Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W

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Product: Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W PSU
Provided By: Thermaltake
Price: Find Lowest Price Online

Introduction:

We've looked at quite a few power supplies from Thermaltake over the years and today we have their current flagship product on the bench.  We have the 1200W version of the 80PLUS Gold series - the Thermaltake Toughpower Grand.  There are not many users who will require a power supply that offers up an impressive 105A on the +12v rails, but if you are a user that has 3+ graphics cards and a massive CPU, lots of drives and are overclocking and overvolting your gear, this power supply might just keep up with your demands.  We are going to find out if we can break this PSU as we have the ability to pull massive amounts of power through a PSU on our test platform.  This PSU includes some great features and combines it with great looks to make it appeal to anyone with ~$300 extra laying around.

Box Front
Box Front
Box Rear
Box Rear

  

Box Flap
Box Info
Box Specs
Box Specs

 

About Thermaltake:

I'm sure that many of you are familiar with Thermaltake, but if you are new to enthusiast computing, the clip below from their site should clear things up a little bit.

Since the beginning of Thermaltake in 1999, it has been at the forefront of creating new and exciting products at a time where most computer users were provided little to no choices for components that may seem irrelevant, but in reality crucial to the performance of a PC.

Thermaltake Server Series solutions, with years of thermal experience and industry leadership, sets its goal on reforming total thermal management in server segment by formulating the perfect mixture of versatility, efficiency and thermal management with each respective server product category: Rackmount Chassis, Server Fixed & Redundant Power Supply and Server CPU Cooling Management Solutions.

With its comprehensive line of products available, it enables Thermaltake's core customers to enjoy a one-stop-shop experience, reduce product design-in evaluation period and most important of all, flawless integration process. Each of Thermaltake's strengths enables its customer to focus on their core business while taking advantage of the skills and efficiency of a single thermal management solution partner. 

First Impressions:

The Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W PSU arrived a while back without announcement and it was a surprise to get such a large PSU to review.  Even though it's a massive 1200W unit, what impressed me first of all was the standard ATX size that allows this unit to fit into almost any PC case.  Once you pull the unit out of the box, you see that there are a lot of accessories that should fulfill the needs of almost any user.  There are anti-vibration mounts, cable ties, modular cables, a great manual with a lot of specifications and information as well as the very sleek PSU.

Bundle
Bundle

The 1200W Toughpower Grand comes with a few cables attached as you can see below.  The basic cables that you'll be using with pretty much any system come hard-wired to the box and they include the 24-pin motherboard cable, an 8-pin CPU cable as well as the 4+4-pin motherboard cable.  All of the PCIe, Molex and SATA cables are modular.  While not all motherboards require both 4+4-pin and 8-pin connectors, this PSU is built for some pretty hefty applications.

PSU Profile

On the next page we'll take a closer look at the TPG-1200M from Thermaltake and dive into the features and specifications.


 

Closer Look:

While there may not be a ton of design options when it comes to the external appearance of a power supply, Thermaltake has taken a few liberties in the overall finish that sets this unit apart from other units.  It has a matte finish on the exterior and this of course helps keep fingerprints and dust from being too obvious if you have a window in your case.  One thing that you'll notice too, is that the corners of the unit are rounded and this gives it a very distinct look that is very appealing.  The rear of the unit has a nice open grill as well as a lighted power switch and even a nice decal that lights up with the company name.  This is a nice touch that shows Thermaltake is proud of this unit and wants people to know who makes it.  I love that pride.

Thermaltake uses a pretty typical modular system on this unit and have separate connector styles for PCIe and Molex/SATA connectors.  While I do prefer the modular system on the NZXT HALE90 and Sentey units, Thermaltake still has a nice layout and the non-modular cables come through the case in a nice, clean protected area.  The overall build quality and curb appeal are great.

PSU Fan Side
PSU Fan Side
Rear Grill
Rear Grill
   
Modular Side
Modular Side
Side View
Side View

 

 

Features:

