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How often should one replace PSUs?

Go to solution Solved by jonnyGURU,
20 hours ago, Enderman said:

The 'deterioration' of components is far slower than you imagine.

A good quality PSU should last 50+ years assuming that it runs at reasonable temperatures and humidity levels.

A cheap quality PSU is a completely different matter.

Not 50 years.

17 hours ago, Enderman said:

Capacitors, resistors, transformers, etc. are designed with hundreds of thousands or sometimes millions of hours of MTBF.

As long as the PSU is high quality and is designed properly without overdriving components, the PSU will last many decades.

Many electronics that were designed properly from the 60s and 70s still work perfectly fine because they were designed without cutting corners and following the spec.

Not millions of hours.

Also look up what "MTBF" actually is.  It's not the definition of the life of a product.

Also, PSUs have become overly complicated over the years due to efficiency and safety requirements.  Quite different than the 60's and 70's.  And consumer grade product DO cut corners.  Period.  You're not paying for an industrial or military grade product when you spend $100 on a 750W PSU.

16 hours ago, Enderman said:

The AX750 wasn't great, I had an AX860i that died and killed a bunch of parts.

I only use seasonic PSUs now.

AX750 IS Seasonic.  AX860i is Flextronics, which is a much higher tier than Seasonic.  But there's no such thing as 0% failure, even in the best made products.

16 hours ago, Scania556 said:

Sorry, I'm really confused.  

I still don't know if it is safe to use the PSU with 12-year warranty after 10 years. (The PSU was bought at the end of 2020)

I wouldn't.  Warranty is marketing.  They use prior RMA history to determine how many people actually exercise their warranty (find the ratio of sales to returns, essentially) and then amortize the cost of doing business for the percentage of people that do RMA's and factor that cost into the profit and determine how long they can support that warranty without losing money. 

 

I would say if it's a good quality PSU, it should last 10 years.  What I use as a rule of thumb is the fan dying.  If the fan dies, the PSUs is not going to last much longer so that's your cue to replace it.

The warranty period of PSUs is getting ridiculously long nowadays, like 10+ years.

My concern is that PSUs may deteriorate over time, and the voltage output and ripple may be out of sepcs.

How often should I replace the PSU? Every 5 years?

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If you’re worried I would trust the PSU for the length of the warranty plus 25%. The nice PSUs use premium components which shouldn’t really degrade over time. If the cheap ones in school computers last 10+ years, I think the premium ones in gaming PCs should be just fine. 

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The 'deterioration' of components is far slower than you imagine.

A good quality PSU should last 50+ years assuming that it runs at reasonable temperatures and humidity levels.

A cheap quality PSU is a completely different matter.

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2 hours ago, Enderman said:

The 'deterioration' of components is far slower than you imagine.

A good quality PSU should last 50+ years assuming that it runs at reasonable temperatures and humidity levels.

A cheap quality PSU is a completely different matter.

That's what I thought initially--maybe not 50 years, but at least 15.  But posting about some older high-tier power supplies here (like my AX7850), some people made it sound like I had to run out and buy a new PSU ASAP, and even using it for testing with a new build while I was waiting for a new PSU was with "do it at your own risk" warnings.  Now I'm not sure if 10 years should be a hard limit for any PSU replacement, regardless of component quality....

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40 minutes ago, Quartz11 said:

That's what I thought initially--maybe not 50 years, but at least 15.  But posting about some older high-tier power supplies here (like my AX850), some people made it sound like I had to run out and buy a new PSU ASAP, and even using it for testing with a new build while I was waiting for a new PSU was with "do it at your own risk" warnings.  Now I'm not sure if 10 years should be a hard limit for any PSU replacement, regardless of component quality....

Capacitors, resistors, transformers, etc. are designed with hundreds of thousands or sometimes millions of hours of MTBF.

As long as the PSU is high quality and is designed properly without overdriving components, the PSU will last many decades.

Many electronics that were designed properly from the 60s and 70s still work perfectly fine because they were designed without cutting corners and following the spec.

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12 minutes ago, Enderman said:

Capacitors, resistors, transformers, etc. are designed with hundreds of thousands or sometimes millions of hours of MTBF.

As long as the PSU is high quality and is designed properly without overdriving components, the PSU will last many decades.

Many electronics that were designed properly from the 60s and 70s still work perfectly fine because they were designed without cutting corners and following the spec.

That's just the advice I received, including from someone highly knowledgeable about PSUs.  I have seen the same advice in some other threads about older power supplies, how some parts age even while sitting unused, and age + usage will still have a detrimental  cumulative effect.

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43 minutes ago, Quartz11 said:

That's just the advice I received, including from someone highly knowledgeable about PSUs.  I have seen the same advice in some other threads about older power supplies, how some parts age even while sitting unused, and age + usage will still have a detrimental  cumulative effect.

The AX750 wasn't great, I had an AX860i that died and killed a bunch of parts.

I only use seasonic PSUs now.

 

Yes some materials can degrade even if the PSU is not being used, but unless it's a crappy PSU, it will take decades for the plastics to become brittle or for solder joints to fail.

