Power Supply FAQs
  • Basic power supply troubleshooting:

    • Voltage readings using the BIOS or software programs?

    • Voltage readings found in either the BIOS or software programs such as Speedfan, Everest, etc. can be handy when troubleshooting a computer, but one should recognize that these voltages are not always accurate. For one, the voltages are not being read at the source. They're being read by an IC, often called a "Winbond chip" (although other manufacturers now make these IC's) because Winbond pioneered motherboard monitoring on a single integrated circuit. This chip is located on the motherboard, some distance from the power source, and is limited to monitoring only the voltages of the rails providing power to the chip. Resistance from trace length and loads at the motherboard can cause variations in these readings.

      If you are not experiencing problems with your computer, it's recommended to not to use software voltage readings as preventative measure as the readings can often cause undue alarm. Although if a reading does seem unusually low, it is prudent to confirm that the main power connector is firmly attached to the motherboard and that there is adequate slack in the wires to prevent and pins from being pulled away from a contact. A power connector pulled too tight can pull a pin away from a contact point enough to where it can still provide current, but the added resistance will result in a low voltage.

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