Run it till it dies?

DrNick

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Jul 19, 2006
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Hey guys, this is probably a dumb question but I'd rather be a fool for a day than to pay the ultimate price.
I've been running an Enermax EGX1000EWL pretty much 24/7 since it was released in 2007 (reviewed here at [H]) and while I have absolutely no issues with it but i fear that with recent upgrades I may be pushing the poor thing to its limit due to its age. Going by this psu calc I seem to require 833w/883w recommended with no capacitor aging selected.
Again, this psu is amazing and I have zero stability issues or weird noises coming from it under full load. I just don't want it dying and taking other things with it.
My budget is about $200 if I were to replace it and have been eying this or maybe this one at our local MC.
What do you guys think? Stick with it or play it safe with one of the above? I'm kinda leaning towards the Sparkle since it would have more power to spare.
Many thanks
 

GotNoRice

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"Capacitor aging" and the whole idea that the output of a power supply decreases over time is little more than over-hyped bullshit. Not to say it doesn't happen, but not in the span of 5 years. It might begin to become noticeable after maybe 15-20 years.

A power supply having a decreased lifespan is going to be due to abuse and/or neglect. That can include things like not dusting it out at appropriate intervals, overloading it, overheating due to poor case airflow, or power surges without the use of an appropriate surge protector.

Only you can know the degree to which you've neglected or abused your power supply over the years, but assuming you've taken good care of it, you could easily still be using it a decade from now.

My server is still using the original EPS12V power-supply I bought back in 2003 when I was building a dual-xeon rig. Most PSUs from that era wouldn't even have the 24+8 connectors for a modern rig, but this did due to being EPS12v. I used it in probably 4 or 5 different computers over the years, and it's still working great!

I have 2 P2201 vintage Yamaha stereo amps, 240wpc/8ohms. These suckers run HOT and can pull more current than any computer PSU. They were made in 1976 and still have 100% original caps. They have never performed anything less than perfectly... despite being 36 years old.

Then again part of the reason for my good experiences is undoubtedly because I buy quality parts from reputable manufacturers. If you're talking about cheap powersupplies by companies that cut corners, who knows? Thankfully that Enermax does look like a solid unit.
 

Tsumi

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Definitely run it till it dies. As said, capacitor aging is BS that only applies to low quality units (which you should not be getting in the first place). In the lifespan of a typical power supply, something else is bound to fail first before capacitor aging becomes significant enough to matter.

What are you running? Chances are, your system does not require more than 700-750 watts. I would start looking for a great deal on a power supply now, just so that you have one backup ready, and you don't have to buy an expensive one at the moment you need it.
 

DrNick

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276
Thanks guys, that was just what I wanted to hear as I have always take care of/kept everything spotless and have used good apc protection. I will hold off until I run into any issues or can afford another high end Enermax unit -whichever comes first- as I would rather stick with them after being so pleased with this one.
My sys is fairly power hungry which is why I was a little worried in the first place; 920@4ghz, asus p6t7, 580oc sli, six 2tb 7200rpm hd's, ssd, cathode light, corsair t600se led fans, lots of usb devices...:eek:
 

Tsumi

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I would aim for an 850 watt power supply with that system.

Yes, Enermax makes good power supplies, you should have no trouble with them.
 

DrNick

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I was looking at the Seasonic -my #2 fav brand- Platinum 860w but i think that would be cutting it close. I like to leave some power to spare so at the very least it doesn't have to work as hard.
I can probably save up and grab the 1kw seasonic platinum sooner than later which seems amazing going from reviews. Enermax is definitely a good brand but they seem to also carry a massive premium over all others.
 

snclawson

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Mar 24, 2010
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From the review it looks like the caps in that power supply are very high quality, so I wouldn't worry about them `going bad'. Your Enermax had a 3 year warranty, rated for running 24/7 at 50c, so likely your PSU is just fine and will be for a while.

The main things (well, other than peace of mind) that you'd get by buying a 1kw Platinum is efficiency and a nice modular cabling system. Oh, and a 7 year warranty!
 

Tsumi

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850 watts is fine with room to spare.

Overclocked 920: 200 watts.
580 overclocked: about 250 watts, depending on overclock level. Typically, on air, maxes out around 250 watts.
7200 RPM hard drive: 10 watts, but only seen during boot. During normal usage, drops down to about 5 watts each.
SSD: about 5 watts or less.
Motherboard + fans: unless they're ultra high speed fans (above 2500 RPM), is safely estimated around 50 watts.
Total: around 785 watts.

You will only see that kind of load if you're running simultaneous LinX and Furmark. Gaming will see lower loads.
 

evilsofa

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Jonnyguru has mentioned that the first thing to fail in an old PSU is usually the fan. When the fan fails and you don't notice, then other things get overheated and fail due to that.
 

snclawson

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Jonnyguru has mentioned that the first thing to fail in an old PSU is usually the fan. When the fan fails and you don't notice, then other things get overheated and fail due to that.

No kidding! Granted this was over a decade ago (~1998) and with admittedly crappy PSUs to begin with (they came with the cases we'd bought...), where I was working we had a few PSUs die on us. In every one of them the fan had died. I ended up swapping out the fans on just about every one of the same PSUs we had...over half of them had died and we hadn't noticed! (I blame the loud, small high-rpm CPU fans of the time...) The PSUs that we replaced the fans in ran just fine until we decomissioned the machines they were in (dual CPU Pentium II 300's...really great setup for the time!) a few years later.

That said, I did have a PSU blow a cap on me once! I turned it on and the thing just exploded! It send a nice blast of paper shrapnel out the back of the case and onto the wall. Thankfully it didn't take anything else out with it. That was also a $20 case and CPU special from back in the day, before I knew better.
 

Topweasel

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Looking at the the current Gold 1000w Enermax available. You got that power supply when they really started to rock. 5 rails at 24a a piece (not a huge fan of 24 a rail but still), is a 120a on 12v. The new one is one less rail, 30a a piece, for 120a. Without knowing efficiency, even one of the best companies for PSU's made few alterations to its build in 5 years. I would say you are good to go just use it till it croaks.
 

DrNick

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Jul 19, 2006
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276
Much appreciated guys; good info all around. I have been trying to load it as much as I can -both cpu and gpu's at the same time- and it will not flinch. Makes sense that I will never really load everything at once as well.
But even with everything working their behind off the psu exhaust barely gets warm however the rear fan does ramp up a bit. Funny thing is my first choice back then was a pcp&c which died in a glorious white flash/pop of death within a couple of days. I'm kinda glad it did:)
 
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