Question When do I need a new PSU?

Razraptre

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Jul 5, 2014
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I upgraded my old GTX 760 to a GTX 1660. It arrived today but I found out that it needs an 8-pin cable, while the 760 and my PSU are of the 6-pin variety.

Now I could get a couple of adapters, but I'm concerned about the PSU itself. It's a Thermaltake Smart SE 730W, and I've been using it since 2013 with zero problems. However now that I do some research I get the impression that they are a terrible brand, especially since this PSU is a "Tier-4". Also that I should preferably try to get something like Seasonic or SilverStone. Problem is those brands aren't available here and I can't currently afford any of the Tier 1 and 2 models that are required for gaming unless I save for a few more months.

I would really appreciate if someone could clear up the confusion on PSUs because this seems to be the most complicated part of PC building! Just some questions:
  1. Are brands like Thermaltake and Corsair bad due to bad quality assurance, i.e. you might get a defective product? If this is the case, is my current PSU fine since it's lasted 6 years without any issues?
  2. Are adapters for 6-pin to LP4 to 8-pin safe?
  3. What exactly causes a PSU to go bad? Can a bad quality one just fry at any moment or does something have to happen to it, e.g. water spillage?
  4. Do I really need to get a Tier 1 or 2 PSU for gaming? Again I can't find solid advice on this, some say to avoid lower than 4 or 5 while others say avoid lower than 2.
For further info, here are my PC specs:
  • Intel i5-3340 3.1GHz
  • GTX 760 2GB (1660 6GB waiting in the box)
  • 1x8GB DDR3 RAM
  • 1 1TB HDD
  • 1 250GB SSD
  • Asus P8Z77-V LK Motherboard
  • Thermaltake Smart SE 730W PSU
 

computerjoe314

Upstanding
Jan 2, 2019
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Are brands like Thermaltake and Corsair bad due to bad quality assurance, i.e. you might get a defective product? If this is the case, is my current PSU fine since it's lasted 6 years without any issues?
It's not the brand, but the specific model. Corsair has plenty of very good power supplys.
Are adapters for 6-pin to LP4 to 8-pin safe?
Probably not. I woun't risk breaking your GPU.
What exactly causes a PSU to go bad? Can a bad quality one just fry at any moment or does something have to happen to it, e.g. water spillage?
Low quality parts. Therefore, they are likely to fail
Do I really need to get a Tier 1 or 2 PSU for gaming? Again I can't find solid advice on this, some say to avoid lower than 4 or 5 while others say avoid lower than 2.
Not really. What's your budget for power supplys? (I could try to recommend something based on that)
 

Razraptre

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Jul 5, 2014
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Not really. What's your budget for power supplys? (I could try to recommend something based on that)
Budget is roughly $70, preferably less. I've just spent my savings on the 1660 and a new monitor so anything more than that and I'd have to wait a while. However I'd rather wait than risk damaging the new card.

Only problem is that most of the cheap PSUs locally are unknown brands or are badly reviewed online. Purchasing from US Amazon or Newegg has hefty import fees (I'm from the middle east) as well.

However I don't mind saving up for a while if it means I can get a decent PSU.
 
Jun 16, 2019
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Ok, pls, change your PSU, Thermaltake is really bad. It does not matter if it worked since now, the more you use it more likely will "explode". Corsair isnt really that bad, you just want to avoid the vs series. For your config 550W are more than enought, if you want also 500W is no problem.
Seasonic is in my opinion the best, but also Enermax/XFX/Be Quiet are good. When you buy a psu you want also to check the certification (80+,bronze,silver, gold,..) for the range of your build a silver/gold would fit good.
I can't really answer you for the adapter. you have to consider that even if you plug 6pin instead of 8 the card will work fine (did that with my old 970), maybe you can't go oc or stuff like that. Anyway, i don't really like the idea of using an adapter, because you are not giving more power to the card, basically is kinda useless.
Bad PSU dies because of many reasons, normally is because they can't handle the request of power. So if you sistem requires 300W and your bad psu is rated at 450, it is probable that with time will fry itself and maybe some components
 

computerjoe314

Upstanding
Jan 2, 2019
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Budget is roughly $70, preferably less. I've just spent my savings on the 1660 and a new monitor so anything more than that and I'd have to wait a while. However I'd rather wait than risk damaging the new card.

Only problem is that most of the cheap PSUs locally are unknown brands or are badly reviewed online. Purchasing from US Amazon or Newegg has hefty import fees (I'm from the middle east) as well.

However I don't mind saving up for a while if it means I can get a decent PSU.
Where can you buy computer parts from?
Which are available?
 

Razraptre

Honorable
Jul 5, 2014
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Where can you buy computer parts from?
Which are available?
I can shop on Amazon.ae, it's the closest regional site. It's where I got the GPU and monitor from, and many other electronics lately. Corsair, EVGA, Thermaltake, Huntkey, Mercury, Cooler Master and Raidmax are some that are available.

The Thermaltake, Raidmax, Deepcool and Mercury options are within my budget but I haven't heard good things about them. EVGA does have one that's a bit above budget but it's also only 400W, while Corsair has stuff also slightly over budget but from the VS series I've been told to avoid. Most everything else I can see is roughly >$150.

There are some other regional online shops but I'm not really sure about their quality. There are also local shops but they're very sketchy with off-brand parts and inflated prices.
 
