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PSU's fan is dead, replace or new PSU?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
So the fan in my modular Thermaltake 1000w has died(IIRC its a CWT just like the HX1000 but with cheaper caps).

My first reaction was to just yank it out and replace the fan and job done. However the PSU is almost 4 years old; and from first year EE when we did Linear and Switching PSU's one of the things that came up a lot was expected lifetimes and MTBF's. We where taught that switching ones didn't last nearly as long their linear brethren(3-5 years the lecture notes mention).

Now that got me wondering as while he was referring to all switching psu's in general, should I perhaps be looking at retiring the TT PSU and getting something new?
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post #2 of 11
4 years? I'm already thinking about replacing mine and it's only 2 years old. I think the answer to whether or not you should upgrade is yes, you should. I'm sure even after 1000w starts to deteriorate, it'll still have a good power output, but it's still just good maintenance to keep things fresh.
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post #3 of 11
I'd just replace the fan. The PSU itself is probably fine.
I've seen people fire up 10 year old PCs with no problems, consistently, over the years. If components were as prone to age failure as people like to think, nothing would work for more than a few years.
$10 to keep the PSU for awhile longer isn't that bad. Worst case is you end up with another case fan for the future.
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post #4 of 11
There's nothing about SMPS that make them inherently shorter lived than linear PSUs. The only thing going against them is complexity, more parts that can fail. A quality PSU can last over ten years easily if it has quality components. First thing to fail in such a PSU is the fan; the capacitors may start failing after maybe eight to twelve years.
post #5 of 11
I've replaced my PSU fan twice already, which cost a whole lot less than buying a new one... at least 4yrs old and still goin strong thumb.gif
Edited by gymenii - 1/31/11 at 4:17pm
post #6 of 11
Well, assuming it's out of warranty, and you feel comfortable opening it up, then do so. When you have the top off, then look over the capacitors (big cylindrical things) and look to see if any of them have any signs of bulging at the top, or any goo leaking out of them. Ignore the white glue used to secure stuff, leaking capacitor goo is usually yellowy or rust coloured.
If all looks good, then go ahead and replace the fan. If the capacitors are suffering, then replace it soonest.
You'll have to open it to replace the fan, use the opportunity to make sure it's not dying.
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaedrus2129;12215191 
There's nothing about SMPS that make them inherently shorter lived than linear PSUs. The only thing going against them is complexity, more parts that can fail.

Wait what you kinda contradict yourself here. The fact that they are more complex is why the have a higher chance of failing which is why they are often shorter lived. This is a direct conse is bad or anything) quence of design (although not because the design and a disadvantage of the main advantages they offer over linear psu's.

Although I am likely approaching this wrong as my thinking is more from an EE perspective not as an expert in PC PSU's specifically

@allikat yea changing the fan shouldn't be too hard. I'll probably take it down the lab next time I have electronics and test it to make sure nothing is wrong as well.

Thanks everyone for weighing in
Edited by Starbuck5000 - 1/31/11 at 7:23pm
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post #8 of 11
Replace fan.
It's really simple as well.
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post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbuck5000;12217374 
Wait what you kinda contradict yourself here. The fact that they are more complex is why the have a higher chance of failing which is why they are often shorter lived. This is a direct conse is bad or anything) quence of design (although not because the design and a disadvantage of the main advantages they offer over linear psu's.

Although I am likely approaching this wrong as my thinking is more from an EE perspective not as an expert in PC PSU's specifically

@allikat yea changing the fan shouldn't be too hard. I'll probably take it down the lab next time I have electronics and test it to make sure nothing is wrong as well.

Thanks everyone for weighing in

Well assuming top quality parts for both PSUs... You'll have a few more DOAs and early failures from manufacturing flaws, and then through most of the PSUs' lifetime you'll see about equal failure rates, until capacitors start failing.

In fact, the greater heat generated by the inefficiency of most linear PSUs may lead to quicker failure.


Failure modes and such aren't really my specialty, so I'm a little out of my depth, but I don't think you can make any blanket statement about the life of a given type of power supply unless taken on a unit by unit basis.
post #10 of 11
I say...do both.

You could probably use a new PSU, and the repaired TT can be a backup.
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