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Multimeter vs PSU Tester vs Software like speedfan etc

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April 13, 2012 11:37:22 PM

Hello all, having some issues and it might be the Mobo or the PSU.

Whenever I play games, the computer locks up. It doesnt lock up with anything else. It started happening very infrequently when I had an old 6800 ultra in my case and when I upgraded to my GTX 460, its happening a bit more often.

From my reading multimeters are the most accurate but I wanted to know how software and PSU testers fare.


1. Are software programs such as Speedfan or HW monitor accurate when reporting voltages nowadays? When I log the voltages, they all seem to be within the required parameters.

2. Suppose my PSU is the problem but only under load, a PSU tester wont be able to pick this up correct? The PSU tester might pick up a bad PSU but my comp works fine doing anything but gaming.

3. I dont have a multimeter but I am wondering if there is a device that someone can use while the CPU is under load without having to be an eletrician.


thanks in advance.

AMD 960T
2GB GSkill PC 6400 RAM
Gigabyte MA790X-UD4P mobo
GTX 460
Win 7 Ultimate
Corsair TX 650W PSU.
a b ) Power supply
April 14, 2012 1:15:33 AM

i dont think it a hardware error of part yet. I think your running our of ram during game play and the pc is locking up.i would try and toss two more stick of ram and run the rig with min of 4 gig and see if your rig still locks up. I would also run memtest on the rig and also check that your sound/motherboard/network drivers are all up to date. you may have to go to vendor sites like intel for the newest mb drivers.
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April 14, 2012 9:15:32 AM

@rolli59, PSU is a corsair TX650W. Also, is it possible that one of the connections is faulty while the others are good or if one is bad it will impact the entire PSU? Hooking the tester up to a spare connector will be an accurate report? Thanks!

@smorizio - I do not think it is the RAM reason being for months/years I would play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (yes the first one lol), without any issues. It started locking up so I thought it was the RAM. I bought new RAM and the issue persisted. When I upgraded to my GTX 460, it started locking up more.
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a c 694 ) Power supply
April 14, 2012 1:23:25 PM

Quality PSU with single +12 volt rail so very unlikely that one connector is bad and another one is not. Bad Ram is easy to find out by running memtest http://www.memtest.org/
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a c 144 ) Power supply
April 14, 2012 1:55:43 PM

I doubt if your system pulls more than 350 watts or so under full load so your PSU should be adequate.

Even though you have a better than average power supply, I would try to eliminate it as a possibility by trying to borrow a good 750 watt PSU.

Software voltage monitoring utilities generally have the most trouble with the negative voltages which are not critical to system operation.
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April 14, 2012 8:38:00 PM

@rolli - keeping the power supply tester hooked up to the PSU while under load is ok? Is this an adequate test that might pick up glitches? Also, If the problem is the Mobo, Memtest might report the RAM being bad. How can I tell if the Mobo is bad?

http://www.gigabyte.us/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3...

what do I look for? With older mobo's the capacitors would swell making it a little easier to tell if the mobo went bad. With these new ones, I am unfamiliar to the signs.

@jsc - Basically I shouldn't trust the software entirely then. I am trying to borrow a tester so I can run it on the PSU. I am worried that if it is the PSU, it might damage other components I want to test.
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