PSU makes a huge difference

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R3N3G4D3
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PSU makes a huge difference

Post by R3N3G4D3 » Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:27 am

A while ago I was running dual monitors on my computer (the 5-year old desktop one). Since I have a good old Ti4400 (man, those things seem prehistoric now), I ran one LCD and one CRT monitor from it (not sure if it could run two LCDs if one of them has SVGA plug, as I only got 1 LCD anyway). At first everything was fine, but eventually my LCD picture started to shake occasionally. I didn't know what could cause this behavior, but I knew this problem couldn't have been due to the monitor since there is nothing in LCD that would shake the picture (that I know of). So I decided that maybe the computer wasn't able to handle 2 monitors, and was using less rosources for LCD since it was the secondary one. So I switched LCD to primary, and the CRT started flickering. I couldn't decide if the problem was due to overheating, weak graphics card or something else. Eventually I started wondering whether my power supply was weak, but prior to coming to these forums I never wondered about the importance of the PSU, so I never bothered to check that. Eventually the flickering became so annoying that I reverted back to 1 monitor. Now, half a year later (and 1 week after buying a shiny new PSU), I decided to test my old one. So I downloaded a bunch of diagnostic tools and was horrified by the results. My 12V rails are apparently closer to 11.5V, 5V at about 4.7V, but that's not the scariest part. My 3.3V rail averages 2.6V and jumps to as low as 2.3V. That's right, 2.3V. Oh, and did I mention that all rail voltages seem to fluctuate by about +/- 0.5V in each direction.

So let's fast forward to when I replace my PSU. I put in the Ultra X-Connect 500W PSU I bought earlier this week. Running the same diagnostic tools I see all voltages higher than expected as opposed to lower. 12V at 12.16, 5V at 5.06, 3.3V at 3.33. In addition, I no longer see jumps of half a volt like before. The most I see is 0.06V jumps, and even that happens rather rarely. I've been running CPU intensive tests for about half an hour now (since using up CPU power is what seems to make my monitor flicker) and have yet to see a single flicker on either one of my monitors.

Needless to say, I see the importance of a good PSU now. It's not just the wattage that counts. The old generic 300W PSU was plenty for my 5-year old system, but it was probably the fluctuations of half a volt and 3.3V rail reaching 2.3V that decreased performance. Speaking of which, I never see anyone on this website mention Ultra X-Connect as one of the good PSUs? Why is that? I have read a few reviews about them all of which say that they are on par with high-performance PSUs, and the only complain about them I saw so far is about the fingerprints that stay on their mirror surface.

By the way, is there a way to up the Vcore through Windows if the BIOS doesn't allow it? I always throught my Vcore was set to be unchangeable on the board, but with these tests saw it vary by about 0.02V. I'm wondering if that means it's adjustable.

Zelig
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Re: PSU makes a huge difference

Post by Zelig » Sun Jan 15, 2006 7:07 am

R3N3G4D3 wrote:Speaking of which, I never see anyone on this website mention Ultra X-Connect as one of the good PSUs? Why is that? I have read a few reviews about them all of which say that they are on par with high-performance PSUs, and the only complain about them I saw so far is about the fingerprints that stay on their mirror surface.
Mainly because they aren't that great, hence their cheapness compared to other top brands.
By the way, is there a way to up the Vcore through Windows if the BIOS doesn't allow it? I always throught my Vcore was set to be unchangeable on the board, but with these tests saw it vary by about 0.02V. I'm wondering if that means it's adjustable.
No good ways that I know of.

BTW, software voltage monitoring tools are notoriously inaccurate (or the onboard sensors are, to be precise). If you're really concerned about the voltages that your PSU is putting out, you should get a digital multimeter and use that instead. Software can easily give out figures 0.5V off of their actual values.

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Post by Sovereign » Sun Jan 15, 2006 9:58 am

The new X-Finitys have SLI certification, so they must have done something, unless they bribed nVidia....
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kenc51
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Post by kenc51 » Sun Jan 15, 2006 11:40 am

You will always get fluctuations in voltages....even with the best power supplies....
Just the good ones, will only fluctuate within 5% -> some by 3%
The actual specs for a psu allows for a 10% variance in voltages.....

Get a Digital Multimeter if your concerned......

You can also check your voltages in the Bios!

The Ultra Connect PSU is a good PSU....the reason why you haven't heard if it here, is no-one uses it....Poeple will only give recommendations on hardware that they have experiences with normally...

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Post by JSN723 » Thu Feb 16, 2006 4:49 pm

awesome, thanks for the info =)

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