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The power supply on my wife's computer just gave up the ghost.

I can replace the power supply for ~$100 or I can purchase a rebuilt machine from the same shop for ~$200.

Which option should I take and why?

Note: the new machine has more memory and a faster processor.

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closed as not constructive by slhck Jan 16 '13 at 21:31

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8 Answers

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If the PC is other wise oK, I'd probably replace the power supply. If nothing else it eliminates the need to swap the HDD or copy all of the files.

If the PC is outdated then think about replacing, but compare rebuilt to an inexpensive new PC.

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A power supply for ~$100?? It is a little expensive.

You can find much cheaper ones

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Don't buy a cheap power supply. I've gone that route before, and it was foolish. One time I built a new PC I burned out two cheap no-name brand power supplies before I bought a quality one.

The amount to spend on a power supply depends on the wattage that you need, so it's hard to say exactly how much you need to spend but $100 is not out of the question for a quality power supply.

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If the power supply gave out, it might have taken some other components with it, make sure they test the computer after they've switched out the power supply.

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If you are not confident and certain of your competence in opening up the machine and changing the PSU or not sure what type, size and rating would be appropriate then the new machine route should be preferred.

If the machine is sound, suits your requirements and, as others have commented, has not lost any components when the PSU failed, I would replace the PSU (and have done in the past)

  1. The machine software and cabling is already set up with what I want where I want it and the PC hardware is compatible with other hardware I won't be changing.

  2. Unless I am buying an up-market or bespoke new machine then the replacement PSU will be better than one in a new PC as, when compared to low-end PSUs, I can select one that has more power rails, neater cabling is quieter and more energy efficient (lower energy costs over time and produces less heat (good for me and the PC)). Anecdotally the machines seem more resistant to brown-outs and very brief power interruptions.

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The power supply from the rebuilt computer may just be an el-cheapo, that will also die soon.

Actually what I usually do is collect old broken computers, and swap out parts until I have a good working computer. I have actually gotten a brand new power supply this way. It was the first thing that was swapped on that computer, but it turned out the motherboard was faulty.

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Get a 15$ PSU (probably similar to the one in the rebuilt machine)

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Well, about two months ago, my computer crashed, just a few months before it's warranty would end. So I had it fixed AND bought a new computer! Isn't that an option? :-)

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