Q&A Refurbished PC purchase (Any power supply advice?)

JakeXPMan

Level 17
Verified
Oct 20, 2014
804
Made a nice Desktop PC buy for an early Birthday present. It's a Lenovo ThinkStation E30, with Xeon Quad core/8 thread 3.2GHz 8GB RAM 1TB HDD Win 10 Pro. + medium range Gforce graphics card for light/middle ground gaming. Total cost 115 dollars + 35 shipping. I think its a pretty good deal, for the Windows 10/1TB, etc.
PC 1.jpg


Well, the PC doesn't come with a power supply... normally I always get a cord with my past purchases, but my question might be pretty simple......

Questions:
1. Are all PC's compadible with ANY standard computer power cord ? I have one attached and running my old PC now, but this PC suffered a faulty end to end error on the HDD, but I don't notice anything faulty with the cord itself... would this plug work okay anyway for my new PC coming soon ?

2. I also need to ask if a power cord could "go bad" and I not know it? Could this be a reason for my old PC's HDD errors ?

3. Can power outages, damage the power cord? (Even if plugged into a surge bar)

4. Is there a difference between Monitor and PC power cords? I do notice my monitor cords are darker, slimmer and have a lot of little ridged plastic design, covering the prongs. Once I plugged the Monitor cord into my computer, recently. Even when it was off.. a huge spark and popping sound happened. I quickly removed it, never again.

I'm a bit confused here, or paranoid just don't want to cause a huge spark and smoke when I plug in my refurbished PC. lol.

Thanks all.
 

show-Zi

Level 31
Verified
Jan 28, 2018
2,004
It is not uncommon for the wire to break physically inside the coating. If you have any concerns or doubts about parts that may develop into a fire, we recommend that you replace them as soon as possible. The flow of electricity is not visible.
Even if they are compatible, I'm negative about power cord porting.
 

Lenny_Fox

Level 22
Verified
Oct 1, 2019
1,125
What voltage is your country using. With 220-240 volt, the amperage is lower than with 110-120 volt. The advantage of lower volts that it is likely to be electrocuted, but the amps running through it (and heath development) is higher. Ordinary 1.5 mm wire can be used safely up to 10 Amps, so with 220 volt system that is Watt=Volts x Amps = 2200 Watt. With 110volt system that would be 1100 Watt maximum.

Led screens often use very little power in Watt. When you buy from brands which have their safety registration, they probably use 1.5 mm wire (usually three wires in the cable itself (positive, negative and ground). I refurb a lot of PC's for family members (usually nieces and nephews giving their old PC's to thier parents or kids).

ver the years resistance and heat development eat away the electric wire, increasing risk of breakage and fire. As a rule of thumb I replace cables older than five years. I also always the connect your PC with the power switch off and when it does not sparkle or crackle AND the cable looks good, (no wear and no small bends in it), you should be okay (occasional sparkling is normal for devices using a lot of power)
 

JakeXPMan

Level 17
Verified
Oct 20, 2014
804
What voltage is your country using. With 220-240 volt, the amperage is lower than with 110-120 volt. The advantage of lower volts that it is likely to be electrocuted, but the amps running through it (and heath development) is higher. Ordinary 1.5 mm wire can be used safely up to 10 Amps, so with 220 volt system that is Watt=Volts x Amps = 2200 Watt. With 110volt system that would be 1100 Watt maximum.
U.S. Here, in North America most sockets are attached to a 120 V supply, but there is a 240 V supply available for large appliances.

I removed what I wrote by accident, but will re-write now ... as long the cable has the appropriate volts for the PC's requirements, I think it should be fine. That is my main concern, to not break anything.

They all seem to read, 10 Amps / 125 Volts.

My two Desktops, are 20 W and 65 W in CPU.

(retired)
Athlon II 170u

power consumption
TDP 20W
Annual home energy cost 4.82 $/year
Annual commercial energy cost 17.52 $/year
Performance per watt 3.3 pt/W
Typical power consumption 16.25W

(one i'm using now)
Intel i3-2120

power consumption
TDP 65W
Annual home energy cost 15.66 $/year
Annual commercial energy cost 56.94 $/year
Performance per watt 2.79 pt/W
Typical power consumption 52.81W
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SOON NEW PC,

Intel Xeon E3-1230

power consumption
TDP 80W
Annual home energy cost 19.27 $/year
Annual commercial energy cost 70.08 $/year
Performance per watt 9.54 pt/W
Typical power consumption 65W



I just never questioned the wire, I use what the PC's came with... this one won't be including the power cord so, felt need to ask.
 

Cortex

Level 26
Verified
Aug 4, 2016
1,500
Unless you are a gamer the quality of a PSU is often completely ignored, but IMO it's worth buying the best PSU you can afford obviously within reason - The stability of a PC to some degree is governed by the PSU with it's various voltage rails.
 

JakeXPMan

Level 17
Verified
Oct 20, 2014
804
Unless you are a gamer the quality of a PSU is often completely ignored, but IMO it's worth buying the best PSU you can afford obviously within reason - The stability of a PC to some degree is governed by the PSU with it's various voltage rails.
Mild, to medium gaming... more of a multi-task and web surfing. I'm not sure if this helps, but here's some of the Lenovo detailed specifications, on Power supply and management. i CANNOT tell what PSU it has, but here's a pic.