The first thing that will fail in a PSU 99% of the time is the fan, which is the only moving component.

I think you're overestimating how delicate electronic components are.

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Sorry, I'm really confused.  

I still don't know if it is safe to use the PSU with 12-year warranty after 10 years. (The PSU was bought at the end of 2020)

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2 hours ago, Enderman said:

The AX750 wasn't great, I had an AX860i that died and killed a bunch of parts.

These... are two totally different models though? 😕

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^-^

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, Enderman said:

The 'deterioration' of components is far slower than you imagine.

A good quality PSU should last 50+ years assuming that it runs at reasonable temperatures and humidity levels.

A cheap quality PSU is a completely different matter.

Not 50 years.

17 hours ago, Enderman said:

Capacitors, resistors, transformers, etc. are designed with hundreds of thousands or sometimes millions of hours of MTBF.

As long as the PSU is high quality and is designed properly without overdriving components, the PSU will last many decades.

Many electronics that were designed properly from the 60s and 70s still work perfectly fine because they were designed without cutting corners and following the spec.

Not millions of hours.

Also look up what "MTBF" actually is.  It's not the definition of the life of a product.

Also, PSUs have become overly complicated over the years due to efficiency and safety requirements.  Quite different than the 60's and 70's.  And consumer grade product DO cut corners.  Period.  You're not paying for an industrial or military grade product when you spend $100 on a 750W PSU.

16 hours ago, Enderman said:

The AX750 wasn't great, I had an AX860i that died and killed a bunch of parts.

I only use seasonic PSUs now.

AX750 IS Seasonic.  AX860i is Flextronics, which is a much higher tier than Seasonic.  But there's no such thing as 0% failure, even in the best made products.

16 hours ago, Scania556 said:

Sorry, I'm really confused.  

I still don't know if it is safe to use the PSU with 12-year warranty after 10 years. (The PSU was bought at the end of 2020)

I wouldn't.  Warranty is marketing.  They use prior RMA history to determine how many people actually exercise their warranty (find the ratio of sales to returns, essentially) and then amortize the cost of doing business for the percentage of people that do RMA's and factor that cost into the profit and determine how long they can support that warranty without losing money. 

 

I would say if it's a good quality PSU, it should last 10 years.  What I use as a rule of thumb is the fan dying.  If the fan dies, the PSUs is not going to last much longer so that's your cue to replace it.

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4 minutes ago, jonnyGURU said:

Not 50 years.

Not millions of hours.

Also look up what "MTBF" actually is.  It's not the definition of the life of a product.

Also, PSUs have become overly complicated over the years due to efficiency and safety requirements.  Quite different than the 60's and 70's.  And consumer grade product DO cut corners.  Period.  You're not paying for an industrial or military grade product when you spend $100 on a 750W PSU.

AX750 IS Seasonic.  AX860i is Flextronics, which is a much higher tier than Seasonic.  But there's no such thing as 0% failure, even in the best made products.

I wouldn't.  Warranty is marketing.  They use prior RMA history to determine how many people actually exercise their warranty (find the ratio of sales to returns, essentially) and then amortize the cost of doing business for the percentage of people that do RMA's and factor that cost into the profit and determine how long they can support that warranty without losing money. 

 

I would say if it's a good quality PSU, it should last 10 years.  What I use as a rule of thumb is the fan dying.  If the fan dies, the PSUs is not going to last much longer so that's your cue to replace it.

So in that regard of warranty calculation, is a longer warranty usually directly proportional to expected lifespan, or more to the initial cost of the product and marketing, or both?  I.e. do the higher cost (or _marketed_ higher tier) PSUs just effectively cover the cost of longer warranty periods?  I.e. if a PSU has a 5 year warranty, should we expect it to have a reasonable chance to fail soon after 5 years, or is it that the PSU cost less than one with a 7-10-year warranty, and so the support costs have been cut down on?  
 

For example, I always wonder about some seemingly high quality PSUs having only 5 year warranty—like Enermax Revolution D.F. in some countries—while the same model rebadged by MSI has a 10-year warranty.  

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I had one that was 10+ years old and was in good condition but had to retire it anyway.
The fan was working fine, voltage readings were right on spec and all else observed when checked. However with a routine cleaning and inspection I saw two caps that were bulging, getting ready to pop and that wasn't a good sight to see.
 

Since I'm not well versed in working directly on PSU's, due to the personal risks of it I decided it was just time for it to put to pasture. 
So I did.

Doesn't hurt at all to occasionally pull one out to clean and inspect it, you may find something before you find out about it the hard and expensive way.

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16 minutes ago, Quartz11 said:

So in that regard of warranty calculation, is a longer warranty usually directly proportional to expected lifespan, or more to the initial cost of the product and marketing, or both?  I.e. do the higher cost (or _marketed_ higher tier) PSUs just effectively cover the cost of longer warranty periods?  I.e. if a PSU has a 5 year warranty, should we expect it to have a reasonable chance to fail soon after 5 years, or is it that the PSU cost less than one with a 7-10-year warranty, and so the support costs have been cut down on?  
 

