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Windows 7: Program to monitor Power Supply

24 Jan 2013   #1

Windows 7 64 Home
 
 
Program to monitor Power Supply

I am starting to think I may have a power supply issue and none of the programs I use seem to monitor it correctly or the power supply is bad. I have been using TOverclocker (came with my Biostar MB), Speccy, Everest, HWinfo64, HWinfo32 and SpeedFan. None of these give me consistent measurements or measure the voltages wrong from opening the program. Is there a monitor program out there that is very good at measuring power supply voltages. My MB is a Biostar TZ68A+. Thanks in advance for the help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Jan 2013   #2

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64
 
 

What symptoms are you having that you think may be related to a PSU issue?

The best way to measure voltages is not with a software program, but rather with a digital multimeter (set to DC volts on the 20V range or automatic) and using a technique called backprobing whereby the probes are inserted into the back of the power connectors so that they make contact with the wires inside. The only software that I would trust on voltage readings is the hardware monitoring in the BIOS (and even then I would take the digital multimeter reading as being the definitive). This is because software that provides this function takes its readings from the on-board sensors and then applies a predetermined offset which gives you the final output reading. Unfortunately, if the incorrect offset is used, it can lead to cases where a voltage is displayed as being out of tolerance whereas the same voltage tested directly is well within the limits.

Certainly, don't stop using these programs if you wish, but remember that the readings that they give should be treated as a guide and that if you have any undue concerns about any of the readings you should confirm (or otherwise) them with a digital multimeter as described above.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2013   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1, Windows 8.1 Pro x64
 
 

Try looking in the BIOS and make sure what is shown there is what you want. Most software programs are only reading from the onboard sensors when and if they exist.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Jan 2013   #4

Windows 7 64 Home
 
 

The monitor program TOverclocker measures 12 volts fine until it is under load for a long time, the min will show it got down to 3.6 volts at some point. I would like to try another good HW monitor program to compare. I looked at the Bios and the voltages are fine there and I checked the PS with a PS tester and that is fine too. It is under load that I think the PS is having issues.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2013   #5

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64
 
 

Your PSU is from a respectable manufacturer, Corsair, so I wonder if it is actually something else causing the problem. However, we shouldn't totally eliminate it. What model number is it?

It is more likely to be a faulty sensor, or one that is susceptible to changes in temperatures (which would explain why you suspect that you're having these problems under load). Although the BIOS reads its values from sensors, they are not necessarily the same ones that software programs access. However, remember that whilst in the hardware monitoring tab of the BIOS, your system is not under the same load as when the OS is loaded and running.

This is one of those cases where I would definitely recommend the use of a digital multimeter. The voltage reading you quote (3.6V on the 12V line) is simply far too low to allow the computer to remain operating (i.e. I would expect it to cause it to power off). Are you sure this is the 12V line, and not either of the 5V or 3.3V lines?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2013   #6

Windows 7 64 Home
 
 

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply


I'm not so sure it is the PSU either, but it does bother me that the voltage drops to 3.6 volts under load. I would think if it really did this it would crash the system. I noticed the other day for the first time that all voltages under TOverclocker will show a low Min at some point during load testing under Prime95. The 12 volts had always done this and now I seem to have all voltages doing it. The system does not reboot or crash, but I did have a BSOD the other day and I think it was my O/C, I have removed the O/C for now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2013   #7

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64
 
 

Good call on removing your overclock. One of the first things to do when experiencing problems is to set everything back to stock/standard settings. It just eliminates one of the possible causes. The same thing, by the way, also applies if you are underclocking.

Do you have access to a digital multimeter? If so, monitor your voltages with TOverclocker as before and then, when the voltage reading dips, check it using the back-probing technique I mentioned earlier. Depending on the voltage you want to check, connect the probes as follows:

Positive/Red probe:

12V - Yellow
5V - Red
3.3V - Orange

Negative/Black probe: Black.

Note that it shouldn't matter which particular wire you choose to probe, but if you want to test multiple (or even all) combinations then feel free to do so.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2013   #8

Windows 7 64 Home
 
 

OK, cool I will try that. In the mean time what is the best monitor program you can suggest?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2013   #9
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Do not open up your PSU to do any checking. It can kill you even with the power disconnected.
For most if a PSU is faulty throw it out and buy a new one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2013   #10

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64
 
 

You've already tried multiple programs, and they've all given inconsistent results. In that case, the backprobing technique is the one you should use.

Please heed the above warning: NEVER open the PSU itself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Program to monitor Power Supply





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