Thermaltake Toughpower GF3 1000W 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 4W as measured by our wall meter unit, indicating that the basic load-free power consumption of the power supply is excellent. Independent sources with professional load testing equipment showed the Thermaltake Toughpower GF3 1000W delivered very good efficiency for its class and excellent voltage regulation and ripple across all rails. This power supply unit has 80 Plus Gold and Cybenetics ETA Gold ratings.

Voltages with minimal load are accurate, which is a basic requirement of power supplies out of the box. The Power Good or PG delay is tested at 180ms. This power supply officially supports Alternative Sleep Mode with 100 to 150ms PG specifications, so it is likely the PSU tester I used was not fast enough to pick up the true PG signal. The ATX design specifications state a PSU's PG is required to be between 100ms and 500ms, with 250ms maximum for Non-Alternative Sleep Mode and 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 GF3 1000W has active PFC, and the power factor will approach 0.99 with a nominal load.

The Thermaltake Toughpower GF3 1000W 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 GF3 1000W is inaudible because the fan can be shut off completely with Smart Zero Fan mode activated. Under moderate loads above 30%, the Toughpower GF3 1000W is reasonably low noise until about 70%, which then becomes quite audible. Personally, I found the Hong Hua HA13525H12SF-Z to be good at low speed, but gets noisy at high speed. While this is very subjective, I am quite a picky person on noise. On a scale from 0 to 10 where 0 is silent and 10 is the loudest, I would rate the Thermaltake Toughpower GF3 1000W to be at 0.0/10 when the fan is off, because, well, the fan is off. Above that, I would peg it at 2.0/10 acoustically under moderate loads. This PSU is rated at Cybenetics LAMBDA Standard+ for noise. If you are a silent PC enthusiast, the Thermaltake Toughpower GF3 1000W is a respectable choice under most usage scenarios.

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

The Thermaltake Toughpower GF3 1000W, at first glance, looks like a revised Toughpower GF1 1000W with ATX 3.0 specifications and PCIe 5.0 graphics card support. It even comes with a 600W PCIe 12+4 pin cable. This is great, because we liked the Toughpower GF1 for being a good looking fully modular power supply that delivers a lot of power in a relatively compact package with a depth of only 16cm. But were there any major changes under the hood? Even though both are made by CWT, they are not the same internally. Thankfully, it still has a cleanly laid out interior, quality components selection, and fanless operation support for loads up to 30%. Third-party certifications show the overall performance was very good. However, the advertised 100% Japanese brand capacitors claim is false, because while all the electrolytic capacitors are indeed Japanese brand, the polymer caps are Chinese-made. At a retail price of $200 at press time, the Toughpower GF3 1000W is a reasonably priced 80 Plus Gold and Cybenetics ETA Gold certified ATX 3.0 PSU with PCIe 5.0 graphics card support and a 10-year warranty to back you up.

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