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Can low power damage components?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Frick, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. xvi

    xvi

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    Car voltage is higher to charge the battery. Many car accessories have a decently good tolerance to voltage since it is a bit necessary. 13.5v to 16v is intentional. The way I understand it, the alternator will pulse, for example, twice the voltage at 50% duty cycle to equal the correct voltage

    On PSUs, voltage is commonly set intentionally high so that the voltage droop under load stays within spec. Take two identical power supplies, one set for 12v and one set for 12.2v, the former will drop out of "normal" 12v range as defined by the ATX specification slightly before the latter.

    Voltage regulators keep the voltage constant. Like W1zzard said, logic on the battery/phone will kill the power before causing physical damage.
     
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  2. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    Not that you're wrong, but I'm pretty sure the PSU will shut off or fail before the VRMs get exposed to that kind of voltage. Considering the PSU has to draw more current to do the same job, the amount of heat that it generates go up very quicky if the PSU stays active. All in all, I'm pretty sure a brownout would damage your PSU more than any other component. Surges on the otherhand are a different story. Also, I'm pretty sure that modern powersupply need under and over voltage protection by spec.

    Yup! Here it is.

    Source

    ...and that "low voltage" limit is 90v AC on 115v mains iirc.

    Here is a snippit from a superuser.com thread:
    Source
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  3. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    First, not every PSU adhears to ATXSpec. Those cheap PSUs that weight less than a feather, I guarantee you they aren't following ATX Spec and probably don't have any protection in place for a brownout.

    Second, I'm not saying a brownout kills components, they usually kill the PSU, I've seen it, but rarely anything else. I was just using the brownout as proof that low voltage can in fact kill electronics.

    The PWM on the motherboard or graphics card also doesn't have the protection features built in that a PSU does. So they are even more vulnerable to low voltage situations. So when a PSU is overloaded to the point that the 12v voltage is below 11v, it could definitely damage something.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
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  4. LAN_deRf_HA

    LAN_deRf_HA

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    This is the wrong way to go about this conversation. You need to find if there's confirmed cases of this or not first. If there aren't you can theorize why, and if there are you do the same until the explanation fits the result. Everything so far is "blind" theorizing which isn't all that productive.
     
  5. theoneandonlymrk

    theoneandonlymrk

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    Imho if a psu is strained to the point of drooping a lot and under volting its main rails its technically possible for damage to occur .
    Its unlikely but certainly possible.
    Not in my op directly the low voltage though , more the circuit instabilty due to the complex power regulation components overworking or being forced outside there designed operating specs, in the extreme causing power spikes beyond the specs of parts later in the circuit and causing drdeath of the mobo and possibly more.
    Oh and im baseing this off having seen it a few times Rip Q6600:( oh again, Before you say it its not prove able easy as dead bits stay dead mpre oft then not and I was using a corsair psu not a cheapo
     

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