Thermaltake 1kW Toughpower PSU

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Product: Thermaltake Toughpower 1000W W0132RU PSU
Provided By: MemoryExpress
Price: ~$300CAD Online

 

Introduction:

We have recently looked at the Ultra 600W X3 series PSU, and today we are following up with a PSU with a little more "oomph".  We are talking about the 1kW Thermaltake Toughpower, and if you need to power a massive rig and keep it running stable, this power supply makes some pretty bold promises.  It has a total of four 12v rails and 6 PCIe connectors that would allow you to run a massive gaming rig.  Thermaltake claims that it can provide a continuous 1000W of power at 50C, but how clean and stable is the power?  Will it be rock solid, or will it just get by?  We've done some overclocking and have a fast 8800GTX setup pulling as much power as we can in a real-world test.  Keep on reading to see how the 1kW Toughpower does.

  Box of Power
Box of Power

 

First Look:

The Thermaltake Toughpower 1000W PSU comes in one of the longest heaviest boxes I've seen in a power supply.  It has the traditional Thermaltake flare without being over the top.  On the box are the specs and information about each rail amp/wattage output for those of you that are interested.  I think this is a great idea as most people who are purchasing a 1kW PSU want to know this information before they drop $300 on a PSU for their rig.

Box Info
Box Info

 

There's no mistaking who makes this PSU once you get it out of the box and look at it.  Thermaltake's name is on the side, bottom, fan and more.  It appears that Thermaltake is proud of this unit.

 Side View
Side View
 Bottom Fan
Bottom Fan
 Label
Label

 

On the other side of the PSU is the label that carries the specs of this PSU.  Not only do you have it on the box, you can also pop off the side panel of your computer and show your friends and fellow LAN-ers, how much power you've got in your rig.

As you move around to the back you can see that the 140mm fan has a lot of space to blow air through the PSU.  The back is a wide open grill accented by the orange/red power switch and standard power plug.  The front on the PSU is color coordinated to indicate which are for PCIe connectors and also how the rails are split up.  This unit has four 12v rails ranging in power from 20A to 36A.  Rails one and three are 20A, while rails 2 and 4 are 36A each.

 Grill and Switch
Grill Switch
 Modular Connections
Modular Connections

 

The rails are divided up with the 12v1 rail running the SATA, IDE and Floppy connectors.  The 12v2 rail handles the motherboard 24-pin and 4/8-pin connectors, while the 12v3 and 12v4 rails are in charge of 3 PCIe connectors each.  If you don't have a Crossfire or SLI system, you won't need at least one of these rails.

On the next page we'll take a closer look at the specs of this PSU.


 

PSU Specs:

To simply state that the Thermaltake Toughpower 1000W PSU is a 1000W PSU and leave it at that would be blasphemy.  We'll take a closer look at the specs as provided by Thermaltake on their product page.

Features:

  • Stable 1000W continuous output (at 50℃ operating environment)
  • Four independent & dedicated +12V rails(12V1,12V2,12V3,12V4) provides superior performance for PC system.
  • Three 8pin and three 6pin PCI-E connectors design supports Multi-GPU Graphic card.
  • Supports Dual Core CPU / Quad Core CPU / Nvidia SLI & Quad SLI and all Multi-Core GPU technologies.
  • Modularized Cable Management to eliminate clutter and improve airflow inside the case.
  • Independent Voltage Circuit: offers unflappable current delivery under heavy load.
  • Strict voltage regulation (±3%): provides steady voltage for system.
  • Active Power Factor Correction (PF>0.99) and high efficiency (up to 87%).
  • Industrial grade components (capacitor, transformer, etc)
  • High reliability: MTBF>120,000 hours.
  • Quiet and reliable 14cm ball-bearing fan.
  • Protections: Over Current, Over Voltage, Under Voltage, Over Temperature, Over Power, and Short-Circuit protection.
  • Safety / EMI Approvals: CE, CB, TUV, FCC, UL, CUL, and BSMI certified.

