Can A Bad PSU Kill A Motherboard

The power supply is arguably the most important component in your PC. It’s responsible for supplying power to all the other components in your system, and if it isn’t up to the task, you’ll run into all sorts of problems. This is why you should never cheap out on a power supply.

The motherboard is a key component for building a PC, it’s responsible for connecting all the internal components together. The motherboard has different sockets which different components plug into. The CPU plugs into the CPU socket, RAM plugs into the DIMM slots, and so on. So, it’s reasonable to assume that a bad power supply can destroy a motherboard since the PSU connects directly to the mainboard.

Answer: Yes, a bad power supply can damage or even kill a motherboard. But there are a few things to keep in mind before you start thinking that every time your system crashes, it’s because your power supply is on its way out. First of all, it’s important to understand that not all power supplies are created equal. There are different grades of power supplies, from budget models to high-end units designed for

Bad Power Supply Symptoms

Looking out for key signs of a failing power supply is a great way to be one step ahead when something bad happens. It can give you time to purchase a stable replacement and save a lot of money and hassle. There are several key symptoms to look out for that indicate a failing PSU:

Your PC randomly shuts down or restarts –  If your PC randomly shuts down or restarts, then this is a sign of a failing power supply. This symptom isn’t always a sign of a failing power supply as it can be caused by other hardware problems, but it’s worth checking the PSU if you’re troubleshooting. We recommend replacing the power supply with a spare to check if the problem persists.

You hear a grinding or whirring noise from your PC – If you hear a grinding or whirring noise coming from your PC, it’s a sign that the bearings in the fan are failing. This usually happens when the power supply is overloaded and the fan can’t cool the PSU down properly. If you hear this noise, it’s a good idea to turn off your PC and check the power supply. Failing fans can cause the power supply to overheat over time which will accelerate its failure.

Your PC is failing to boot up – If your system is experiencing issues when booting up, such as failing to initialize the BIOS or failing to turn on any components, then this could be a sign of a bad power supply. If you’re sure that everything is plugged in correctly, and all the components work fine, then swapping the PSU can confirm whether it’s the PSU or not.

Your PC crashes frequently – Another telltale sign of a failing PSU is if your PC frequently crashes or freezes. This could be a sign that the PSU is failing to properly supply enough power, causing other components to lose power and crash. If you notice this behavior, we recommend replacing your power supply as soon as possible.

Why The Power Supply Can Fry The Motherboard

A power supply will connect directly to the motherboard via the 24-pin ATX power connector. This is why a bad PSU can damage the motherboard. If the power supply is providing too much or too little power, it can cause problems with the motherboard. For example, if the power supply is providing too much power, it can cause the voltage regulator to overheat and fail.

So yes, electrical surges in power are detrimental to component health, and they will very well destroy your motherboard. This is another reason why surge protectors are so important, as they can protect your system from power fluctuations and surges. 

However, it’s also important to note that a surge protector is not a guaranteed safety net against damage. Power surge protection relies on a number of factors, including the surge protection rating of the surge protector in question, the longevity of its components, and how well

Power Supply Failure Rate/Lifespan

A good power supply should last anywhere between 5-10 years, and if maintained properly, it can last significantly longer. Just remember to never skimp when buying a power supply as bad units have increased failure rates and severely diminished lifespans. We’re going to talk about the key aspects you need to look out for when buying a PSU.

Anyways, the failure rate for a power supply is around 1.15%. For a well-made power supply, this number will be much lower, and for a cheaply made power supply, this number will be higher. That’s approximately 1 in 87 power supplies that will fail within the first year. Statistically, you should be fine, so there should be no worries that your PSU will kill your motherboard if you’re purchased a good unit.

Warranties really reflect on the power supplies’ lifespan, the average PSU will have a warranty of around 8 years, but you can find some units with warranties as long as 12 years. So if you want to be extra cautious, consider looking for power supplies with longer warranty periods as they will have a longer lifespan and a lower failure rate.

How To Find A Great Power Supply

psu efficiency

When buying a power supply, ensure that they have an 80+ rating. 80 Plus is a certification that demonstrates the power supply’s efficiency under different load capacities. This is usually indicative of a power supply build quality. Power supplies that are 80+ Titanium rated will have better internal components compared to an 80+ Bronze rated unit.

Also, ensure your power supply has built-in protections against things like Over Voltage Protection (OVP), Under Voltage Protection (UVP), Overcurrent Protection (OCP), Short Circuit Protection (SCP), and Over Temperature Protection (OTP). These protections will help to safeguard your power supply, and in turn, your system, from any damage that could be caused by electrical surges or overheating.

If you’re looking for a reliable, high-quality power supply, we recommend checking out brands like Corsair, EVGA, and Seasonic. Not only do these brands have great reputations for producing quality PSUs, but they also tend to offer longer warranties and higher surge approximately 1 in every

Tips For Operating A Power Supply

When buying a power supply, always use the cables that they come with, especially if it’s a modular unit. Mixing and matching cables can lead to compatibility issues, and in some cases, it can cause the power supply to malfunction. The wiring a cable comes with has to be compatible with the power supply you’re using. Sometimes, aftermarket cables will have different cables or different pinouts that might not be compatible with your power supply.

To also ensure a longer lifespan and better reliability for your PSU, always make sure to keep it clean. Dust and dirt can easily accumulate on the metal heatsinks of your power supply after long periods of time, and if they are not cleaned regularly, it will affect the power supply’s cooling performance. A PSU that runs hot will have a shorter lifespan as the components will degrade faster.

As previously stated, purchasing a surge protector is always a good idea. It will help to protect your power supply (and other components) from any sudden electrical surges that could damage your system. Taking all these tips into consideration will significantly reduce the chances of a power supply failing on you and destroying your motherboard.


So yes, a faulty power supply can definitely destroy your motherboard, but if you take the necessary precautions, you should be fine. Just always ensure that you are purchasing a high-quality power supply with built protections and long warranty periods to keep your system safe and running for longer.