When do you retire a PSU?

RogueTrip

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
2,858
Do you wait till it goes *poof* or out of warranty or just upgrade before long?

Today I was just thinking about my PSU, a Corsair TX850 V1 and found it was purchased back in April, 2010. Still working great and after looking up a review revealed it has a 5yr warranty so it's gonna be up soon.

Now I'm deciding how long to hang onto this sucker. Tempted to buy something like the Corsair AX860 or a Cooler Master V850. These would be my first Modular PSU. LOL
 

jrweis

Gawd
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Sep 25, 2004
Messages
569
I just re-purposed an old PC Power & Cooling 505W that I had to use a 20 to 24 pin adapter and some IDE to Sata power adapters. Think the PSU is around 10 years old, but it still works great so why not!
 

mytechtv

n00b
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Feb 16, 2013
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Since power supplies have no impact on how powerful my computer is, I would run it into the ground unless I needed to upgrade for more power. Otherwise it would move on to another system, or the shelf. Never know. Maybe in 10 years when I can't use it for anything I'll toss it.
 

jojo69

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the day the warranty ran out I would tear the void sticker, open the case and inspect the electrolytic capacitors for bulging or leaking, if they look good I would run it
 

Xinmosni

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I run it til it dies or is causing issues, otherwise a non-issue unless overclocking or in a server environment (in which case I err on the side of replacing during warranty if possible)
 

Dreamerbydesign

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Feb 3, 2008
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I retire mine to lesser/older rigs.

I have mad a few high end psu's take out many other components when they died.... I dont take that chance anymore.
 

King Icewind

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Shout out to a fellow TX850. Mines still going great since 2009, knock on wood. When I get another 290 is when I'll finally "retire" (use it in another computer lol) it.
 

Xinmosni

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I retire mine to lesser/older rigs.

I have mad a few high end psu's take out many other components when they died.... I dont take that chance anymore.

Yeah, that's more what I meant. I run them to the ground... in other systems. I prefer to use newer components in main rig, because of overclocking and chance of taking out other components upon death. Chance is small, but lesser rigs have cheaper stuff to replace >_>
 

bigsnyder

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Jul 1, 2006
Messages
733
Had to replace my PCP&C Silencer 750w because it was causing coil whine in my GPUs. Wasn't a problem until I upgraded to a HD7950 and later on 780. Switch out the PSU no more coil whine.
 

dandragonrage

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Jun 5, 2004
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8,298
I don't retire PSUs due to age (I know capacitors have a limited lifespan, but I haven't seen a failure yet, so I think retiring a PSU for this is a pretty silly idea), but I typically update about every 5 years to get newer/more connectors or a higher efficiency.
 

Nenu

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Apr 28, 2007
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20,181
It depends how long its expected life is and how it is performing.

I wouldnt retire a psu at 5 years if it has a 7 year warranty, unless it was causing problems.
Check the 12V power rails at idle and load.
If either is out of spec (+/- 5% ==> 11.4V to 12.6V) then retire it.

Or if the voltage drops more than .4V when put under heavy load, I would consider retiring it as well as this can cause stability problems as loads fluctuate.
This is because I overclock which makes the system more sensitive to PSU stability issues.

If you dont overclock, it may be ok with even a 0.6V drop, but I would still retire the PSU as its clearly drawing close to its end.
When a PSU expires, it may just stop working.
But it can also go with a bang and this can damage things attached to the PSU.
There is a very small chance of it being a fire hazard as well, so its best to retire a PSU that is over the limit if the machine is left unattended for a long time.
 

King Icewind

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How and where exactly do you check the 12v power rail? Can you just check it with a multimeter off a molex connector? I've never had to do it before.

Thanks.
 

Nenu

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How and where exactly do you check the 12v power rail? Can you just check it with a multimeter off a molex connector? I've never had to do it before.

Thanks.
Yes, use a multimeter.
Connect the black meter lead to a black wire from the PSU, the Red (+ve) meter lead to yellow from the PSU.
On multi rail PSUs check each rail.
 

