VOGONS


First post, by Delerium

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I just bought an Antec PP-303X PSU for my year 2000 ASUS K7M, AMD Athlon 1GHz Slot A and 3dfx Voodoo5 5500 build. NOS and sealed. Do I need to recap it before I use it or just check inside so no caps are leaking? I know its very old and that there are newer and better alternatives out there but I want a time period correct computer, including the PSU if its possible. In this test it did very well.

"All of the power supplies that could boot Test System #2 are more than fit to power your new Athlon system, but if we're going to crown a winner it would have to be the Antec PP-303X. There was a noticeable difference in stability between the units that placed at the top of our System Stress Test and those that came in at around 95%, while they all provided for stable operation, some were more prone to causing crashes under heavy stress than others.

You have to keep in mind that not everyone will be running as stressful as a setup as the one we put together here, but in an attempt to separate the best power supplies from the rest we had to go to those extremes. If you stick with the Antec PP-303X or the Delta Electronics DPS-338AB C rev.00 then you won't have to worry about your power supply causing any instability with your Athlon system."

https://www.anandtech.com/show/448/5

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Reply 1 of 4, by TheMobRules

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Yes, at the very least you should open it to take a look, not because it is old but because the company who built those power supplies for Antec at the time (CWT) used some of the most unreliable capacitors ever (Fuhjyyu) during the plague era. So they're almost guaranteed to fail as soon as they get a little hot (if they haven't failed already).

A couple of years ago I got a NOS PP-300V, which is pretty much the AT equivalent of your PSU, and when I opened it to check (before even trying to turn it on) half of the caps were bulging and/or leaking. You can probably leave the two large bulk capacitors, as those are not known to fail often (and at least in my case they used a good quality Japanese brand for those).

EDIT: the power supply design is very good for the era, as the article suggest. The only problem is the choice of caps, so if you replace them with quality ones you should have a great period-correct PSU.

Reply 2 of 4, by SETBLASTER

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I have an old topower 420W PSU, the metal is all mirror finish, very heavy.
I still have not opened it yet but i do plan on opening it and replace all the caps (not the 2 main big ones)

Im wondering if i should buy replacement caps that are LOW ESR or even buy solid polymer capacitors instead of electrolytic ones.

Reply 3 of 4, by TheMobRules

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No, don't go with polymers on an old power supply. First of all, you probably won't be able to easily find polymers with the capacitance you need for the output. Also it is said that the extremely low ESR of polymers can mess up the feedback loop and even if it works you may end up with more ripple than with the older capacitors.

Ideally you want to match the specs of the original as much as possible. If you don't have access to the datasheets of the original caps, a good rule of thumb is that the caps on the output rails usually need to be low ESR, but for those older units just go with entry level low ESR caps from quality brands, that will be closer to what was available at the time it was designed. For the smaller caps you can use anything as long as it's rated 105C and from a reputable brand.

Reply 4 of 4, by Delerium

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Despite its age, it works and no capacitors have leaked. But it smelled old electronics when I opened the box.

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