By: Jonathan Kwan
November 25, 2006
A frequently asked question by PC enthusiasts that has now even reached out to general consumers is asked very often lately. How much power does my PC really need? In reality, the quality of the power supply unit is equally, if not more important, than the wattage specification alone. Would you trust your brand new pair of 8800GTX with a $10 generic power supply rated at 600W from eBay? How about your Core 2 Quad? These components alone will not only generate immense amounts of heat, but consumes an unbelievable amount of power as well. If the term 'Quality Power' comes to mind, then let's consider a high wattage, quality power supply that feeds your system enough power for now and future-proof to a degree. Is the Tagan TurboJet 1100W PSU going to deliver? Let's give it a run and we'll see if this is your dream power supply for your ultimate system... or not.
Our review unit came in a huge and heavy box from FedEx using ground. At first, not only the size surprised me, but also the weight (There's a very good reason why ground shipping were used and not express services like International Priority). I thought there was something else other than a single power supply in there. Oh, all the suspense and mystery that shall be revealed!
Opening the shipping box reveals retail packaging of the Tagan TurboJet 1100W. Where my initial guesses include something other than a single power supply, in reality there is nothing more than a single power supply. As the old saying in the computer world goes, the heavier the power supply, the better. (This speculation is usually backed up by usage of higher quality components inside the power supply unit to supply better and cleaner power.)
The retail package is large as well. With labeled 36 month (3 year) warranty and Quad SLI certified by NVIDIA, we can definitely say there aren't many PSUs that actually has this certification. When a Tagan representative contacted me to ask me if I wanted to review a Tagan product, I did not have a solid idea of what they were sending over exactly (I expected a typical 500W or similar) but a 1100W model was clearly beyond my expectations. Great surprise for the end of October!
The excitement is quickly overcome by my next problem: The biggest challenge I am going to face in this review probably has nothing to do with problems of the unit itself; but instead the methods of reviewing would be where I know I will get stuck. While I have theoretical knowledge and experience with power supply units, the equipment available at the moment is totally inadequate. I am not too into building a custom tester that measures DC output and a load of resistors to simulate a percent load, and computers available for real life performance testing is... well, let's just say, I obviously do not own one. Therefore within one month's time I decided to take the second route and build a new computer on a budget after spending on my new laptop -- so I'll try the best I can to come up with this review despite less equipment and of course, first power supply review for me.
If packaging is any indication of superiority, the Tagan Turbojet 1100W's included briefcase definitely is something to take a look at. Yes, a briefcase with copper locks and cushion padding on the side. Inside the briefcase are the power supply, cables leading out of the unit, as manual and a batch of accessories and connectors. The manual is pretty detailed in describing each pin on different connectors as well as a general installation tutorial.
Included connectors include:
- 1x (20+4) pin Main Power
- 1x 12V 4 pin
- 1x 12V 8 pin
- 4x PCI Express 6 pin
- 4x Molex 4 Pin (One is a single dedicated HDD/VGA Molex)
- 4x SATA to Molex converters
- 10 SATA 5 pin
- 1x Molex to FDD
- 1x Ground Wire
Included accessories include:
- 1x Three-Prong Power Cable (One of three types depending on your geographic region)
- 5x Velcro Straps
- 2x Zip Ties
- 5x Screws
The specifications on the right side of the Tagan Turbojet 1100W power supply. The +3.3V and +5V line each provides up to 28A of power each (180W total), while the four independent +12V rails provide 20A of power each (Total 80A and 960W). That's 1080W and the remaining 20W is set off to the -12V and +5Vsb for 9.6W and 15W, respectively.
Four +12V rails providing 20A each. That's pretty darn impressive in this area on paper.
On a side note, the Tagan TurboJet 1100W PSU is RoHS compliant.
In terms of efficiency, Naninni over at Tagan claims an internal test of 83%, but has not been submitted to 80+ organizations yet for further improvement and testing. Some of our readers report a very close number ranging from 80% to 82%.
A shot at the front of the power supply. There are no voltage selectors as it automatically detects and changes itself; an unusually large PSU switch is also available at the back for your convenience. An 80mm fan fills up the other area.
Personally, keeping the floppy power connector separate on the Tagan Turbojet 1100W is not a bad idea due lack of usage in floppy disk drives nowadays. However, the lack of Molex connectors by default is probably a bad idea, because I highly doubt a large portion of us can actually use 10 SATA connectors (4 SATA hard drives are the high average). Your motherboard taking up one to supply extra power to PCI devices, two fans taking a total of two, and an optical drive already uses all of the four Molex connectors. Four SATA to Molex connectors are included for you to redeem up to four of ten SATA connectors though.
The dedicated VGA/HDD cable with a Molex end is especially interesting as it feeds off a dedicated line. The thick...I mean especially thick wire and unique solid connector end makes it "look" powerful; but the most practical thing I found while installing the power supply is that it is much easier to plug in and remove.
At the back of Tagan's TurboJet 1100W power supply is another 80mm fan; corresponding to the one in front to create optimal airflow from back of the unit to the front. The semi-gloss black paint surface is slightly fingerprint attractive and could be scratched relatively easily.
The cables leading out of the power supply are EMI shielded and made not too dissimilar to my OCZ Modstream in my older Athlon 64 based computer. Like snakes (In terms of looks) running inside the case, these cables are not only thick but also slightly harder to bend and manipulate around your case. You'll need extra large zip-ties to accommodate these cables and a little more effort to wire them inside your case. The included power cable to connect to a wall outlet has a matching design (Gold plated, anyone?).
Length of the cables are adequately long to be used in most cases as well.
Inside the power supply (Please don't open it unless you want to void the warranty), there are two different fans. Interestingly, the second fan at the back has little rounded pits likely to improve movement of air performance.
If you were to void the warranty, there might be a good reason to do so. Inside the power supply is a potentiometer -- in modern day terms, to put it short, is a small electronic component that allows resistance to be adjusted by the user. A potentiometer could be used in voltmodding a graphics card, but in this case to adjust voltages of the rails. Again, this will void your warranty and how useful it truly is up to you.
The Tests section has been removed because it does not comply with APH Networks' power supply review procedure established after the initial publication of this review.
Special thanks to Naninni over at Tagan for making this review possible, and Denny for following up!
Great packaging and subtle looking power supply, but the Tagan TurboJet 1100W is loud.