1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Build Advice Whens the right time to upgrade your PSU?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Otis1337, 26 Mar 2016.

  1. Otis1337

    Otis1337 aka - Ripp3r

    Joined:
    28 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    4,480
    Likes Received:
    117
    So iv had my PSU for a very long time, from like 2009, cost me about £130 at the time so wasn't cheap.

    At the time, i didnt know much about power supply's and basically went on reviews which where positive for the unit, but it was all the rage at the time to have lots of rails [this has 6!]. Now i know your much better off having a single strong rail.

    The PSU is the Coolermaster Real Power 850w [RS-850-ESBA]

    Now when do you upgrade your PSU? Do you wait till it starts behaving bad, or even starting to fail? risking your hardware? or do you replace it every 5 or so years?

    This unit came with a 5 year warranty and in 2009 that was saying something, so it was built well and i could possibly double its service life in my PC and save spending £150 odd, (if i was to buy new ill be getting platinum or titanium efficiency]

    Just wondering what other bit-techers do on the subject.
     
  2. Blogins

    Blogins Panda have Guns

    Joined:
    3 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    4,850
    Likes Received:
    250
    No simple answer but I would suggest it depends how much your computer has been used. If it's a 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year rig then I might be worried, otherwise continue as normal if it's working fine!
     
  3. itrush07

    itrush07 Member

    Joined:
    28 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    229
    Likes Received:
    1
    If there are no symptoms yet and it's still working perfectly then I suggest you stick to it just like what Blogins is suggesting. Good luck.
     
  4. Otis1337

    Otis1337 aka - Ripp3r

    Joined:
    28 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    4,480
    Likes Received:
    117
    its not a 24/7 rig, but its used a lot. On most days for most of the day.
     
  5. Blogins

    Blogins Panda have Guns

    Joined:
    3 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    4,850
    Likes Received:
    250
    Don't sweat it! I have an Enermax PSU circa 2006 still going strong! :thumb:
     
  6. Otis1337

    Otis1337 aka - Ripp3r

    Joined:
    28 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    4,480
    Likes Received:
    117
    *Blogins starts smelling a strange burning smell*
     
  7. IanW

    IanW Grumpy Old Git

    Joined:
    2 Aug 2003
    Posts:
    6,650
    Likes Received:
    409
    The ideal time to change a PSU is shortly before it lets the magic smoke out.
     
  8. noizdaemon666

    noizdaemon666 I'm Od, Therefore I Pwn

    Joined:
    15 Jun 2010
    Posts:
    5,562
    Likes Received:
    472
    Bucking the trend here, but I tend to change my PSU everytime I upgrade the core components (board and CPU). Not because I think the PSU will be faulty but I just like changing things unnecessarily really :D

    Personally, given it has 6 rails (madness!) I'd get a new one as it'll likely be more efficient using a single rail. Plus you won't have to worry about what's plugged in where.
     
  9. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

    Joined:
    30 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    9,302
    Likes Received:
    321
    I only replace the PSU when it stops working, I've always thought (maybe mistakenly) that a good quality PSU had protection against damaging components should it start to fail.
     
  10. Otis1337

    Otis1337 aka - Ripp3r

    Joined:
    28 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    4,480
    Likes Received:
    117
    yeah, 6, it was marketed to be able to handle SLI 9800 GX2's, one of which i use to have back in the day but we all know now lots of rails is a bad idea.

    as for upgrading when doing the motherboard, well im still on x58 because im on the hex core xeon bandwagon and loving it, so my board is 7 years old and still going fine, see no reason to upgrade yet.

    Im looking at the SuperFlow Leadex power supplys, but they seem to be hard to get hold off at the moment. OCUK which are there main suppliers for the UK have very poor stock and no indication when they will be coming back.
     
  11. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

    Joined:
    30 Aug 2015
    Posts:
    9,202
    Likes Received:
    949
    I'm running quite an old AX1200. I don't have any plans to replace it soon tbh.

    However recently I was given back my old PC that I sold to my old neighbours in 2009. The PSU in that was very old (could have even been as old as 2005) so I replaced it with a 620w Cougar.

    In theory you would know when it's time to replace it as the capacitors would age and start to whine, but it's usually other components that fail before the caps.
     
  12. SMIFFYDUDE

    SMIFFYDUDE Supermodders on my D

    Joined:
    22 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    2,897
    Likes Received:
    103
    I must have got lucky, I bought a white one a few weeks ago and they were readily available all over the place. It looks the dogs bollocks in my new colour coordinated build.
     
  13. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

    Joined:
    30 Aug 2015
    Posts:
    9,202
    Likes Received:
    949
    Not tried locating an EVGA which uses the Super Flower innards?
     
