Can I replace my active PFC power supply unit with one that does not have active PFC?

KamilKozyra September 12, 2012

Will replacing a power supply unit (with Active PFC) to a PSU without Active PFC damage any of my PC’s components? What (if any) difference should I expect? Thanks!

  1. Mike
    September 12, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Unless this PSU is powering very sensitive equipment (e.g. medical or precision equipment e.g. oscilloscope) there should be no problem replacing the active PFC with a passive one.

    However in the long run the money you saved getting a PPFC unit will probably be spend on power transformed into heat because of the lower efficiency.

  2. Ahmed Khalil
    September 12, 2012 at 7:49 am

    What is Active PFC, i am an electrical engineer but it is my first time to hear this PFC

  3. Kannon Y
    September 12, 2012 at 5:29 am

    Unfortunately, I'm having trouble digging up the link, but I've been told that there's not really much of a difference between active and passive power supplies, other than in their efficiency in supplying power and the heat waste product produced (and a lot, lot more)

    This thread has a lot of critical information on the difference between APFC and PPFC. PPFCs can be more power efficient than APFCs but otherwise aren't as good.

    Basically, Active PFC is better than Passive PFC.

    Prices, in fact, bear this out as the cheapest PSUs tend to not have any PFC (of ANY kind) while the most expensive tend to have Active PFC. I actually have first-hand experience with all three kinds of PFC PSUs and only no-PFCs had any sort of impact on my computer. My server (with four hard drives) actually began performing better when I switched from a no-PFC to an active-PFC. This is partly because I increased my wattage slightly in the transition but also because the active-PFC PSU was of superior quality. This tends to be the rule in PSU design. Active PSUs use better parts in general.

    I know in the link they write that Passive PFCs are the most common power supply around, but all the new PSUs above $50 that I see are active.

    Anyway, to sum things up, it shouldn't damage any of your components if it's of quality build. If it's a cheap PSU, like with all cheap power supplies, you run the risk of damaging your computer. Check online reviews for your PSU's model number/serial number.