Can Bad Power Supply Damage Motherboard | How To Save MB

Skimping on the power supply is the last thing you want to do. If the voltage fluctuates and ripples or noise comes from the power supply, this will shorten the life of a motherboard. Motherboard FETs, capacitors, and components are not as robust as a PSU. Significant voltage variations cause problems for motherboards. Clean, stable, and constant power will extend the life of a motherboard. I've built PCs over 25 years, and my advice is to spend as much as you can on a power supply. I would look at purchasing a Platinum or Gold rated power supply.


A Good Computer Power Supply Can Save Your Motherboard
Model Description Price
Corsair RM650x Will not break the bank. Silent under heavy loads. Japanese capacitors. 80 Plus Gold. $120
EVGA SuperNova 750 Platinum rated, Hydraulic bearing fan. Ultra quiet. 10 year warranty. Japanese capacitors. Fully modular. $180
Seasonic SSR-750GD Gold rated. Fully modular. Fluid bearing fan. $240
EVGA SuperNova 850 Titanium - "Nothing Beats Titanium" Double bearing fan. Ultra quiet. 10 year warranty. Japanese capacitors. Fully modular. $280
Thermaltake Toughpower Grand RGB 850W 80 Plus Gold rated. RGB Lighting. Japanese capacitors. $150
Cooler Master MWE 750 80 Plus Gold rated. Fully modular. Sealed LDB bearings with quiet fan blades. 5 year warranty. $120
CORSAIR HX850i 80 PLUS Platinum certified. 10 year warranty. ZeroRPM mode for fanless operation at low loads and outstanding noise reduction. $450
EVGA 1000 80 Plus Gold. 5 year warranty. Modular ATI Crossfire Supported - NVIDIA SLI Supported. $300
EVGA Supernova 1200 "Unrivaled Performance". 10 year warranty. Japanese capacitors. Fully modular. 80+ Platinum rated. $380
EVGA Supernova 1600 T2 Titanium - "Nothing Beats Titanium". 10 year warranty. Japanese capacitors. Fully modular. $500
*Prices subject to change and are current as of this posting

Can bad power supply damage motherboard

A power supply can save motherboard damage

The power supply of a computer connects to the motherboard. If you look at the backside of the power supply, you can see there is an “MB” modular connection. It is a modular connection that supplies power to the motherboard. Having a fully modular power supply is a big plus because you do not need to have a bunch of unnecessary cables not being used. It gives you the option to leave off unnecessary wires reducing computer case clutter and maximizing airflow. Plus, another benefit is on the rare circumstance if you do need to swap out your power supply, it can easily be, disconnected. It saves you from having to re-run power wires to the motherboard, hard drive, and many other components.

Motherboards need clean, continuous power, and so does all other computer components. You want solid-state capacitors for longer life and preferably want Japanese capacitors. Do not get too hung up on having Japanese capacitors. The main point is they have to pass Japanese rigorous testing standards. It ensures high quality. Capacitors do not have to be "manufactured" in Japan. The bottom line is you want the best reliability and best performance possible.

Before purchasing a computer power supply, it must have the following 4 features, or else I will not buy it.

Motherboard damage saving PSU features

  1. Fully modular – no clutter and allows for easy removal or replacement without having to re-run cables. 
  2. Japanese solid-state capacitors – most capacitors nowadays are solid-state. Japanese capacitors go through robust testing for reliability and performance. 
  3. Double ball bearing PUS fan – I do not want to be replacing my PUS’s fan. I spend extra on a high-quality fan bearing. 
  4. Energy-efficient – I’m paying for the electricity so, I do not want power going to wast. Well, some of it will, but I can purchase an 80 Plus certified rated power supply and is 92 percent efficient or higher. Plus, many people do not realize having a higher certification rating the PSU is not turning excess unused power into heat.

A motherboard can be damaged by power surges

One of the worst things that can happen is your motherboard gets hit by a power surge. Having a high-quality PUS can save a motherboard from complete and total destruction. All of the PUSs I prefer has 4 necessary features protecting the motherboard and other hardware inside the computer case. I want a power supply to be robust, silent, and keep my expensive computer components safe. Who wants to have their high dollar motherboard, M.2 SSD, and graphic card destroyed by a nasty power surge, right? Just stop and think about it for a minute. If your motherboard gets hit by a power surge, all of the attached components are going to have damage.

Four necessary PSU damage saving features

  1. OVP – Over voltage protection. The power supply will clamp the output voltage when the voltage exceeds a preset level. It will prevent damage to electrical components. 
  2. UVP - Under voltage protection. Why you want this? Is your PUS powering your fans? Under-voltage protection will protect electrical motors from damage during abnormal power conditions. 
  3. OOP – Overpower protection prevents damage from excessive power output. It is a must-have and protects against the effects of pushing too much current to components. 
  4. SCP - Short circuit protection prevents excessive current. As soon as an over-current is detected, the PSU breaks the circuit, thus protecting components. 
  5. OCP - Over current protection protects components by opening when the current reaches a value that will cause an excessive temperature rise in conductors.

