Power Supply Lifespan: How Long Do Power Supplies Last?

How long do computer power supplies last? is a commonly asked subject in the power electronics industry. To answer the question adequately we must first break a few things down into individual components. In this article, we’ll look at the major factors that affect how long a power supply lasts.

The majority of people use power supplies until they malfunction but I’d like to advise everyone to take action sooner rather than later to boost the likelihood of your computer running properly for longer.

Let’s take a closer look at the many components that make up a power supply, as well as fascinating tips to extend the average lifespan of PSU.

What is the Purpose of a Power Supply?

Before answering how long do power supplies last, we need to understand how Power Supply works. A power supply is one of the primary components of a computer that accepts electricity from a wall outlet and converts it from AC to a usable DC voltage, which typically includes +12 Volt, +5 Volt, 3.3 Volt. Essential functions are present in all power supplies, with extra actions included based on the device type.

Electricity supplies may be required to adjust voltage, transform power to direct current or modulate power for a more consistent output voltage. These capabilities will assist you in determining the electrical supply you require.

Getting a gadget with too many functions may cost you more money than you need to pay, but if you don’t obtain the capabilities you need, the devices you need to power may be damaged. Because of frequent temperature variations and intensive use, power supplies are the most susceptible to failure when utilized in personal computers. Of course, power supplies are required by electronics such as computers and televisions, and these parts must be replaced more frequently than other components.

Power supplies are responsible for more than just supplying electricity to electronics. These devices can be internal or external, giving power to appliances, lights, and other devices. You almost certainly have a power supply in or linked to a device that requires electricity.

How Long Does a Power Supply Last?

Answering this question is difficult as it varies depending on the manufacturer and how often you use your desktop computer. The bulk of power supply units are expected to survive at least five years. This is dependent on how often you use the device and how much electricity you feed it.

However, the higher the unit’s quality, the longer it should survive. Power supplies should have a 10 to 15 years lifespan as long as the amount of electricity or voltage delivered is right.

A PSU should last a long period under typical conditions—at least five years, and potentially up to ten years if you’re fortunate. Nevertheless, putting the power supply under high loads for long periods of time can cause it to become overstressed.

What Affects the Longevity of a Power Supply?

Although the lifespan of a PSU is largely dependent on its usage and the model, a computer power supply should be replaced every five years. Because a power source will most certainly become less optimal after this timeframe, perhaps causing a system to become unstable.

Old capacitors and other components, power surges, heat, and other mechanical pressures are the primary causes. Electrolytic capacitors (E-caps) determine the lifetime of a typical external AC/DC power source. While other components, such as optocouplers, can degrade over time, they rarely have the same impact on product life as E-caps.

E-caps deteriorate overtime when the electrolyte in them dries out. Processing capabilities differ wildly throughout the sector, thus having a solid approach in place for E-cap vendor selection, including continuous reliability programs and assurances, is critical.

Parts of Power Supply in Computer

Power supplies, just like every other electronic device, are made up of a circuit board with components arranged and placed on it. A cooling fan keeps components cool within the power supply’s metal housing, which is unusual for a power supply.

Understanding the individual components of a power supply is important.


Capacitors, like semiconductors, are one of the most basic parts that produce electronic malfunctions. The heat at which capacitors function is likely to be higher than in regular applications.

The capacitor fails to supply the appropriate capacitance value once the electrolytes have evaporated past a certain threshold. Depending on the circuit design, when capacitor values start to deviate, other components such as semiconductors and resistors may run hotter. As a result, their life expectancy is reduced.


Another component whose value might change as it ages is the typical carbon resistor. Resistors can gradually rise in value as heat transfers from electrical to thermal.

Although this increase may not have the same negative impact as a capacitor, it can still produce anomalies, such as computer components with a starved supply, to name one instance.

Coils, Inductors, and Transformers

Enamel-coated copper wires are wrapped around a plastic, ferrite, or magnetic core in coils, inductors, and transformers. Without a core, some inductors wound with bigger gauge wire can be made and connected onto a PCB.

Unless they have been physically damaged, these are not the most probable parts to cause a computer’s power supply to break down.

Integrated Circuits

Due to a variety of factors, the lifespan of integrated circuits varies. Integrated Circuits (ICs) may last for a very long time in the appropriate conditions.

The longevity of an integrated circuit is affected by factors such as the circuit’s design, which determines how well a supply line is smoothed, how steady a voltage supply line remains under varied conditions, and how much load the IC must handle.

Cooling Fans

A cooling fan’s typical lifespan is roughly 30000 hours or three and a half years. If the cooling fan stops working it affects the lifespan of the power supply significantly.

When fans get old, the components within can wear out and stop working and causing the fan to stop spinning or to spin very slowly, and if the fan slows down enough, cooling for the power supply can be affected.

How to Determine Power Supply Failure?

Given the nature of the power supply, it doesn’t give you much warning that it’s about to go out. However, it may undertake one or more of the following things before passing away:

  • Strange noises may come from the back of the computer casing, near the cord.
  • If nothing happens when the computer is turned on, a flashing light on the front of the computer or an indication on the rear of the power supply unit may appear.
  • The computer may power up for a few seconds before shutting down again.
  • The computer is turned on for a while, but it suddenly goes off without notice while you’re playing a game or utilizing another application.

How to Choose the Perfect Power Supply?

First of all, ensure that the power supply unit you choose is compatible with the form factor of your server case and motherboard to confirm that it is compatible with your server.

Second, wattage is an important consideration. The higher the wattage rating, the more power the unit can offer to your system, so you’ll want to consider how much power your components need to function properly.

Finally, while replacing a power supply in a desktop it is critical to examine brands. Corsair, Antec, EVGA, and Seasonic are all popular power supply brands. One tip is to search for an 80 Plus Platinum grade, as this indicates high energy efficiency and lower power expenses.

 80 Plus standards power supplies

There are 6 standards of the 80 Plus standard power supplies, starting from -White, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Titanium. Aside from the 10% load, all these power supplies will maintain at least 80% of the load level.

How to Increase the Longevity of a Power Supply?

Of course, there are a few things you can do to get the most of a power supply that will allow you to use it even after the manufacturer’s warranty date.

  • Ensure that the additional equipment you install does not exceed the power limit.
  • The power supply should meet or exceed your system’s requirements by at least 20%.
  • Don’t skimp and buy a substandard device. A decent one will set you back a little more,
    but it will last a long time.
  • Keep it below 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cutting back on high-stress activities is the only way to extend the life of your power supply. Cryptocurrency mining, for example, is an extremely taxing activity. Overclocking your CPU or GPU can put additional strain on your power supply unit, though this can be mitigated by selecting gear that is rated suitably.

Bottom Line

As you can see, there are a lot of factors to consider when determining how long your power supply is able to endure. Keep your system cool, clean, and dust-free to extend the life of your PC hardware. Additionally, taking care of your hardware saves money because you won’t have to repair broken parts.

Considering the low cost of a computer power supply in most computers, replacing it with a new one appears to be a wise move. But do not be frightened to compare prices. You don’t want to go with the first power supply unit you find.

Hi! I am Tanzil, I would like to think of myself as a Tech Nerd. The interest in computers, related parts, accessories, and new technologies have been growing constantly in me. Eventually, the interest became a passion and the passion became a habit. I like to express this habitual knowledge through writing. Therefore, I spend my leisure time writing on computers and technology.

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