 

Model
W0132RU
Power
1000W
Dimension
200mm(L)x160mm(W)x86mm(H)
Switches
ATX Logic on-off additional power rocker switch
PFC
Active PFC (PF > 0.9)
Cooling System
140mm Fan, 2300RPM ± 10%
Noise
16 dBA at 1300 RPM
P. G. Signal
100-500 ms
Efficiency
up to 87%
Hold-up Time
16ms

Input Voltage
115 VAC ~ 230 VAC
Input Frequency Range
47 ~ 63 Hz
MTBF
120,000 hrs minimum (at 25 ℃)
Input Current
13A

Voltage
+12V1
+12V4
+3.3V
+12V2
+12V3
+5V
-12V
+5Vsb
Max/Min
20A/1A
36A/1A
30A/0.5A
20A/1A
36A/1A
30A/0.5A
0.8A/0A
3.5A/0A
Regulation *1
+3,-3%
+3,-3%
+3,-3%
+3,-3%
+3,-3%
+3,-3%
+10,-10%
+3,-5%
Ripple & Noise
*2
120mV
120mV
50mV
120mV
120mV
50mV
120mV
50mV
Max Output
500W
500W
9.6W
17.5W
Total Power
1000W

*1. +5Vsb operate at 3.5A max load base on PS-ON mode. If PS-OFF +5Vsb only operate
     at 3A max load.
*2. Add 0.1uF and 47uF capacitors across output terminal during ripple & noise test.

Operating Temp.
10 ℃ to 50 ℃
Storage Temp.
-20 ℃ to 70℃
Operating Humidity
20% to 90%, non-condensing
Storage Humidity
5% to 95%, non-condensing

DC rail
Trigger Point/Range
Over Voltage Protection
+3.3V trip point
4.5 Vmax
+5.0V trip point
7.0 Vmax
+12.0V trip point
15.6 Vmax
Over Current Protection
+3.3V
33A ~ 50A
+5.0V
33A ~ 50A
+12V1 & +12V2
22A ~ 35A
+12V3 & +12V4
39A ~ 55A
Under Voltage Protection
+3.3V trip point
2.0 Vmin
+5.0V trip point
3.3 Vmin
+12.0V trip point
8.5 Vmin
Short Protection
All output to GND

 

While Thermaltake claims that this PSU emits only 16dba at 1300rpm, they also include a silicon sleeve for the PSU.  This slips on the end that gets screwed onto the case in order to help reduce vibration and lower noise.  Also included are some screws and a very thick power cable.  In reality, if this draws as much power as they claim, you'll need a darn heavy cord as our 12,000 BTU air conditioner only draws 1000W of power.

 Power Cord 'n More
Power Cord 'n More


Modular Cables: 

This PSU is not totally modular, as you may have noticed in previous pictures, the 24-pin and other motherboard connectors are hard-wired into this unit, and still there are a ton of cables included.

 Cable Bundle
Cable Bundle

 

In the pictures below, we break down the cable cluster into groups to show you what is included.

PCIe Action: 

 6pin PCIe
6pin PCIe
 8pin PCIe
8pin PCIe
 8pin to 6pin PCIe
8pin to 6pin PCIe

 

Peripheral Action:

 Molex
Molex
 SATA
SATA

 

On the following page we'll cover our testing methods, the test setup and start testing this 1kW behemoth!


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.


 

400W Tests:

To load things up we overclocked the CPU, overclocked a single 8800GTX graphics card, ran four instances of Folding @ Home for team BCC, and looped 3DMark 06 Firefly benchmark at 1600x1200 with 8x AA and 16x AF to stress the graphics card and the entire system.  Even with all of this going on, we topped out at 403W and consistently pulled 399W - 400W though the Thermaltake Toughpower PSU.  At this load, the PSU matches the input of the X3 and now appears to be as efficient as the smaller 600W PSU we recently reviewed.  Keep in mind that this is still less than half of the PSUs rated output.  Power Factor is measured to be up to 0.99 at this load.