Jun 16, 2019
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I can shop on Amazon.ae, it's the closest regional site. It's where I got the GPU and monitor from, and many other electronics lately. Corsair, EVGA, Thermaltake, Huntkey, Mercury, Cooler Master and Raidmax are some that are available.

The Thermaltake, Raidmax, Deepcool and Mercury options are within my budget but I haven't heard good things about them. EVGA does have one that's a bit above budget but it's also only 400W, while Corsair has stuff also slightly over budget but from the VS series I've been told to avoid. Most everything else I can see is roughly >$150.

There are some other regional online shops but I'm not really sure about their quality. There are also local shops but they're very sketchy with off-brand parts and inflated prices.
At this point, between those brends and the VS series i would go with the VS... but wait what others says. In any case look for a 80+ bronze certification Minimum.
But how can psu cost so much. <mod edit> I'm on amazon.ae if you tell me your budget (in "ead") I can search something
 

Razraptre

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Jul 5, 2014
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At this point, between those brends and the VS series i would go with the VS... but wait what others says. In any case look for a 80+ bronze certification Minimum.
But how can psu cost so much. <mod edit>
UAE. The Amazon store here isn't nearly as stocked as the US version. It's not really that the PSUs are pricier on this store (I think), but most of the models seem to be really high wattage and highly rated. Otherwise they are low wattage/cheap brands/bad quality. Doesn't seem to be much in the way of mid-range. Here are examples of the pricey ones:
Meanwhile what I can afford, with some push, is something like this (https://www.amazon.ae/CORSAIR-VS650-BUILDER-650w-PSU/dp/B00PGUSEBG/ref=sr_1_17?keywords=psu&qid=1560729960&s=gateway&sr=8-17).
The problem with local stores is that they mark up stuff by a ton, or sell weird unbranded stuff. I'd rather not risk buying locally.

Edit - I fear I know the answer to this already, but how risky would it be if I looked for a used PSU?
 
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Razraptre

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Jul 5, 2014
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At this point, between those brends and the VS series i would go with the VS... but wait what others says. In any case look for a 80+ bronze certification Minimum.
But how can psu cost so much. <mod edit> I'm on amazon.ae if you tell me your budget (in "ead") I can search something
Budget in AED would be between 250-350 if possible.
 
Jun 16, 2019
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AllanGH

Commendable
Mar 10, 2019
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Stay away from the VS series.....that series is likely why you believed the Corsair line to be of bad quality.

See what you can find in a 650W Corsair in the TX or RM series.
 
Jun 16, 2019
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Stay away from the VS series.....that series is likely why you believed the Corsair line to be of bad quality.

See what you can find in a 650W Corsair in the TX or RM series.
I know, i don't like that series, but in this case we don't have much choice. TX costs the duble (min 400 for a 550W) and RM is not aviable. Basically I'm just saying that between brends like thermaltake and the vs series, I would go with corsair. Or not?
 

Razraptre

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Jul 5, 2014
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So, in my opinion, at this point you can go with a VS 650W with just an 80+ certification. In this case is better to have more W so you will not stress the psu. https://www.amazon.ae/Corsair-VS650-Power-Supply-Watt/dp/B07N775P4F/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2AVNH2Q5NLX13&keywords=corsair+vs650&qid=1560730157&s=gateway&sprefix=corsair+vs+,aps,166&sr=8-1
Seems the same of your link but is cheaper.
Thank you for the link, I've contacted the seller to ask about the warranty. If all goes well I will probably be purchasing this one.

Stay away from the VS series.....that series is likely why you believed the Corsair line to be of bad quality.
How bad is this one? I know it's a budget model but I haven't read any horror stories yet unlike with the Thermaltake I currently have.

Edit- Also is there anything important to know about compatibility between motherboards and PSUs or will any PSU work with any board?
 
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AllanGH

Commendable
Mar 10, 2019
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How bad is this one?
Compared to a "Tier 1" PSU, pretty bad.
I know it's a budget model but I haven't read any horror stories yet unlike with the Thermaltake I currently have.
Anytime you buy the absolute bottom of the line in any manufacturer's offerings, you are asking for problems. TT may be particularly worse than Corsair, hence more stories to tell; but I tend to pay more attention to what I will buy, rather than keeping track of what I won't buy, so I can't compare horror stories. Just don't expect to get much more out of a VS than the warranty period covers.
Edit- Also is there anything important to know about compatibility between motherboards and PSUs or will any PSU work with any board?
If your motherboard conforms to contemporary ATX specifications, then a currently manufactured ATX PSU will take care of it.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
Brands don't make psus, OEMs do. Some OEMs like Seasonic and HEC and SuperFlower also have house brands, but for the most part OEMs just build whatever the vendor specifies. Depending on the model, Corsair puts its name on the best psus (Seasonic AX or Flextronics AXi for example) or some of the worst (HEC VS400/500).

Thermaltake is no different as a brand. The Smartpower are pretty bad for a gaming pc, designed more for use with an office pc, long hours doing next to nothing. The Toughpower grand is far superior, most would be tier1-2 psus.

So when shopping for a psu, the model is everything, the brand is of little performance. I'd be just as happy with an Antec Earthwatts Gold Pro as a Seasonic Focus Gold, since they are the same thing, same platform (plus a couple of Antec specified tweaks), just different paint job.
 
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