Thermaltake 1kW Toughpower PSU - Tests Setup, Methods and Testing

Article Index
Thermaltake 1kW Toughpower PSU
1kW PSU Specs, Cables and More!
Tests Setup, Methods and Testing
Testing Continued - Final Thoughts

Test Setup & Info:

In the past, we've prided ourselves on real-world testing.  For graphics cards, CPUs and memory, what matters is what takes place in real applications and games.  We also held that philosophy for PSU testing, but after a while, we realized that there is more to a PSU that being able to run a machine stable over a few weeks or months.  In reality, if there is a lot of ripple, this can damage sensitive traces on your $700 graphics card or $1300 CPU.  A multi-meter alone is not good enough to check PSU voltage stability.  It's for this reason that we've updated our PSU testbed, and will continue to improve the detail and quality of our PSU reviews.  That being said, we will still be testing the PSU in a system and will be including stress tests from real components in the real world.

We recently purchased a Tektronics TDS2002 60MHz Dual Channel scope and it has already become invaluable around the shop here at BCCHardware headquarters.  I've used it to troubleshoot everything from PSU's to Radars, and we are using it today to check the stability of the Thermaltake Toughpower 1000W PSU.

 

14W Tests: 

We initially plugged the PSU into an EZ PSU Tester 3 in order to power it on for our "idle" measurements.  As noticed below, the voltage rails were fairly stable with no load, but these aren't necessarily indicative of overall load performance.  According to our Kill-a-Watt, the power draw was 14W.  We thought of throwing out the results, but thought it would be interesting to include and compare with other power supplies to see how they manage a non-load situation, and how much power the PSU itself will draw.

 3.3v at 14W
3.3v at 14W
 5v at 14W
5v at 14W
 12v1 at 14W
12v1 at 14W
     
 12v3 at 14W
12v2 at 14W
 12v3 at 14W
12v3 at 14W
 12v4 at 14W
12v4 at 14W

 
The results are quite interesting in a completely non-load environment as the PSU above is powering only the EZ-PSU Tester III and its own fan.  The ripple and noise is much less on this PSU than on the Ultra X3 600W unit, although the Thermaltake PSU is quite noisy.  Even at full idle the fan can be heard above other systems we have running here in shop.

For those that are interested, in this environment, the Power Factor for this Power Supply is measured at 0.96. 

For the test of the tests, the Toughpower 1000W PSU will be plugged into the following system.

 

 

 

219W Tests: 

This next test takes place with our system in an "energy efficient" mode.  We've enabled CPU throttling in the BIOS and it has down-clocked itself in Windows.  It's pretty hard to have a really low-energy system when the components are made up of a Quad Core CPU and a single 8800GTX.  With the above mentioned settings, our system drew ~219W according to the Kill-A-Watt.  You have to keep in mind that the power supply is not actually producing 219W of power to the system; it is drawing 219W from the wall.  According to the efficiency rating from Thermaltake the Toughpower is up to 87% efficient and should be providing around ~190W to the system.  However with the Ultra X3 600W PSU we saw it use only 200W to power the same system, and this leads us to believe that with a lower load, the Thermaltake PSU is not as efficient as it draws 19W more to do the same thing.  Power Factor is observed to be at 0.97 at this load.

 3.3v at 219W
3.3v at 219W
 5v at 219W
5v at 219W
 12v1 at 219W
12v1 at 219W
     
 12v2 at 219W
12v2 at 219W
 12v3 at 219W
12v3 at 219W
 12v4 at 219W
12v4 at 219W

 

All voltage levels are above standard and are well within spec.  Overall, we see smoother, cleaner power than when running idle - except for the 12v4 line which shows some ripple as noted above.  The Peak-to-Peak values are measured at 32mv, and are well under the 120mv limit designated by the ATX specification.  That being said, ripple on this line concerns me a bit as we haven't really began to load it yet.

On the next page we'll further load this PSU and find out if it stays solid or starts to waver.