Question How can I properly test my power supply?

Marscaleb

Honorable
Mar 26, 2015
5
0
10,510
0
Last night my computer suddenly shut off as if there was a power surge. But there wasn't; only my computer was affected.
I switched the power off int he back and went to bed. In the morning when I tried turning it on it started to power up and then it instantly shut off again, like it did last night. I opened the case so I could read the error code on the mobo and power cycled it again. This time it booted up with no problems.

This same problem happened about a month ago, twice in a row in fact. I thought then that my PSU was failing and it was dropping out when there was too big of a power load on my system. I tried to stress-test it by running several programs that I thought would put the GPU through its paces, including what I was working on before it died on me. But I was unable to produce the same effect.

But since it has happened again now a month later I wonder what is failing in my system. My best guess still remains the PSU, but I don't have any concrete evidence.

How can I properly test my PSU to see if it is starting to fail somehow?
 

Marscaleb

Honorable
Mar 26, 2015
5
0
10,510
0
What psu is it and how old is it?
I don't remember, perhaps five years old? I'd have to hunt through my newegg history to find it.
It's not as old as the rest of the computer; there was a water hazard from the floor above mine, and thankfully only the PSU needed to be replaced.
I remember the original PSU was powerful enough that I could run two graphics cards with SLI, but I wound up never getting a second one, so when I replaced I don't think I bought one quite as powerful, but still good enough to cover whatever card I expected to buy in a few years. (I once bought a card too powerful for my PSU so I tend to over-buy to make sure it never happens again.)

Hmm, how special is the specialist equipment? Are we talking like my engineer friend who builds his own circuit boards might have what I need? Or are we talking the computer repair shop one county over might have one? Or are we talking like I'd basically have to work for a PSU manufacturer to have one?
 
Last edited:
I don't remember, perhaps five years old? I'd have to hunt through my newegg history to find it.
It's not as old as the rest of the computer; there was a water hazard from the floor above mine, and thankfully only the PSU needed to be replaced.
I remember the original PSU was powerful enough that I could run two graphics cards with SLI, but I wound up never getting a second one, so when I replaced I don't think I bought one quite as powerful, but still good enough to cover whatever card I expected to buy in a few years. (I once bought a card too powerful for my PSU so I tend to over-buy to make sure it never happens again.)

Hmm, how special is the specialist equipment? Are we talking like my engineer friend who builds his own circuit boards might have what I need? Or are we talking the computer repair shop one county over might have one? Or are we talking like I'd basically have to work for a PSU manufacturer to have one?
I'm not an expert but from what I read PSU testing equipment is quite specialist equipment as not only does it monitor the 3 different voltages and their delivery but it has to artificially simulate various loads. There is a huge difference between low and high quality psu's of the same wattage rating so knowing the exact model you have is important to understanding the chance it is failing.
 
You are looking at perhaps a $10,000 piece of testing equipment.
About the only way to test is to replace the psu with known good quality replacement of sufficient power.
Borrow such a psu if you can, or buy a good replacement from a shop with a good return policy. a 15% return charge would be reasonable.
You could have a pc repair shop do this if there is one you can trust.
 

Marscaleb

Honorable
Mar 26, 2015
5
0
10,510
0
About the only way to test is to replace the psu with known good quality replacement of sufficient power.
Borrow such a psu if you can, or buy a good replacement from a shop with a good return policy. a 15% return charge would be reasonable.
That would be more reasonable if this were happening more frequently. Failing on two occasions a month apart is a little hard to test for.
Hell, this could be a bad surge protector at this point. Or a fault in the motherboard, or even some bizarre issue with software. Unlikely, but still possible.

...I don't mean to sound dismissive of your suggestion; it is good advice in most situations, and is a good answer to my original question.
 
Last edited:

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS