Why do power supplies die?

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.
canalicomputersAsked:
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ProtechCTConnect With a Mentor Commented:
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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Muhammad Ahmad ImranConnect With a Mentor Database DeveloperCommented:
i do not think so, could be problem with electricity supply.

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nlandasConnect With a Mentor Commented:
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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jrathiCommented:
everything in this world will die so does power supply
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Alan HendersonConnect With a Mentor Retired marine engineerCommented:
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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Muhammad Ahmad ImranDatabase DeveloperCommented:
@jrathi

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

cheers
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canalicomputersAuthor Commented:
Thanks
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Alan HendersonRetired marine engineerCommented:
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