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All countries
548,935,393
Confirmed
Updated on June 27, 2022 1:19 am
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Updated on June 27, 2022 1:19 am
All countries
520,730,887
Recovered
Updated on June 27, 2022 1:19 am
All countries
6,350,765
Deaths
Updated on June 27, 2022 1:19 am

9 ways to extend the life of your computer power supply

The power supply does not affect the performance of the PC, but the stable operation and life of other components depend on it. The conditions of its work must be taken seriously, especially if it is a budget model. Today we will analyze a few simple rules for the proper operation of the power supply, which will help to significantly extend its life.

If we use the processor, video card or RAM in our computers until they become morally obsolete, then the power supplies work until the very “death”, sometimes having managed to survive two or three upgrades. But the failure of the power supply is a dangerous emergency that can result in damage to other components and loss of data from drives, which sometimes cost several times more than the PC itself.

In expensive models of power supplies, there are all possible protections designed to save the device itself and other components. OCP and OPP protect the PSU from overload, OVP and UVP from overvoltage and undervoltage, SCP protects against short circuits, and OTP protects against overheating. In cheap models, some protections may be missing, and their implementation leaves much to be desired. But it is cheap PSUs that are most often bought by inexperienced or novice users, allocating funds for them “for change”, left over from the purchase of other components. And they pay attention only to the declared power figures issued by the device.

If an expensive power supply can work for quite a long time in adverse conditions, then budget ones often work out three to five years with difficulty. If you have just a cheap model, this article is definitely for you. However, it does not hurt to apply our advice to expensive PSU models, because they cost a lot, and I want them to work as long as possible.

What causes power supplies to fail?

The main enemy of power supplies is high temperature. Because of it, electrolytic capacitors dry out quickly , losing their capacitance and filtering properties, especially if they are initially of poor quality. The temperature in budget PSU models under heavy load can easily reach 90 ° C and even higher if the insides are clogged with dust, causing degradation not only of capacitors, but of the entire element base: resistors, controllers, etc.

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As a result, the power supply outputs voltages with a high level of ripple, which cause instability in the PC and can gradually damage the capacitors on the motherboard, video card, and drives. High temperatures also affect the wear of the PSU fan bearing, if its speed is tied not only to power consumption, but also to temperature. And for many inexperienced users, a crackling fan becomes a reason to buy a new power supply, although the fan can be replaced .

A power surge can easily disable a budget power supply, because in some models, experts noted extremely primitive protection against strong power surges and recommended using a UPS in order to extend the life of the device.

And finally, the third factor, which is often forgotten, is the wear of the connectors of the power supply cables. As they say, “electronics is the science of contacts”, and gradually, after several dozen connections and disconnections, the contacts of the power connectors weaken, which is especially critical if a large current flows through them, like the power connectors of a video card and processor. Loose contact causes the connector to heat up and may even cause it to melt. And deterioration of SATA or Molex power connectors causes instability of the SSD and HDD and possible data loss.

Now let’s look at ways in which you can extend the life of the power supply.

Regular dust cleaning

The power supply inside is a maze of transformers, heatsinks, wires, capacitors and secondary boards. They quickly become clogged with dust, which drastically impairs heat dissipation. Therefore, you need to make it a rule to regularly, at least once every six months, clean the power supply from dust. But getting inside the PSU to assess how dusty it is and clean it is very difficult. We are hindered by grilles at the air inlet and outlet, a fan and a film that directs the air flow. And if the PSU is still under warranty, then you can’t open it at all.

Even if we can open the power supply, disassembling it means disconnecting all the power wires and removing it from the PC case, and this is not an easy and long process. Cleaning with compressed air will help out, which can be done without removing the PSU from the computer and without disassembling it . A rubber bulb, an electric blower, or a compressed air bottle will do – anything that can direct an intense air stream between the PSU fan blades and the rear grille.

Despite the fact that for several years now most high-quality cases have had a bottom-mounted power supply, PC users still have a large number of old-style cases in the ranks, where the PSU is located at the top. Yes, and modern budget cases also have a similar arrangement of the power supply.

The disadvantages of this arrangement of the power supply are that it begins to pump heated air through itself from the PC case, heating up noticeably more than in cases with a lower PSU. If in an office PC with low heat dissipation such an arrangement of the PSU still has the right to exist, then for a gaming computer, even a budget one, it is worth choosing a case with a lower location of the power supply.

A dust filter will help reduce the dusting of the power supply in the case with its lower location. Now even budget cases are equipped with similar filters made of metal or nylon mesh. The main thing is to clean the filter from dust in time, otherwise the ventilation in the power supply will deteriorate due to a decrease in air flow.

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