  14. Otis1337

    Otis1337 aka - Ripp3r

    Joined:
    28 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    4,480
    Likes Received:
    117
    I know the EVGA's are rebranded SuperFlows but i really want an actual SuperFlow :p
     
  15. Deders

    Deders Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    14 Nov 2010
    Posts:
    4,053
    Likes Received:
    106
    Lots of rails isn't such a bad idea, in most cases the are all off the same 12v rail, just with limiters to stop too much power being drawn down any particular rail. More of a safety feature.

    It does baffle me why most allow more for the GPU rails than the mainboard rails considering that when you calculate how much each is likely to draw, especially in a multicard system, when you consider that up to 75W is drawn for each card via the motherboard, most of the 25A or so these rails allow for goes completely unused.

    And the more cards you add, the more the 1st (or 2nd) rail has to supply.
     
  16. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    a) If the one you have isn't that efficient. Unless you have to really keep your spending at a minimum, 80Plus Gold is pretty much a given the minimum standard I would expect now given availability of more premium Platinum and Titanium units. If you're pulling 5/6/7/800W for hours and hours a day on it then it makes a cost difference, but most people aren't so the heat/noise is more a weigh-in factor.
    b) Again if you're in the >700W segment, then you should be absolutely looking at 'fanless below x temp'.
    c) If the cabling on the one you have is crap and a new one offers nicer cables or after-market cabling options. Single-braided + combs are hawt.
    d) You've got a smaller case/build and older high-power PSUs were generally longer than standard ATX.

    I don't care for monitoring apps - PSUs should just work. If I cared about how much it was pulling I'd buy a wall-socket power meter with recording function.

    I would be buying a new one - the one you have is only 80Plus efficient, no fanless option and 'ugly' cables imo. You've got a single GPU + modest CPU, you could get away with a 500/600W unit. However, I'd be getting rid of the Westmere system before the PSU upgrade though.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 28 Mar 2016
  17. Deders

    Deders Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    14 Nov 2010
    Posts:
    4,053
    Likes Received:
    106
    Agree with you about the monitoring apps, fun for 15 mins but gets in the way after a while, and often isn't as accurate as a wall plug device.

    I would also add, at least from my impression, that Gold rated PSU's are often quieter because the more efficient components waste less energy as heat in the first place. Would you say this is accurate in your experience?
     
  18. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    Yep. Those apps will tell you what the system is delivering to the system after all the internal conversions - thus omitting its own inefficiencies - so what's the point? Maybeee it's interesting to know the pull on the PCIE rails (if that's even offered) but it's not like you can do anything about that. If you want to know the whole system power then measure it from the wall.

    MB software power meters are a bit more interesting as it'll measure more fine-grained specifically from VRMs themselves, but even like you say it's only for curiosity-sake.

    Yes, generally speaking the more efficient = less wasted heat, which certainly adds up when you're pulling v.high wattage because you're not only space heating from the graphics/CPU you're adding to it from the PSU too. I guess that 850W CM won't even pass 400W on his system - and CM's user manual is claiming ~86% efficiency at 50% so not much an issue, but eff will drop a little over time due.
    The QUALITY of fan matters - the super cheap ones have crap fans because it's where you save 50-cents, but you'll find it gets noisier in a few years. We used to say bad fans could fail, but MTBF of PC fans has been good for many years though so one should not fail outright. I can't remember the last fan I plugged in and it didn't work.
    I would say the PSU industry has some work to do on the SFX front for mini-ITX systems - where the limited capacity + same heat = greater heat density = *much noisier* small fans, but ATX is a done-deal these days.

    I've not tested PSUs in years (thank god) so I can't remember the noise of these old units versus the X-series 80 Plus Gold/Sayno Denki fan I used for ages. I admit I'm a component snob if I can get away with it. My fanless Seasonic P520W Platinum series now doesn't even feel warm to touch and I've got a nice set of after market cables on it. It was a premium price but I don't know what would ever incentivise me to buy another now.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 28 Mar 2016
  19. Cerberus90

    Cerberus90 Car Spannerer

    Joined:
    23 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    7,522
    Likes Received:
    136
    These Enermax PSUs never die, they just go on and on and on and on.

    I've got a 500W Liberty still going fine, think I've even still got the receipt for it somewhere, :D



    Yup, Bought from Overclock.co.uk on the 13th Jan 2006 for £59.89
     
  20. Otis1337

    Otis1337 aka - Ripp3r

    Joined:
    28 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    4,480
    Likes Received:
    117
    well efficiency is what im after as ill start to pay my own power bills from the 9th lol, So ill be going at least platinum.

    So the two factors for me is worrying about the impending doom of an old PSU (but not after the reasurance thats not really an issue so long as its not a cheap unit) and the efficiency as mine is only 80plus, not even bronze.

    I dont think the one i have atm is a bad looking unit, and you cant even see it in the Phanteks evolv anyway, cables arnt up to today's standards but are sleeved.
     

Share This Page