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Old 20-06-2007, 06:37 PM   #1
orbitor
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11.5V too low on the 12V rail?

Quick question guys related to the various bluescreen errors I've been getting.

With the large amount of hardware experience here and particularly with PSUs, would you say that 11.5V on the 12V is too low to provide stable operation?

Just after some experience-based feedback. Don't really have the time to be exhaustively swapping hardware and testing to track down errors unfortunately.

Cheers,
Mat

Details of my PC issues follow:
Having occasional random bluescreens in Vista x64 here. They're STOP errors and a few different ones are cropping up. Just started a few days ago. Always occur while doing something load intensive (particularly gaming) and generally after about 15-30 minutes. Temperatures are not an issue.

Measured my PSU with a DMM and got the following (just listing the lowest readings I saw during ~2 minutes of testing). Load values are when running a 3d game to get everything sucking power:

+5V idle/load = 5.02 / 5.01V
+12V idle/load = 11.78 / 11.50V

What do you guys think? 11.50V is getting pretty low - perhaps when it crashes it even dips slightly lower?

Is 11.5V enough to cause crashing? It's still (just) within a 5% tolerance. PSU is a Topower TOP-500P5 with dual 20A 12V rails (max 30A). See here. Other hardware in sig.

Other symptoms include occasional clunking from my HDD. However, a full HDD scan revealed zero errors.

My WinXP install got toated a few weeks back from a corrupted MBR which is what led me to install Vista. Basically the PC just crashed during a game (again) and on restart Windows couldn't find the MBR. I thought at the time my hard drive had packed it in hence I did the full scan which just showed the drive to be perfectly healthy.

Last edited by orbitor; 20-06-2007 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 20-06-2007, 06:41 PM   #2
skootyloops
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Re: 11.5V too low on the 12V rail?

It should remain stable for now, however I would be upgrading it soon.
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Old 20-06-2007, 06:47 PM   #3
orbitor
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Re: 11.5V too low on the 12V rail?

sorry should have said the reason for my post was it ain't stable at all lately! Just trying to determine whether the PSU is a likely culprit or whether 11.5V is good enough for stable operation...obviously it ain't ideal
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Old 20-06-2007, 06:53 PM   #4
MrRevhead
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Re: 11.5V too low on the 12V rail?

ISO standard is a 5% tolerance, although most reputable manufacturer's like to keep their rails within a 2% margin.

In saying that, your pretty much on borderline with 11.5v as <11.4v is out of recommended 'spec'.

I personally would try a number of monitoring methods (BIOS, vary software) and even another board. I have had my PSU give different readings on different boards, even if they are from the same manufacturer.
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Old 20-06-2007, 07:28 PM   #5
graham_h
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Re: 11.5V too low on the 12V rail?

mine went that way
loads of blue screens
Fixed the issue with a Enermax 650W
12v rail never budges.
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Old 20-06-2007, 10:09 PM   #6
skootyloops
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Re: 11.5V too low on the 12V rail?

Yeah my rails were sagging 12v - 11.6v with my old Coolermaster 430W, so I replaced it with a Silverstone ST60F
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Old 20-06-2007, 10:52 PM   #7
eva2000
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Re: 11.5V too low on the 12V rail?

Grab a new psu... it's not worth risking the rest of your hardware
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Old 21-06-2007, 12:04 AM   #8
orbitor
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Re: 11.5V too low on the 12V rail?

fair enough chaps, guess I'll bite the bullet and pick up a new one. I'd just be sad if it doesn't solve the problem.

Anyone care to recommend something high quality that will run say an oc'd quad core and a single high-end GPU plus a couple of drives etc. but doesn't cost the earth?

Was thinking of something like the Corsair HX-520, looks decent and goes for about $140?

Last edited by orbitor; 21-06-2007 at 12:09 AM.
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