- 74 months ago
I have high regard for a decent power supply, but it's the one piece of a computer I have the least personal experience with, because I've never had one fail. I've replaced a PSU with a with a newer or bigger one, but I've never replaced a blown one. I have three PSUs running computers right now. One is a newish Corsair 500W. One is a 6 or 7 year old Raidmax 450W. The other is a 7 or 8 year old Bestec 200W. They all work just fine, so if you asked me to recommend a brand, I couldn't say. I could tell you that the Bestec 200 really lasts a long time, but that's not helpful advice.
Some of you have worked with dozens, maybe even hundreds of computers, so you have a lot bigger sample size than me. How often do you see PSU failures? To me, 90% of the problems I have are disk drives failures, about 9% are the failure of an added card, and the rest is RAM going bad, but that's out of only about 12 computers, maybe 30 if you include computers at work. What kind of patterns do you see across large numbers of systems?
Update: a couple of days after posting this, I finally got my PSU failure. The Raidmax has gone to Silicon Heaven. Took its computer apart for a thorough cleaning. When I reassembled, it booted right up, but while I was checking the BIOS settings, the keyboard stopped working and the PSU went into funny-noise mode. I gave it a second chance, but I got the same noise, and maybe just a whiff of grilled insulation.
I mourn that power supply. :(
It drove that computer through years of heavy work and fun, in dusty environments and non-air-conditioned summers, and it did it for the last few years on rural Texas power lines. The PSU got so dusty inside once that when I opened it, no components were visible. I do not exaggerate. It was just a round mound of brown in there. And when it finally failed, it failed gracefully without zapping the system.
Raidmax RX-450K, August 2006 to March 2014, R.I.P.