Apr 22, 2012
While rummaging for cables in my closet, I came upon a brand new 500watt ATX PSU still in its plastic wrap. This was a great find, because I am in the process of putting together a new rig. However, if memory serves me, I recall purchasing it online in-between 2004 and 2006, and for some reason or another shoved it into my closet when it came to my home -- probably due to a failed project.

Can I still use this PSU? I found the exact one I have on Ultra's website, it looks really beautiful in red titanium, it's sad to think I'll have to throw it away.

edit: there are a lot of molex connectors, and only one or two 4 pin connectors. Could I just get adapter/switches for molex-to-4pins?


Mar 6, 2012
Notice how none of us are saying anything about the age? That's because since it's never been used it's probably at the same spec's as when you threw it in the closet years ago. PSU's do degrade over time -but only when they are being used. :)
Well that unit is ok for older or low power systems with rather low power needs but typically this brand is terrible when it comes to quality. Cap issues with old units do show especially in low quality 85c rated caps. If you are daring and want to make the unit a little better or at least more stable you can swap the stock caps for higher quality ones but you have to know what you are doing.



Also be absolutely sure to match polarity if you modify the caps (or any other component).
There is a shelf life for some of the components used in a power supply.

Even when aluminum electrolytic capacitors are sitting unused for 5 years or more they may have increased levels of DC leakage current.

Electrolyte will also evaporate over time.

Take a look at the caps on that old ibm system 34.
Imagine trying to deal with those. Just click at 9min to save some time.