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Computer power supplies - current limiting

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Yesterday I had the power supply in my server failed - smoke, blown mains breaker etc. Put in a spare supply I had and same thing.
The first supply was about 6 years old and ran 24/7. The second one was similar vintage but has sat in the cupboard for 12 months unused.

My question is about current limiting in modern switching supplies. Assuming the motherboard has a fault that presents as a short to one or more of the outputs of the supply, what should happen? Will the current limiting shutdown the supply and limit any damage? I don't want to put in a nw supply and have it die as well.

I'm ready to believe that given the age of the supplies, having them both give up was just one of those things.
Sorry if this question is only marginally engineering related.  :)

At Computer power supplies , brand and specs walks together ..

Unbranded designs , usually have fake labels ..

My rule are to always get PSU's with active PFC + cost over 120$ or EUR  .

At this price range , you can be demanding about stability - protection - longevity.

The 2 power supplies in question were not cheap no name brands. ( Tagan and Enermax )
I just ordered a new Tagen 700 watt supply based on the fact the the last one kept going for nearly 6 years which I'm sure is well beyond the designed life.

even our $2000+ servers with fail safe psu's will fry the motherboard on a fault, since they can deliver 1600W each.

The servers at work are replaced on a 3 year cycle so I can only remember a handful of power supply failures.
I guess the clean, airconditioned environment helps. When I opened the power supplies up, it was impossible to identify any component for the greasy, black dust that covers everything.

If it turns out that the motherboard has died it's a good excuse to upgrade. Who doesn't like a new toy?  ;)
A 5 years old server should be retired anyway.


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