Today we take a quick look at a really handy device that I think everyone who builds or works on computers would find handy. The ATX12V Power Supply Tester from Antec is a simple tool for testing ATX12V (v 1.3 and v 2.0) power supplies without fussing with voltmeters and probes. Simply plug the power supply outputs into the 24-pin (or 20-pin) connector to verify voltage of each ATX12V rail. Green for normal, yellow for insufficient, and red for over voltage conditions. Plus a separate Power Good signal for validating whether power supply as a whole is working or not. Quickly and easily check to see if your power supply is good or not, saves trouble-shooting time.
- Works with 24-pin and, 20-pin power supplies
- 3-way LED output indicator to clearly show power supply status
- Power signal indicator for overall power supply status
- Usable with a voltmeter for more accurate readings
- Dimensions: 100mm(L) x 78mm(W) x 27.5mm(H)
- Weight: 0.25 lb/100 g
The Testing Unit
Upon removing the unit from its packaging, the Antec 12V PSU Tester is a hand sized device made of hard plastic. From a very basic standpoint the Antec PSU Tester is everything most people need. Instead of fussing with a complicated and expensive voltmeter, the Antec PSU Tester is about as simple as it gets. The instructions included with the unit (like it needs any) are easy to follow, and everything on the unit itself is clearly marked.
Starting with the front you'll notice the plug in for your power supply's 20 or 24 pin power connector. On the top directly above the plug in, Antec has clearly marked the spot to line up a 20 pin connector.
The top of the PSU Tester has several LEDs, all clearly marked and easy to understand. From left to right you'll see the +5V, +12V, +3.3V,-12V, and -5VSB LEDs. these are the rails found with all power supplies, each has its own job withuin your system, and all are equally important.
For those who wish to get an exact reading from their power supply, Antec included plug ins on the rear of the unit to attach probes from a multi meter or voltmeter. Again you will see the +3.3, +5, and +12V along with a "GRND" plug in .
Once the unit is plugged in and your PSU is turned on, the unikt will cycle through its tests, which take less than 15 seconds. The main POWER LEDs are as basic as it gets, Green means your PSU is in good working order and Red means there is a fault, and that the PSU is no good.
Testing Your PSU
How simple is the testing process? so simple my wife can actually do it! First, unplug the PSU and disconnect everything from it (I mean everything....motherboard, optical and HDD, fans, everything). Next, plug your power supply's 20 or 24 pin connector into the testing unit.
After making sure your power supply is firmly plugged into the unit, plug the power supply into an electrical outlet and turn on the power supply. The tester will actually allow the power supply to draw power, so don't worry if the power supply's fans start spinning. This is done to simulate the power supply under load.
Now it is as simple as watching the light show! At first the individual rail LEDs will come on yellow, then one by one, if your power supply is good, they will turn to green.
Should they stay yellow it means that the power supply's rails are undervolting, Red LEDs mean that your power supply is overvolting.
Laastly, the main POWER LED will switch on. GREEN means your power supply is fine, RED means that there is some sort of fault with the overall power supply or that a rail is bad (which you will be able to see from the individual rail LEDs), if both the GREEN and RED POWER LEDs light up, this means that the power supply should be replaced.
The entire process should take about 10 minutes (including disconnecting your power supply from your system). The actual testing itseldf took less than a minute and was as simple as it gets simple.
Much like using the product, the testing and my review are short and sweet. While professionals will rightly stick with a voltmeter or multimeter, the Antec ATX 12V PSU Tester is perfect for those of us that are constantly tinkering with systems or helping friends and family diagnose problems. I personally believe that the Antec PSU tester would have been better if Antec bypassed the colored LEDs and used a digital LCD that actually gives you a voltage reading for each rail. At the same time it is obvious that an Antec was going for simplicity and the red and green lights are easy to use.
In terms of pricing the tester can be found for under U.S. $20.00 shipped and is a great stocking stuffer for those who have a PC Entusiast of any kind in the family.
The Antec 12V ATX Power Supply Tester is an extremely handy device..... and would fit perfectly in the Christmas stocking of a friend or loved one (or even your own).