Topower 1000W Gold Power Supply Review

paulktreg - 2011-05-10 13:21:31 in Power Supplies
Category: Power Supplies
Reviewed by: paulktreg   
Reviewed on: July 25, 2011
Price: $171.99

Introduction:

Topower Computer Industrial Co. Ltd., founded in 1986 in Taiwan, originally started as a manufacturer of switched mode power supplies. Their product line has now expanded to include computer power supplies, speakers, 19" racking systems, chassis, server cases, CD/DVD duplicators, coolers and accessories. Topower products are manufactured in China with offices located in Europe, Canada and the USA to support their international sales growth.

Topower products claim to use the latest technology in power supplies as it becomes available to combat the growing concern of energy efficiency and system stability. The PC enthusiast probably wants stability above efficiency but both are available from today's high end power supplies. This time around OCC are taking a look at a Topower power supply from their Nano series which includes a range of 6 units with power ratings from 500W to 1000W.

The Topower 1000W power supply is 80 Plus Gold certified, comes with a fully captive cable set, four 12V rails and active power factor correction. The connector set includes two 4+4 pin ATX12V/EPS12V, twelve SATA and six 6+2 pin PCI-E connectors to cater for most combinations of motherboards and graphics cards. Let's have a closer look.

Closer Look:

The top cover of the box shows a photograph of the power supply along with SLI ready, Crossfire ready, RoHS and 80 Plus Gold logos with a border at the bottom that shows the Topower web site address, a 1000W Gold sticker and the multi-coloured "topower - Dare to be different" trademark. A comprehensive feature list along with small diagrams to illustrate the major ones, a couple of graphs outlining the advantages of noise and lifespan of a Nanotek fan and conformance marks complete the picture on the bottom face.
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

The front and rear faces of the box provide information on the number and type of connectors with photographs and six specification tables suggesting the packaging is used for several different models.

 

 

The previous photographs show the four faces of what is basically an open ended sleeve that just slides off to reveal a plain gloss black box that contains the power supply.

 

Lift the lid and the user manual sits on top of a bubble wrapped power supply. The fully captive cable set along with a power cord are neatly tucked down the side of the power supply.

 

The bubble wrapped power supply along with a very basic set of accessories.

 

 

The Topower 1000W power supply comes with a basic set of accessories and minimal packaging. Let's move on, have a closer look and then see how well it performs.

Closer Look:

The Topower 1000W power supply with its slightly textured satin black finish that now seems to be the norm on most power supplies at the moment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A large diamond shaped exhaust grill on the rear along with an active PFC label, IEC mains input connector and mains on/off switch. The cable set is sleeved all the way into the power supply and a plastic grommet installed into the cable exit port to protect the cables from damaging sharp edges.

 

 

A comprehensive specification table on one side panel.

 

 

The bottom face of the Topower 1000W is unadorned and on the top is a black wire grill covered cooling fan.

 

 

The captive cable set on the Topower 1000W is on the large side and unless there's plenty of room inside the enclosure the unused cables could prove difficult to keep tidy. The black braiding on the cable set is well-done with a cable tie and heat shrink used to secure it at the connector end.

 

The cooling fan of choice here is a 120mm BTek A1225L12S rated at 12V and 0.3A with a nano technology bearing.

 

The printed circuit board is well laid out and appears well made but it looks familiar, it's the same board used in the Joule 800W from Mushkin. The electrolytic capacitors are manufactured by Teapo, the two large primary capacitors rated at 85°C and on secondary a more welcome 105°C. A quick check of UL number reveals Topower to have manufactured this power supply, so no rebranding here.

 

The Topower 1000W power supply's build quality is on a par with other power supplies I've looked at, though the packaging is minimal and the accessories very basic but how does it perform? Let's have a look at the technical bits and then find out.

Specification:

 

Review Sample: Topower 1000W Power Supply, Part Number TOP-1000WG.

 

Ratings Table:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topower 1000W (TOP-1000WG) Power Supply Specification Table
AC Input
115 - 240V     15-10A     50-60Hz
DC Output
+3.3V
+5.0V
+12V1
+12V2
+12V3
+12V4
-12V
+5VSB
Maximum Load
30A
30A
19A
19A
19A
19A
1A
3A
Maximum Combined
Wattage
150W
912W(76A)
12W
15W
975W
25W
1000W

 

System Protection:

Over current (OCP), over voltage (OVP), under voltage (UVP), short circuit (SCP), over power (OPP) and under load (ULP) protection.

 

Safety & Agency Approvals:

TUV, UL, CE, CB & FCC.

 

Power Supply Physical Characteristics:

 

Topower 1000W (TOP-1000WG) Power Supply Physical Characteristics
Weight
Length
Width
Height
6.0lbs/2.7kg
6.3in/160mm
5.9in/150mm
3.4in/86mm

 

Power Supply Connectors:

 

Topower 1000W (TOP-1000WG) Power Supply Connectors
Connector Type
Qty
Motherboard 20/24-pin
1
EPS12V 8-pin
1
EPS12V/ATX12V 4+4-pin
1
PCI-E 6+2-pin
6
SATA Power 15-pin
12
Peripheral 4-pin
4
FDD 4-pin
1

 

Power Supply Cable Lengths:

 

Topower 1000W (TOP-1000WG) Power Supply Cable Set
Cable Type
Cable Length/Connector Spacing’s
Qty
Captive
PSU > 22" > Motherboard 20/24-pin
1
Captive
PSU > 22" > EPS12V 8-pin
1
Captive
PSU > 22" > EPS12V/ATX12V 4+4-pin
1
Captive
PSU > 22" > PCI-E 6+2-pin > 6" > PCI-E 6+2-pin
3
Captive
PSU > 22" > SATA > 6" > SATA > 6" > SATA > 6" > SATA
3
Captive
PSU > 22" > Periph. > 6" > Periph. > 6" > Periph. > 6" > Periph. > 6" > FDD
1

 

Features:

Exactly as printed on the box.

Testing:

For more information on how we test our power supplies, please browse our testing methodology.

 

Short Circuit Protection:

I short circuited the 3V3, 5V0 and the 12V rail(s) in turn. The power supply did shut down, and once the short was removed and the unit switched off for at least one second, resumed normal operation. Although listed here at the beginning of the testing section, I tend to leave this test until the very end, in case it doesn't quite go to plan.

 

DC Output Voltage Load Regulation:

 

Mains Input Voltage 110VAC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topower 1000W (TOP-1000WG) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 117VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
0
3.35V
±5%
+1.5%
+5V
0
5.05V
±5%
+1.0%
+12V
0
12.38V
±5%
+3.2%
-12V
0
12.28V
±10%
+2.3%
+5VSB
0
5.20V
±5%
+4.0%
Total PSU DC Loading = 0W (0% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Topower 1000W (TOP-1000WG) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 117VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
3.17A
3.31V
±5%
+0.3%
+5V
4.78A
5.01V
±5%
+0.2%
+12V
10.40A
12.34V
±5%
+2.8%
-12V
0.35A
12.14V
±10%
+1.2%
+5VSB
2.06A
4.88V
±5%
-2.4%
Total PSU DC Loading = 177W (18% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Topower 1000W (TOP-1000WG) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 114VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
3.11A
3.31V
±5%
+0.3%
+5V
9.63A
5.01V
±5%
+0.2%
+12V
32.73A
12.33V
±5%
+2.7%
-12V
0.35A
12.20V
±10%
+1.7%
+5VSB
2.05A
4.90V
±5%
-2.0%
Total PSU DC Loading = 476W (47.5% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Topower 1000W (TOP-1000WG) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 110VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
12.80A
3.21V
±5%
-2.7%
+5V
14.26A
4.86V
±5%
-2.8%
+12V
64.00A
12.22V
±5%
+1.8%
-12V
0.35A
12.39V
±10%
+3.2%
+5VSB
2.02A
4.80V
±5%
-4.0%
Total PSU DC Loading = 903W (90% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Mains Input Voltage 230VAC

 

 

Topower 1000W (TOP-1000WG) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 246VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
0
3.34V
±5%
+1.2%
+5V
0
5.04V
±5%
+0.8%
+12V
0
12.38V
±5%
+3.2%
-12V
0
12.29V
±10%
+2.4%
+5VSB
0
5.20V
±5%
+4.0%
Total PSU DC Loading = 0W (0% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Topower 1000W (TOP-1000WG) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 244VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
3.17A
3.31V
±5%
+0.3%
+5V
4.71A
5.01V
±5%
+0.2%
+12V
10.43A
12.35V
±5%
+2.9%
-12V
0.35A
12.14V
±10%
+1.2%
+5VSB
2.06A
4.88V
±5%
-2.4%
Total PSU DC Loading = 177W (18% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Topower 1000W (TOP-1000WG) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 243VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
3.14A
3.32V
±5%
+0.6%
+5V
9.62A
5.01V
±5%
+0.2%
+12V
32.55A
12.34V
±5%
+2.8%
-12V
0.35A
12.21V
±10%
+1.7%
+5VSB
2.05A
4.90V
±5%
-2.0%
Total PSU DC Loading =  474W (47% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Topower 1000W (TOP-1000WG) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 241VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
12.83A
3.21V
±5%
-2.7%
+5V
14.44A
4.85V
±5%
-3.0%
+12V
64.68A
12.22V
±5%
+1.8%
-12V
0.36A
12.41V
±10%
+3.4%
+5VSB
2.02A
4.82V
±5%
-3.6%
Total PSU DC Loading =  915W (91% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

The voltage regulation of the Topower 1000W power supply isn't quite as tight as some high end units tested by OCC but it remained inside the limits set down by the ATX12V V2.2 specification at all times. No problems here, so let's move on.

Testing:

Efficiency and Power Factor:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topower 1000W (TOP-1000WG) Efficiency & Power Factor
Supply = 110VAC/50Hz
DC Load (W)
0
177
476
903
DC Load As A Percent Of Max (%)
N/A
18
47.5
90
Efficiency (%)
N/A
82
86
82
Power Factor (PF)
0.70
0.99
0.99
0.99

 

For a power supply claiming 80 Plus Gold certification the efficiency of the Topower 1000W power supply is a little on the low side with a 4~5% shortfall on the required 87%, 90% and 87% at 20%, 50% and 100% loading. It's true the loading levels aren't spot on but other power supplies in this class tend to produce slightly better efficiency levels following the OCC power supply testing methodology. Power factor correction technology is pretty good at its job these days and once again maintaining levels above 0.9 isn't a problem.

 

 

 

Topower 1000W (TOP-1000WG) Efficiency & Power Factor
Supply = 230VAC/50Hz
DC Load (W)
0
177
474
915
DC Load As A Percent Of Max (%)
N/A
18
47
91
Efficiency (%)
N/A
83
87
84
Power Factor (PF)
0.24
0.95
0.97
0.99

 

Slightly better efficiency results on 230VAC as is usually the case but they still fall well short of the required levels for 80 Plus Gold even with the higher AC supply. (The 80 Plus certificate for the Topower 1000W power supply is strictly speaking only valid at 115VAC supply). Power factor once again isn't a problem.

 

AC Ripple On DC Outputs:

 

I have consistently found the AC ripple levels on the DC rails to be more or less equal with an 110VAC or 230VAC mains supply. The results given below are for 230VAC only, but I will continue to check the levels at 110VAC during testing and publish them below if there are any significant differences.

