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Thread: Wise to use old PSU in a new build?

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    Wise to use old PSU in a new build?

    Building a new PC and have bought most of my parts for it but was thinking of using my 2/3 year old PSU instead of buying a new one. It's a good PSU (Xclio) so is it wise to reuse a PSU or should I buy a new one as I heard if the PSU goes then it usually takes your motherboard with it?

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    Re: Wise to use old PSU in a new build?

    I don't see why not. So long as it's the same standard as the motherboard (ie ATX 2+ rather than ATX 1.3) then it should be fine. A newer one will give you a newer warranty and (usually) greater efficiency, but if you bought well last time, then there's absolutely no need to discard it, unless it's faulty of course...

    If your power required is close to the power supplies theoretical limit, then you may find that the capacitors on board will have degraded with time, and therefore the maximum operating limit has decreased marginally, but for 99.99% of users I doubt that will effect them. I've not had any problems with my Zalman and BeQuiet PSU's and I've used them in various machines over the past 3-4 years, on 24/7 folding.

    And you are right. When a PSU goes, it can take out the motherboard - I've had one go through water leakage and that went bang, but those that go through wear and tear have all just faield to turn on.

    If you have expensive graphics cards you are concerned with, buy some surge suppressors for them.
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    Re: Wise to use old PSU in a new build?

    I don't know who the OEM is for the Xclio PSUs. Would be nice to know a bit more about them before passing judgment. What model is it exactly?

    I have a friend who went with an Xclio PSU and it's not caused him any problems in 4-5 years he has been using it.

    Antec 650w new true power modular is my current favourite at £60

    All these Gold rated PSUs are too expensive over Bronze imo.

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    Re: Wise to use old PSU in a new build?

    Is Xclio really a decent PSU tho? I thought they were rather low-end.

    I've had an old Antec PSU blow the motherboard when it died. I've also had a Seasonic blow up but take nothing with it. Better build quality perhaps? Both were over 4 years old and had been running 24/7 for most of that time. Both had been moved to another PC (thankfully old, crappy things). Based on this personal experience, I now only use new PSUs in new builds. I wont even risk second hand tbh. YMMV.

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    Re: Wise to use old PSU in a new build?

    I still have a seasonic S12 430w which I have just used in my 2nd pc. It is 5 years old and still working fine.

    If you got the funds yes buy a new psu if not there is no reason not to used an old psu as long as it can handle you new gear.

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    Re: Wise to use old PSU in a new build?

    Looks like I have to buy a new PSU as the 560Ti card uses 2x 6 pin connectors and my PSU only has 1x 6 pin connector. Seen 2 PSU's

    Antec True Power New 650W Modular Power Supply PSU 80Plus Bronze SLi

    Coolermaster RS700-80GAD3-UK Silent Pro Gold 700W Modular Power Supply (PSU)

    Will either of these PSU's do for a Sandybridge CPU, 560Ti GPU, 8GB RAM, 2 Hard drives and 2 DVD Players?

    Also what is this thing with 12v rails? The Coolmaster has one and the Antec has several. Does it make any difference and should I pick one over the other PSU based on that?

    Cheers for any advice.

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    Re: Wise to use old PSU in a new build?

    I would go with a known Seasonic rebrand

    Antec new true powers
    Antec gamer series
    Silverpower with SS in the model number
    XFX PSUs
    Some Corsair PSUs but don't know which ones anymore

    Coolermaster make some nice cases. Wouldn't buy there PSUs though due to them using too many OEMs of varying quality.

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    Re: Wise to use old PSU in a new build?

    Quote Originally Posted by ed^chigliak View Post
    I would go with a known Seasonic rebrand

    Some Corsair PSUs but don't know which ones anymore
    HX Series, IIRC.

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    Re: Wise to use old PSU in a new build?

    Depends on the XClio. The one I had in my last build was a CWT unit not dissimilar to one you'd find in a Corsair PSU.

    Using an old PSU is fine as long as you allow a little power loss for capacitor ageing - given most people hugely over-provision on the PSU anyway you're probably fine.

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    Re: Wise to use old PSU in a new build?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Depends on the XClio. The one I had in my last build was a CWT unit not dissimilar to one you'd find in a Corsair PSU.

    Using an old PSU is fine as long as you allow a little power loss for capacitor ageing - given most people hugely over-provision on the PSU anyway you're probably fine.
    It's a bit of a pain as it looks like I will have to get another PSU as my Xclio Great Power only has 1 6 pin on it.

