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How to use multimeter to check your voltages and rails!

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RedDragonXXX

Senior RAM Pornographer
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Location
Jacksonville, FL
The best way to get the most accurate readings from your PSU is to use a multimeter.

You ask why?

Well because hardware monitors or BIOS will never give you accurate readings.

The purpose of this thread is to explain how to do this since I was doing it myself the other day (along with Sen) and we came to a stall since it’s not the easiest thing to do. There are many different guides for how to do this but I will list the ones that are the most explanatory.

The one that I found most helpfull and it's curently my favorite one was the DriverHeaven Guide

This guide will go over anything you need to know about how to get the measurements but its using slightly older version of the multimeter, but even tough you should get the idea on how it works.

Another great guide that I found helpful was posted over at extreme overclockers and you can check it here.

And finally this guide will serve good for the new users who are interested in knowing how multimeters work and it also explains difference between digital and analogue multimeter. Also it is slightly more detailed when it comes to making measurements, but its nothing to complicated.

Digital MM


Analogue MM


Hope that this helped some of you guys and feel free to add anything.
 
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OCS911

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2004
Location
United States
great post for those don't know how to use Multimeter, I always checked w/ Multimeter cuz MBM5 or BIOS always reported wrong so multimeter is must have for overclocking :)
 

hibner

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Location
Huntington, WV
I just got a multimeter last week and have been slowly figuring it out. Its an el cheapo Radio Shak, but it works. I have been looking for a few good guides. Thanks for the links. :thup:

ps. rub some glue on this thread
 
OP
RedDragonXXX

RedDragonXXX

Senior RAM Pornographer
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Location
Jacksonville, FL
Kill_A._Byte said:
Stick and sub for future ref.
Just want to add for those who don't know. Do not use any thing but a digital mm. A reg cheapo needle type mm may cook components.

Yep, here is more reason why you should use ditigal mm!
 
OP
RedDragonXXX

RedDragonXXX

Senior RAM Pornographer
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Location
Jacksonville, FL
Here a good site if you are interested in getting a MM.

They have ones that range form low price ($8) and go all the way up to $200 (they are all digital MM). Another good thing is that they have chart on all them so you can see what you will be getting.
 

cooter

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2004
This is great. I am in the process of getting ready to build a new comp and will be ocing and hopefully watercooling. I will need a good powersupply for this. Thsi a a great way to test, and that article was so easy to understand.

"Alphabetical order" that is a easy way to remember the rails.
 

Mole

Registered
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Location
Mesquite, TX
When are they going to make it to where accurate software readings can be taken? It doesn't seem that out of reach.

Anyway, nice guides, even if you are running without overclocked frequencies, you should test your voltages. You may be surprised. I just found out my 12v jumps around like mad between 12.16 and 12.24 at non-o/c, and o/c @ 2.8ghz, 1.325vcore, 800mhz RAM the 12v jumps around between 12.19-12.25. Seems to do it a lot. 3.3v and 5v stay extremely stable, only a small .01-.02 fluctuation every now and then, but not enough to be a cause for concern. However, the 12v reading concerns me. I think I'll be needing a stronger PSU. I don't blame my current PSU, probably there are too many peripherals connected to it, 400w isn't sufficient.

I'm considering the PCP&C 510w SLI/PFC, or the Zippy HP2-6500PE 500w... I know these are both solid PSU's. I'm leaning more toward the Zippy, because it's much cheaper. On newegg, the 610w PCP&C is actually $30 cheaper than the 510w model... 610w is $159, 510w is $189. For $40 more, I could have a very strong PSU that could handle more upgrades... I'm considering the 610w, also. I'm not planning on doing SLI any time soon, but when there's a chipset for Intel that does SLI, I may go for it.

But any other recommendations are welcome.

Until I get a more powerful PSU, I am running at stock frequencies.
 
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lorax26

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
Thanks Red Dragon. I've been through 4 PSU's returning them all after checking them with my multimeter.