For example, I always wonder about some seemingly high quality PSUs having only 5 year warranty—like Enermax Revolution D.F. in some countries—while the same model rebadged by MSI has a 10-year warranty.  

I would wager; most people whose whose PSU dies after 5 years:

  • Can't remember where they bought their PSU from,
  • Moved to a new computer and have gifted the old machine to someone else,
  • Don't think it is worth the hassle of starting an RMA, and/or the cost of shipping to RMA it (if you live in a country where the cost of the return is not burdened on the retailer or manufacturer)

Corsair and Kingston used to have life-time warranties on their RAM for that reason.

 

I know people who are still using original Antec Earthwatts from 2006 (Not in modern PCs). I think they have a 3 year warranty or something.

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Haha, you are so right—the computer I put together for my mother in 2012 or so is still using Antec Earthwatts 430D, if I recall correctly.  I have a new PSU on order to give the Antec PSU a well-deserved retirement.

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17 minutes ago, Quartz11 said:

So in that regard of warranty calculation, is a longer warranty usually directly proportional to expected lifespan, or more to the initial cost of the product and marketing, or both?  I.e. do the higher cost (or _marketed_ higher tier) PSUs just effectively cover the cost of longer warranty periods?  I.e. if a PSU has a 5 year warranty, should we expect it to have a reasonable chance to fail soon after 5 years, or is it that the PSU cost less than one with a 7-10-year warranty, and so the support costs have been cut down on?  
 

For example, I always wonder about some seemingly high quality PSUs having only 5 year warranty—like Enermax Revolution D.F. in some countries—while the same model rebadged by MSI has a 10-year warranty.  

Yeah. It was hard to explain.  😄

 

Warranty is dependent on the cost of doing business.  Not so much the lifespan of the product.  Doing support and RMA is part of your op ex (operating expense).  If you can "calculate" that you can still be profitable after offering a 10 year warranty, you offer a 10 year warranty.  The Enermax and MSI PSUs are the same, but either Enermax wants to maintain a higher profit margin or their op ex for support and RMA is higher so they opt for a shorter warranty.

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Beerzerker said:

I had one that was 10+ years old and was in good condition but had to retire it anyway.
The fan was working fine, voltage readings were right on spec and all else observed when checked. However with a routine cleaning and inspection I saw two caps that were bulging, getting ready to pop and that wasn't a good sight to see.

Precisely.  

12 minutes ago, comicsansms said:

I would wager; most people whose whose PSU dies after 5 years:

  • Can't remember where they bought their PSU from,
  • Moved to a new computer and have gifted the old machine to someone else,
  • Don't think it is worth the hassle of starting an RMA, and/or the cost of shipping to RMA it (if you live in a country where the cost of the return is not burdened on the retailer or manufacturer)

Corsair and Kingston used to have life-time warranties on their RAM for that reason.

 

I know people who are still using original Antec Earthwatts from 2006 (Not in modern PCs). I think they have a 3 year warranty or something.

And this. 

 

It's the same way rebates work.  How can they give EVERYONE 50% off?  Because most people don't.  Most don't know about the MIR when they buy the product.  Some forget to send it in during the allotted time frame... or at all.  Some don't send in all of the required documentation.....  

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4 minutes ago, Quartz11 said:

Haha, you are so right—the computer I put together for my mother in 2012 or so is still using Antec Earthwatts 430D, if I recall correctly.  I have a new PSU on order to give the Antec PSU a well-deserved retirement.

Still have an old PC Power & Cooling 750W Silencer from 2007, before when the company was bought out that still works great to this day.
 

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1 minute ago, Beerzerker said:

Still have an old PC Power & Cooling 750W Silencer from 2007, before when the company was bought out that still works great to this day.
 

Those things were built like tanks.  Truly industrial power supplies.  None of the truly "industrial quality for consumer" stuff is around anymore.  PC Power.  Etasis.  Zippy.  Just too expensive.

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6 minutes ago, Beerzerker said:

Still have an old PC Power & Cooling 750W Silencer from 2007, before when the company was bought out that still works great to this day.
 

I had one of those as well!  Gave it to a friend eventually.  I think it’s still in use.

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Ah, here’s that thread I was trying to remember:

 

 

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Actually, I guess it boils down to luck and quality. I'd gotten a SilverStone OP1000 back in 2007/2008 to power my rig (back then, I was messing around with CF and SLi), and it served me thru the years when I'd upgraded to different systems. It went to my 2nd rig when I'd built a spanking new (then) i7 3960X rig back in 2011/12, and had served me without fail. Then, around 2 years back, I'd had it in my then 3rd rig (i7 2600K/GTX 670/16GB RAM) which I'd sold to my friend for a very VERY good price (his kids wanted to game).

 

We've talk from time to time, seems his AIO leaked, killing his card but the OP1000 is still going strong.....that's about 14 years now. Well-built, good quality PSU's can go the distance, but I guess luck is a factor as well.

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