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PC Power Supply Discussion Troubleshooting and discussion of computer power supplies

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Old 01-31-2007
Merc Merc is offline
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Default PSU Longevity Ratings

I think the reviews here are great. Easy to understand, very stressful on the unit being tested and completely unbiased. The one thing the reviews don't cover, and probably can't without some creative guessing, is long term longevity of a given PSU and/or odd increases in reported failure rates. In other words, "Yes, this PSU passed all the tests but don't expect it to be around 6 months from now because...."

The reason I bring this up is over on our small Asus Independent tech site we have been seeing a huge increase in system problems associated with Antec PSU's. The number pf problems have increased exponentially over the last 3-5 months and some of these failures are taking other system components with them. It is to the point that we no longer recommend building with an Antec PSU if asked.

Almost every forum member that suffers one of these failures always responds with the statement that the PSU had great reviews. Can't argue with that, the reviews are fine. The unit held the load and maybe ran a little hot or something but the voltages were in spec and it got an 8/10 rating. The thing is they are crapping out at a way above normal rate and as an admin you it pops out at you.

No flaming please, I am not picking on Antec for any reason other than as reported above. Never used one and don't know anything beyond what I read and see at our site. I am just wondering if there is some way to track such things and report them so that buyers don't get sucked in or people, like me, don't start blasting a product based on what may be a very narrow sampling size?
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Old 01-31-2007
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I try to keep track of complaints on message boards over time, and then combine that info with what I can tell of a PSU's build quality to get a rough idea how they'll hold up over time, but it's an inexact science. And there's no real way to test units over the long haul to quantify failure rates either.

Antec's older CWT built units are easy to determine the lifespan of... just look for Fuhjyyu caps inside, and expect them to start dropping like flies after 12-18 months or so if they're running warm

Currently, these are the OEM's I know well enough to expect more than 3 years of life from: Zippy, Etasis, Win-Tact, Seventeam, Andyson, FSP, Seasonic, Delta, and Enhance. I'm probably forgetting a couple. Antec's current models are Seasonic.
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Old 01-31-2007
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I do tend to gravitate to things which are built ruggedly myslef, and I do give weight to length of warrantee. eg ocz 5 yrs, and pcp/c...that means they have confidence in their products longevity.

Be aware that some of this stuff is an exact science.. in that black and decker tools actually specced stuff to die just after the warrantee expired. It wouldn't suprise me if this practise is failry widespread.
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Old 01-31-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ianm2 View Post
I do give weight to length of warrantee. eg ocz 5 yrs, and pcp/c...that means they have confidence in their products longevity.
Not really, just means they've promised to fix it if it breaks. Says absolutely nothing about the reliability of the product being warrantied. I can name about a dozen cases of dead PC P&C units in the past couple years - the warranty didn't save them

FWIW, the warranty on the OCZ Powerstreams was 5 years. Topower's warranty on their own versions of the same supplies? One year.
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Old 01-31-2007
JEDIYoda JEDIYoda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oklahoma Wolf View Post
Not really, just means they've promised to fix it if it breaks. Says absolutely nothing about the reliability of the product being warrantied. I can name about a dozen cases of dead PC P&C units in the past couple years - the warranty didn't save them

FWIW, the warranty on the OCZ Powerstreams was 5 years. Topower's warranty on their own versions of the same supplies? One year.
Which means what....that topower has no confidence in ther product verses OCZ which has confidence in there product?

Good point!!
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Old 01-31-2007
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Warranties and such aside, I'd just like an early warning, or any warning, that a manufacturer has turned to crap. Nothing worse than spending 2-3 days helping someone try and get their first build up and running and all the while you know it is the PSU that they just spent $90 on and which got a great rating from ####.com I'd like to say "Just take a look at this guy's site and see that there is some bad juju going on that you won't see in other reviews."
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Old 02-01-2007
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Quote:
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Warranties and such aside, I'd just like an early warning, or any warning, that a manufacturer has turned to crap.
Yeah... that's why I try to never recommend units new to me, preferring instead to wait and see what the good reviews look like and how the innards look before recommending them. If it looks well built, and load tests well, I'll usually start recommending it (or at least not steering people away).

I was nervous about the Powerstreams when they came out... knowing Topower's past flaky reputation, it took me a few months to talk myself into recommending the 470W and 520W. And I usually recommended other units first. Took a lot of flak from the OCZ fanboys over that one, but I had to see for myself. As a result, they never were at the top of my recommended list - the 470W was pulled off the market too soon, and the 520W had regulation problems for too long a time before they fixed it. Don't get me started on the 600W.

There are very few OEM's who have been consistant with their build quality for me to feel safe enough to recommend them on sight. Not surprisingly, these all fall into the upper echelon of SMPS design.
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