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 have to be taken into consideration -- of which certain criteria consists 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're not going to try to BS you 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 23W as measured by our wall meter unit -- indicating that the basic load-free power consumption of the power supply is among the highest we have seen. Comparable power supplies in the wattage range such as the Cooler Master Silent Pro M 1000W and Silent Pro Gold 1000W used 8W and 12W, respectively. However, this is probably due to the way Thermaltake wanted the power supply to be made rather than an OEM issue, as the CWT manufactured Toughpower Grand 750W pulled 25W from the grid under identical load conditions. Independent reviews from websites with professional load testing equipment showed the Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W delivered commendable efficiency, voltage regulation, and ripple across the board -- right up to its rated wattage. This includes its 80 Plus Gold certification.
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 2.5%. The PG (Power Good) delay seems to be well within its rated range and general power supply standard of 350ms.
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/S. The ideal value is 1.00, and this is where active PFC comes in. A nominal load of 220W (~18%) on the Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W had the power factor between 0.96 and 0.97. As the load increases, the PF should approach 0.99.
The Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W is a relatively quiet power supply; especially for a high power kilowatt-plus unit. Under regular loads, the Toughpower Grand is nearly inaudible. The Yen Sun Tech YD121425HB is a smooth running fan with minimal motor noise, and good placement of internal components contributes to minimum turbulence noise. While this is very subjective, I am quite a picky person on noise, and the loudest component in my entire system is my Western Digital Caviar Blue hard disk. On a scale from 0-10 where 0 is silent and 10 is the loudest, I would rate the Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W to be at 4.0/10 acoustically under nominal loads. When you punch it to over 50-60% of its maximum capacity, the fan will begin to speed up like all products in this category, resulting in some increased noise. Because of its simple internal design in conjunction with the smooth running fan motor, this is not too much of an issue, since if your system is under load, other fans in your system will need to spin up to take care of the heat anyway. Remember this: 50% load on this Toughpower Grand is 600W, and there is a lot of heat to go with it. Overall, in terms of noise, the Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W is slightly louder than expected.
Thermaltake provided this product to APH Networks to facilitate this report.
The Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W carries over the aesthetic appeal as the rest of the rest of the Toughpower Grand PSU line. However, while our affiliates with professional load testing equipment has demonstrated generally commendable performance with this power supply, the Sirfa Electronic based 1200W's internal build quality leaves quite a bit to be desired -- especially when compared to the excellent CWT based lower power units.
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1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Minor Tests and Conclusion