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Power supply, how old is too old?

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March 5, 2013 8:14:57 PM

I am replacing the "guts" of an older computer (like 10 years old). Essentially just reusing the case. And it's got a still perfectly functional Sparkle (good brand) 350w power supply. Since it seems to be working fine, I'm considering reusing it, but should I just replace the PSU as a precaution due to its age?

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a c 675 ) Power supply
March 5, 2013 8:19:18 PM

If you are putting in new gear you might find out that the PSU does not have the connectors or specs to run the new gear. That is the reason I would replace it for.
March 5, 2013 8:20:46 PM

twelve25 said:
I am replacing the "guts" of an older computer (like 10 years old). Essentially just reusing the case. And it's got a still perfectly functional Sparkle (good brand) 350w power supply. Since it seems to be working fine, I'm considering reusing it, but should I just replace the PSU as a precaution due to its age?

i would suggest upgrading your power supply. if its 10 years old and was only a 350w PSU i'm amazed its still going. do if your upgrading to new components they will most likely use more power and the power supply wont be able to handle it. what spec is the new build likely to have.
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March 5, 2013 8:45:00 PM

It's a cheapo build, not my main system. Dual core Celeron/Pentium, maybe 1-2 HDD, DVD burner and a low end GPU like a 6670 or GT630 or something like that. I think 350W is enough, but with capacitor fade, it might only be 200W, right? :) 

Just to give an idea of the age, it came with a new P4 2.8Ghz build, so that's 2002, I think. The P4 system still works great, too. It was a solid build.
March 5, 2013 8:57:14 PM

twelve25 said:
It's a cheapo build, not my main system. Dual core Celeron/Pentium, maybe 1-2 HDD, DVD burner and a low end GPU like a 6670 or GT630 or something like that. I think 350W is enough, but with capacitor fade, it might only be 200W, right? :) 

Just to give an idea of the age, it came with a new P4 2.8Ghz build, so that's 2002, I think. The P4 system still works great, too. It was a solid build.


A decent 400w psu should be plenty for that and gives you room to upgrade a bit. but yea, with capacitor ageing that 350w wont quite be 350w anymore lol. probably close to 200w. So upgrading would be needed otherwise you'll be putting your new components at risk. and if it's a new PC which it sounds like you will need the new connectors.
March 5, 2013 9:04:27 PM

I have a couple SATA adapters, but it has the rest of the connectors OK.

I guess I'll try to find a sale price PSU, I just hate tossing away working stuff.
March 5, 2013 9:12:08 PM

twelve25 said:
I have a couple SATA adapters, but it has the rest of the connectors OK.

I guess I'll try to find a sale price PSU, I just hate tossing away working stuff.


i know how you feel. i have a 8 year old shuttle PC and the PSU went in that so i now run a full size ATX PSU through the back, not the easiest of solutions but it works lol. you could use it and it may well be fine but try it and if the PC freezes while being used the PSU is not up to it and you will probably have to get a new one. and ok about the SATA connectors. always useful to have.
March 5, 2013 9:37:26 PM

18A 12V Rail. And it as 24pin + 4 pin MB connector.

a c 675 ) Power supply
March 5, 2013 10:17:06 PM

That is high rating for a 10 year old 350watt, basically 216watts on the +12 volts
March 6, 2013 12:44:59 AM

Yeah, I know it was a good one when purchased.

However, talking about capacitors made me want to visually inspect them in the PSU. A couple look suspect. It's still working fine for the 2.8 system, but I don't think it's long for this world.

Jeez, if I am replacing EVERYTHING but the old case, it makes me want to get a new case, too, but I guess this saves me $40 or so. It's kind of ugly, but well built.

!