3.3 at 400W
3.3 at 400W
 5v at 400W
5v at 400W
 12v1 at 400W
12v1 at 400W
     
 12v2 at 400W
12v2 at 400W
 12v3 at 400W
12v3 at 400W
 12v4 at 400W
12v4 at 400W

 

Now with a load running on this system and the graphics card, we see that the 12v4 line is getting even noisier and the ripple is more pronounced.  Everything is still well within acceptable range and overall is looking pretty good.  Ripple and noise is less than on the Ultra X3 600W PSU we have reviewed, although at this point the Ultra PSU was loaded to 66% capacity and the Thermaltake Toughpower is sitting around 40% of its rated output.  We see solid voltage performance through this test, although the +5v line and the +3.3v line are dropping off a bit.

Kill-A-Watt
Kill-A-Watt

 

560W Tests:

To load things up a bit further than last time, I managed to mooch Fujitsu's 8800GTX off of him and we ran some SLI action on these GTX's when they were clocked up to 612MHz Core and 1100MHz Memory.  This is approaching 8800Ultra speeds and we believe that we can reach above and beyond that, but didn't want to let system instability cloud the PSU stability we were testing.

 

With Folding @ Home running, 3DMark running and everything overclocked we managed to hit a maximum of 572W draw with this system and as incredible as that sounds, we are only drawing 56% of what this PSU is rated.  If you need more that 1kW, you have some serious money invested in your system.

 3.3v at 560W
3.3v at 560W
 5v at 560W
5v at 560W
 12v1 at 560W
12v1 at 560W
     
 12v2 at 560W
12v2 at 560W
 12v3 at 560W
12v3 at 560W
 12v4 at 560W
12v4 at 560W


With even more load applied we see the voltage levels remain fairly constant on the 12v as we've only lost a maximum of 0.02v on the +12v4 line.  This line is now rippling and noisy to the point of 50mv, and while the chart looks pretty nasty, it's still well within ATX spec of 120mv limit.  Miraculously, the 3.3v line is now very solid and is sitting pretty at 20mv - the best we've seen it though all the tests.

Ave. Voltage

 

Ave. Ripple

Conclusion:

The Thermaltake Toughpower 1kW PSU is a power house.  This PSU comes equipped with four +12v rails and supports 6 PCIe devices - three 6-pin and 3-8-pin.  It is mostly modular and features a nice large fan that provides very good cooling to this unit under normal circumstances.  It is quite solid, although we've seen more ripple from this unit on the 12v4 rail that we have on other power supplies.  Power delivery is not very "noisy" although the the measured ripple is quite obvious from the images above.  Overall, this PSU was rock solid and performed like a champ.  It ran two HDDs, two 8800GTX cards overclocked and an overclocked Q6600 CPU.  Not only that, but it also managed to run several fans, and a Reserator XT cooling system to boot.  All-in-all we could only manage to draw an average of 560W out of this monster and it handled it with ease.

The major drawback of this unit is its size and that its loud.  Because of it's extended length, it may very well not fit in some cases.  It also makes a lot of noise for a PSU with such a large fan.  Other PSU's are almost silent, but this is anything but.  It was easily the loudest component in our test rig.

Pros:

  • Low electrical noise
  • Rated at 1000W continuous
  • Modular with lots of PCIe connections
  • Appears stable with a fairly hefty system

 

Cons:

  • Fan is much louder than it should be.
  • Ripple of 12v4 line increases according to load - may be out of spec at full load.
  • Pricey - Currently available for ~$300CAD 

 

BCCRating

 

Top Pick

For those of you that have pretty massive systems, I would have no trouble recommending this PSU to you.  It was solid all through testing and can handle a high-end gaming system with ease.  It isn't flawless, but it certainly is worth your consideration.  I'd like to thank MemoryExpress for sending down this unit for us to review.  It is currently the biggest PSU we've tested and it was a good time.

Please post your feedback at the comments link below.   We'd love to hear your thoughts.  Don't forget to check out our PSU Testing methods as they will be constantly updated to show how we test PSUs.