How do I find out what power my psu is putting out?

By paranoid guy ยท 28 replies
Apr 25, 2006
  1. I'm going to try installing this graphics card today if I can, so I was wondering if there's a way to find out what power my psu is giving out. Oh, and I read in the installation guide that I should update my motherboard's chipset driver, but which one is that? In device manager, I can see intel 82801gb pci bridge, intel 945g/p pci express root port among others, do I have to update them all?
    And finally, (I hope) I was going to forget about the 2 questions above and uninstall the driver for the old graphics card, so I found it in add/remove programs, and there's two! There's a secondary one as well, do I have to uninstall that too?
    If there's anything else I should know please let me know as well, I read somewhere (here, I think) that you can wreck your cpu with static so are there any precautions to take when I open this thing up?
    Whew, what an essay.
    Thanks in advance.
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    The maximum wattage (a lie really) is written on the PSU.

    Your PSU gives out as much power as is drawn by the devices up to the maximum. A la if you have 100W worth of devices running, then that's what your PSU delivers.
  3. paranoid guy

    paranoid guy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 420

    Ok, I suppose I'll see when I open this thing, then. Thanks for the reply Nodsu :) Can anyone help me with the other stuff (e.g. the update/removal of drivers, mentioned above)?
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    You will find all the drivers you need on the website of your motherboard maker. Since you will be opening up the computer, finding out the exact type of the motherboard shouldn't be that hard.
  5. paranoid guy

    paranoid guy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 420

    Ok, I installed it. There's one problem, though, I had to connect it to the psu, inside the computer. Before I did that I was running it as normal e.g. no special power cable used and I kept getting this message that the card wasn't getting enough power and it was going to decrease its clock speed to prevent a pc lockup. That message has stopped now but is there a way to find out if the clock speed is back to normal?
    Also, I am not using one side of the special power cable. Is that ok?
    I don't know what the cable is called so here's a link to a picture of it:
    EDIT: It doesn't work. I'll attach it below
    Thanks again Nodsu.

    Attached Files:

  6. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,188   +470

    Your link doesn't work for anyone other than yourself, I think. It would be nice to know which graphics card you are talking about since there are so many to choose from.

    That said, you should connect all relevant power connections. If they are there, they need to be connected to the power supply. They are not optional.
  7. paranoid guy

    paranoid guy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 420

    :blush: Yup that's probably a good idea mailpup.
    The card I'm trying to install is a GeForce 6800GT PCI-E. I got this from the manual that came with the card

    I think this is why one side is not used but I'm not sure. It's running without problems right now, the temperature is 60degrees (fahrenhiet, I hope :haha: ) I still don't know what the clock speed is but I did the video stress test (in counter strike source) and I got 102 fps.
    I'm still using my 305 watt psu, take that nvidia :blackeye:
    Thanks for the replies :grinthumb I really just want to know that it's safe now and I don't have to worry about my system exploding while I'm sitting here :haha:
  8. D@nny

    D@nny TS Rookie Posts: 176

    I too need mobo driver upgrading. Where can I find the kind of mobo I have ? Can it be found in system devices or should I go look up my system specs?

    sony vaio has a site for all the updates I can do but I don't think I saw an offical mobo driver update just patches to it. Is there anywhere else i can update my mother board driver or does it look like there giving me all the right options? I have the intel 2.80 C mother board. That's basically all it says.
  9. If you want to find your actual power attach your PSU to a voltmeter and an ammeter using crocodile clips turn your PSU on and record the numbers. multiply your voltage times current = power. These items can be found at any good hardware store or easily online, any university electronics department also has them readily avaliable.
  10. paranoid guy

    paranoid guy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 420

    I think what you're supposed to do is right click my computer and go to properties, then the hardware tab, and then click on device manager. In there, click on system devices, and find the one that has something to do with your pci-e/agp slot. Update that. When you click on anything there an option should appear in the toolbar at the top:Update Driver.
    This is where it all went wrong for me. There doesn't seem to be an option to get the update from the internet, which is probably what you want to do. It seems to expect that you have the update stored somewhere on the machine, which I don't. So I went to and tried to guess which update to get but nothing even rings a remote bell. I'll attach a screen of my device manager and if anyone can tell me what to update I'll do it. Nope, just tried there and I keep getting a THIS PAGE CANNOT BE DISPLAYED screen every time I try to attach it :( Man I'm just fed up.
    The final result for me though, D@nny, is I didn't update my motherboard drivers and the card is still working ok, I think. I'll let you know if everything blows up.
  11. paranoid guy

    paranoid guy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 420

    Sorry Necrosjef, I only saw that post after I posted. The PSU doesn't seem to be giving me any more problems and the card seems to be working ok now, the temperature is 63degrees at the moment. The only thing left to annoy me is that other half of the cable I didn't use...
    Anyway Half Life 2 looks (and plays) great and I got 102 fps on the CS:S stress test so I'm happy. But confirmation that I wasn't supposed to use the other half of the cable will just be the proverbial icing.
    Thanks for all the help :grinthumb
  12. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Uhm.. Connecting your PSU just to some meters will give you absolutely nothing. The current through the voltmeter will be zero and the voltages will probably be off the mark too, since the voltage regulating circuits inside the PSU need some load to operate properly.

