By: Jonathan Kwan
January 13, 2012
A couple of days ago, I sold my old dSLR body and lens locally through a popular online classified ads website. For the veterans among us, you will know this is usually a straightforward procedure -- someone contacts you, agree on the price beforehand, set a time and location to meet up, show them the product, and cash exchanges hand. But with anything that involves humans, there are always exceptions, and this is what I want to talk about this morning. The person I sold my camera to came with her mom in a late model, fully loaded Nissan Pathfinder SUV with a fancy vanity plate. After checking out the camera, her mom tried to pull a fast one on me, and said she only has $300 on her, and told me to just accept it. Well, as someone who is born in Hong Kong, the land of haggling masters, and a guy who has been in and out of car dealerships ever so often since I was nine years old, obviously it did not work. I have haggling, and thus, anti-haggling skills, in my blood. To make a long story short, she magically "found" the missing $20 in her purse, and we both went our ways. The way I see it, she probably thinks this was a smart thing to do. After all, she could have saved $20, right? Saving money is smart; this is more or less common sense to people of all ages. In the computer world, it is no different. But as most of us came to realize that not all power supplies are created equally, Thermaltake has a new line of PSUs called the SMART series to take on a very simple concept: Budget price, no frills, and eco-friendly performance. That's smart. But is it right? We cracked open a Thermaltake SMART 730W to see what's inside the brain.
Our review unit of the Thermaltake SMART 730W power supply unit came in a surprisingly small, brown corrugated cardboard box from the company's American headquarters in California, USA; along with a Thermaltake SMART 630W I will be covering in a couple of weeks. Traveling via UPS Standard over the course of Christmas, the trip took a little longer than usual to arrive to us here in Calgary, but arrived safely nonetheless. Thermaltake told us they were sending over one case and one water cooling kit as well. Naturally, with three boxes at our doorstep, I would assume the two power supplies would end up in the larger of the two brown corrugated cardboard boxes (It is obvious which one the chassis is), but that, in fact, could not be further from the truth -- the larger box actually has a Bigwater 760 Plus inside reviewed by my colleague Devin.
As always, we received our evaluation power supply from Thermaltake in retail packaging form. Because the SMART series is the company's new budget line of PSUs, they have stuck with very basic packaging -- nothing extravagant by a long shot. As such, they take up very little room, hence the reason why two of these can fit into such a small shipping box (That's not to mention the guys at Thermaltake's shipping department did not bother to include any packing material, haha). Incorporating a black and red color scheme, the box design is quite straightforward, as you can see in our photo above. I think the SMART series has two focuses. The first is "No Gimmicks. Built to work", and the second is its eco-friendliness. I am rather surprised to see a 5-year warranty on a PSU in this price range.
Before we move on, let's take a look at the specifications of the Thermaltake SMART 730W, as obtained from the manufacturer's website:
- Wattage: 730 watts
- Fan: 120mm Fan; 2000 RPM ± 10%
- Efficiency: 80%+
- PFC: Active PFC
- Hold-Up Time: 16ms at 70% Load @ 230 VAC 50Hz input
- Switches: ATX Logic on-off additional power rocker switch
- Motherboard Connectors: 20+4-pin Main Connector; 4+4-pin Power Connector
- Power Good Signal: 100-500ms
- Form Factor: ATX 12V 2.3
- Dimension: 5.5 x 5.9 x 3.4 inch ( L x W x H ); 140 x 150 x 86 mm ( L x W x H )
- Warranty: 3 years
- Certifications: 80PLUS Certified
- Input Voltage: 100 VAC ~ 240 VAC
- Input Current: 115VAC/10A Max. 230VAC/5A Max.
- Input Frequency Range: 50 ~ 60 Hz
- Operating Range: 100 VAC ~ 240 VAC
- MTBF: 100,000
- RFI / EMI: UL, FCC, TUV, CE, BSMI
- Operating Temperature: 10 ℃ to +40 ℃
- Storage Temperature: -40 ℃ to +70 ℃
- Operating Humidity: 20% to 85%,non-condensing
- Storage Humidity: 5% to 95%,non-condensing
- Over Voltage Protection: Yes
- Over Current Protection: Yes
- Over Load Protection: Yes
- Over Temperature Protection:
- Under Voltage Protection:
- Short Circuit Protection: Yes
The Thermaltake SMART 730W's packaging is intrinsically simple. When they said "no gimmicks", they were not kidding, haha. After opening the flap top box, what you will get is Thermaltake SMART 730W power supply itself, one AC power cord, four screws, and two pieces of documentation. That's it. No zip ties, no Velcro straps, nothing -- just everything you would expect from a power supply intended for people on a limited budget.