High voltage readings on a power supply

Posted on 2004-04-28
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I recently put a new/larger power supply into my pc.  Basically this is for some upgrades that I am doing.  On the Asus PC Probe utility, it reports the 12 volt rail at 13.18, the 5 volt rail at 5.13 and the 3.3 volt rail at 3.67.  Are these higher readings a concern for me?  

Question by:akulich
LVL 69

Expert Comment

ID: 10945601
They are right on the edge of 10%, which would concern me if they are accurate readings and the power supply is under load.  You should not have that much variation, which might point to an inability to deliver good regulated power.  Try the old power supply and compare it.  What are the brands?

Expert Comment

ID: 10946025
>>What are the brands?
That is the question Mr. Robinson

Accepted Solution

arro1212 earned 125 total points
ID: 10946303
If you have an ATX12V standard power supply, then it should comply to the specifications, described here:

According to this document, +12V, +5V and +3.3V rails should deliver their rated voltage within +-5% error. However, it is said, that under a peak load +12V may be within +-10% error.

That is, according to Asus MB Probe, you have 3.3V out of range(max 3.47V).

 I wouldn't trust too much this program. You shuold better read your voltages with a multimeter.

Some people also report, that high +12V voltage(above 13V) is quite deadly for hard drives.

3.3V rail usually supplies power to memory voltage regulator, PCI cards, and some other elements.

Author Comment

ID: 10948037
I will have to put the old power back in to check what it was showing.  The old one was a sparkle Model FSP300-60GT 300 watt.  The new power supply is a Enermax model EG475P-VE SFMA 470 watt.  One thing that happened to me was that on the first boot with the new supply, the system locked up on the windows startup screen.  Then I powered the box down, powered back up and it started up fine.  I do have a meter, but have never checked a PC supply under load.  Can anyone tell me where I might find some info on how to properly check that?
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Expert Comment

ID: 10949034
What are the voltage readings in the bios.  If there are two power supplies doing this then I would not beleive they are both bad as both are good manufacters.  I would guess that your sensors are not reading correctly or something else is wrong.

Do you know how to use a multimeter like arro has said?  
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 10949434
Try Everest home edition...has voltage monitor under Computer/Sensors that reads voltages very well when compared to a multimeter. Plus many handy other attributes. Realize that the software used to read the sensors is highly variable and you will probably get different readings depending on the software used. 5% is considered "tight" tolerance and 10% is considered "loose" but still within tolerance. If you remain concerned, a multimeter is best. You can easily check 5V and 12V at any 4 pin power connector....3.3V must be measured at the power header to the mainboard, pins 1, 2, or 11. I don't think you have a problem...just variable sensor interpretation by software.
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 10950342
It's ok. Don't worry!

Author Comment

ID: 10955774
Ok, arro1212 gets the points I guess.  I used the suggestion of using the meter.  All voltages with the meter are right on the nuts.  So I guess all is ok and it does show that the software cannot be trusted.
Thanks for all the suggestions and comments.

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