Diagnosing a failing PC can be an extremely frustrating experience. What can seem like a relatively harmless problem – maybe an isolated BSOD or a random reboot – can snowball into countless hours of pulling hardware apart and swapping out components in an effort to isolate the source of the problem. The worst part about this process is that several of the most important components in the system can cause similar problems. Whether the problem is the CPU, RAM, motherboard, power supply, hard drive, or even the software, the user often doesn’t know what is causing the instability without extensive testing.
Thermaltake aims to help simplify the troubleshooting process with their Dr. Power II PSU tester (part number AC0015). Thermaltake’s website lists the features of the Dr. Power II, which include:
The Dr. Power II is designed to be a quick and convenient tool that can be used to test a power supply. This can make diagnosing a failing PC much faster, since the Dr. Power II can simply be plugged into the PSU while it is still inside the case. Alternatively, I could see this device being useful for somebody in a PC shop or another profession where he comes into contact with a lot of used PC components and wants to quickly verify whether something is working before making a decision whether to keep it or throw it in the trash. The Dr.Power II is currently available for $39.99 shipped from Amazon through our PriceGrabber shopping service.
The Dr.Power II universal ATX power supply tester comes in a small cardboard box and contains only the device and an instruction manual. The box lists the important features and notes that the device comes with a 3 year warranty from Thermaltake. The device is up to date with the latest ATX specification up to ATX12V v2.3., and has connections for the primary 24 pin motherboard connector, 6 pin or 8 pin PCI-express connector, SATA power connection, molex connector, and 4 pin or 8 pin CPU/EPS connector. The device is powered by the power supply, so the 24 pin connector must be plugged in to test, but the rest of the connectors are optional.
The manual describes the two methods of operation. The user can select an automatic mode, where the Dr. Power II will run through each of the connections that are currently plugged into the device, testing each one to ensure compliance with specifications. The Dr.Power II tester will first check the 24 pin ATX connector to ensure the +5V, +12V, +3.3V, and -12V rails of the PSU as well as the supplemental battery and PG Value. Then it will cycle through the PCI-e, 8 pin CPU, Molex, and Sata connectors, if connected. The device can also be used in manual mode, where the button on the side must be pressed each time the user wants to change which connector is being tested.
Next, we will test two of our power supplies, one of which is known to be bad, to see how the Thermaltake Dr. Power II PSU tester responds.