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Old August 6, 2011, 04:07 PM
frontier204 frontier204 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Ottawa, ON
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I'll admit a multimeter's better than using software - at least (if your multimeter is working and used properly) won't tell you that your +12V is giving less than 8V hehe. [see attached picture if I don't delete it for fun]

Multimeters can't detect the very high frequency ripple which can also damage hardware. If your PSU is sending small spikes or lots of ripples that are milliseconds in length to your hardware, the multimeter won't see it unless your lucky but your hardware may still take damage. Unless your multimeter is tuned for high frequency for some reason, it will just average out the reading and tell you that your +12V line is outputting 12.06V even if it's bouncing quickly between 11 and 13V or something.

See your favourite cheap exploding PSU review by Hardware Secrets / JohnnyGuru for details, like this one:
Example: Diablotek RPM-1050 1050W Review
In the review it looks like for them the multimeter (or scope taking the average like a multimeter does) shows "meh" voltages, but the ripple, which most DMMs won't see, increases as load increases.
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Last edited by frontier204; August 7, 2011 at 05:18 AM. Reason: missing words in prepositional phrase...
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