Thermaltake Dr. Power II Review

Testing:

In order to test the device, I luckily had a known faulty power supply handy and while I had figured this out the hard way with a volt meter in a prior review; this device was able to confirm the same result.  I also tested it against known high quality power supplies and referenced the voltage readings I had taken from prior tests.

Testing Setup:

  • PSU: Thermaltake SmartPower 630W – Known Good PSU
  • PSU:  Generic (Gateway) 450W – Known Bad PSU

Thermaltake Dr. Power II Testing  Thermaltake Dr. Power II Display  Thermaltake Dr. Power II Display
Please click on thumbnail for bigger image

Hooking the device up to all of the accessory cables first, and then the 24pin PSU connector is the order of operations.  Upon connection of the 24Pin, all of the attached accessory cables are identified by small black indicators on the LCD.  Pressing the power button cycles from test to test, basically each connector first and the screen turns red, and an audible beep happens when there is a failure.  I tried multiple configurations, and attempted to defeat the system, but in every attempt it accurately identified my known bad psu’s failed 12V connector.  For the known good power supply, it provided voltage readings that I later confirmed accurate with my volt meter.  Under no circumstance was I able to create a false failure, nor was I able to create a pass from the known bad unit.  Once I was actually familiarized the with the device and how to set it up, I found myself able to diagnose a failed power supply in under a minute; which is pretty awesome if you are troubleshooting these things often!

There were two minor observations I made in multiple cycles of utilizing the tester:  First off, there is no jack to test the floppy drive.  This is likely a non issue as nobody has used them for years, but I did have a connector on all of my power supplies and it could not be tested (in fairness they were hanging off of another cable, so perhaps testing that cable is enough).  And secondly, the SATA Power connector isnt super intuitive as you can put it on either way.  There is no notch, but it seemed to work either way.

Other than those two, it perfectly duplicated the result I received from a volt meter 100% of the time, and it basically would throw an error for any deviation above or below the specified voltage range.

Conclusion:

This thing really works.   It’s quick and super simple to utilize, and while it’s not going to get into the details of power supply capability; it does what it promises and quickly testes the PSU.  If you are working as a technician or have to debug multiple power supplies regularly, this is quite a time saver.  If you have a questionable power supply or are wondering if that is the root of your problem, it will identify a defect.  That being said, it’s price point may be hard to justify if you have a lower end PSU.  If you are a service tech, you likely have a known good PSU and test the components that way.  Either method works, but this gives you a quick way to show a true defect.

It’s a simple device, and it simplifies the process of quick diag, it also serves as a replacement to your volt meter if you are checking voltage output on power supplies.  This without the need for a jumper on the 24pin to power up the PSU.  All in all, if you test more than 4 PSU‘s a year, this will pay for itself in time savings.

Pros:

+ Super Simple

+ FAST to test

+ Accurate voltage indicators

+ Much cheaper than an industrial PSU test rig

Cons:

– Does not do thorough load testing like a pro rig would

 

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