Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 Snow 750W Report (Page 4 of 4)

Page 4 - Minor Tests and Conclusion

Power supplies are interesting products, because often, reviews of products in this category are conducted and tested in methods that make it difficult to distinguish one power supply from another. Many aspects must be taken into consideration. Certain criteria consist of efficiency, noise, power ripples, and of course the ability to pull out the rated specifications. Because many cannot afford such equipment to obtain results regarding those aspects, articles covering power supplies often come out with less than adequate and acceptable information. As this is a product report -- not a review -- what we are doing is a close examination of the power supply and the internal hardware and build. But what we can do for you is do some minor testing with the results we can present to you with and let other review sites with professional equipment show you the actual test results. We are not going to try to create useless test results by installing the power supply into the latest gaming rig and try to take readings from that, as this is not even remotely the correct way to test power supply units. We understand that many websites do that as a means of load testing, but the results, even if you use an oscilloscope and multimeter at each output location, it is not sufficient, nor does it accurately reflect the performance of the power supply.

Using our power supply tester which exerts minimal load on the power supply, the initial consumption was 10.2W as measured by our wall meter unit, indicating that the basic load-free power consumption of the power supply is good. This specific model has not been tested in independent reviews from websites with professional load testing equipment, but other models in the product line delivered good efficiency for its class and very good regulation and ripple across all rails. This is an 80 Plus Gold certified power supply unit.

Voltages with minimal load are generally accurate, which is a basic requirement of power supplies out of the box. In this situation all are within 4%. The Power Good or PG delay is tested at 320ms, which falls within the ATX design specifications of 100ms to 500ms, but does not meet the 250ms maximum for Non-Alternative Sleep Mode or 150ms for Alternative Sleep Mode.

Active power correction is important to correct AC load line loss. In AC power, there are three components to it, as there is a phase difference between current and voltage. This makes up the power triangle, which consists of the following: Average usable power (P, measured in watts), reactive power (Q, denoted as VA-R), and total power (S, written as VA). While they all have the same physical units, it is not the same thing as aforementioned. What we want is the average usable power with as little wasted reactive power as possible. The total power provided over the AC line is the magnitude of the two combined (sqrt(P^2+Q^2)). Power factor can then be easily calculated by P divided by S. The ideal value is 1.00, and this is where active PFC comes in. The Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 Snow 750W has active PFC, and the power factor will approach 0.99 with a nominal load.

The Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 Snow 750W is a silent to very quiet power supply, depending on the amount of power being drawn. Under idle level loads, or less than approximately 30%, the Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 Snow 750W is inaudible because the fan can be shut off completely with Smart Zero Fan on. Under moderate to high loads, which is above 30%, the Toughpower GF1 Snow 750W is reasonably low noise. On a scale from 0 to 10 where 0 is silent and 10 is the loudest, I would rate the Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 Snow 750W to be at 0.0/10 when the fan is off and 1.5/10 under moderate loads.

Thermaltake provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.

When we finish our look at the Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 Snow 750W, you can see that the refresh is mostly skin deep, but this is probably a good thing considering how positive the original GF1 units have been. Its build quality is very good along with a reasonable set of connections and sufficient power delivery on the different rails. The generally smaller footprint should make this power supply more compatible in many cases too. Furthermore, the internal inspection reveals its generally good component choices inside to make for a strong performer. Our third-party affiliates show this indeed is the case with generally strong characteristics in efficiency, transient response, and ripple control, all while having a generally low noise output. Combined with a 10-year warranty, the Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 Snow 750W seems like a sensible choice. At the time of this report, you are still paying a premium for this Snow edition, as it comes in at $105 at press time, compared to the regular Toughpower GF1 750W at $80. While you might have to pay premium for this finish, the Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 Snow 750W is still a strong power supply.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Minor Tests and Conclusion