Question Can a cheap $20-30 4.5 star PSU power any 50W device without blowing up or wearing out quickly?

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USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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Short answer: yes.
You don't need a $2000 PSU to power up some LEDs, fans or whatever.
Initially:
"The device that I'm powering will be planned later "

Later:
"Probably a cheap PC or a laptop motherboard of unknown make and model that I got in the mail via 12V to 19V adapter. If for the laptop, the power jack is missing. "

So...the actual answer is a resounding No.
 
Mar 19, 2021
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Without knowing what you are planning to use these for, it's almost pointless to discuss.

Obviously PC power supplies put out an amount of voltage/amperage to rails of different ratings. 12V/5V, etc.

If you are looking to do some science experiment and don't need all the voltages, purchasing a step down transformer, or AC/DC converter, etc. are going to be cheaper and more reliable.

If you are doing a PC, even a cheap one, try to at least purchase a cheepy one that is a brand you recognize. I also suggest trying to target no more than around 50-60% of RATED output. (It's a really good idea to double check that on cheap ones too). At least this way you have the illusion of some manner of warranty.
As a for instance, I purchased quite a few of the really poor quality refurbished EVGA 600W white units. They were $25 and I utilized them on systems with average draw in the 2-300's. I won't say they were trouble free in the long run, but they were cheap.
I decided at last. I have a 486 motherboard with a Sound Blaster soundcard that I want to power. But only the cheap PSUs output -5V.
 

Bazzy 505

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Jul 17, 2021
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I decided at last. I have a 486 motherboard with a Sound Blaster soundcard that I want to power. But only the cheap PSUs output -5V.
In that case you need an AT power supply ( not to be confused with ATX )



Now AT PSU's are very hard to come by, at least in good condition anyway.
There are plenty of ATX to AT cable harness cable kits. which , even when wired correctly can be a cause of great dissapointment.

Should you decide to take the conversion way, you should take a peek at this project:

https://github.com/x86fr/ATX2AT-Smart-Converter
 
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