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How Long does a Power Supply Last

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June 21, 2007 2:51:24 PM

I bought a CHIEFTEC AX-01SLD U2F SF 450W Silver Aluminum Server Computer Case 450W Power Supply 4 years ago. I'm giving/selling this computer to my parents (they have a P3 Micron).
I was wondering how long to expect a power supply to last? Should I look into getting it replaced before I give them the computer?

More about : long power supply

June 21, 2007 3:27:18 PM

The power supply that came with my Dell has been running for about 8 years now with the only noticeable difference being that the fan is much louder than it once was. I can't imagine that it's a name brand power supply, so I'm thinking 8 years and counting is pretty good!

I'll be eager to hear what others say about the typical lifespan of a PS.

-J.
June 21, 2007 4:11:21 PM

If it didn't broke during the first 3 years it should be ok for at least 2 or 3 more years. But keep an eye on it. Make sure the fan is still working from time to time just to be sure.
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June 21, 2007 7:43:22 PM

The oldest PSU that I have is a Thermaltake PurePower 420w that I bought back in 2002. It is currently powering an Athlon XP-M 2600+ and an ATI 9800Pro with a few hard drives which I gave to my cousin last year.
June 22, 2007 11:51:46 AM

I have serveral psu's that are ffairly old. The one in my old computer is 7 years old, and runs fine. The one in my mom's computer is about 12 years old and still works. I also have several compueters using ones that are 3-4 years old and work. I've only ever had one psu die, and that was on my brothers computer. It was his fault though becuase he hit the restart button then the power button for instant shut of lol.
June 22, 2007 12:45:17 PM

I have 4 or 5 old PSU's 5+ years old from Dell,Compaqs,Emachines etc that still work.I guess it comes down to regular cleaning and/or the luck of the draw.
June 22, 2007 4:32:37 PM

I used to have a 486, but i gave it to my grandparents. It is still working fine for 14 years and counting.
June 24, 2007 3:26:04 AM

I have a pentium II 333 mhz. The computer was bought from HP in ~1998 (it came with a dvd drive!). Still works. :) 
June 24, 2007 4:29:14 AM

Quote:
I bought a CHIEFTEC AX-01SLD U2F SF 450W Silver Aluminum Server Computer Case 450W Power Supply 4 years ago. I'm giving/selling this computer to my parents (they have a P3 Micron).
I was wondering how long to expect a power supply to last? Should I look into getting it replaced before I give them the computer?


I've got an ancient 75MHz Mac that still starts up. I don't know how old it is but probably 12 years? It has the original PS. Also have an ~8 year old P3 on its original PS. If you push a unit hard, like over 80% of its rated load, don't be surprised if it croaks in 3 to 4 years, maybe sooner.
June 24, 2007 4:49:28 AM

I had an IBM PS from about 1988 that still worked when I chunked it in 2004/2005. Gotta say that it didnt get much use in those later years, but it does prove that a computer will last a pretty long time.

A few of my business computers were still working well at 7-8 years when they were replaced with newer units.

While the above statement sounds as if the other computers had indeed failed at earlier intervals, the simple truth is most of my business computers were replaced with newer, more powerful equipment rather than being replaced due to component failure. Historically, in my experience, the most common component to fail has been the on/off button, especially on Win95 and Win98 computers that required frequent rebooting. Beyond the on/off button issue, the next highest failure rate is components with moving parts such as mice and CD drives which are user controlled and operated.



For power supplies that use a fan to cool the unit, the deciding factor on the durability of the power supply will be the fan unit, as moving parts (such as fans) are prone to mechanical stresses and failures. The manufacturer will have statistical data on their Power Supplies which may not be readily available for consumer review, but based upon industrial data, I suspect the MTF (mean time to failure) for most power supply fans is above 100,000 hours.

Don't get me wrong, Power Supplies do fail. So do do mother boards and CPU's. In my experience most failures will occur within the first 3-5 months of ownership. So replacing an older unit as preventive measure is not advisable as the replacement part may or may not be any more durable than the part that is being replaced.


Please note that not all power supplys use a fan to cool the unit, some basic designs, especially for industrial computers and controllers, just use convection and/or a system fan to remove heat. These units will at least as durable as the cpu, motherboard etc in the unit.
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