 

AC ripple/noise on the +3V3 rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 20mv/div, Timebase = 20mS/div

 

AC ripple/noise on the +5V0 rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 20mv/div, Timebase = 20mS/div

 

AC ripple/noise on the +12V rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 20mv/div, Timebase = 20mS/div

 

AC ripple/noise on the -12V rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 20mv/div, Timebase = 20mS/div

 

AC ripple/noise on the +5VSB rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 20mv/div, Timebase = 20mS/div

 

Topower 1000W (TOP-1000WG) AC Ripple/Noise
Supply = 230VAC/50Hz DC Loading = 915W
DC Rail
+3V3
+5V0
+12V
-12V0
+5VSB
ATX12 Max (mV p-p)
50
50
120
120
50
Ripple (mV p-p)
23
52
67
126
43
Pass/Fail
Pass
Fail
Pass
Fail
Pass

The Topower 1000W power supply produced a disappointing set of results in this section. The AC ripple/noise levels are a little higher than other power supplies tested by OCC with borderline levels on the +5V and -12V rails and following the OCC power supply testing methodology, the Topower 1000W power supply doesn't quite maintain its AC ripple/noise levels within the limits set down by the ATX12V V2.2 specification.

Testing:

Temperature, Noise Levels and Fan Speeds:

I am not going to give a pass or fail in this section, as the ATX12V V2.2 does not really have any references on which to base a decision.

Temperatures are purely for information only, as there are too many variables involved when installed in a case, which, by the way, it wasn't. Ambient temperature, processor cooling efficiency and case cooling fans all play their part on the temperature of the air entering the power supply, and consequently the temperature of the air leaving it. No valid conclusions can be made from this test.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topower 1000W (TOP-1000WG) Temperature & Fan Speeds
Supply = 110VAC/230VAC
DC Loading(W)
Temp In (°C)
Temp Out (°C)
Δ Temp (°C)
Fan Speed (RPM)
0
N/A
N/A
N/A
995/994
177/177
22.8/22.5
25.9/25.8
3.1/3.3
991/997
476/474
21.8/22.9
28.0/28.2
6.2/5.3
1564/1633
903/915
22.4/23.1
32.3/32.3
9.9/9.2
1931/1923

 

The temperature differences across the Topower 1000W power supply are typical of many power supplies tested by OCC but what isn't typical are the fan speeds. There aren't any recently tested power supplies with a fan speed of 1500~1600 RPM at only half their rated DC loading which results in a little more fan noise than is usually the case from the Topower 1000W. The noise is typical at full load but you just get a little more noise a little sooner with the Topower 1000W, but once again it's hard to call because one person's noisy isn't necessarily the same for another.

Conclusion:

 

Price Per the Watt:

Power Supply Topower 1000W at $171.99 = $0.17/Watt (07/2011)

 

First impressions of the Topower 1000W power supply aren't good. The packaging is to say the least basic and it's not unreasonable to expect more than a single layer of bubble wrap between the power supply and the outside world. The accessories set consists of a power cord and user manual but no power supply mounting screws, at least not in the review sample. There are also minor inaccuracies in the information on the packaging that include a feature list stating the power supply is 82 Plus Bronze certified (should be 80 Plus Gold) and includes a SATA and PATA combo cable which isn't the case. These may be minor points but the technical specifications and features need to be correct but part of the problem could be a box used for other power supply products.

Whilst not the best power supply out there the Topower 1000W is far from the worst but its performance fell a little short of what is expected from high end enthusiast units. The DC voltage load regulation is good but when combined with borderline AC ripple/noise and poorer than expected efficiency it equates to a good but not great power supply. The AC ripple/noise levels were borderline and if measured under different circumstances, lower ambient temperature or slightly lower mains input voltage for example, it may have even scraped a pass but high-end power supplies are expected to be well under the limits set down by the ATX12V V2.2 specification and not borderline. Efficiency levels are far lower than expected and didn't reflect its claimed 80 Plus Gold status following the OCC power supply testing methodology, but because the testing protocol couldn't be exactly replicated it would be unfair to judge it too harshly.

The Topower 1000W power supply isn't a bad power supply, it just isn't up to the same standard as other high-end units tested by OCC. However, it's certainly far better than the vast majority of power supplies available to buy at the moment. The DC quality is satisfactory with efficiency that's still high but not as high as specified following the OCC power supply testing methodology. The power supply could, I'm sure, run a PC for many trouble free years, but it's not quite up there with the best.

Pros:

 

Cons: