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PC Power Supply Discussion Troubleshooting and discussion of computer power supplies

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Old 08-11-2018
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Default Mining and power supply life

We have people here who are mining and so often running power supplies at their top end for power

Was wondering what sort of experience they had with the resultant power supply life, and what normally fails when one pushes a supply in this way.

Last edited by ashiekh; 08-11-2018 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 08-11-2018
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If it's a good PSU, it should last it's warranty period if the mining is done in ~40C temperatures.

Problem is, miners generate A LOT of heat and people don't want that in their house (unless it's winter), so miners are generally left in the garage or a shed.

Unfortunately, this means that the miner was operating in temps OVER 50C, essentially cutting the PSU's life in half.

So even if they didn't manage to melt all of their DC cables, I still wouldn't touch a used one with a 10 foot pole.
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So maybe a good quality power supply run at half load 8hrs a day might last 30 years; most of my computers are already at the 10 year mark, and I anticipate a good number of years still. Then again I run them in the full Summer heat to save on cooling bills.
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Old 08-11-2018
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Speaking from experience, it's the power connectors and/or cables that are the first to go. Prolonged high currents, high temps and loose connections and/or chintzy Chinese adapters make for fantastic oxidation targets. And once a high-resistance oxide layer forms, the increased heat buildup from ohmic resistance and higher currents due to voltage drops mean it's a runaway effect until something gives - usually the connector plastic, which leads to disconnection or shorts.

What Jon suggests used to be nearly universally true, but in the last two years, I've seen miners have gotten much more aware of heat issues, usually going for large car/truck radiator fans (which are run off of 12V supplies), set to blow fresh air onto the rigs (both cabling and the PSU, as well as the GPU array), in trying to make sure no heat build-up occurs. Of course, adequate mining room ventilation is a given for someone who takes care of such important details.

In cheap Chinese PSUs that are like 50% overrated, it's usually the PSU's primary that goes out first.

Serious miners nowadays tend to run their GPUs undervolted and underclocked slightly, to achieve better hashrate per watt and better longevity, and choose quality Gold+ rated PSUs to save on electricity bills. It used to be that you'd want to avoid miners' surplus GPUs and PSUs like the plague; now it's not as undesirable as it used to be.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McSteel View Post
Speaking from experience, it's the power connectors and/or cables that are the first to go.

...usually going for large car/truck radiator fans (which are run off of 12V supplies...
Now this is interesting; I'm one that uses silicone oil on electrical connectors, computer or car.

Why use 12V fans when mains fans are so readily available and don't tax the supply?
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Why use 12V fans when mains fans are so readily available and don't tax the supply?
From what I've been told, it's the price factor. Typically a radiator fan will have excellent airflow relative to the power requirements, and will cost next to nothing at a car junkyard.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McSteel View Post
From what I've been told, it's the price factor. Typically a radiator fan will have excellent airflow relative to the power requirements, and will cost next to nothing at a car junkyard.
I imagine they are not brushless

Say a car does 200,000mi at 50 mph; that's 4000 hrs but the fan is on for only a fraction of this time, let's say 1000 hrs


That's a life of just over 1 month, and I imagine it consumes 150W or so (13 amp). One year at 150W costs a lot more than a mains cooling fan.

Last edited by ashiekh; 08-11-2018 at 05:10 PM.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashiekh View Post
I imagine they are not brushless

Say a car does 200,000mi at 50 mph; that's 4000 hrs but the fan is on for only a fraction of this time, let's say 1000 hrs


That's a life of just over 1 month, and I imagine it consumes 150W or so (13 amp). One year at 150W costs a lot more than a mains cooling fan.
Actually they wire the fan to 5V, which is just about enough to run it (some of the models can't start below 6V, but the more experienced guys know which ones to avoid). A 16" fan will spit out just about 1000 CFM at something like 35-40W of power draw, and the normally under-utilized 5V rail doesn't even flinch.

The brushes on car radiator fans tend to be on the order of 20mm long, there are usually 4 of them for a 12-pole commutator. Those would typically last years of 24/7 operation, especially at less than half the RPM and less than quarter the power output.
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Last edited by McSteel; 08-11-2018 at 06:03 PM. Reason: Brain fart/typo
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Quote:
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The brushes on car radiator fans tend to be on the order of 10cm long...
Typo?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashiekh View Post
Typo?
More of a brain fart, several different thought threads got twisted together... Post edited.
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