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Why do power supplies die?

Posted on 2010-11-19
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Why do desktop computer power supplies die? If the computer is not plugged in through a surge protector could that fry the power supply over time? Seems like Dell desktop power supplies die a lot. Thanks for your help.
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Question by:canalicomputers
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ProtechCT earned 125 total points
ID: 34173908
It depends on the actuall maker of the power supply and the internal parts used to make them, better quality longer life.

Also you said there is not a surge protector in uses,  any sudden voltage spike can immediatly kill a power supply.  I would suggest to use one.
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by:leoahmad
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i do not think so, could be problem with electricity supply.

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by:nlandas
nlandas earned 125 total points
ID: 34173935
Well there are any number of reasons a power supply can fail. Yes, you should always use a surge protector but this doesn't protect from brownouts - low power conditions. A really good line UPS is the best protection from bad power.

However, Power supplies still wear out be it the capacitors that are only rated for so many charge discharge cycles or any of the other components inside them. Heat is the other enemy but ultimately they still have a MTBF just like anything in computers.

Now I don't know which specific DELLS you have but they may have a design flaw or may have to deal with too much heat.
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by:jrathi
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everything in this world will die so does power supply
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by:Alan Henderson
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I agree with the previous comments: PSUs vary in quality and it's usually, but not always, related to price. Check reviews before buying—that applies to surge protectors too, better to use a UPS.

It takes a fairly substantial spike to kill a PSU but it can happen.

The other factor would be overloading the PSU, you'd probably notice computer performance problems first though. Make sure you have a PSU that's substantially higher capacity than the system is likley to consume. there are plenty of PSU power calculators online to help you work that out.
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by:leoahmad
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@jrathi

great answer! if i was the asker, i would award you points.

cheers
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by:canalicomputers
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Thanks
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by:Alan Henderson
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