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Can a bad PSU take down other system components with it?

Last response: in Components
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May 9, 2011 9:47:28 PM

I'll be blunt. I have no desire for your 2 cents, if you had a couple of PC's frying where you think the PSU took down your mobo , I have no need of that as well. If all your knowledge comes from reading reviews and other opinions on the net, I again don't need your opinion.

Can a PSU really take down other PC components? Yes or no? can I get a real scientific answer to this question from someone knowledgeable please?
Googling reveals that there are some people who absolutely believe that PSU can fry the mobo and some people who claim that there is no way PSU's can magically fry system components.

So please for the love of science, a straight technical scientific answer to this question please.

Thanks.
a c 271 ) Power supply
May 9, 2011 10:04:01 PM

It really depends on what in the PSU failed, if something on the input side failed its likely to die loudly but not push any dangerous levels through to the output, if the PWM controller dies the unit will just shut down, but if the filtering capacitors came from a bad batch and one goes, it will let more noise through, putting more stress on the VRMs on the boards, and if the noise gets too high, damaging ICs that dont have adequate filtering due to rapid power fluctuations, and for units that are already marginal on their filtering the loss of a filtering cap can put them wayyy out of spec.
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May 9, 2011 10:09:08 PM

it sounds like you do but do not want an answer

tough luck you can have my $0.02:

its rare for a psu to damage components in the system aswell from what i have seen, infact i suspect its the opposite way around - a faulty hdd pcb or video card (full of dust or fan failure etc) can cause a psu to blow and it will seem as if the psu is the cause.

just yesterday a faulty hdd from an external caddy destroyed my psu in a testing rig of mine

and please stop with all that "real scientific answer to this question from someone knowledgeable" crap - serious
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a c 274 ) Power supply
May 9, 2011 11:16:13 PM

Yes absolutely! cheap units without built in over current/voltage/power protection, under voltage protection and short circuit protection will damage your mobo,ram,and other components.
And as hunter315 mentions once certain psu components are out of whack the electrical noise and faulty voltages will definitely damage components in your rig.
It might not happen overnight but over a long period of time.
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May 10, 2011 1:29:48 AM

davcon said:
Yes absolutely! cheap units without built in over current/voltage/power protection, under voltage protection and short circuit protection will damage your mobo,ram,and other components.
And as hunter315 mentions once certain psu components are out of whack the electrical noise and faulty voltages will definitely damage components in your rig.
It might not happen overnight but over a long period of time.


Dear Chesss,

Why would a PSU come with OVP, UVP, OCP, OPP, OTP, SCP if it weren't for the fact that a faulty or cheaply made PSU could fry components in your PC?

Now let me be blunt, I'm not a computer science major but I am in the field of pharmaceuticals. However, through deductive reasoning, I have been able to determine that yes, cheap PSUs can fry/damage components of your PC. Now, one could debate the most important method of protection employed on a PSU to protect your PC but at the end of the day, the majority of them, if not all of them are there to protect your PC from harm.
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May 10, 2011 10:54:00 AM

PSu without OVP,OCP may damage your components and most vulnerable thing to such damage is graphic card..
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a b ) Power supply
May 10, 2011 11:12:46 AM

davcon said:
Yes absolutely! cheap units without built in over current/voltage/power protection, under voltage protection and short circuit protection will damage your mobo,ram,and other components.
And as hunter315 mentions once certain psu components are out of whack the electrical noise and faulty voltages will definitely damage components in your rig.
It might not happen overnight but over a long period of time.

I have had my gpu blown by my psu.
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a b ) Power supply
May 10, 2011 1:41:10 PM

Of course it can -- the PSU is providing the power to the components and if for whatever reason it provides too much\too little or the wrong voltage to specific components it can destroy those components --- most higher end PSUs provide extra circuitry to prevent any power that is outside of the spec from getting past the PSU circuitry to avoid that from happening but cheap quality units fail to provide that protection circuitry - which is why they are cheaper to produce - this means if you are on a stable electrical source that provides a clean supply of power the cheap unit may work fine but once the incoming source has fluctuations those will not be stopped by the PSU from getting to the rest of the system components due to it not having the circuitry to filter out those fluctuations making the other system components vulnerable (Sure you could argue that it is not the fault of the PSU that the power fluctuations happened and in many cases you would be correct - but better to have a higher quality PSU designed to stop those fluctuations from getting through to your expensive system components that are not designed to deal with it !)
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a b ) Power supply
May 10, 2011 5:43:21 PM

When a PSU dies it can potentially send an electrical surge to all your component which can effectively destroy every single component in the worse possible situation.

High quality PSU generally have lower risk of the worse possible situation.
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