    And if you plan on using that method in a live system, then you'd need a voltmeter-ampermeter pair for every wire pair coming out of the PSU..
  13. paranoid guy

    paranoid guy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 420

    :eek: :eek: :eek: I just realised my graphics card's temperature is 62degrees CELCIUS!!!!
    Surely this is WAY too hot?
    Also, I keep getting this scratching sound from my pc every time I scroll with the mouse. It's quiet enough, but it's annoying me.
    This graphics card will be the death of me :(
  14. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 923   +11

    the tempt. of 62 C is not toooo high mine is at 50 & 51 C constantly but the program notifise me at 105 C. As for the scratching I have no answere. I do not know.
  15. notcorn

    notcorn TS Rookie Posts: 45

    That might be related to your speakers. I sometimes get an irritating screech just from moving the mouse near them. It stops whenever I move the speakers further away or turn them off.
  16. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    To find your actual motherboard modle and other hardware stuff download an app like Everest Home or SIW.. then you can find out and download any neccesary drivers/programs etc..

    a psu thats going over its limit can be realy unlealthy for your pc.. find out what you need:

    if you're concerned about temperature, clean out your case off dust, add a fan or two, and make sure your cables arn't hindering airflow..

    mouse problem can be from a number of things.. ranging from battery problems or range (if its a wifi mouse), cable, hardware or the mouse itself, or software side (like some app doing wierd things to the mouse/conflicting etc)

    try and see if its a program thats causing it or what happens if you this or that type of thing.. ie troubleshoot.. and any more info/detail you can give about the mouse?
  17. paranoid guy

    paranoid guy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 420

    No it actually just always happens when I scroll with the mouse, every time. The sound comes from inside the computer and it only started happening when I installed the new graphics card. It's quiet enough though, and I'm not really worried about it anymore. The graphics card is working well.
    btw great site N3051M
  18. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    I checked out both programs out of curiosity. Neither seemed to have a power consumption function.
  19. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    Paranoid guy, thanks.. good to hear you've fixed your woes.. and learnt to live with one..

    tedster.. i am perplexed... what programs are you refering to?
  20. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    Everest Home or SIW
  21. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Tedster the link here:
    a psu thats going over its limit can be realy unlealthy for your pc.. find out what you need:

    is what the power calculator stuff was about. Everest is just a hardware reader program, I'm not aware of SIW. I like to use CPU-Z to read the motherboard info, from that you can see the northbridge chipset (as you can in Everest).

    PGuy: to update your chipset drivers, use Everest or CPU-Z, identify the model of the mobo and the northbridge chipset. Go to the manuf website, search their download/drivers section for your chipset.
    For the mouse scratchy sound: try moving to another USB port. Re-adjust the power cable going to the video card.
    Your PSU at 305W is going to explode any day now. You can dwnload Speedfan and post your voltages here if you'd like.

  22. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    yeh.. well SIW (System Information for Windows) is another free standing app that can read hardware info, and doesnt need to be installed to a pc to run it - therefor you can slap it and run it of that diagnostic cd/usb/floppy of your's... but i cant recall if it has a sensor reader like Everest or not.. i'll find out eventualy..

    i actualy found it roaming through here:

    my fyi for the evening...
  23. paranoid guy

    paranoid guy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 420

    :eek: :eek: :eek: WHAT!!! What makes you say that???
  24. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221


    You have a P4 3.0GHz and a 6800GT, one HDD and 1 DVD R/W, this is very close to my specs. AMD64 3500+ and a lowly 6600GT and I blew up my 450W crappy PSU in a week after buying a new game (HL2) to try out my new rig.

    What amps are on the 12V and 5Volt rails? Download Speedfan and post your voltages here and the make/model of the PSU.

    I got lucky and didn't fire anything when my PSU litterly went "POP!" and a cloud of black smoke poured out the back of it right in the middle of a HL2 session. So I'm suggesting, "why take the chance?".
  25. paranoid guy

    paranoid guy TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 420

    But nothing's overheating... Ok, like you said, why take the chance. I'll download Speedfan and post what I get. Shouldn't take long.
    btw I just got past nova prospect in Half Life 2, how far am I?
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