Kirika

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Aug 10, 2006
Messages
670
I retire my PSUs when I retire the machine they are in. I get a new PSU when I build a new machine since I like to keep my old machines running.
 

GotNoRice

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Jul 11, 2001
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11,228
I tend to use my powersupplies for a very long time. Sometimes I'll retire them to older rigs, but only if I'm doing an upgrade on my main rig that requires more power.

I'm currently running an Antec TruePower Quattro 1000w from ~2008 and it's working great. I don't need 1000w with my current videocards but I got it back when I was running 2x 4870x2 in Quad Crossfire.

I have an FSP 550w powersupply that I bought back in 2003 for a Dual-Xeon rig I was building at the time. Because it was for the Xeons, it was EPS12v which meant it had lots of forward-thinking features which weren't standard on normal powersupplies at the time, like 24+8 connectors instead of 20+4. The EPS12v standard eventually became the basis of modern powersupplies and as a result I am able to continue to use that same PSU in secondary systems despite it's age.

I would like to know, where does this expectation come from that electronics only last ~5 years?

In my audio system two of the amps I use are Pro amps made in 1976. One was used by a band in their mobile setup as they went from place to place playing music. The other saw extensive use in a night club. Neither had an easy life. Interesting how they both still work perfect as they approach 40 years of age.
 

Arcygenical

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When they die, or cause my system to hang at a specific load/OC level.

No sooner :).

Really don't see a reason to retire my PSU's as I always cut the cabling up and do it custom... Which can be a real PITA sometimes.
 

larrymoencurly

[H]ard|Gawd
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Jul 18, 2002
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1,635
When it becomes obsolete (my vintage 1999 Delta puts out only 13A @ +12V) or repair becomes too difficult or expensive (failure is something other than a capacitor, transistor, or diode).
 

LOCO LAPTOP

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When they die or start having issues.

Hell I had a Antec Smart Power SP-450 that died twice and I repaired both times. I just finally retired it last month, haha.
 

jojo69

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When they die or start having issues.

Hell I had a Antec Smart Power SP-450 that died twice and I repaired both times. I just finally retired it last month, haha.

I know right?

It is getting harder to find supplies with enough snort on the 5V rail for serious retro overclocking so I nurse them along. I have an old Antec here, been recapped, started refusing to shut off, power button 4 seconds and the fans stay on and the power LED flashes at about 10Hz.

Went to scrap it and was like, nahhhh, so now it sits on the mystery problem pile.
 

metril

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Jun 3, 2007
Messages
414
I buy the 1.3 kW power supplies, but I need to push 1.9 kW through them. So, I replace mine every 3 months.

I kid I kid. :)

I have a power supply from around 2000. I think it's a 400W ( don't remember brand) and it's still going strong. I've inspected it for bad capacitors.

I've had other power supplies (Thermaltake, OCZ, Rosewill, Coolermaster) die rather quickly (2 months) and have since upgraded to much higher end units (EVGA, Corsair, Antec, etc.) and these have been going strong for 4+ years.
 

Hagrid

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I retire mine to lesser/older rigs.

I have mad a few high end psu's take out many other components when they died.... I dont take that chance anymore.

+1.

I would rather spend the extra $$.
 

MacLeod

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Jul 28, 2009
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I retire mine every 4 or 5 years but mainly just because I get the itch to buy something new. My TX750 is still running along fine but its 4+ years old and I'm aching to buy something new. I really want to play around with the new Corsair units and the Corsair Link software. I'm also tempted by those new Antec High Current units because I've always wanted to run a Delta built PSU and admit it would be cool to have a power supply from a line that OK Wolf gave a bunch of 10's to. ;)

So yeah, I replace them fairly often but its more just for fun than necessity.
 

rudy

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Only when it runs out of power or breaks down. I still had 20 pin ATX PSUs in computers till just this winter when the last one popped a cap.
 

ChiSox

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Apr 11, 2014
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5
I have a PC Power & Cooling 1kw still running strong since 2006. It has a ten year warranty and i laughed at the time i bought it because PSUs were never something i spent a good chunk of money on.

