hot. That drastically reduces component life. Apart from sleeve bearings, the first thing that wears out in a psu are the capacitors. But the ones in newer psus are exponentially better than in old crappy models from the 90s and early 2000s.

There is not much else to do but look at the voltages. Or if you fancy taking it apart you can check if the capacitors are OK. They tend to bulge when they're starting to go.
 
As mentioned above, newer PSU are built better than before. As long as you have a good Tier 1 and sufficient W, I wouldn't mind too much (unless it's 10y old...)
If you want to check it out, you could use a scope to measure the ripple and a good DMM to see the load effect. Source effect could also be measured.

If you're unsure on how to do the above, simply checking the voltage at desktop (rest) VS loaded, should give you a hint.
 
I'm not sure but it's certainly not a 10% capacity loss every year like some PSU calculator websites are saying lol. According to them my 560w from 2011 that's been running 24/7/365 should be completely incapable of powering a 1080 ti/8700k rig but I can assure you it's doing just fine. I think with a high quality model you shouldn't worry too much unless you're running it at like 80-90% load constantly maybe.
 
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I'm still using several modded BFG EX-1000s from ~2009 or so.
No worries, but then again I've never run them anywhere close to 100% load.
 
There was a similar thread here not long ago, you might give it a quick read: https://hardforum.com/threads/is-using-10-years-old-power-supplies-a-concern.1940737/

I don't personally think that it makes sense to replace a perfectly working power-supply simply due to nervousness about age. If you have any evidence to suggest that it's actually starting to have problems, then so be it. Even 10-15 years isn't really that old for most electronics. With computers, we are so used to replacing components every few years due to obsolescence that it gives a somewhat warped impression of how long electronics that don't become obsolete first can actually last. ATX specs don't change much so it is easily becoming possible to have a PSU for a long time. There is nothing wrong with that really, just use common sense.
 
The PSU you have was and is still a great unit, if there is a concern over the ability of it to supply appropriate voltages I would suggest a PSU tester. If the PSU is supplying questionable voltage, one would notice random BSOD's and this tool would help one quickly get to the root of the problem. Just one more thing in my technician tool box.
 
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Yeah, a scope would be nice. I test mine with a DMM that connects to a second computer by way of RS-232 connector. Then watch the on screen graph for fluctuations. +/- 3% or less is good.
 
I think quality definitely comes into the equation. A PSU with high quality components will definitely last you.
Practically speaking, electrolytic capacitors can give up the ghost after they dry up versus solid state which operate far longer.

If it's a cheaper PSU I'd replace it so it doesn't inadvertently take out the rest of your components. They're fairly cheap after all.
If you have a nice PSU then keep it for as long as you like!
 
The PSU you have was and is still a great unit, if there is a concern over the ability of it to supply appropriate voltages I would suggest a PSU tester. If the PSU is supplying questionable voltage, one would notice random BSOD's and this tool would help one quickly get to the root of the problem. Just one more thing in my technician tool box.

That's interesting. I had no idea these were a thing. Thanks for the link.

I'll have to check them out.
 
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While those do look very nice, I don't they put much of a load on the PSU.
Maybe "torture test" it by ETH mining? :p
 
I like to replace mine every 3 years or so. I've never had one fail on me and still using a 6 year old Corsair TX in my little boy's rig but I like to keep a fresh one in as much as I can. You can buy a superbly built power supply these days for around $100 so I consider it cheap insurance. The PSU is hooked into every component in your rig and can fry them all. Even though that's highly unlikely with a quality unit, I still like the peace of mind of dropping in a new one every so often.
 
Why don't you just open the PSU up and check if there are any bulging caps? If they look good and the voltage rails are consistent, then there's pretty much no other reason why a PSU would fail.

Better than doing random torture tests that can pop a bursting cap or randomly buying a new one every 3 years (which may have a manufacturer defect). IMO, of course.
 
At work in our servers we replace every 5 years. I keep the old PSUs as a standby/tester units though, because they still seem to work just fine. The cost of downtime there more than justifies a pre-emptive replacement though.

For my own rigs, I buy a new PSU for each rig. My oldest running rig is my i7 920, which is just shy of 10 years. It doesn't run 24/7, and it's only had sporadic periods of heavy load, but it also doesn't show any problems with age yet.
 
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