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Crazy PSU Voltage Readings!

Last response: in Components
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November 23, 2013 2:51:53 PM

Guys, I am really worried.

Now I have to say my system is running completely normal, totally stable, my CPU is not overheating, its running at around 25-30 degrees celsius ( i7 4960x ) but I downloaded HW Monitor today to check out my PSU voltages and they are all off the wall. Its a 850W PSU.

My +12V rail reads 16V!

My +5V rail reads 3V!

What is going on? Could these be the right readings? I just got this system from a system exchange from Dell. Does that mean the PSU they gave me was not brand new? I know other parts can be refurbished but can a PSU be refurbished? I really am worried guys and I don't want to fry my system. I don't have a multi meter and my car's transmission is currently shot and the car is in the shop for the next 3 days so I can't go get one. I have taken readings with HW Monitor, PC Wizard, Speccy and Speed Fan. All of them are showing the same readings. I have the Alienware A09 Bios and for some stupid reason they don't include voltage readings in the BIOS.

Let me know what you guys think is going on. I really appreciate it.

Also, I have a 1000W PSU that I know has the correct +12V and +5V readings on it on another computer. Would it be okay for me to switch out PSU's and see if I get the same crazy readings? Lets just say that the PSU is fine and the readings are just off because the motherboard is reading them wrong or something, does that mean I am okay? Will running the system with these crazy readings be safe?

Thanks for your time guys.

Best solution

November 23, 2013 3:03:55 PM

HWMonitor reads from the chip on the motherboard and has to convert to the voltages based on what it is told and what chip it thinks is on your motherboard, it tends to guess wrong. HWMonitor used to have all of my voltages messed up but it sorted it out with an update about a year later, it just takes them some time so treat software voltage numbers with a grain of salt.

If your 5V rail was at 3V your hard drive logic wouldn't function, if your 12V rail was at 16V your fans would be spinning ridiculously fast. What likely happened is someone who did the voltage conversion math screwed up, check your voltages in bios and see what they say, i would suspect them to be much closer to the nominal values. If you are really concerned go to home depot and drop $20 on a cheapo multimeter and back probe the 24 pin ATX connector. There is no way your system could be running with voltages that far out of spec so I'm pretty confident this is a software bug.
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November 23, 2013 3:21:44 PM

I really hope so. There is no way to monitor the voltages through the A09 Alienware BIOS. Since my system is running stable I guess I am going to have to wait until Monday to go pick up a meter. I just want to make sure in the mean time that I am not chancing ruining my system by running it through the weekend with these insane readings.
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