  • Compliance with Intel ATX 12V 2.3 & SSI EPS 12V 2.92 standards.
  • 80 PLUS Gold certified – extreme efficiency PSU series with 87-92% efficiency @ 20-100% load to cut down electric cost.
  • 24/7 @ 50°C: Guaranteed to deliver 1200W continuous power.
  • Pure aesthetic design with uncompromising performance.
  • Proprietary dual ball bearing 14cm flower-shape fan enables longer lifespan and lowers overall noise output by dramatically reducing bearing frictions.
  • 100% 105°C (221°F ) Japanese made electrolytic capacitors: the foundation of a robust and reliable power source even under the harshest operating environment.
  • Double-forward switching circuitry: offers low power loss and high reliability.
  • Unparalleled DC to DC converter provides highest efficiency, most stable performance, and perfect regulation.
  • 3oz PCB design reduces heat generation and allows greater efficiency.
  • Robust & dedicated +12V output: comes with dual +12V rails design providing up to 40A for 12V1 and 85A for 12V2.
  • FanDelayCool Technology allows 14cm fan to continue to operate 15-30 sec after system shuts-down to ensure all components are properly cooled.
  • Multi-GPU ready: comes with 8 x PCI-E 6+2pin for cutting-edge gaming machine.
  • Auto switching circuitry for universal AC input from 90-264V.
  • Active Power Factor Correction (PFC) with PF value of 0.95 at full load.
  • High reliability: MTBF>120,000 hours.
  • DIMENSION: 5.9”(W) x 3.4”(H) x 7.1” (L);150mm(W) x 86mm(H) x 180mm(L)
  • Built-in industry grade protections : Over Current, Over Power, Over Voltage, Under Voltage and Short-Circuit protection.
  • Safety / EMI Approvals: CE, TUV, FCC, UL, CUL, GOST and BSMI certified. 

 

As far as product specifications go, we have the following information.  This also has been taken from the Thermaltake website. 

GENERAL: _________________________________
- Wattage 1200 Watts
- Fan
140 mm Dual Ball Bearing fan
1900RPM ± 10%
99.6 CFM

- Efficiency up to 93%
- PFC Active PFC
- Hold-Up Time 16 ms at 75% full @ 230 VAC input
- Switches ATX Logic on-off additional power rocker switch (with light indicator)
- Motherboard Connectors
24-pin Main Connector
8-pin Power Connector
4+4-pin Power Connector

- Power Good Signal 100 - 500 ms
- Form Factor ATX 12V 2.3 & EPS 12V 2.92
- Dimension
7.08 x 5.9 x 3.4 inch (L)x(W)x(H)
180 x 150 x 86 mm (L)x(W)x(H)

- Warranty 7 Years
- Certifications
ATI CrossFireX Certified
NVIDIA SLI Certified
80PLUS Gold Certified

AC INPUT: _________________________________
- Input Voltage 100 VAC ~ 240 VAC
- Input Current Max. 15A
- Input Frequency Range 50Hz ~ 60Hz
- Inrush Current
- Operating Range
- MTBF 120,000
- RFI / EMI CE, TUV, FCC, UL, CUL, GOST, BSMI
DC OUTPUT: _________________________________
- Output Table
ENVIRONMENT: _________________________________
- Operating Temperature 10 ℃ to 50 ℃
- Storage Temperature -40 ℃ to 70℃
- Operating Humidity 20% to 90%, non-condensing
- Storage Humidity 5% to 95%, non-condensing
PROTECTION: _________________________________
- Over Voltage Protection Yes
- Over Current Protection Yes
- Over Load Protection Yes
- Over Termperature Protection Yes
- Under Voltage Protection Yes
- Short Circuit Protection Yes

The PSU itself has some information on it that confirms the information on the website.

PSU Label  

Although the Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W PSU claims that it can handle 1200W of power, with the ratings on the rails, it should be able to handle more - and easily 1200W continuous load.  If you do the math on this PSU you'll see that the 3.3v adn 5v lines actually total 207.5W - and up the 180W combined conservative rating set out by Thermaltake.  Also the +12v1 and +12v2 lines are very large and equal 105A which is 1260W - again, a bit up from the 1200W rating.  Once you toss in the +5vsb and -12v lines, we manage a total output rating of 1507.1W.  I think it's safe to say that if you have any other major device plugged into the same wall as this PSU if it's maxed out, you'll blow a breaker in most houses.  Thankfully, the new shop here at BCCHQ South includes 80A of service in my office = almost 10,000W.  I'm good.

On the next page, we'll take a quick look at the cables before we jump into the PSU itself and then run some tests.


 

Cables:

While the cables of a normal PSU aren't that exciting, the cables included with the Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W unit are pretty nice.  The modular cables are sheathed with a nice flexible material that still allows great cable management.  Sometimes wrapped cables are not very flexible, but Thermaltake has chosen a nice material that looks good and is still flexible. Outside of the standard motherboard cables, there are a total of eight PCIe connectors, eight Molex connectors, 12x SATA 5-pin connectors and a single 4-pin floppy adapter that will take up a Molex cable.  This is enough to power pretty much any system with up to four graphics cards.  Good luck overloading this unit.

Connectors

 

Modular Bundle
Modular Bundle
Non-Modular Cables
Non-Modular Cables

 

Molex Bundle
Molex Bundle
PCIe Bundle
PCIe Bundle
SATA Bundle
SATA Bundle

Output Total 1200W

 ((OutputTotalChart))

 

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 have 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 1200W PSU on the next page.

On the next page we'll pull the PSU apart before we jump into testing on the last page.

 

Inside the PSU:

As we open this unit, please keep in mind that opening a Power Supply will completely void the warranty.  Not only that, but because of the large capacitors, you can suffer a serious electrical shock if you touch the wrong thing.  Please do not open your PSU to compare what the insides look like.  I'm a "trained" professional, meaning that I've got shocked a time or two and know where not to touch, and with that in mind and the smell of burning flesh in the air, click on the images below for a closer look.

Inside

 


Add-In Boards
Add-In Boards
Heatsinks Inside
Heatsinks Inside
   
Inside
Inside
Fan Inside
Fan

 


It's amazing that the PSU is a bit roomy inside even though this is a 1200W unit in a standard ATX-sized case - with rounded corners.  Back when 1000W power supplies were new, they were very large and even with extended cases, they were crowded.  With the better power efficiency on these new "Gold" units, the cooling requirements are not as great companies can use smaller, more efficient components.  Overall, the layout is very clean - and both 12v rails use quality components. 

The cooling looks more than adequate for a 90+ rated PSU and during testing the internals never reached more than 52°C.  As you can see above, the main bulk of wires hits the rear modular backplane in a tidy bunch and the entire PSU is laid out very clean.  


Testing - 24W, 380W & 1156W: 

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 24W.  I was surprised that without any load at all, the PSU draws that much power.  No doubt it is due to the large fan, lighted switch and flashy LED logo on the rear of the unit.  We thought these results 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.

 -12v
-12v
12v1
12v1
12v2
12v2

 

5v
5v
3.3v
3.3v

 

As I expected with I was given the opportunity to look at this high-end 80PLUS Gold PSU, no matter what type of load I put on it, the voltage rails stayed fairly clean and the noise remained within ATX specification limits.  As you can see by clicking the images above, with a moderate load we captured a 34mv ripple & noise measurement on the 3.3v rail, again - 34mv on the 5v rail and 68mv on the 12v1 line while the 12v2 line was a bit "noisier" at 80mV.  This isn't as clean as some, but as ATX specifications state 50mv is allowable on the 3.3v and 5.0v rails while 120mv is acceptable on the 12v rails - this is still well within specs.  Even with a heavy load the Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W PSU stayed within specifications on the rails.  The 5v line maxed out at 38mv while the 3.3v line remained acceptable at 40mv.  The +/- 12v lines wandered a bit, but stayed under 120mv and this is still within specifications - but a good 20%.  This is a pretty solid result - even with a massive 1156W load.  

Instead of taking a ton of pictures of each voltage line under different load, we've graphed the results below.

Ripple

Voltage

The voltage is very solid with the Thermaltake Grand 1200W unit, and as is the case with most powersupplies, it tends to be a bit on the high side. The biggest drop in voltage when a load is applied to any of the rails is 0.4v.  On the 3.3v line we see a drop of a mere 0.05v - almost perfect, and on the 5v rail we see a drop of 0.08v - a very solid result.  The +12v1 rail drops 0.4v, but it still remains slightly above 12v at 12.1v and is very stable.  The heavier 12v2 rail drops 0.2v - even with a huge load applied and bottoms out at 12.3v.  The -12v rail drops 0.2v, but the 12v rails are allowed to fluctuate an incredible 1.2v and still stay within ATX specifications.  Thankfully, they are much more solid than that. 


Conclusion:

The Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W Power Supply is in the top dog over in the Toughpower Grand series from Thermaltake but has some bigger siblings to try and live up to.  Thermaltake has a 1275W 80Plus Platinum unit that outperforms this one, as well as a massive 1500W 80Plus Silver unit.  That being said, I don't know how you'd push this unit to the bleeding edge - even with a few new Radeon 7970 cards in your system.  Our test system included a pair of Radeon 4870, an Intel Core i7 2500K CPU, several hard drives and more and it handled it easily.  In order to make the power supply sweat, we plugged it into a heavy 12v load and watched the power draw climb.  It pushes out a lot of watts through both +12v lines and proves to be solid, stable and it runs quite cool.  The hottest internal component reached 52°C when testing in our office with an ambient of 25°C.  It handled everything we threw at it without stumbling, stuttering or any undue concern.

There really isn't much of a downside to this PSU.  It is nice and quiet.  It earns its "Gold" rating by being at least 90% efficient and is a great power supply that certainly deserves some consideration.

 

Pros:

  • Low electrical noise
  • Math specs it out over 1500W - so should handle load
  • Great physical design and looks
  • Lots of peripheral and SATA connectors
  • Stable under massive load 
  • 14cm fan is very quiet and cools well
  • Standard size should work in almost every system.


Cons:

  • Will set you back ~$300
  • Power lines not as clean as other Thermaltake PSUs we've tested

 

BCCRating 

Silver  

Thermaltake has a rock-solid, well designed PSU on their hands with the 1200W Toughpower Grand series PSU and it weighs in with a "Silver" award here at BCCHardware for performance and overall quality. 

If you have any questions or comments, please post them in the forum at the "Comments" link below.