Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W Power Supply Review

paulktreg - 2011-05-10 14:01:42 in Power Supplies
Category: Power Supplies
Reviewed by: paulktreg   
Reviewed on: September 7, 2011
Price: $279.00

Introduction:

Thermaltake, established in 1999 and still a relatively new company, offer a comprehensive line of products for the computer enthusiast. We all know that heat can be a killer and the Thermaltake Key 3 Spirit initiative seeks to address the problem and take the case, power supply and cooling as a system and  integrate them all together to keep temperatures under control. Judging by their popularity on the forums and some excellent reviews there's no doubt that Thermaltake produce some excellent cases, cooling fans and processor coolers, but what about their power supplies?

Thermaltake offer an extensive range of power supplies that includes the Toughpower, TR2, Litepower and Evo_Blue series along with a range of universal laptop power supplies. Thermaltakes flagship power supply range is probably the Toughpower Grand series with 650, 750, 850, 1050 and 1200 watt variants. The Toughpower Grand series utilize advanced circuitry, high efficiency, clean and reliable power delivery and a modular design making them, according to Thermaltake, the toughest power supply on the block. Let's have a look at the Toughpower Grand 1200W and see if it lives up to the hype.

Closer Look:

Thermaltake always package their units very well and the Toughpower Grand 1200W follows in that tradition. The top of the box shows a photograph of the power supply along with model number and a little information on some of its major features that includes a generous 7 year warranty, 80 Plus Gold standard efficiency along with Nvidia SLI Ready and ATI Crossfire X certification.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It doesn't finish there because the top face of the box lifts like the cover of a book to reveal more information about the power supply and its major features.

 

 

The bottom of the box provides information on the types and quantities of connectors, a comprehensive specification table, more features and conformance/safety marks.

 

The front and rear faces of the box show the same Thermaltake "Cool All Your Life" logos.

 

The side panels list some of the major features in several different languages.

 

 

Not satisfied with one box Thermaltake put the power supply in a box in a box. This box is a little plainer with just the Thermaltake logo shown on the lid.

 

Lift the lid and the user manual sits on top of the black foam enclosed power supply with the modular cable bag tucked neatly down the side. Remove the foam lid and the power supply is contained in a black felt draw-string bag.

 

 

Bagged power supply along with the full box contents. The Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W power supply comes with a comprehensive set of accessories that includes four black plastic cable clamps, cable straps, anti-vibration mounts and power supply mounting screws. The modular cable bag isn't big enough to hold all the cables so there's a further plastic bag full of cables.

 

 

The Thermaltake packaging is once again excellent with a great set of power supply accessories. Let's move on and have closer look and see how well it performs.

Closer Look:

The quality of the matt black textured paint job on the Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W power supply is excellent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rear face of the power supply utilizes the commonly used hexagonal hole grill along with the usual IEC mains input connector and mains on/off switch. The panel to the right of the mains on/off switch lights up red to reveal the word "Thermaltake" when the power supply is operational. The front face of the power supply showing the modular cable connectors, red for the PCI-E graphics card cables and black for peripherals. What is nice to see here is dedicated 8 pin connectors for 8 pin PCI-E cables so no links, 8 pins for 8 wires. The captive cable set, sleeved all the way into the power supply, leaves the power supply via a plastic insert so no chance of cable damage from sharp metal edges.

 

 

Not much to see on the side panels apart the red stripe that runs around power supply enclosure; this will be the view from most cases that allow the power supply to be seen through a window.

 

The hexagonal holed fan grill, with a Thermaltake badge at its center, is part of the enclosure body which eliminates the need for a separate wire grill. The base of unit carries a comprehensive specification label. There's something strange about the specification table here; two 12V rails, one rated at 45A and the other at 85A. This only makes sense if there are two current limited 12V rails with 12V1 supplying the 3V3 and 5V0 DC to DC convertors, hence the reduced capacity to 45A, the other 85A reserved for a stronger +12V2 rail, but it's difficult to find out without ripping the power supply apart!

 

 

The captive cable set consists of a 20/24 motherboard connector, a 8 pin EPS12V connector and a 4+4 pin ATX12V/EPS12V connector which is fine but the need for two 8 pin connectors is rare so would it perhaps of made more sense to make the 8 pin EPS12V connector modular? The modular cable set is extensive and on the whole well put together apart from the 4 pin peripheral to 4 pin floppy disk adapter cable which is unsleeved but to be honest it's rarely needed. Four of the six PCI-E cables are single 8 pin to 8 pin cables which is a nice touch that utilizes all 8 wires, doesn't daisy chain another connector or use links for the extra ground connections that's often seen on 6 wire cables that are used for 8 pin PCI-E connectors. Thermaltake have however included two PCI-E cables with a daisy chained 8 pin connector in order to make available the specified eight 6+2 pin PCI-E connectors from the six PCI-E sockets available on the power supply.

