Installing a new Power Supply Unit.

#1 Edited by Demoskinos (17125 posts) -

So hey, the fans on my current PSU are all messed up and before they fail outright I figure it would be wise to purchase a new PSU. So, obviously I have to pay attention to wattage of which for my modest PC I figure somewhere between 500-600 might be servicible. Currently I think it came with a 450W PSU.

Anyways, I might get a slightly higher watt so I could potentially accommodate a better video card in the future as well so I figure that the PSU has to be the most straight forward thing to install right? Are there any things I should know? For being such a nerd I'm ashamed that there was a gap between like 2004-2011 where i completely spaced on keeping up with hardware so the last actual PC I worked on and tore apart was in my computer class in High-school in like 2003.

Any tips anyone could give would be great thanks. Also, I'm going to take it upon myself to clean the damn thing while I'm at it. Would taking it out on my porch and hitting it with the computer cleaner be the proper way to go about it? I'm ashamed to say since I got this thing in 2011 I've never opened it to clean it out. Yeah, I know I'm a horrible person.

#2 Posted by PimblyCharles (1821 posts) -

@demoskinos: Try cleaning it with compressed air outdoors first. If the fan is still not turning consistently and you're concerned of its longevity, then just replace the fan before buying a new PSU. As long as the voltages and temperatures are stable, there's no need to replace the entire unit.

#3 Edited by TruthTellah (9740 posts) -

@demoskinos: It's relatively simple. Primarily, you'll just be removing 4-5 screws while cradling it with your hand. Then you pull it right out, insert the new one, screw it in, and it's set. After that, just connect each port to the corresponding part inside the computer.

Remember to wear non-conductive gloves if you can, make sure it is completely unplugged, do not work over carpet, touch the metal parts of the case before touching any parts in the case if you don't have non-conductive gloves, and take your time. Rushing will do you no favors.

And look up guides if you get stuck. There are tons and tons of videos and guides for changing out a PSU. :)

(also, I'd recommend a 550-600W if you are planning on expanding the computer in the future. Preferably a PSU with good reviews)

#4 Edited by jsnyder82 (814 posts) -

Honestly, my advice would be to not even toy with the idea of trying to fix the PSU, and just buy a new one. You don't want to mess with the PSU, because if it fails, it could take your entire computer with it. Not to mention the fact that an overheating PSU could potentially burn your house down. Unlikely scenario, but better safe than sorry.

Cleaning your PC is a great idea, and if you choose to buy a new PSU, I recommend anything by Corsair.

#5 Edited by kcin (405 posts) -

Frankly, PSUs are one of the computer parts that people waste the most money on thinking they will need very high power levels. I have 8 (EIGHT!) hard drives, a Radeon 7850, and 16GB of RAM, and I barely need 550W. What you will want to consider is the efficiency rating of the PSU, and how silent reviews say it is. This will get you a PSU that will let you be comfortable keeping your computer on as often or as long as you want without worrying about being bothered by the noise or the electricity hit. Spend $70 on a Gold- or Platinum-rated PSU that with an automatic fan (only turns on when it is needed) and enjoy it for a few years.

Here's a PSU wattage calculator for reference, but I think you have the right idea with a 500W PSU already.

And yes, cleaning your computer with compressed air, OUTSIDE, is not just a good idea, it is a necessary thing to do on a regular basis depending on how aired-out your room is. Changing the PSU is not difficult, you just have to fit the cables into all the sockets. You won't have a hard time. PCs these days are just big puzzles, basically, and no parts really fit where they shouldn't. Just notice which cables plug into your motherboard (they look like Legos), and the rest are very simple.

#6 Posted by 49th (3302 posts) -

I replaced mine recently after the fan kept clicking and it is super easy. The most annoying part is just unplugging and re-plugging all the wires, especially if you had cable ties. Just make sure you know what goes where.

You can get a modular PSU which means you only attach the wires that you need, this obviously saves on space inside your case but they tend to be more expensive. I just have a non-modular one and cram the unused wires down the bottom of the case, it works fine.

#7 Posted by Demoskinos (17125 posts) -

Thanks guys! I figured it was piss easy to do I just haven't done it in years and wanted to make sure there wasn't anything I was missing.

#8 Posted by Hunkulese (3205 posts) -

It can be the easiest thing in a PC to replace or the biggest pain in the ass depending on if it's modular or not.

#9 Edited by jsnyder82 (814 posts) -

It can be the easiest thing in a PC to replace or the biggest pain in the ass depending on if it's modular or not.

