How long can a PSU last?

By ihaveaname ยท 17 replies
Apr 4, 2011
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  1. Hey guys, I was wondering how long I can use the same power supply before changing to a new one? I've had my (Coolermaster 550W) PSU for about three years now. I've been thinking of doing a major upgrade soon; should I buy a new PSU with the new parts or would it be okay if I just stuck with the old one? I should mention that 550W is all I can ever see myself using in the near future, so if I did change it wouldn't be a higher wattage model.
  2. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    The components of power supplies breakdown over time from the charge discharge cycle. Its commonly called capacitor aging, and should be factored into the purchase of a new power supply. I have seen them last for 20 years, but personally three years is about my limit. The reason being that a new 650w psu is no longer a 650w psu after a few years of use. I would purchase new one for a new build unless all you are doing is browsing the net.
    fajar1124 likes this.
  3. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Power supplies in the early expensive PC's were built better than the power supplies of today. I have some that are 11 years old and still work well. Bestec are not good, LiteON seems to be better in a 6 to 7 year old PC. Around 3 to 5 years is a safe bet. I usually upgrade my entire system every 2 years. So my supplies are changed every 2 years. It's time to replace the Coolermaster 550!
  4. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    Uhg T,,, made me shudder!:haha:
  5. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Right red1776,
    I replaced 3 in the last 2 months...
  6. ihaveaname

    ihaveaname TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 107

    Okay, thanks for the advice guys!
  7. Lokalaskurar

    Lokalaskurar TS Enthusiast Posts: 544

    Also, PSU's are affected (somewhat greater than other components) by sublimation. Even having a PSU laying around in a normal room temperature will degrade it with time, most of the materials used for soldering all the components of PSU's tend to undergo a phase transition and end up as oxidized goo.

    I'm using a PSU from Chang-Wo manufactured in (reading) October 1991, for testing components compatible with the standard Molex 4-pin connector like optical drives and HDD's without having to use a PSU-starting device. The PSU itself works, but :gasp: the power fluctuation! Probably a good idea to evict that spider family...

    I also know from personal experience that PSU's tend to last between 3 to 5 years depending on usage. - I recently replaced a 6 year old PSU that went bad, although the owner of the PC in particular did not use it very often. Same goes for the PSU mentioned above, the one from '91.
  8. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,073   +219

    1 million years, my last 600w one lasted around 4 years. It died a month or two before its warranty was set to expire. Now I have a free 750 watt replacement!
  9. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    i would say no more than 5 years i have had 3 that lasted over 5 years and one that has been going strong in a computer i built for my grandmother in 1998 so they can last longer than you think but in general for a mid to highend computer i would say 5 years max but i always seem to buy a new one when i build a new computer so around every 3 years or so.
  10. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 930   +31

    i have 5yo 400W AcBel PSU. very seldom to no gaming for the PC i guess.
  11. arkantos

    arkantos TS Member Posts: 46

    HEC Raptor 500

    Im using my hec raptor 500w for almost 3yrs now working for 24/7 and have no problems with it. work load are for video editing and minor games only.
  12. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    NEVER had one to fail :)
  13. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    After how many years use so far Jobeard?
  14. Mizzou

    Mizzou TS Enthusiast Posts: 823

    Think it depends on how major the upgrades are that you're planning. If you will be replacing a large percentage of the existing components it's probably a good idea to go ahead and get the power supply now.
  15. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 839   +29

    I go with the rule of a new PSU if I'm doing a major computer upgrade, so thats every 3-5 yrs for me. Plus usually seem to need more power.
    As for having them not work anymore I have had some last quite a while. Several custom built computers at work are running Antec 550w PSU that are about 6yrs old now and so far no troubles. (Knocks A LOT on wood - I don't want to spend next week replacing PSU....). Always pays to start with a good name brand product for PSU.
    As others have mentioned- Bestech ./shudder are pretty crappy, along with a lot of the PSU that come with pre-built off the self computers.
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,996   +2,528

    A while back, Antec was victimized by faulty capacitors. This manifested itself in their "Smart Power" series,(you should have seen the horrific reviews on the "Smartpower 450s"), and in my "Smartpower 350" in particular. No problem though, Antec mailed me a new EA-380 under the warranty. It seems to still be going strong, after about 4 years.

    As to Bestec, turds indeed. A 300 watt Bestec in my Emachine lasted all of 5 or 6 months, crapping out on the first really hot day in July.
  17. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Yeah captaincranky,
    I saw the Antec problems too. I just refurbished an 11 year old PC with a 350 Watt Antec supply that still functions. I used to use Antec supplies in my builds. After the cap problems, I now use Corsair and Thermaltake 650 watts or better supplies
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,996   +2,528

    I don't think that Antec has the "street cred" in larger wattage supplies. I may be that they're shooting themselves in the foot so to speak, with the multiple 12 volt rail designs

    It has to be said Antec smartened up quite a bit, and their mainstream EA models are Seasonic and or Delta rebrands. (At least they were, I haven't checked in a while). No reliability issues with the 380 and 430 watt units that power my PCs. I'm just not rabid enough about gaming to need anything with more than 500 watts max. The Antecs surely fill the need at these outputs.

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