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PSU Testing

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Last response: in Components
August 27, 2010 10:25:17 AM

Hi All,

If I buy a psu tester to test my old psu to see if it is causing problems will this be enough?

I have lost two hard drives in 5 months, and I get unexplained BSOD problems on my win 7 64 bit gigabyte ep45-ud3 rev 1. main board, running and intel core2 quad q6600 slacor, over clocked to 3.4 ghz... Radeon 5770 HD graphics card, 2 optical drives and 2 hard drives.

Some people adivse me that it may be my old seasonice s12-600 watt psu that has a problem. I'm not so sure and if it did have a problem that caused these faults would a normal psu tester find it?

Thanks for your help

More about : psu testing

a b ) Power supply
August 27, 2010 11:20:40 AM

No, it wouldn't. The tester can only show you if your PSU has a big problem regulating the voltage (although it is not the proper way to test the voltage regulation of a PSU), but there is a lot of other possible sources of problems. For example, if the MOV (Metal Oxide Varistor) is damaged, it means that it's not cutting voltage spikes (transients) found on the power line.

On the other hand, the HDs can fail. Two disks in 5 months is not normal, but it may happen.
Anyway, some models from Seasonic have 5 years warranty, so you could RMA it.
August 27, 2010 11:33:27 AM

So, how can I check that the psu needs to be replaced? if the psu tester isn't the right way?

This is very frustrating when a good quality replacement will cost me the best part of £75-£100!

I suppose RMAing it would answer whether it was broken as I imagine they would test it before returning it, but that means no PSU for a prolonged period and I can't afford that!


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a b ) Power supply
August 27, 2010 2:19:56 PM

A tester is a cheap solution that can give you some answers, but not all that you need. It's useful in some cases, for example, if you see that a software is showing that the voltages are out of range. You can confirm it using the tester. However, for doing the proper test you would need to add an active load tester to the PSU outputs and measuring the current of the +12 V, +5V, +5VSB, +3.3V and –12V outputs at the same time using a data collector during a period of time.
Unfortunately, you would need to spend a lot of money to adquire this kind of equipment. It has no sense buying it for testing a few PSUs. This is the equipment that the brands and qualifies reviewers use.
So contact Seasonic and RMA the PSU. They will do all the test that your unit needs.
August 27, 2010 2:55:13 PM

yeah, i've been trying to find where to contact them for that, as I'm in the UK! sigh I think I may simple replace the psu and start from there!
a b ) Power supply
August 27, 2010 4:01:20 PM

Try here:
August 27, 2010 8:44:51 PM

I've written to them but heard nothing, maybe I'll try again...
a b ) Power supply
August 27, 2010 9:33:38 PM

You have to provide the model number, the serial number, and a brief description of the symptoms of your power supply.
a b ) Power supply
August 27, 2010 10:27:59 PM

I assume that you have monitored your voltages and noted the drop when going from idle to Full load (ie running furmark in a window.

Best way is to Monitor the Outputs of the +5 V and +12 V using an O'scope and noting level shifts and spikes. This is out of the question as cost prohibitive for most (I'm lucky, Have a dual trace Digital scope with capture).

next, use a voltmeter to verify software voltages.

Reason tests are not very good - Don't own one, is that they can NOY place a proper load on the PSU, only a minimal load.
August 28, 2010 2:42:04 AM

Henry Chinaski said:
You have to provide the model number, the serial number, and a brief description of the symptoms of your power supply.

Well answered. Now you can go have a drink or 12. That is, if I'm catching the Chinaski reference correctly.