PSU.jpg


Power management
ACPI compliant
Standby Mode
Energy Star 4.0 compliant (selected models)
80%+ efficient power supply
Main
24-Pin (2x12) ATX12V Standard
VRM (voltage regulator module)
1 x 4-Pin (2x2) Standard (PCI/PCIe)
2 x 10-Pin (2x5) Standard (CPU/memory)
280 Watts Output
Voltage : 100-127 volts/9.2 amps, 200-240 volts/ 4.6 amps, 50/60 Hz
 
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JakeXPMan

Level 17
Verified
Oct 20, 2014
804
It is not uncommon for the wire to break physically inside the coating. If you have any concerns or doubts about parts that may develop into a fire, we recommend that you replace them as soon as possible. The flow of electricity is not visible.
Even if they are compatible, I'm negative about power cord porting.
My two Power Cords look very well together and no bends or visable breaks. They have same voltage read-out A10 - 125 V is that a power that's good to go then ?
One says Longwell as the brand.
 
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Cortex

Level 26
Verified
Aug 4, 2016
1,500
Looks like a basic bog standard nondescript PSU - Not over endowed with power but often these companies print what they feel inclined to in wattage's on the side, & can be totally meaningless - The weight of a PSU often shows it's quality, you can buy cheap ones for under £15 ($15) I feel its worth spending twice that amount for any PC - My opinion only of course.
 

JakeXPMan

Level 17
Verified
Oct 20, 2014
804
Looks like a basic bog standard nondescript PSU - Not over endowed with power but often these companies print what they feel inclined to in wattage's on the side, & can be totally meaningless - The weight of a PSU often shows it's quality, you can buy cheap ones for under £15 ($15) I feel its worth spending twice that amount for any PC - My opinion only of course.
Okay good info to know. I remember jump starting my PSU with a blow dryer over 10 yrs ago. Because Compaq had this blinking lockdown when you'd unplug it, as you'd be busy with PC maintenance or stored it away :D
 
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plat1098

Level 25
Verified
Sep 13, 2018
1,418
Since this is refurbished, most of its useful life is already in the past! If it's some generic, no-name psu, my trust factor takes a little dive. Do you have a decent (not a "Dollar General" special on sale) surge protector for it? Enjoy it while it lasts. Any generic psu-to-wall outlet cord should work. I re-used a cord from a previous build--no problem.

If you're concerned about adequate power delivery to the three rails, HWiNFO64 can be useful for telling you about the 3.3, 5 and 12 volt rails. I'm not sure about any deviations but I think it's +/- 5% of 3.3, 5 and 12. Maybe a little more; you can search online. Example: (looks like I don't have too much headroom but it's adequate for having gathered dust in a dark closet for over 2 years):

psu rails.PNG
 

JakeXPMan

Level 17
Verified
Oct 20, 2014
804
Since this is refurbished, most of its useful life is already in the past! If it's some generic, no-name psu, my trust factor takes a little dive. Do you have a decent (not a "Dollar General" special on sale) surge protector for it? Enjoy it while it lasts. Any generic psu-to-wall outlet cord should work. I re-used a cord from a previous build--no problem.

If you're concerned about adequate power delivery to the three rails, HWiNFO64 can be useful for telling you about the 3.3, 5 and 12 volt rails. I'm not sure about any deviations but I think it's +/- 5% of 3.3, 5 and 12. Maybe a little more; you can search online. Example: (looks like I don't have too much headroom but it's adequate for having gathered dust in a dark closet for over 2 years):

View attachment 248195
This surge protector is from Ace Hardware. I have an older-make surge protector which says Taiwan on the back, and "woods". Yep, my main concern is the needed power for the 3 rails. Good info, and program. How's it looking here?

Sensor info.jpg
 

plat1098

Level 25
Verified
Sep 13, 2018
1,418
Well, my knowledge of this is very basic, but without info on the 5 and 12 rails (which supply power to USB and others and your CPU respectively), you can't say much more than: the power to the 3 rail seems good.

Your surge protector sounds better than mine, actually.
 

Cortex

Level 26
Verified
Aug 4, 2016
1,500
Also with a PSU without decent caps/regulation, voltages can drop as load increases, not always noticeable with HW-Info, you get what you pay for in life but most people want to skimp on a PSU - Fine by me :):)
 
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JakeXPMan

Level 17
Verified
Oct 20, 2014
804
Also with a PSU without decent caps/regulation, voltages can drop as load increases, not always noticeable with HW-Info, you get what you pay for in life but most people want to skimp on a PSU - Fine by me :):)
For me, its not meant to enter the PC olympics... but to surf, lightly gaming and multi -task, hold files... and last at least around 5 yrs. I never was told PSU was of such importance before so, but I think it should do alright. Cheap or not so cheap PSU.
 
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Lenny_Fox

Level 22
Verified
Oct 1, 2019
1,125
They all seem to read, 10 Amps / 125 Volts.

SOON NEW PC,

Intel Xeon E3-1230

power consumption
TDP 80W
Annual home energy cost 19.27 $/year
Annual commercial energy cost 70.08 $/year
Performance per watt 9.54 pt/W
Typical power consumption 65W



I just never questioned the wire, I use what the PC's came with... this one won't be including the power cord so, felt need to ask.

When using 80Watt TDP as maximum draw, that would mean 80Watt/120Volt=0.75 Ampere only, so your old 10 Amp/125 Volt cords are fine to use for your soon new PC.
 
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JakeXPMan

Level 17
Verified
Oct 20, 2014
804
When using 80Watt TDP as maximum draw, that would mean 80Watt/120Volt=0.75 Ampere only, so your old 10 Amp/125 Volt cords are fine to use for your soon new PC.
Sounds good thanks for the tips.... and the PC came with a shiny clean, power cord. Even if was sold Tower only. So that's good news :)

I'm doing some pre-backup plans now for the Drive. Maybe an AOMEI backup. Its fast and effective.
 
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