Page 2 - Physical Look - Outside
While we already have a Toughpower Grand 750W here at APH Networks Calgary, it was reviewed by my colleague Preston, therefore I did not have a detailed look at the power supply until this 1200W version I am writing about today. But of all power supplies I have used in the past, in my opinion, the Thermaltake Toughpower Grand series is probably one of the most unique looking of them all. While competitors like NZXT has done a brilliant job in setting their HALE90 750W apart from the competition, thanks to its outstanding white paint job, Thermaltake took a very different approach at this. What they have come up with is a tangible design that is like no other. Yes, it may still have a matte black finish, but this is where similarities with other power supplies end. Carrying a sleek red stripe around the entire circumference of its exterior, rounded corners at all four corners, and an integrated honeycomb grille for ventilation, these are the elements that make the Toughpower Grand series unique in looks. But the honeycomb mesh is not only there for aesthetics. It is actually designed for minimal air resistance, while providing adequate protection. A single 140mm fan generates airflow by drawing air from the bottom of the power supply over its internal components to keep the temperatures in check. Exhaust heat is allowed to leave at the back of the power supply through the large mesh opening.
Specified 18cm in length, the Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W is one of the longest power supplies I have used. The extra length is needed to accommodate its modular connector board at the back, as well as a plethora of internal components to obtain maximum performance. After all, this is a 1200W PSU -- any smaller, and we would be worried. We will take a look inside the PSU on the next page. For most ATX or eATX chassis, the additional centimeters over a 'short' 14cm power supply like the FSP AURUM Gold series should not be much of a problem. However, if you have a mATX case that takes standard power supplies, be sure to measure out everything accordingly, so there will be no surprises during installation. Meanwhile, a staggering total of nine screws on the sides and bottom of the Toughpower Grand 1200W hold its casing together; where one side has a warranty seal on -- so you can't open the power supply without voiding the warranty. We would also like to point out the red strip will need to be cut at the panel gaps if you want to disassemble the power supply. The fan grille is also permanently affixed to the body of the Toughpower Grand, so any occasion requiring access to the interior -- such as cleaning the fan -- will put your long seven year coverage in jeopardy.
Starting from the back part of the power supply, we have the same familiar honeycomb mesh design like most PSUs with bottom mounted fans; and the standard on/off switch located below the male connector for power input on the right (I took the photo above opposite of its correct orientation). The low resistance honeycomb mesh design is implemented to maximize airflow and minimize air resistance. This is done as heat needs to leave the power supply as easily and efficiently as possible, because the Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W incorporates only one 140mm fan at the bottom, with no auxiliary fans. A silver panel in the middle glows red with Thermaltake's logo during use. I don't think many people look at the back of their computer very often, but it is pretty cool looking when you do, haha. As with most new power supplies, the Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W has an automatic full range (100V-240V) AC line voltage selection, so the user does not have to worry about manually selecting input voltage.
Like many modular power supplies in the market today, the Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W is not a 100% modular power supply. This means most cables are detachable from the main unit, but cables such as the ATX 24-pin, ATX/EPS 4+4-pin, and EPS 8-pin are permanently fixed. I personally do not have a problem with this, because they have practically an 100% chance of being connected at all times, other than the redundant ATX/EPS connector. The advantage is you will suffer from lower electrical loss at the contacts, but the disadvantage is you will need to deal with a little inconvenience during your initial build. In the end, this comes down to personal preference, and I personally like it this way more.
The rear cable connection panel is done nicely. Similar connectors are colored coded and grouped together; labeled in white colored text for the convenience of the end user. Next to the fixed cable outputs is a 2x3 matrix of PCIe sockets in red. Under that, we have an array of four Molex/SATA compatible connectors in black. The sockets are physically incompatible with each other, so you will not need to worry about connecting cables to the wrong socket. This generous array of available connectors in conjunction with the provided cables should be more than sufficient for casual users and power enthusiasts alike.
The external build quality of Thermaltake's Toughpower Grand 1200W power supply is also excellent -- a good indication the company is serious about the product they are selling. The company has always done a great job with their Toughpower series PSUs in this regard, and this one is no exception. We will take it apart in just a moment. Fit is done well with minimal panel gaps, and all edges are nicely finished off. As aforementioned, we will crack open the power supply to see what's inside in the following section, and find out more about its OEM.
The voltage specification label at the top of the Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W. There are two main virtual rails. Up to 25A can be delivered via the +3.3V rail for a total of 82.5W; while 25A on the +5V rail brings the output to 125W in this area. The total combined output for the +3.3V and +5V rail is 180W. In other words, your power allocation combination must fall within the limits of the listed specifications. Meanwhile, the +12V rail is further separated into two virtual rails, with the first one delivering up to 40A (480W), and the second rail providing a jaw dropping 85A (1020W). With the amount of power allocated to the second rail, operating overhead should not be an issue at all. The two +12V rails together provide up to 1200W, or up to 100% of the power supply's maximum specified output. Overall, the combined power output for the whole Toughpower Grand is... well, 1200W haha. Again, your power distribution in your system must fall within the limits provided -- it must not exceed 82.5W on the +3.3V rail, 125W on the +5V rail and 180W combined for both, 1200W on the +12V rails, and 1200W combined between the +12V and +3.3/+5V rails. It does sound a bit confusing to understand how this works at first, but generally speaking this configuration allows very flexible power demands and should be sufficient to accommodate most users. On the other hand, I have seen lower wattage PSUs with more power on the +5V rail, so I would actually expect a little more in this area for a 1200W power supply unit.
The Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W is 80 Plus Gold certified, which means that it is certified to be at least 87%, 90%, 87% efficient at 20%, 50%, and 100% load, respectively. The only higher certification available is 80 Plus Platinum, but availability of such a product is practically non-existent at press time.
A total of 10 modular cables are included out of the box. They are all bundled together and fully sleeved, as one would expect from a power supply of this caliber. All modular cables are 18 AWG, while the hardwired cables are thicker 16 AWG units. All cables are quite easy to bend and work with, and are about 50cm long. One Molex to floppy 4-pin cable is included.
The following modular cables are included:
- 4x PCIe 6+2 pin, 1 connector each, ~50cm
- 2x PCIe 6+2 pin, 2 connectors each, ~50cm to first connector, ~15cm spacing thereafter
- 2x SATA, 4 connectors each, ~50cm to first connector, ~15cm spacing thereafter
- 2x Molex, 4 connectors each, ~50cm to first connector, ~15cm spacing thereafter
These are just quick rough measurements, but should be reasonably accurate measured from end to end. Most users should have no problems with Thermaltake's Toughpower Grand 1200W, even if your case has a bottom power supply mount.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Minor Tests and Conclusion