Transient Response Tests
Advanced Transient Response Tests
For details on our transient response testing, please click here.
In these tests, we monitor the response of the PSU in two different scenarios. First, a transient load (10A at +12V, 5A at 5V, 5A at 3.3V and 0.5A at 5VSB) is applied for 200ms while the PSU works at 20 percent load. In the second scenario, the PSU is hit by the same transient load while operating at 50 percent load. In both tests, we use our oscilloscope to measure the voltage drops caused by the transient load. The voltages should remain within the ATX specification's regulation limits.
These tests are crucial because they simulate the transient loads a PSU is likely to handle (such as booting a RAID array or an instant 100 percent load of CPU/GPUs). We call them "Advanced Transient Response Tests," and they are designed to be very tough to master, especially for PSUs with less than 500W capacity.
Advanced Transient Response at 20 Percent
Advanced Transient Response at 50 Percent
During the first test, the +12V rail's deviation is quite high because the PSU operates its main switchers in PWM mode. In the second test, deviations on the same rail drop below 1 percent since the primary switches operate in FM mode. On the 5V and 5VSB rails, the voltage drops are controlled well. It's only on the 3.3V rail that we see a higher than 4 percent deviation during the first test. Even still, the rail's voltage remains above 3.2V during both tests.
Here are the oscilloscope screenshots we took during Advanced Transient Response Testing:
Transient Response At 20 Percent Load
Transient Response At 50 Percent Load
Turn-On Transient Tests
In the next set of tests, we measure the PSU's response in simpler transient load scenarios—during its power-on phase.
For the first measurement, we turn off the PSU, dial in the maximum current the 5VSB can output and switch on the PSU. In the second test, we dial the maximum load the +12V can handle and start the PSU while it's in standby mode. In the last test, while the PSU is completely switched off (we cut off the power or switch off the PSU by flipping its on/off switch), we dial the maximum load the +12V rail can handle before switching on the PSU from the loader and restoring power. The ATX specification states that recorded spikes on all rails should not exceed 10 percent of their nominal values (+10 percent for 12V is 13.2V, and 5.5V for 5V).
The 5VSB slope is very smooth, though we noticed a small bump during the second test. Finally, in the third and last test, the slope doesn't ramp up as smoothly. This won't cause any problems though, and the small spike before the rail's settle down is quite small.