Video Guide: Test a Power Supply with a Paperclip

By Published March 01, 2012 at 1:11 pm

It's time to put that bastard Clippy to work. If you've been wondering where he found work after Office no longer had a need for him, it's here: Testing power supplies.

After our video on how to replace a CPU heatsink fan, I immediately went to work on the next video: We'll be testing a PSU without plugging it into anything else today. You can simulate a connection by using a paperclip to bridge the green and one of the black wires in the 20+4 pin connector. Watch the video for full details.


Here's a quick guide of how it works for those that can't view the video at this exact moment:

  • Completely unplug and power down your PSU.
  • Locate Clippy. Stick one end of Clippy into the slot with the green wire, one into a slot with a black wire.
  • Set the cable aside. Plug the PSU in and flip the switch. It should spin up.
  • If it doesn't spin up, it probably needs to be put under some kind of load -- connect a fan or two (or a HDD) and see if it works now.


The beauty of this is that you don't need to hook it into a computer. It also helps isolate issues when troubleshooting - it doesn't definitively test a PSU as good or bad (nor is it meant to), but it does help figure out if a power failure or startup problem is a result of the motherboard, PSU, or something else.

As always, fans on our facebook page and YouTube subscribers see the video before we post it here, so if you want to know about these ASAP, it's best to like us and subscribe (respectively).


Last modified on March 01, 2012 at 1:11 pm
Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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