How Long Does a Power Supply Last? PSU FAQs | ProBuilts

How Long Does a Power Supply Last

Power Supply Unit (PSU) is an internal component of IT hardware. It is an essential part of any electronic system. People usually misinterpret PSU; they think it only supplies power to the unit, whereas PSU also converts power from a source to accurate voltage, frequency, and current. Moreover, a PSU has a power input connection, which receives energy from a source in the form of current and an output connection to deliver this energy to the load. PSU’s are also called power inverters. 

Components of Power Supply Unit:

The power supply units are based on four basic components:

  • Transformer,
  • Rectifier,
  • Filter,
  • And regulator.

Purpose of the 4 Components of PSU:

Below are the defined purposes of the components of power supply units. 


  • The sole purpose of the transformer is to increase or decrease the input line voltage.
  • To connect it with rectifier.


  • Converts alternating current signal into a pulsating direct current signal if desirable.


  • Converts a pulsating direct current voltage into filtered direct current voltage.


  • Sustains the output of the power supply at a persistent despite of the fluctuation in input line voltage or load current.

What is DC Power Supply?

DC stands for direct current, and as the name indicates, it streams in only one direction. It has two wires, negative and positive. 

What is AC Power Supply?

AC is an abbreviation for alternating current. Typically used in power supplies, it reverses its direction multiple times back and forth at regular cycles or intervals.

Batteries usually rely on DC, and other appliances depend on AC.

A PSU converts a 110-115 and 220-230 volt alternative current (AC) into low Direct Current (DC) voltage.

 The three main subsets of PSU are:

  1. Linear
  2. Switched
  3. Battery Based.

Linear is less complicated as compared to switched and battery-based PSUs, but all of them have their advantages. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of these linear, switched, and battery-based power supplies.

  • Small residual ripple
  • Less noise
  • Stable
  • Good load & line regulation
  • Reliable & Safe
  • Large heatsinks
  • Heavy size
  • Less efficient
  • expensive
  • Light weight
  • Highly efficient
  • Comparatively affordable 
  • Wide input voltage range
  • High noise
  • Mains pollution
  • Circuit is complex
Battery Based
  • It does not need on-site power.
  • Handy.
  • Short life span.
  • Voltage input is fixed.
  • Upon usage of energy reserves, output voltage droops.

Types of Power Supply:

Below is the classification of various types of Power Supplies:

Switch Mode Power Supply (SMPS):

Also known as a computer power supply, SMPS has a switching regulator that converts electrical power powerfully. Like any other PSU, SMPS also transmit power from a DC or AC source to DC loads. 

Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS):

A UPS is a power supply unit that enables a machine to keep working for some time even if the electricity connection main supply is lost. Moreover, UPS is also given fortification from power flow. Energy is stored in the battery, which detects power loss and acts immediately.

AC Power Supply:

An AC power supply needs voltage from the primary power source. The transformer is then used to step up or down the voltage. Also, some filtration might take place at this point. 

DC Power Supply:

DC power supply provides a continuous DC voltage to its load. Moreover, one can control the DC from a DC or AC supply. 

Regulated Power Supply:

It is a fixed circuit used to convert unregulated alternating current into stable DC. Further, a rectifier is used to convert AC into DC. The primary purpose of this device is to provide stable voltage to the machine. 

Programmable Power Supply:

The programmable power supply requires a remote control for its operation through analog input, or it might need digital interfaces, i.e., GPIB or RS232. 

Computer Power Supply:

The PSU is an essential part of the computer. It is used for changing power supplied from the outlet and converting it into DC from alternating current. It also controls the heating of the system.

Linear Power Supply (LPS):

It supplies the direct current into the entire circuit. The LPS mainly includes a:

  • Step down transformer,
  • Rectifier,
  • Filter circuit,
  • Voltage Regulator.

How Much a PSU Last?

Power supply units usually last in 5 years, and you need to change them in 4-5 years. Moreover, all the PSUs that come with a PC last in 2-4 years whereas, the elite brands and other gaming PSUs end in almost 3-5 years. It is better to keep empowering the PSUs to increase their lifespan. Moreover, the life of a PSU also depends on how you use your machine. 

How to Know if PSU of Computer is Dying?

Sometimes power supply unit failure is warned by the computer and sometimes it won’t. The possible symptoms of PSY dying are:

  • Unusual noises emitting from the back of the computer.
  • The computers turn off right turning on. 
  • The computer turns on but switched off upon launching any other application or game.

How to Increase Life of PSU?

You can increase the life of the power supply unit at least till the date given by the manufacturer by following the guidelines below:

  • Max out the wattage with the additional equipment you are installing. 
  • Avoid spending on the junky and cheap unit. It will make you go through a bumpy ride of system malfunction way before the expected running.
  • Keep your machine as dust–free as possible.
  • Keep your machine under 80 degrees.
  • Get an air filter for the place where the machine is placed as it is challenging to keep the air quality clean. 
  • Clean the system occasionally to let it breathe. 

Wrap Up

The life of the power supply unit can be 5-10 years, depending on the machine’s usage. It is advisable to spend a little extra and buy a good device. Moreover, you need to follow the guidelines mentioned above to increase the life of your computer.

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