How Long Does a Computer Power Supply Last?

There are a lot of questions you’re going to ask yourself while shopping around for a computer power supply unit. One of the biggest is how long does a computer supply unit even last?

But this isn’t the only question you’re going to need to ask yourself. You’re going to cover all the bases before you spend money.

We’re going to answer all your questions when it comes to finding the right power supply units, from battery power to your PC power supply.

How Long Does a Computer Power Supply Last? 

This is a tough question to answer. It can vary between brands and how often you have your desktop computer running.

Most power supply units should last at least five years. This depends on how often you use the unit and how much power you’re putting through it.

But the better the quality, the longer the unit should last. The best power supply units can last between ten and 15 years. As long as you don’t overdo it with the amount of power or voltage being sent through.

What are Efficiency Ratings? 

There is a certified program to help you determine the efficiency rating of a power supply unit. Most brands take part in this program so their customers can get an idea of what they offer.

The power supply unit is meant to convert the AC power from an outlet to DC power for your computer.

The efficiency of a unit determines how much heat and energy is wasted during that conversion. These are measured by what it can handle up to 100% loads.

The highest efficiency ratings are platinum and titanium units. A titanium rating means it’s 94% power efficient. A platinum rating means it’s 90% power efficient.

Next is the gold rating at 90% power efficient. The silver rating is 88% power efficient, and the bronze rating is 85% power efficient.

The lowest rating is the white rating, meaning there’s a power efficiency of 80%. It’s sometimes referred to as only an 80+ rating. 

How Many Wattages Do I Need?

How Many Wattages Do I Need

There are two types of advertised wattages. First, there is the peak wattage, which is the total amount of power the power supply unit can give.

Next is continuous wattage. This type of wattage is the number of watts it gives without interruption or fluctuation.

Believe it or not, but you don’t need a huge amount of wattage if you’re the average gamer. 650 watts should be enough.

However, the professional gamer might need a power supply unit with higher wattage. The better the graphics card, the higher the watts you’ll need to run it smoothly.

And if you’re running multiple drives, you’ll need a unit with high wattage as well.

You have to keep in mind that every part of your computer needs its own amount of energy to run properly.

What are the Types of Modulars? 

There are three types of modulars when it comes to a power supply unit. They are fully modular, semi-modular, and hard-wired.

A fully modular power supply unit means that all the cables are removable. If you’re not using the unit, you can store them away. It also makes it easier to declutter the cables and prevent tangles.

The fully modular unit is the priciest choice between the three.

A semi-modular power supply unit has the needed cables attached. But there are spots for any extra cables you may need for your gaming computer.

A hard-wired power supply unit has all cables attached. But it doesn’t have extra spots for any extra cables, and they also tend to tangle easily. These are the cheapest modulars.

What are Rails? 

What are Rails The rails of a power supply unit are a printed circuit board pathway. It’s this pathway that the unit uses to draw power through it.

A single rail unit uses one rail to send power back and forth to the rest of the unit. These power supply units work best for computers that don’t need as much power.

There is a danger to a single rail power supply unit. If there’s a power surge, the unit can become fried. Even your gaming computer can get fried.

A multi-rail unit passes the power through at least two rails, if not more. The downside to this unit is that the power isn’t always moved equally.

What Else Should You Consider? 

Our first major advice is to do your research on the brand you’re looking at for a power supply unit. You need to check out what the experts have to say.

Read the expert reviews, but don’t forget to read customer reviews, either. Customer reviews can sometimes reveal the pros and cons that you wouldn’t find out elsewhere.

Customer reviews are great at letting you know of any malfunctions the power supply unit can have.

You should also consider your budget. You need to know what you can afford and what you can’t.

You don’t want to skimp out, especially if you run a high-quality gaming computer. The more hardcore you game, the more you should spend. The more graphics your computer uses, the more you should spend.

If you only casually game, you won’t need to spend a lot on a power supply unit.

Lastly, consider the room you have for your power supply unit. If you don’t have a lot of room, there are more compact sizes to choose from.

The Bottom Line 

You don’t want to buy just any power supply unit for your gaming computer. You need to make a list of important features for your specific needs.

Don’t be afraid to shop around. You don’t want to pick the very first power supply unit you come across.