In a perfect world, your PC and its components would last as long as you need it, with the only incentive to upgrade is the increased performance. Life, however, isn’t always perfect.
PC components wear out. Because replacement parts can be costly, it makes perfect sense to get the most out of each one you have.
The essential thing you can do is keep your PC components in good working order. Good maintenance practices are the foundation and culmination of a long-lasting PC, especially when you construct it yourself.
This post will discuss one of PC’s most essential components: a power supply unit (PSU). What is a PSU? How long does a PSU last? Read on to find out!
What is a PSU?
The power supply unit (PSU) of the computer converts the alternating current (AC) mains supply voltage, 220-240 volts, into various regulated, low voltage direct current (DC) outputs required by the computer’s components.
In some circumstances, a voltage selection switch may be included, allowing the user to pick a voltage based on their geographic region (the United States, for example, 120 volts).
A bunch of cables emanates from the front of the PSU within the box. The cables are frequently color-coded and grouped according to the type of device to which they will be attached.
Although the power supply unit has been used in a variety of forms in the past, some of which were rather large and massive, most desktop computers currently utilize power supplies that correspond to the standard ATX configuration. A typical power supply is depicted in the image below.
How Long Does a PSU Last?
We need to break things down into individual components to answer how long power supply units last properly. It will allow us to provide a comprehensive explanation.
Most people use power supplies until they fail. However, it is better to take action sooner rather than later to boost the odds of your PC running properly for longer. You can check what PSU do you have.
Every five years, a computer’s power supply should be replaced. A power source will most certainly become less efficient over this period, perhaps causing a device to become problematic.
The principal culprits are aged capacitors and other components, heat, power surges, and other mechanical pressures.
Like any other electronic equipment, power supply units are composed of a circuit board having components arranged and affixed on it.
A cooling fan keeps components cold inside the power supply’s metal housing, which is unusual for a power supply. Let’s discuss each component one by one.
Like semiconductors, this is arguably one of the most prevalent components that causes electronic problems. The capacitance value of these components changes as they age, affecting the efficiency of your power supply in comparison to its initial design.
Aluminum electrolytic capacitors are the most often used capacitor in power supply. These capacitors are comprised of pure aluminum foil with a dielectric of aluminum oxide.
An electrolytic capacitor’s projected lifespan is a difficult topic to answer. The capacitor, however, can no longer give the appropriate capacitance value once the electrolytes have evaporated past a certain threshold.
Computer power supplies are tested, especially for gamers or other industries that require the computer to work hard for long periods of time. It means that the temperature at which capacitors function will most likely be more significant than in standard applications.
As a result, it is believed that the lifetime will be less than the average of 10 to 20 years.
Depending on the circuit design, when capacitor values start to deviate, other components such as semiconductors and resistors may run hotter. As a result, their life expectancy is reduced.
Another component whose value might change as it ages is the typical carbon resistor. Resistors can gradually rise in value when heat transfers from electrical to thermal.
Although this increase may not have the same detrimental effect as a capacitor, it can still produce anomalies, such as computer parts with a depleted supply, to name one example.
This deteriorating effect can be increased when a resistor’s power rating becomes too insufficient for the job at hand.
It can happen when circuits are constructed incorrectly and a value is chosen incorrectly, causing the component to have a reduced lifespan.
The lifetime of integrated circuits varies. It’s due to a variety of factors. The length of time you can anticipate a component to endure is mainly determined by how hot it becomes over time.
A component like this might sometimes only survive a short time due to poor manufacturing standards. Reputable IC makers aid the cause, but they aren’t the primary factor in determining its longevity.
The longevity of an integrated circuit is affected by factors such as the circuit’s design. It determines how well a supply line is rounded, how steady a voltage supply line remains under varied situations, and how much load the IC must handle.
Integrated circuits have a very long life span under the right conditions.
Inductors, Transformers and Coil
Coils, inductors, and transformers are the most dependable components in a power supply unit.
Enamel-coated copper wires are wrapped around a plastic, ferrite, or magnetic core in coils, inductors, and transformers. Without a core, certain inductors wound with bigger gauge wire may be made and connected onto a PCB.
Unless they have been physically damaged, they are not the most probable components to cause a computer’s power supply to fail.
When a cooling fan in a power supply unit stops operating, its lifespan is significantly reduced.
When fans grow old, the bearing inside them might stop working. The fan will either not spin at all or will spin extremely slowly. This is the worst-case situation, and as fans age, they frequently get noisier and use more power.
However, if the fan slows down sufficiently, cooling for the power supply may be affected. A cooling fan’s typical lifespan is roughly three and a half years.
There are a lot of factors to consider when determining how long does PSU lasts. Given the unpredictability of some components, determining dying power supply signs is hugely challenging.
Some components, such as capacitors, may begin to degrade after five years and will no longer perform as effectively as they once did.
While the power supply may function normally, the typical user will be unaware of the system’s lesser effects.
Given the low cost of a computer power supply in most computers, replacing it with a new one appears to be a wise move.