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PC Power Supply Discussion Troubleshooting and discussion of computer power supplies

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Old 12-04-2017
Cagarruto Cagarruto is offline
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Default New PC, should I replace my old PSU now? (details inside)

Hello, I've been a long time user of this site (hell, I bought my old PSU because of the review in here... and that was a long time ago, as you'll see), though I never registered/wrote anything in the forum until now.

The thing is, my old computer broke some months ago (like in March or so... wow it's been long, now that I realize), I didn't replace it until now for some really uninsteresting reasons, the fact is now I'm building a new rig with a i7-8700K and my GTX1070.

My old PSU is, as far as I can tell, still working (well?). It's an Antec CP-850 that I bought 8 years ago, and it was said to be an extremely overbuilt Delta unit, great quality. The thing is, I don't know if I should let it go and buy a new one or keep on using this little (sarcasm) wonder.

Now don't think I've not looked for answers before posting (I know, the old question "when should I replace an old PSU?"), it's just that I'd like to know for this specific case:

-The PSU (as already said, an Antec CP-850) was in use in an overclocked i7-920/HD5850 until it broke, like 10-14 hours a day (work at home), most of the time light work with the PC
-It has been off for ~9 months, since the computer went down. I've read somewhere that "electronics don't like to be off", and that it could be worse for a PSU to be off for long periods of time than the actual use. Didn't know that...
-My main worry is about capacitors aging and ripple. I've read that with capacitors failing or becoming really degraded, the ripple could grow very high, and no protection would catch that... the thing is, the unit was appearently built like a tank, and really high quality, but there's this sentence in the summary of the 2009 review by OklahomaWolf where he says "I'd like to see some better capacitors in there, but you just can't fault the CP-850's performance here". Now I'm worried...
-I never got to know WHY my old PC broke. I know it was CPU or Motherboard (by testing things), and I know that the CP-850 is still working. BUT that doesn't mean it was not at least partly because of an aging PSU...

Now the thing is... should I be confident in keep on using my old PSU, or should I buy a new one and let this one have a well deserved rest? I don't know what to do, I wouldn't like to replace it unnecesarily, but I also wouldn't like to put my new rig at risk (if it is a risk) or impede its overclocking capabilities (I plan to overclock the thing, just keeping moderate voltages, I never was a fan of sky-roofing voltages just to get a mere 100-200MHz extra).

Wow, I ended up writing more than I wanted. As Pascal wrote once, "if I had had time enough, I would have written a shorter letter", or something like that. Heh. Well, thank you whoever has read until this point and wishes to help me...
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Old 12-04-2017
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Knowing that old X58 chipset as well as I do, it was probably the board. Especially since many of them had some underdeveloped VRMs.

With that said, I think it's more than time to replace that old CP-850. Not only will it give you the option to move to a different and potentially smaller case if you would like, but 8 years is a healthy enough lifespan for a power supply that it is just a good idea to retire it and send the unit off to be recycled.
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Old 12-05-2017
Cagarruto Cagarruto is offline
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Yeah, I thought the same. That 920 was a power hungry animal, wasn't it? 130W TDP at just 2.66GHz stock... and there wasn't an IGPU to factor in yet, so that was pure CPU. Once overclocked, that thing had to pull a lot through the VRM (I had it at 3.99GHz 1.25V, taking the TDP as a baseline, even if not totally acurate, it should be around 200W and 160A...). Just for the record, the board was a DFI Lanparty UT-X58 (R.I.P. DFI...), which had an 8 phase Volterra VRM for the CPU (I guess nowadays high-end MB are better in this, but I think it was one of the best at the time in that sense, so it could have been worse).

Regarding the PSU, I'm now leaning towards replacing it. Something along the lines of the new Corsair HX750 or HX850 Platinum... I'll probably do it, since as you say, 8 years is a healthy lifespan for a PSU. It's just that I've read some knowledgeable people saying that it's not necessary to replace the PSU if it doesn't fail, but I'm concerned about the loss of properties (especially ripple supression).

It would be interesting to see some kind of review of old, used PSUs to have some kind of idea of how aging affects their properties, but I guess such a thing would be difficult, costly, and ultimately not reliable (cause that kind of things look like the kind of things that can vary wildly per specific case, environmental conditions and just luck of the draw...).

Anyway, thank you for your help, Tator Tot.

Now if someone else wants to chime in and offer his/her view on the subject... I don't know how much more time its going to be until I buy the rest of the parts, but I guess not a whole lot, because I already have the 8700K on the top of my desk and every time I see it inside its little box, something stings inside me...

PS: If you are now thinking I'm with the CPU already on my hands and nothing else, I'll explain: I found a very good offer (for the current exorbitant prices) on some Samsung B G.Skill memory which I took, but the downside of it was that I had to wait a little for delivery (they come the next week, in theory). Since the 8700K is kind of an elusive chip to get your hands on, as soon as I got a chance to order one I did (that's why I have it now), but as I can't build the thing until I get the memory anyway, I didn't felt like I was in any kind of hurry to buy everything else. See? Everything has an explanation, even the most things...

Last edited by Cagarruto; 12-05-2017 at 03:41 PM. Reason: wording
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Old 12-05-2017
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There's only been one real example of a PSU reviewed down the line; but HardOCP did it with the Silverstone Olympia just a little while ago.
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Old 12-05-2017
Stefan Payne Stefan Payne is offline
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@Cagarruto
The advantage of X58 is that you can get Westmere Xeons for next to nothing.
For my L5640 I paid something like 20 bucks plus shipping. Though its a low power version with very low clocks...
A bigger one like the X5650 or better is recommended.
And they are still dirt cheap...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tator Tot View Post
There's only been one real example of a PSU reviewed down the line; but HardOCP did it with the Silverstone Olympia just a little while ago.
about 4 years ago there was another example:
https://www.computerbase.de/2013-11/...etzteile-test/


But only one unit faild and it failed hard...

The rest was still somewhat OKish, though that doesn't mean you should use 10 year old PSU.
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Old 12-07-2017
Cagarruto Cagarruto is offline
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Wow, thank you both... I've been looking for something like that, but never found anything... I'll read both articles when I have some spare time, it's going to be really interesting...

And now I see the memory kit has been sent to me today, so it will probably arrive monday/tuesday... argh... I'm going to have to order the other parts ASAP, but I don't have any time now to think about it (I'm having a few terribly busy days now...)

I'm nearly convinced now about replacing the PSU (unless I see evidence that it's really a non-issue to keep it while it works in those articles you have provided, lets see...), I've been re-reading some reviews (including Oklahoma Wolf's one) on my CP-850, and there are some chinese caps in there that are taking another bite into my trust on this 8-years old PSU for a whole brand new 8700K system. In which case it means another thing to think of . I think I'll just make a choice between a Seasonic Focus+ and Corsair HX Platinum, and that's it...

Thank you guys, I'll read those as soon as I have some time...
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