    The 2 PSU's I've picked the Coolmaster has 1 12v rail and the Antec has 4-5 12v rail. What is a 12v rail and does it make any difference to how many a PSU has?

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    Re: Wise to use old PSU in a new build?

    Quote Originally Posted by slypie View Post
    The 2 PSU's I've picked the Coolmaster has 1 12v rail and the Antec has 4-5 12v rail. What is a 12v rail and does it make any difference to how many a PSU has?
    The 12V rail is probably the most important feature of a PSU for our uses. PSUs take mains voltage and step it down to provide power at different voltages. A rail is a supply of a particular voltage that's a bit like a separate pool of that voltage. The more things that share from the same pool the larger the pool (amps) needs to be. Conversely if you have multiple pools (rails) then you can take from separate pools and they don't have to be as large individually.

    When PC peripherals started to demand more power the ATX specification guys enabled people to supply multiple rails - this ensured that you power hungry and possibly electrically noisy hard drive didn't affect the smoothness of supply to your very sensitive CPU.

    However when graphics cards started becoming even more power hungry they found that they needed quite a large supply (amps) of 12V as well. This can be taken from multiple pools if you have multiple connections, however they were getting so hungry that they were pushing the limits on how much could be drawn from these smaller rails (which it turns out, weren't always so independently supplied after all). Thus some enthusiast PSU makers started throwing the official guidelines out of the window and instead provided one HUGE beefy 12V rail for everything to share. Voltage regulation around CPUs and other components is so good these days that you don't need to feed them ultra clean supplies, and instead you can sometimes provide a more powerful PSU if you concentrate on one beefy 12V rail.

    As for your choices, I would avoid the Coolermaster PSU's very strongly. Another important factor of PSUs is their ability to provide exactly the right voltages for the different rails and keep that voltage steady, regardless of whether you have a light or heavy load on the rail (this is different from the 'cleanliness' of supply I mentioned earlier). The tests I've seen for Coolermaster suggest they are very bad at this. Antec on the other hand are good. The mutliple rails thing shouldn't be a problem as long as you don't use a graphic card that is especially demanding on 12V rails.

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    Re: Wise to use old PSU in a new build?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    The 12V rail is probably the most important feature of a PSU for our uses. PSUs take mains voltage and step it down to provide power at different voltages. A rail is a supply of a particular voltage that's a bit like a separate pool of that voltage. The more things that share from the same pool the larger the pool (amps) needs to be. Conversely if you have multiple pools (rails) then you can take from separate pools and they don't have to be as large individually.

    When PC peripherals started to demand more power the ATX specification guys enabled people to supply multiple rails - this ensured that you power hungry and possibly electrically noisy hard drive didn't affect the smoothness of supply to your very sensitive CPU.

    However when graphics cards started becoming even more power hungry they found that they needed quite a large supply (amps) of 12V as well. This can be taken from multiple pools if you have multiple connections, however they were getting so hungry that they were pushing the limits on how much could be drawn from these smaller rails (which it turns out, weren't always so independently supplied after all). Thus some enthusiast PSU makers started throwing the official guidelines out of the window and instead provided one HUGE beefy 12V rail for everything to share. Voltage regulation around CPUs and other components is so good these days that you don't need to feed them ultra clean supplies, and instead you can sometimes provide a more powerful PSU if you concentrate on one beefy 12V rail.

    As for your choices, I would avoid the Coolermaster PSU's very strongly. Another important factor of PSUs is their ability to provide exactly the right voltages for the different rails and keep that voltage steady, regardless of whether you have a light or heavy load on the rail (this is different from the 'cleanliness' of supply I mentioned earlier). The tests I've seen for Coolermaster suggest they are very bad at this. Antec on the other hand are good. The mutliple rails thing shouldn't be a problem as long as you don't use a graphic card that is especially demanding on 12V rails.
    Cheers for the info, really appreciated. In the end I opted for the Antec PSU as it was cheaper and I heeded your advice on Coolmaster. 650w should be more than enough for what I'm running.

    8GB RAM
    560ti GPU
    2 hard drives
    2 DVD drives
    Sandybridge 2500k CPU

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    Re: Wise to use old PSU in a new build?

    Hmm if the CoolerMaster PSUs are so bad I'd better look at something different on my proposed spec then, which hopefully will be cheaper as well.

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