Thermaltake Toughpower QFan 650W Reviewpaulktreg - October 16, 2008
Category: Power Supplies
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Do you need a new power supply and find yourself confused by the hundreds of models available out there? Why not think green and go for a high efficiency unit with active power factor correction? I think we are all familiar with efficiency (the ratio of DC Power Out/AC Power In) but how many of you are familiar with power factor? Not that many I'll wager.
Power factor is the ratio of real power (W) over apparent power (VA) and is usually expressed as a number between 0 and 1. Without getting too involved in AC theory, it all boils down to the relationship of the AC voltage and current of the supply to, for example, a computer power supply. If the power supply presented a purely resistive load to the AC supply then the power factor would be 1.0. Reactive loads like capacitors, inductors and transformers, the main ingredients of the switch mode power supply, can feed energy back into the AC mains supply and/or alter the current waveform shape and phase. This can, if no steps are taken to improve the situation, lead to very poor power factors of around 0.7. What does this mean for the average computer user? To be honest very little. Domestic electricity users are not usually penalised for low power factors and charged only for watts of real power and not apparent power useage. A typical value taken from a recently tested power supply of poor quality gave a real power consumption of 629W and apparent power of 879VA with a power factor of only 0.71. Quite a considerable difference in power consumption, depending on which value you take, for which only heavy and industrial users of electricity are surcharged should their power factor fall below a set level. The utility companies do after all have to generate and distribute their electricity based on the apparent and not real power consumption. The almost universal use of active power factor correction by computer power supply manufacturers is not so much to save you money but help conserve power and ever dwindling resources. Large corporations with hundreds, perhaps thousands of personal computers will I imagine specify the use of approved power supplies because they will have a significant influence on their electricity bills.
This time around we are going to take a look at the Toughpower QFan 650W from Thermaltake. Thermaltake, founded in 1999, produces a wide range of high quality accessories for the PC enthuiasts, cases, power supplies, coolers/fans, liquid cooling, etc. More recently Thermaltake has ventured into the industrial PC/server sector with rack mounts, server power supplies and cooling solutions.
"Thermaltake, the market’s most trusted brand name also produces the market’s most reliable Toughpower series power supply. Built with the latest technological advances in circuitry design with industrial-grade components, Toughpower offers industry’s leading 87%+ efficiency, power protection and performance that today’s cutting-edge PC components demand. Recognized for its highest level of performance, Toughpower power supply carries either Nvidia SLI Ready or AMD/ATI CrossFire certification that fully supports Nvidia 2-way and 3-way SLI configuration as well as AMD/ATI 2-way, 3-way and 4-way CrossFire configuration."
The packaging for the Thermaltake Toughpower QFan 650W uses a basic white theme with power supply photograph on the fold up lid and a large Thermaltake logo on the base. The bottom left hand corner of the lid tells us that this power supply was a WCG (World Cyber Games) 2007 Official Power Supply. It's obvious then that this power supply has been on the market for some time now and I can only surmise, like the Corsair HX520W, that it has been submitted to OCC for testing because it is still current, quite popular and selling well.
One side of the box contains photographs of the special design non-frame cooling fan, external views of the power supply cooling fan, front and rear power supply views and cabling. Hard-wired and all modular cables are shown along with types and quantities of connectors included. A comprehensive features list is also included along with logos of the agencies for which the power supply is certified. The opposite side to this one contains no useful information at all apart from another WCG sticker and patent sticker, perhaps better use could of been made of this space? Both end panels give us a Toughpower Cable Management 650W with Q Fan logo.
On opening up the box everything is neatly packed in and the power supply is well protected in a foam envelope. The user manual sits on top along with a small Key 3 Spirit leaflet. What is Key 3 Spirit? Well the leaflet goes on to inform you that it is a new concept developed by Thermaltake that directly communicates to consumers and aims at emphasizing the "Performance", "Silent Operation" and "Thermal Conscious" design of Thermaltake products. It goes on to say that if a product carries the Key 3 Spirit label it is an assurance that the quality, performance and reliability of the components meets the highest standard. Remove the top foam cover and the power supply is wrapped in bubble wrap to further protect the unit.
The power supply with the hard-wired cables neatly bound and a photograph of all the included accessories. The power cord is tucked away in its own little black cardboard box and all modular cables are contained in a black canvas bag with velcro fastened lid. There is also a sealed clear plastic bag containing the PCI-E 8-pin to PCI-E 6-pin adapter cable, four power supply mounting screws and a soft silicon rubber gasket. I haven't come across this type of gasket before and after a bit of research it is an anti-vibration mount for the power supply.
The Thermaltake Toughpower QFan 650W is very well packaged and contains everything you are likely to need.