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Old 02-02-2005, 10:57 PM   #1
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Default Average Life of Power Supply ?

I know that some power supplies die on their first turn on; I know that some power supplies have lasted 7 years. I believe that power supplies, like hard drives, may have a designated number of hours before failure.

So assuming that a computer is always on (ie 24/7), about how long would a mid level quality 400W ATX power supply last in real life? Even a rough range would be of interest.
I could not find this info by a search of the Forum.

Thank you,
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Old 02-03-2005, 05:27 PM   #2
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Default Average Life of Power Supply ?

Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) ratings for power supplies are quoted at 80,000 to 100,000 hours or about 10 years. Many come with 3 year warranties, however. As with autos, the selection of the warranty period is usually done by determining when the failure rate starts to rise fast enough to cut into the profit margin for that line. The MTBF hours are not calculated based on real world experience, but rather a calculated average value, based on the life expectacy of the the various parts.

Since no one is answering, I am going to jump out and say that when your power supply exceeds 4 years old, it is beginning to become high risk for a heart attack.
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Old 02-03-2005, 06:50 PM   #3
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Default Average Life of Power Supply ?

I'm not sure how PSU manufacturers determine MTBF. But here's how HD manufacturers do it. Perhaps there's a similarity:

A HD manufacturer will set up a large number of HDs and let them run continuously. The number of failures is noted, as well as the total run time of the HDs. If, say, 1000 HDs run for three months, and there are 4 failures within that period, then the computed MTBF would be

1000*24*90/4 = 540,000 hours.

Note that this number doesn't mean that a SINGLE HD will typically run for 540,000 hours before failing. We'd be able to judge better the likelihood if failures if HD manufacturers told us the actual test results from which they computed MTBF.

Anyway, a high MTDB means that the odds that a given HD will survive to its "useful life" are pretty good. "Useful life" is another term that can be found in HD technical specs. For example, I think Seagate rates the useful life of it's ATA HDs at five years (coincidentally, also the length of Seagate's warranty). Beyond the useful life, the odds of failure increase.

PSU manufacturers also probably have a "useful life" spec of some sort.
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Old 02-03-2005, 07:23 PM   #4
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Default Average Life of Power Supply ?

Ive used mine for arund 5 years now. Antec 350. Came with case. I lucked out. It is being weird with the 3.3v though. says 2.7 =O I dont think thats right.
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Old 02-03-2005, 11:01 PM   #5
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Default Average Life of Power Supply ?

The 300w PSU in my duallie is over 5 years old. All voltages are still within 5%.
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