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PC Doctor Service Center 6 Review - Page 3 of 3

POWER SUPPLY TESTER

I am familiar with this power supply tester as I have an identical unit although the listed instructions differ slightly. My son gave it to me for Christmas a couple of years ago replacing an Antec power supply tester that only indicates if the power supply was good or bad. This one does a little more.

Power Supply Tester
Power Supply Tester is set up to test a 24-pin equipped PSU but can readily test a 20-pin equipped PSU simply by leaving the 4 bottom pins on the tester vacant as opposed to populated by a 24-pin connection as seen in this photo.

With no moveable parts and a series of indicating lights, power supply physical connections, and a list of instructions, numbered 1 - 8, the unit's use is straightforward, simple, and effective.

The instructions listed on the side of the tester are:

  1. Disconnect the power supply from the motherboard
  2. Plug the power supply into a power source
  3. Connect the tester's 20/24-pin connector to the power supply
  4. Confirm +5V, +12V, +3.3V, -5V, -12V, +5VSB, PG LEDs lit (some power supplies do not produce -5V)
  5. Hard drive cable - confirm +12V, +5V LEDs lit
  6. Any 4, 6, or 8-pin power cable (use 4P, 6P, 8P connectors) - confirm +12V LED lit
  7. Floppy drive cable - +12V and +5V LEDs lit
  8. SATA cable - confirm +12V, +5V, and +3.3V LEDs lit

In the photo above, the 24-pin motherboard power supply connection is connected to the tester. The PSU is powered on and the row of vertical lights on the right of the unit are lit except for the -5V. Not readable on the tester at this resolution but from the list of instructions above you see that #4 states that (some power supplies do not produce -5V), well, the unit I was testing happens to be one - an Enermax 600W Noisetaker. However, I used this PSU specifically to test because it is a 'known working PSU' and is the test basis for this part of the review.

Power Supply Tester
Here you see the 6-pin auxiliary power connector connected to (P6) on the tester. Note the +12V lamp lit on the left side of the unit indicating this +12V line is supplying voltage within the proper acceptable range.
In this photo above the 4-pin auxiliary power connector is connected to (P4) on the tester. Again, the +12V lamp is lit indicating proper voltage is being supplied. This is the line that I will be using with this PSU to provide power to an Asus P5N-E motherboard.
One of the 4-pin Molex connectors is connected at the bottom of the tester to check the line for +12V along with the floppy +5V connection on the left side of the tester. Instruction #7 just addresses the floppy cable but testing any cable with 4-pin Molex connections also apply and the +12V and +5V lamp should be lit to indicate sufficient voltage is being supplied.
I used a SATA HDD so here I am checking SATA connection which in this view is shown connected at the top of the tester. Note that for SATA the +12V, +3.3V, and the +5V indicating lamps on the left side of the tester are lit. Again, this is readily spelled out in the listed instructions under #8.

Although the tester does not have the ability to read actual voltages, using only the standard range as PASS/FAIL (lamp is lit or not lit). I think you can see where this little item could come in handy and may be worthwhile to have.

I gave complete coverage to the power supply tester in this review because I have known so many people that have wasted time building a system due to a defective power supply, myself included. I recommend either have the power supply tested or purchase one of these units and test it yourself before installing in your case, it could save you a lot of time, money, and headache.

CONCLUSION

The PC-Doctor Service Center 6 kit is an effective kit for the technician that I would recommend for the PC enthusiast or those who enjoy working on computers as it can potentially save a lot of time in problem solving. The software is intuitive with useful results.

Looking at the hardware included in the kit; the various loopback test devices for audio, parallel, serial, game port, and a RJ45 Ethernet probably would see limited use by the average user, but could come in handy. On the other hand, the PCI Post Card is an item you might find in more frequent use if you find yourself always being asked to work on other computers.

A Handy Compact Kit

The Multipurpose USB Device is a different story. There have been many times I would have given anything to have had this little device in my tool kit. It would have save me a lot of wasted time and expense in changing out expensive components just on recommendations or suggestions instead of running some definitive tests which this USB device provides access to. Plus, this little USB device proves to be very versatile as it is also capable of booting a non-bootable PC!

Check out this complete kit from PC-Doctor, Inc. it might be what you want or need. It definitely hit a Home Run here at nV News!

nV News Home Run Hardware

Questions or comments about this review can be made in this forum thread. Thanks!

Back to nV News

Last Updated on November 19, 2007


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