A power surge damaged my motherboard

A while back whee I work there was a lot of construction going on. The power was always fluctuating. You could see the lights in the building go dim once in a while. One day while working, I heard this pop, and my computer went dark. I looked at the backside, and my PSU was smoking. I immediately unplugged the computer. Later I opened the case to see what was going on and discovered the computer got hit by a power surge. The PSU did nothing and just passed the current right on to the motherboard. At the time, I had a cheap PSU. I thought I was saving some money. I did have a good ASUS motherboard. Lucky for me, my motherboard prevented damage to my CPU and RAM. The motherboard was smart enough to recognize the power surge. I was back in business after replacing my PSU and motherboard. I was able to reuse my CPU and RAM. So as you can see, after that incident, I do not mind spending extra money on a PSU.

Power fluctuations can also damage a motherboard

Whether you realize it or not, power is not constant. Power, in many homes and offices, has fluctuations and these power fluctuations take place frequently. For example, when a large appliance cuts off, power can surge ever so slightly. Or, when a hefty appliance powers on, power will flicker to try to keep up with the demand. It seems so quick to the naked eye, but in reality, it’s not. These fluctuations are what you want your PUS to handle. Your PSU should handle power surges and even power dips. The result is a constant, smooth continuous stream of power to your motherboard. Now you can get on with overclocking and performance tuning. Remember, you got to start with the basics first, and that means having clean power.

If the power fluctuates too much, you should look at other ways to even out the power. Sometimes power fluctuations are just too much even for a high-quality PSU to handle. And in these cases, this is where a good power protector comes in handy.

You think your power strip is protecting your motherboard from damage

Well, you might need to re-think just having a power strip, and is it going to be enough to protect your motherboard from damage. Not all power strips can protect from power surges. A power strip may or may not have surge protection. However, surge protectors do have surge protection. So when lightning strikes nearby, you are going to want to have a power strip with surge protection to help save your motherboard from damage. Back in the old days, I remember as long as I had my computer plugged into a power strip, I was OK. Boy, was I wrong? Nowadays, I use an exclusive UPS (Uninterruptible Power System) system to protect my sensitive and expensive equipment. And the main reason why is for surge protection to safeguards not only my motherboard but all other telecom and network devices. A UPS system corrects minor power fluctuations and has a battery backup in case of extensive power fluctuations. Your motherboard will never know the power just went off. It gives you plenty of time to save work before shutting down. By having a UPS, it safeguards your expensive computer equipment from data loss or potential damage. The UPS system provided a battery backup to keep your computer running during short outages. This capability is valuable because it gives you enough time to save your work and shut down during extended outages.

UPS protects your motherboard from damage

A Good UPS Can Save Your Motherboard
Model Description Price
CyberPower ST425 8 NEMA 5-15R outlets: (4) battery backup & surge protected outlets, four surge protected outlets. $43
AmazonBasics Standby UPS 800VA 450W 12 outlets total (NEMA 5-15R), consisting of 6 surge-protected outlets and 6 surge-protected/battery-backup outlets $80
APC Back-UPS Pro 700VA 6 total outlets: 3 outlets provide ups power backup and surge protection; 3 outlets offer surge protection only $117
Tripp Lite 700VA 350W 6 Outlets protect desktops & all peripherals: 3 Outlets provide UPS Power Backup & Surge Protection $119
APC UPS 850VA 8 Outlets (NEMA 5-15R): 4 UPS Battery Backup with Surge Protection Outlets, and 4 Surge Protector Only Outlets $125
Tripp Lite 1300VA 720W 8 Outlets protect desktops & all peripherals: 4 Outlets provide UPS Power Backup & Surge Protection $134
Tripp Lite 1500VA 810W 10 Outlets protect desktops & all peripherals: 5 Outlets provide UPS Power Backup & Surge Protection $151
CyberPower 1500VA/900W 12 NEMA 5-15R outlets: (6) battery backup & surge protected outlets, (6) surge protected outlets $155
APC UPS, 1500VA 10 Outlets (NEMA 5-15R): 5 UPS Battery Backup with Surge Protection Outlets, and 5 Surge Protector Only Outlets. $165
**Tripp Lite 1500VA 900W 10 Outlets protect desktops & all peripherals: 5 Outlets provide UPS Power Backup & Surge Protection $169
CyberPower 1500VA/1500W 8 battery backup and surge protected NEMA 5-15R outlets. $450
*Prices subject to change & current as of this posting. ** I am currently using.

By using a UPS system, you protect your motherboard and other equipment from damage. It is because most UPS systems have what’s called Automatic Voltage Regulation or AVR. AVR automatically corrects minor power fluctuations by providing a continuous steady stream of clean power to your PSU and then on to your motherboard. UPS systems come in many sizes and configurations. Make sure you get one with enough outlets and enough wattage for your needs. The more watts your computer system consumes and the longer you want to be up and operational during an outage, the better UPS you will need.

Preventing motherboard damage conclusion

Your motherboard is the central part of your computer. Inside a computer, the motherboard connects to may components. So, as a result, if your motherboard is damaged, there is a good chance your CPU, RAM, and even graphics card and other connect components could also be damaged. By investing in a high-quality PSU, you are taking the extra steps necessary to protect your expensive equipment from power surges. By investing in a good UPS, you are even more secure from motherboard damage due to the extra layer of surge protection and the ability to proved clean, smooth continuous power even during power fluctuations. I hope this article was of value and, after reading, realize how important a role a PSU plays in protecting your motherboard and other components.

Please comment below. I would love to hear your story or what PSU and UPS you recommend or currently using.

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