Am I abusing my PSUs?

My owner-built PC has now succumbed it's second PSU in about 4-5 years. I am beginning to wonder if I am abusing these poor PSU's. The PC includes an Asus Striker Extreme MB, 4GB ram, a dual DVI NVidia GPU with 2 wide-screen monitors, and 4 disk drives. The original-build PSU was an 850W OCZ GameXStream, which last approximately 2-3 years. I don't like to close Windows, so I regularly used the Sleep option. After a while Sleep mode no longer worked properly and I pulled the 850W PSU and installed a 700W OCZ GameXStream. For the last year I have not turned the PC off (except for Microsoft doing monthly Windows Updates, and perhaps once a week to clear memory to get performance back again. I would think that running a PC constantly would be within the operating specifications of a name-brand PSU. I would also expect that starting up a PC would cause more stress on the PSU than running it smoothly and constantly. What say you? Can you recommend a brand of PSU that is capable of running constantly with only bi-weekly or so power downs. Note: I am not a gamer, just a Windows developer, so I am not overclocking or in any other way asking the PC to exert itself unduly. There are a total of 6 fans running constantly inside and in the case walls, so it's not a temperature problem. Thanks for any advice you can offer.
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  1. Honestly the dual GPUs and cd drives shouldn't require more than 800watts. The 2 wide screen monitors have there own power source so that's not a draw on the PSU. Since you never turn your computer off it is likely you are just running the PSU's so hard nonstop that they just get worn out. I would say you are abusing the PSUs though. Do you really need the computer on while your sleeping? Is the 30 second to 2 min start up time really going to kill your efficiency? As for a good brand Antec, OCZ are good ones. But if you keep them running non stop I wouldn't expect more than 3-5 years out of it
  2. OCZ has only recently made a decent power supply. One a few years old was likely poor quality. A high quality power supply should last for years running constantly.

    Corsair, Seasonic, PC Power and Cooling, XFX, Enermax, Silverstone and Antec all are good brands.

    If you list your complete specs I can try and find you a good deal. If you want to look yourself here is a good place to start.

    The list is not perfect but is generally correct.
  3. S3 sleep mode (RAM sleep, the mode that looks like it's turned off but starts very quickly) uses essentially the same amount of power as a soft off (turned off but with the PSU switch on).,3066-4.html
    As such, you should sleep it at night instead of leaving it on. It'll start very quickly and give the PSU a rest.
    Your PSUs really shouldn't be giving out like this, though. Most OCZs, as far as I can tell, have a 3-year warranty, so you should return them when they die.

    Unless your two cards are 580s, you're almost certainly never using more than 650W.
  4. @eggbrook, where do you see the mention of dual GPU's?

    What I read was that the OP's GPU has two DVI ports.

    The OCZ Game XStream Series is based on the FSP Epsilon platform which suffers from excessive ripple on the +12V rails.

    High ripple on the output rails will rapidly degrade the electrolytic capacitors inside the power supply itself and also the ones on the motherboard and graphics card.

    Get a better power supply model based on a high quality platform.
  5. Oh, right. Only one GPU. In that case, wattage is definitely not the issue. Above^
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