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Old 02-11-2014
bord bord is offline
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Default Recap questions for psu

I read the recapping article here (from 2007) and wanted to know if the decision to not replace the primary cap along with the secondaries still makes sense today, for typical double forward with apfc designs utilizing a single primary cap. Is the primary cap typically that under-worked that it is better to just leave them alone?

I've got a few psu with mid-grade caps (85C samxons/teapos) for non-oc systems a few years old and was wondering whether I should recap them soon or wait till they are over 5yrs.
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Old 02-11-2014
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I still see more far more failed secondary caps than Primary caps, even in units with APFC. I'd just do the secondaries and see if you actually have problems with the primary side caps.

Then again, Corsair do say that there have been issues in the CX and VS series units with Primary cap failures (and upgraded said cap to a Japanese part), so it's certainly wouldn't do any harm if you did decide to replace it.
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Old 02-12-2014
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@bord - Are you considering recapping just for the experience or challenge? I ask because I don't think recapping a 5 year old PSU would be very cost effective.
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Old 02-12-2014
Stefan Payne Stefan Payne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c_hegge View Post
Then again, Corsair do say that there have been issues in the CX and VS series units with Primary cap failures (and upgraded said cap to a Japanese part), so it's certainly wouldn't do any harm if you did decide to replace it.
According to some person working for a PSU company, primary caps only fail if they are treated wrongly.

Say: They have to endure voltages than specified.
They don't like that. If that happens, they may explode.

So if they say they had some primary failures, I'd say there was something wrong with the primary stage...

And since they probably are talking about america, well we all know the electrical grid there isn't great, so surges may be possible...
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Old 02-12-2014
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Quote:
According to some person working for a PSU company, primary caps only fail if they are treated wrongly.
"Only"??? Well, that's BS! Clearly by a clueless person - or a marketing/PR weenie trying to put a favorable "spin" on the storyline.

What would that wrong treatment be? There are no "user serviceable" parts, settings or configurations for "normal" or advanced users to "tweak" or "overclock" in PSUs.

Sure, you can have abnormal power anomalies come through the power grid and wall outlet, but that's about it.

The fact is, until Man can create perfection 100% of the time, there will always be sample defects.

The reasons these caps fail prematurely are most likely due to (1) impurities in the raw materials, (2) damage during manufacturing/production, (3) excessive heat, (4) excessive current in the circuit due to a failure in another device. There are more reasons, but "treated wrongly" is way down the list (unless the excessive heat is due to user failure to occasionally blast out all the heat-trapping dust from inside the PSU).

I note most PSUs made for world-wide distribution auto-sense the mains voltage and adjust as necessary. There is no enduring of voltages higher than specified unless the PSU designer selected the wrong value. But design flaws of that nature typically result in many identical failures in specific models of PSUs and are typically quickly identified and corrected.

Plus many power their computers through a good UPS, or at least those almost worthless, fancy extension cords some call surge and spike protectors.

Quote:
And since they probably are talking about america, well we all know the electrical grid there isn't great, so surges may be possible...
Like excessive surges aren't possible elsewhere???

The "problem" with America's power grid is its entire infrastructure was not totally rebuilt (again) throughout the last half of the 1900s. Another "problem" is America is a bit spread out, considering the whole of the UK is about the size of 1/3 of Texas. So more reliable underground utilities are not always possible.

Still, I have lived in several other countries. And I now live in a 60 year old house in a 100 year old neighborhood in Tornado Alley. I cannot complain about the power here compared to what I have seen in other "advanced" countries.
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Old 02-13-2014
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Originally Posted by Digerati View Post
@bord - Are you considering recapping just for the experience or challenge? I ask because I don't think recapping a 5 year old PSU would be very cost effective.
Partly for the experience. Why wouldn't it be worth it for an ok 5yr old 80plus psu?
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Old 02-13-2014
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Quote:
Why wouldn't it be worth it for an ok 5yr old 80plus psu?
Because the rest of the components inside are 5 years old too. While 5 may not be old, it is not new either.

By doing the labor yourself, you will save some money - but if you factor in the value of your time, that will definitely make a difference. How much is 1 or 2 hours of your time worth? The average salary of a trained computer technician with 10 years experience is about $20/hour. If you own your shop, that is about $65/hour up to $100 depending on your location.

That said, because all the other components are 5 years old too is my main concern. That said, practice, practice, practice is what develops good soldering skills - a skill like driving - that is, you have keep at it regularly to keep your skill-level up.
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Old 02-13-2014
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Because the rest of the components inside are 5 years old too. While 5 may not be old, it is not new either.
I dunno about that one. Unless the design is really bad, the other silicon components will usually hold up for decades. The caps and fans are the only things which usually fail before that.

If you want to do it for fun, then absolutely go for it. Commercially, though, the time involved does make it impractical. That said, though, I've been doing it for a while now, so I can have a PSU fully recapped in around 30 mins (depending on how many caps there are), so time isn't that big a deal for me.
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Old 02-14-2014
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Decades? That would be nice, but that is not realistic as a "norm". While I agree fan and cap failures are more common, I would also note I have had a fair share of rectifier failures too.
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Old 02-14-2014
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I see more PFC fet failures than cap failures.
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