Replace old working PSU?

Discussion in 'Power Supplies' started by EnderW, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. EnderW

    EnderW [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Is there any reason to replace an old PSU that is working fine? I have a Corsair AX850 in my main computer that been running pretty much non stop since launch. I can’t even find the receipt but it’s probably pushing a decade now.

    I’ve never had an issue, just don’t want it to take any parts with it if it were to fail from old age.
     
  2. auntjemima

    auntjemima Hand Jobs Legend

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    Nope. I'm still using old non-modular power supplies. If it works, just let it do its thing.
     
  3. GotNoRice

    GotNoRice [H]ardForum Junkie

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    This question pops up pretty often. I don't think broad generalizations are really helpful. Different models are going to age differently depending on the quality of the components. How the power supply was used over the years will have a huge impact. Was it stressed to it's limits in a hot, cigarette smoke filled environment while covered in dust and pet-hair almost never being cleaned? Or was it well-maintained in a clean and cool environment powering a fairly easy load most of it's life?

    Here is an example of a PSU that is 10 years old that HardOCP just did a followup review on:
    https://www.hardocp.com/article/2018/05/31/thermaltake_toughpower_1200w_psu_10_years_later

    The results are only really relevant to that PSU but it is still a fantastic example. I'm personally still using a Thermaltake Toughpower 1000w and a Antec TruePower Quattro 1000w, both about ~11 years old at this point. Everything works fine in both computers i'm using them in.
     
  4. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    what they said^^. if you want you can pop the top and check the caps/components to be sure.
     
  5. Susquehannock

    Susquehannock 2[H]4U

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    Grab a MultiMeter and test the three main rails under load. If under 5% variance you're good. If not scrap it.

    Far as old PSU go. I have a PC Power & Cooling 425w (with receipt) that I bought in 2003 which still holds 2-3%. Sure built them right back then.
     
  6. GiGaBiTe

    GiGaBiTe Gawd

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    Voltage levels only tell you half the information you need to know. You need an oscilloscope to check the ripple current, which is very important. A PSU can appear fine but have hidden ripple that's off the charts.
     
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  7. tedych

    tedych Limp Gawd

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    Some PSUs can die from old age and take other components with them. Good brands and models are unlikely to die in this way though. Bad output caps can do harm.
    I'd open the PSU and at least check the caps on psu that old.
    Old PSU is old psu, not only caps are ageing.
    If you can easily afford a new (good) PSU, I'd swap it if I were you.
     
  8. The Kiwi

    The Kiwi n00bie

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    Many of the parts inside of a typical power supply unit are of limited-length lives, most particularly capacitors. A large part of the reason most of us choose to buy PSUs with capacitties well above our requirements is because each year of steady use literally reduces the capacity about 10%, so your one year old 600 watt is only 540 watts now.

    The poorer quality that you purchase, the faster the deterioration, so that in addition to not producing the full advertised out put, a cheap one may lose 15% of the capacity it started with ,inside of twelve months.
     
  9. GotNoRice

    GotNoRice [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Please enlighten us more about this statistic. Do you have anything whatsoever to back it up or is it literally something you pulled straight out of your ass?

    If a powersupply was losing 10% capacity per year then things would be looking rough after 10 years, but the thermaltake toughpower 1200w had no problem with the full load test in the Hardocp 10 year followup review of that unit. Magic?

    And while not directly comparable, I still have numerous audio components, including quite a few large several hundred watt amplifiers from the mid-70's that are 40+ years old with all original capacitors that can still output within 10% of their original max output.

    There are many things that can cause electronics, particularly modern capacitors, to fail. Age (in and of itself) generally isn't one of them.
     
  10. The Kiwi

    The Kiwi n00bie

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    Directron of Houston, originally a power supply wholesaler, inluded that tidbit on their website for many, MANY years, going back to 1999 or 2000. I haven't specifically looked for it in perhaps a decade. That was one of my regular sources for system builds from 1998 througgh about 2010, when I slowed down some. Spending much time bending into the guts of new PCs started giving me a sore back and neck

    https://www.directron.com/hardware/components.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
  11. GotNoRice

    GotNoRice [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Ah, so no, you have nothing whatsoever to back up that statement. Thanks for the clarification. Anyone who has an old PSU who has kept it in good condition over the years and hasn't abused it would know that that comment about 10% capacity reduction per year is absurd. Assuming that comment was ever actually on the directron site in the first place, it's no surprise that it's not there now.
     
  12. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    For the OP, I wouldn't worry about it for this rig. Might put a new PS on the list of things to get for the next MB cycle. If a really good deal pops up during the upcoming Xmas spending season, might grab it and do a proactive swap while the old one is still working. Always nice to have a known good part for testing.
     
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  13. dthree

    dthree n00bie

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    if it's working fine, i just typically leave it. Unless you get some good deal on a new platinum efficiency rated PSU or something. :)
     
  14. hititnquitit

    hititnquitit Limp Gawd

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    i would retire old reliable if money isnt an issue. thats alot of time/usage for any psu, no matter the manny or rating. even if the rails look solid and caps look good i wouldnt tempt fate. it was wise advice to check both. ripple kills slowly. like Dead Parrot said having a solid back up can be priceless. id say pick up one of the evga supernova 1000 g3s that are at amazon for $99 for the piece of mind. not to mention price to performance that evga cant be beat right now.