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Windows 7: testing a psu

17 Apr 2010   #1
totalguy

windows ultimate 7 64 bit
 
 
testing a psu

just curious here, i havent got a problem but i was wondering is there some software to test a psu's useage? like how much power its using at any given time. i been thinking about this for years but never seemed to find anything


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17 Apr 2010   #2
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Try here:

CPUID
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17 Apr 2010   #3
stormy13
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Not that I have seen. You need something like one of these,

Newegg.ca - P3 Kill A Watt Electricity Load Meter and Monitor
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17 Apr 2010   #4
totalguy

windows ultimate 7 64 bit
 
 

shame oh well
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18 Apr 2010   #5
Digerati

Windows 7 Profession 64-bit
 
 

A PSU only draws from the wall what is required of it, plus 15 - 30% for inefficiencies (which is wasted in the form of heat). So if your motherboard, RAM, graphics cards, and drives (everything your PSU supplies power to) only need 250 watts, then power drawn from the wall will only be 250 watts (plus another 50 or so for waste). This is true regardless if your PSU is a 400W PSU, or 1000W PSU.

So if you can find the data sheets for all your hardware, you could get an idea just how much power you are using by simply adding the power specs.

CPUID and other HW monitors won't work as they only tell your voltages. You need the current value too to determine the wattage.

Quote:
shame oh well
Need to understand this is not really a computer issue - but a power issue. Also note that even if there was a program that monitored the current on the motherboard, drives and other devices are direct connected to the PSU, so would not be factored in with the motherboard. So the only solution is with a device such as suggested by stormy. But even still, monitors, speakers, and many external drives and readers have their own power connections, so they too would not be factored in a program running on the machine, and again, you would need a measuring device, as suggested by stormy, and connect all devices to an extension cord, then plug the cord into the meter.

Finally, to be accurate, the software or meter needs to be used with the system under load as the power requirements change drastically from idle to maxed out.

The alternative is for the PSU makers to include a meter in the PSU - and I think that is a good idea and you should start a letter campaign to Antec, Corsair, TT, PC P&C and some of the other big PSU makers.
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18 Apr 2010   #6
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

The Killawatt device mentioned by Stormy is very handy. I saw them priced at 20 dollars at Costco recently.

You can plug any household appliance into them to get a good idea of where your power usage lies. They are particularly useful if your power company charges more for power at certain times of the day.

My PC typically consumes about 150 watts and never gets as high as 200 watts, even under full load.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Apr 2010   #7
totalguy

windows ultimate 7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Digerati View Post
A PSU only draws from the wall what is required of it, plus 15 - 30% for inefficiencies (which is wasted in the form of heat). So if your motherboard, RAM, graphics cards, and drives (everything your PSU supplies power to) only need 250 watts, then power drawn from the wall will only be 250 watts (plus another 50 or so for waste). This is true regardless if your PSU is a 400W PSU, or 1000W PSU.

So if you can find the data sheets for all your hardware, you could get an idea just how much power you are using by simply adding the power specs.

CPUID and other HW monitors won't work as they only tell your voltages. You need the current value too to determine the wattage.

Quote:
shame oh well
Need to understand this is not really a computer issue - but a power issue. Also note that even if there was a program that monitored the current on the motherboard, drives and other devices are direct connected to the PSU, so would not be factored in with the motherboard. So the only solution is with a device such as suggested by stormy. But even still, monitors, speakers, and many external drives and readers have their own power connections, so they too would not be factored in a program running on the machine, and again, you would need a measuring device, as suggested by stormy, and connect all devices to an extension cord, then plug the cord into the meter.

Finally, to be accurate, the software or meter needs to be used with the system under load as the power requirements change drastically from idle to maxed out.

The alternative is for the PSU makers to include a meter in the PSU - and I think that is a good idea and you should start a letter campaign to Antec, Corsair, TT, PC P&C and some of the other big PSU makers.
thought it would be something like that, reason i asked though is i seen some review about a psu and some guy was talking about efficiency under different wattage loads i dont know how he got the figures and percentages for it
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Apr 2010   #8
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

Many newer power supplies are "Active PFC" type and these are more efficient than the older computer power supplies. A current meter or power (watts) meter plugged in between the PC and the AC power outlet will tell you what the actual power usage is at any given time, but as noted it will vary with the internal PC load.

A comment on the Active PFC type power supplies. If you are using a UPS system with these type of power supplies, most require a "pure sine wave" source, and there are only a few (higher $$ models) that have a pure sine wave output when on battery backup. The EU made the PFC power supplies mandatory on all new PC's and some PC manufacturers are now using them on US models too rather than stocking two different power supplies. There has been much "discussion" on the Dell forum as users find they must upgrade their UPS to one of the higher priced "pure sine wave" models for their new desktop PC's.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Apr 2010   #9
Digerati

Windows 7 Profession 64-bit
 
 

Quote:
some guy was talking about efficiency under different wattage loads i dont know how he got the figures and percentages for it
With test equipment. They measure how many watts the motherboard is drawing from the PSU under the various loads and at the same time measure how many are being pulled from the wall. The difference is a ratio, or percentage.

That's very true about UPS - but I still recommend all computers be on one, a good one with automatic voltage regulation (AVR).
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19 Apr 2010   #10
CarlTR6

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Digerati View Post
That's very true about UPS - but I still recommend all computers be on one, a good one with automatic voltage regulation (AVR).
Hear! Hear! That is so true especially here in the lightning capitol of the US.
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