The right way to Check Your Pc’s PSU With a PSU Tester


Jason Fitzpatrick / How-To Geek

A PSU tester is among the easiest methods to check your pc’s PSU because it presents an all-in-one expertise with fast actionable suggestions.

Why Use a PSU Tester?

PSU testers are so low-cost and really easy to make use of that we actually can’t suggest them sufficient. You probably have a multimeter, you’re snug utilizing it, and also you don’t thoughts testing a bunch of pins and taking notes, you may definitely take a look at your PSU the old school approach.

However, apart from the easy plug-and-play ease of utilizing a PSU tester, it has one important profit over doing the take a look at manually.

A PSU tester is purpose-built for the duty and provides you with each fast suggestions on whether or not or not the connections match the anticipated voltage and configuration or not in addition to loudly alerting you if they don’t.

Additional, it permits for simple SATA terminal testing (there’s no approach to simply take a look at the tiny pinout on a SATA connector with a multimeter) and it provides you with a readout for the PG worth—the “energy good” time-to-start delay interval—{that a} multimeter can not.

Lastly, a phrase on PSU testers: all of them look nearly the identical as a result of they’re all nearly the identical. There are dozens of manufacturers that look identical to the mannequin we beneficial above as a result of primary PSU testers are a “white field” product.

A number of factories crank out a bajillion of them, and totally different firms pay to have their explicit case and/or emblem slapped on the circuit board. However inside, they’re equivalent. Do you have to be studying this text and the particular PSU tester we linked to above (and are utilizing for this tutorial) is out of inventory, you may merely purchase one other that appears identical to it, reminiscent of this one or this one.

The right way to Use a PSU Tester

Utilizing a PSU tester is straight ahead, however you must all the time comply with finest practices. Right here’s tips on how to take a look at your PSU safely with a tester.

Warning: At no level will we be opening up the PSU itself. Doing so with out correct precautions, information, and instruments may give you a deadly shock.

Earlier than Testing your PSU, Disconnect the Cables

Energy off your PSU. If it has a swap, you should use the swap on the again. In any other case, unplug it. Earlier than utilizing the PSU tester, we suggest unplugging not simply the actual cable you want to take a look at however all of the cables linking your PSU to inside parts.

Not solely will this defend the varied parts if something ought to go improper, but it surely’s sensible to check each cable without delay to make sure the PSU is functioning correctly throughout the board.

Connect the PSU Tester and Energy Up the PSU

The PSU tester attracts energy from the PSU itself. To make use of it, merely flip off the PSU (both with the swap on the again or by unplugging it from the wall).

Then plug within the mom energy cable to the tester in addition to the CPU energy connector cable—when you don’t plug within the CPU cable, you’ll get an error message. Activate the PSU.

Studying the PSU Tester Outcomes

The tester will present you varied energy classes it expects from the motherboard and CPU cables like -12V, +12V, +3.3V, and so on. Beneath these classes, it’ll present you the precise voltage.

It’s OK if these values don’t match up precisely. If the -12V worth is 11.8, that’s nicely inside the anticipated ±5% vary acceptable for that connection. And if it have been exterior the vary, the tester would warn you—no math or information of the suitable vary required.

It is going to additionally present you the PG worth. This worth represents how lengthy it took your PSU to go from the primary signal of energy exercise to full voltage throughout all connections.

An appropriate worth is 100-500 milliseconds. A better worth can point out failing PSU parts, and an extreme PG worth could cause your pc to get caught in a boot loop as a result of your {hardware} parts don’t energy on within the anticipated window.

You may additional take a look at different connections, together with the PCI-E, MOLEX, SATA, and 4-pin floppy connector, to make sure every connection delivers the anticipated output.

Most testers, together with the one right here, have a easy LED mild indicator for the voltages when testing the secondary cables. Due to that, you must take a look at the cables separately (e.g. don’t plug in a SATA cable and a MOLEX drive connector concurrently).

It gained’t harm the tester or the PSU, however you gained’t get an correct readout for his or her respective voltages as a result of there is just one set of LED indicators.

In case your PSU assessments point out that the anticipated voltages are out of spec (e.g. you get 8 volts for one of many connections when 12 is predicted) or your PG worth is over 500 milliseconds, it’s time to exchange your PSU.

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