It was $275 on sale at Frys down from $600. It has kept my 780i with a e6850 and every card that i have had in it healthy. I started w/ 2 8800gt's and thought i would tri sli at some point but I'm not benching like i was then so i guess its been under its max load for a while.

If i buy a new rig, i would consider a new PSU. Now the fancy modular designs make cable management amazing and i will look into the 850 to 1kw range since i have had such a good experience with this rig.
 

The Lurker

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Jul 1, 2001
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16,847
I used to replace them because at one time with every new computer I needed more juice. However, the last PSU I bought was an Enermax Whisper II on 8/17/2005 it has powered 1 generation of AMD and 2 generations of Intels and its still going strong to this day(has been on 24 hrs per day for the last year and a half). I opened it up a year and a half ago to clean it and everything was still pristine aside from some dust.

I'll keep it till it quits.
 

Mackintire

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Jun 28, 2004
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  • When a feature you need is not available on your current one.
  • You can significantly improve the efficiency on the cheap by replacing it.
  • It runs uncomfortably hot.
  • The fan fails.
  • You smell fire.
  • You see fire.
  • It dies.
  • The internals are visibly failing (capacitors are leaking/bulging)
  • It measures out of tolerance on a scope



I've done 1,2,4 and 5.


For my personal boxes I've also stayed with top products like PC power and cooling 850W Enermax 550-850 Watt and Antec Galaxy 1200 Watt.
 

FLECOM

Modder(ator) & [H]ardest Folder Evar
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I think I have had the same PCP&C supply since at least 2008 or earlier, can't remember... still does what I need it to so why change it?
 

auntjemima

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I am in the same boat as most of you. My PC Power and Cooling 750w Silencer is still going strong and I purchased it in 2007. Running 3x8800gtx's in tri-sli right now and it hasnt had a problem.
 

urbanman2004

Limp Gawd
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Apr 15, 2014
Messages
186
When they die or start having issues.

Hell I had a Antec Smart Power SP-450 that died twice and I repaired both times. I just finally retired it last month, haha.

True... I had an old Silverstone PSU that started acting funny like turning my system right back on after I powered off. I was lucky that the warranty was 3 years and that I noticed that it started malfunctioning like 3 months prior to the expiration date. Overall, I would suggest getting an EVGA PSU, they have a 10 year warranty.
 

hrana

n00b
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Feb 21, 2011
Messages
38
the day the warranty ran out I would tear the void sticker, open the case and inspect the electrolytic capacitors for bulging or leaking, if they look good I would run it

This is how I do it. I reinspect the PSU every 6 months. Generally speaking, I buy a high quality unit and chuck it when I throw out the rest of the system.
 

cwaffles

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Sep 2, 2010
Messages
145
As long as there are no BSODs, no random crapouts when booting up from being unplugged, and no crashes during gaming, I'll keep on using it.
 

magoo

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Oct 21, 2004
Messages
14,492
I have 5 different Corsair PSUs and a Seasonic, all of various ages. I have an old PC Power&Cooling 850W Server PSU that runs as well as the day I bought it........maybe 8 years ago...
I think my oldest everyday user is a Corsair 650W semi-modular (over 6 years old).

Everything works fine.

I won't replace any of them until they no longer turn on when I push the power button.:D
 

me4get

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Jun 15, 2011
Messages
102
I retire them when they get wonky. Have only had 1 fail in use in 23 yrs.
 

Unknown-One

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It is getting harder to find supplies with enough snort on the 5V rail for serious retro overclocking so I nurse them along.
Not quite sure what you mean here.

Common practice with super-cheap PSU's is to inflate the overall wattage rating of the unit by providing a shitload of power at 5v and almost nothing at 12v. Most cheap PSU's should meet your needs, with plenty of power available at 5v :p
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2002
Messages
761
I have an Antec TruPower 430W from like 2004 that still runs, but:

  1. No SATA connectors
  2. Only 4-pin EPS12V connector, not 4+4
  3. No VGA cable of any kind
  4. Sub-70% efficiency

I suppose it could work with an older PC, but I have no need for something that old.
 
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