there's something wrong with the 3.3 Volt line on my mobo and i dont know what - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 03-07-2004, 10:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question there's something wrong with the 3.3 Volt line on my mobo and i dont know what

i'll start with a brief description. basically i've noticed a voltage drop across the 3.3v line on my motherboard. i run the asus probe utility fairly commonly. basically its a monitoring tool. you can set tolerances and alarms.

i set my tolerances on all voltages to 5% which historically has been more than enough. well i've been getting alarms on my 3.3v line recently. they've been getting worse too, so much so that i had to raise the tolerance to 10%. 10% IS the default but this is a bad trend none the less.

right now it fluctuates between 3.072V and 3.088V at idle. just a few days ago it was closer to 3.1v

the problem seems to get worse when i run processor intensive applications such as video games.

other info: im using an antec 'true power' power supply. as i understand it all the power lines are seperate on these power supplies. it is a 330 watt power supply which should be sufficient for my system. (i think)

my 12 V and 5 V readings are perfect. in fact the 12V line is almost always dead on at 12 volts. the 5V line is usually withing 1% tolerance.

im also using a battery backup which should feed pretty constant power to my computer as i understand it.

i'll throw im my system specs now:

asus a7v8x motherboard
512 MB ddr ram samsung +
512 MB ddr ram something i forget
athlon xp 2400 (NOT overclocked)

geforce ti4400 (NOT overclocked)
SATA RAID array (2 maxtor 160 GB drives)
40x pioneer DVD (not in use during power dropoff)
asus 52x CDR (not in use during power dropoff)
SB audigy sound card
onboard gigabit lan


at this moment my system is basically idle. CPU temp is 41-42 C (@105F) and mobo temp is about 30C (86F). CPU temp rises to about 45 or 46C during peak use.

i dont do any overclocking as noted above. this applies to memory, FSB, cpu, all of it.

well im open to any facts or suggestions. could it be the hardware just breaking down? maybe i need a more powerful power supply? up until last summer i had this system setup and i didnt' have the low voltage... so maybe my power supply is just wearing out?

thanks for any suggestions!!!
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Old 03-07-2004, 10:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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update: it just dropped to 3.04, a new record low. grrr
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Old 03-07-2004, 11:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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another update:

its getting much much worse, faster and faster.

the voltage is riding 3.000 pretty constantly now and drops as low as 2.96 at time. thats over 10%

what the hell is going on???
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Old 03-07-2004, 11:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Try using a voltmeter and checking it manually and while you're in there, clean the pins of the motherboard connector. Dust particles can cause extreme drops in voltage. If the voltmeter says the same as the software after cleaning, it is probably time for a new power supply.
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Old 03-07-2004, 11:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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thanks for the advice guys.

what pins do i clean on the motherboard? which connectors are you referring to?

as for the power supply thing, do you think its possible that i've been over working it and its finally starting to wear out?

well if its the power supply, unfortunately i dont have the money to get a new one right now. any way i can reduce the load on a temporary basis? what if i underclocked my cpu from 2000 Mhz to 1500 Mhz? think that'd make a big enough difference?

if i do get a new PS, any suggestion on brand and wattage? as far as i know Antec is still the way to go...
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Old 03-08-2004, 12:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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if you want to reduce load disconnect some devices like your cd-rom or floppy. i think you should also take off the side panel and keep it off to improve airflow. heat is just as bad as higher load, and could be the problem.
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Old 03-08-2004, 01:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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yeah i actually keep the side panel cracked open. its off and kinda leaning up against it just to keep anything from flying in there... like water.

i think overall the temp is pretty good. im gonna try to set the FSB to 100 mhz and see if that helps any.
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Old 03-08-2004, 06:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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ive had 2 Antec PS that had a low 3.3 v output .So i switched to Enermax .
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Old 03-08-2004, 06:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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does it work better? the enermax?
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Old 03-08-2004, 07:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Just clean the areas where the PSU connects to the mobo.
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