Yeah, I made the mistake of buying a non-modular PSU. I have a bunch of unused cables just stuffed underneath the hard drive now.

#10 Posted by SoldierG654342 (1891 posts) -

It can be the easiest thing in a PC to replace or the biggest pain in the ass depending on if it's modular or not.

Yeah, the first PSU I changed was a peace of cake, but changing out the one on my current rig was a fucking nightmare. The new one was modular, the old one was not, so I had to get the old cables out and run the new ones everywhere. It as the worst.

#11 Posted by Demoskinos (17125 posts) -
#12 Posted by Hunkulese (3205 posts) -

@demoskinos: It's not really that big of a deal. I'd just go with what's on sale. If what you have isn't modular you're going to have to rerun all the wires anyway and wires aren't compatible with different brands.

Basically changing a PSU is only not a pain if you're replacing a fully modular psu with another fully modular from the same company.

#13 Posted by TriBeard (140 posts) -

I've got the 750w version of this unit, and it's been great. Haven't had a problem, nice and quiet and gets great reviews. Is also Gold rated where most units in the price range are bronze, meaning it will save you (a little) on your power bill. It's also got a nice 7 year warranty.

#14 Posted by Slag (6395 posts) -


Modular is definitely worth it in my opinion. really makes cable management so much simpler.

#15 Edited by TehBuLL (727 posts) -

I would recommend modular. I just replaced a both PSU and CPU cooler, mainly because I couldn't exactly determine the problem and I thought my PSU was underpowered for the amount of old hard drives connected. Also I once had a PSU shoot flames out the back after struggling for a bit, that'll but the fear into ya. Always go more powered than you think. Future proofing. The CPU cooler was way more of a pos to install. Giant mofo with fins I cut myself on. Also blood makes it work better so far. No problems since install. Again modular will help alot with airflow. If you've never been inside your comp before PSU is kinda rough, but the system will quickly let you know what you forgot to hook up.

#16 Posted by Demoskinos (17125 posts) -
#17 Posted by TheHBK (5664 posts) -

I would have gone with a 1500W PSU. Why? because why the fuck not?

#18 Edited by Demoskinos (17125 posts) -

So update folks. I installed the PSU today finally. Man, modular PSU's are the shit! Anyways instead of making an entirely new thread for this I'd like to see if anyone can help me out with my potential next project to fix.

That is the front of my case. I love this front panel for plugging my headset into makes it really easy to use. However, the headphone jack is messed up. It still works but one time I ended up accidentally ripping the jack out of the hole pretty forcefully. That lead to the connection to being unstable. Its not a have to but more of a every time I slightly bump the cable I lose audio in my left ear and that is super fucking annoying.

So, I'm not even sure what to look for here.... with a power supply its pretty obvious go to newegg and go to the PSU section. If anyone could potentially point me in the right direction here that would be awesome.

#19 Edited by AndrewB (7804 posts) -

@demoskinos: So is the problem associated with your headphone cable or the jack itself? I've gone through so many sets of headphones based on the brief amount of time it took for the cable to short through one channel or both, but never had the problem be with the actual panel jack on the device. For a PC case, the solutions for fixing or replacing that are limited. Most cases use proprietary front panel jack PCBs that are difficult or impossible to find a replacement for, with the exception being some wildly popular cases which happened to be released in the early periods of USB 3 where upgrade kits may have been sold. And as to fixing the port itself, that one is a much more technical task than what I typically delve into, but mostly because I lack the steady hands and proper equipment for a good soldering job.

#20 Posted by Demoskinos (17125 posts) -

@andrewb: Its the jack itself. I accidentally ripped out the headphone jack pretty forcefully one day by mistake (yay stepping on cables.) I mean, if push comes to shove I could always just use the rear panel where I have speakers hooked up to since I rarely use the speakers but the front panel is just so much more convenient. So yeah its the actual jack itself and only the headphone one. It works but you have to have it in a specific spot.

Its not a have to replace but more of one I was thinking about looking at out of convenience.

#21 Posted by Mike (16255 posts) -

@demoskinos: If the jack still works in a specific spot then you probably just ripped the solders off of the jack or PCB depending on the setup. They can be soldered back on pretty easily if you ever feel like it.

#22 Posted by CornBREDX (7048 posts) -

Fixing the jack is a pain unless you're used to fixing electronics. You'd be better off just replacing the panel.

That's just my opinion, though. I'm lazy about that stuff, and that panel isn't really expensive to replace I don't think. Although, could be a complicated find I guess. =P

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.