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Thread: Replacing a Power Supply Switch?

  1. #1
    The User DemonDragonJ's Avatar
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    Default Replacing a Power Supply Switch?

    For my next computer, I shall purchase a new power supply, and I have been considering this unit here, since it has modular cables and 80 plus platinum power efficiency, both of which are features that appeal to me greatly. However, I have been told by users at another forum that its output wattage, 1000 watts, is excessive for my uses (I use my computer mainly for internet browsing, word processing, music, movies, and only occasionally video games, and, even then, I usually play only older games or console games emulated on my computer; the newest games that I have played are Diablo II and Warcraft III, neither of which are recent in their own right), so it would be better to seek a unit with lower wattage, such as this unit here.

    However, I like the larger switch on the back of the 1000-watt unit, because it has greater aesthetic appeal, which is very important to me; I intend for my next computer to be a very powerful machine, and a larger switch simply feels more appropriate for a more powerful unit.

    Therefore, I am wondering: if I were to purchase the 860-watt power supply, would it be a difficult task to remove the small switch from that unit and install a large switch on it? From looking at the images of the units, I cannot imagine that the task shall be extraordinarily difficult, so I believe that it is worth an attempt. What does everyone else say on this subject? How difficult a task is it to replace the rear switch on a power supply?
    "When the people fear the government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." -Thomas Jefferson.

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  2. #2
    Yuk it up Monkey Boy! Airbozo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacing a Power Supply Switch?

    Well,
    no matter what PSU you buy, your rig will still only pull a maximum amount of power. Just because you have a 1000W PSU, does not mean it will use more electricity than an 850 PSU. Is it excessive? Maybe. Even an 850 might still be excessive depending on your specs.

    That said, changing the switch wouldn't be hard at all. The thing you need to be aware of, is internal space. The 850 might not have enough room to put a larger switch in. If there is room, it can usually be done in under an hour with a soldering iron and something to cut away the metal to make enough room for the new switch.
    "...Dumb all over, A little ugly on the side... "...Frank Zappa...

  3. #3
    Anodized. Again. Konrad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacing a Power Supply Switch?

    Agreed, the switch is almost a trivial component. As long as the new/replacement part has at least the same ratings as the original (probably 250V/10A, I think) for safety reasons ... and as long as the physical dimensions actually permit for a large piece to be installed. The new switch can be mounted in a different physical location than the original (in fact, it can be wired in series, if you want to use both), although it's probably best to avoid bringing AC voltages outside the metal PSU box. Beware those big caps, staid little FCC safety sticker warnings aren't as ominous as they pretend but there could still be enough juice trapped inside the unit to cause you serious pain.

    +1 on the statement that while a PSU is rated to convert up to a certain Wattage, it doesn't require that much power to actually operate. Smaller-scaled parts tend to offer finer precision on smaller scales (assuming they're priced about the same), which is another way of saying that a 10000W-rated PSU could easily run a 100W device but a 100W-rated PSU would likely do it more efficiently, with less overhead ... but such considerations usually aren't significant unless you're concerned about many many machines drawing much collective power. Confirm the truth of all this with a Kill-A-Watt meter if you like.
    My mind says Technic, but my body says Duplo.

  4. #4
    Yuk it up Monkey Boy! Airbozo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacing a Power Supply Switch?

    +1 on the Kill-A-Watt meter. Fry's had the low end model on sale for $13 a couple of weeks ago. I grabbed 2, one for the lab and one for home.
    "...Dumb all over, A little ugly on the side... "...Frank Zappa...

  5. #5
    Anodized. Again. Konrad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacing a Power Supply Switch?

    I haven't been able to find KAWs for less than about $30 around here, ha. I wish I'd invented the damned things, they're getting famous.
    My mind says Technic, but my body says Duplo.

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