 

 

The cooling fan of choice this time around is a Thermaltake TT-1425 which is manufactured by Yen Sun Tech under their model number YD121425HB with a 12VDC rating at 0.54A. This 140mm fan with the notches in the blade end is "flower" shaped and designed to keep noise to a minimum. The printed circuit board is well laid out and uses quality 105°C electrolytic capacitors by Nippon Chemicon.

 

 

The Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W packaging is once again of high quality and includes an excellent set of accessories. The build quality is on a par with other power supplies in its class, but how will it perform? Let's move on and see.

Specification:

Review Sample: Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W Power Supply, Part Number TPG-1200M.

 

Ratings Table:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W Specification Table (Model No. TPG-1200M)
AC Input
100-240VAC     50-60Hz
DC Output
3V3
5V0
12V1
12V2
-12V
5VSB
Maximum Load
25A
25A
40A
85A
0.8A
6A
Max Wattage
180W
1200W
9.6W
30W

 

 

System Protection:

No specific figures given for system protection. See feature list for system protection details.

 

Safety & Agency Approvals:

EMI Regulatory: CE
Safety Standards: GOST-R, CUL/UL, TUV, CB & CE.

 

Power Supply Physical Characteristics:

 

Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W Power Supply Physical Characteristics
Weight
Length
Width
Height
5.7lbs/2.6kg
7.1in/180mm
5.9in/150mm
3.4in/86mm

 

 

Power Supply Connectors:

 

Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W Connectors
20+4 Pin Motherboard
Captive
1
EPS12V 8 Pin
Captive
1
ATX12V 4+4 Pin
Captive
1
PCI-E 6+2 Pin
Modular
8
SATA Power
Modular
12
Peripheral 4 Pin
Modular
8
Peripheral 4 Pin to FDD
Adapter
1

 

 

Power Supply Cable Lengths:

 

Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W Cable Lengths
Captive
PSU > 24" > 24 Pin Motherboard
1
Captive
PSU > 24" > 8 Pin EPS12V
1
Captive
PSU > 24" > 4+4 Pin ATX12V
1
Modular
PSU > 24" > PCI-E 6+2 Pin
4
Modular
PSU > 24" > PCI-E 6+2 Pin > 6" > PCI-E 6+2 Pin
2
Modular
PSU > 22" > SATA > 6" > SATA > 6" > SATA > 6" > SATA
3
Modular
PSU > 22" > Peripheral > 6" > Peripheral > 6" > Peripheral > 6" > Peripheral
2
Adapter
Peripheral > 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W (TPG-1200M) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 115VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
0
3.38V
±5%
+2.4%
+5V
0
4.99V
±5%
-0.2%
+12V1
0
12.26V
±5%
+2.2%
+12V2
0
12.26V
±5%
+2.2%
-12V
0
12.12V
±10%
+1.0%
+5VSB
0
5.16V
±5%
+3.2%
Total PSU DC Loading = 0W (0% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W (TPG-1200M) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 114VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
3.16A
3.35V
±5%
+1.5%
+5V
4.69A
4.97V
±5%
-0.6%
+12V1
5.07A
12.19V
±5%
+1.6%
+12V2
10.62A
12.21V
±5%
+1.7%
-12V
0.35A
11.67V
±10%
-2.7%
+5VSB
2.18A
5.01V
±5%
+0.2%
Total PSU DC Loading = 240W (20% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W (TPG-1200M) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 111VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
8.19A
3.29V
±5%
-0.3%
+5V
9.65A
4.91V
±5%
-1.8%
+12V1
16.07A
12.13V
±5%
+1.1%
+12V2
27.46A
12.13V
±5%
+1.1%
-12V
0.36A
11.85V
±10%
-1.2%
+5VSB
2.17A
4.93V
±5%
-1.4%
Total PSU DC Loading = 617W (51% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W (TPG-1200M) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 108VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
13.28A
3.20
±5%
-3.0%
+5V
14.82A
4.82
±5%
-3.6%
+12V1
36.35A
12.05
±5%
+0.4%
+12V2
53.15A
12.05
±5%
+0.4%
-12V
0.36A
12.07
±10%
+0.6%
+5VSB
2.14A
4.88
±5%
-2.4%
Total PSU DC Loading = 1207W (101% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Mains Input Voltage 230VAC

 

 

Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W (TPG-1200M) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 244VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
0
3.38
±5%
+2.4%
+5V
0
4.99
±5%
-0.2%
+12V1
0
12.26
±5%
+2.2%
+12V2
0
12.26
±5%
+2.2%
-12V
0
12.12
±10%
+1.0%
+5VSB
0
5.16
±5%
+3.2%
Total PSU DC Loading = 0W (0% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W (TPG-1200M) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 244VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
3.15A
3.31V
±5%
+0.3%
+5V
4.71A
4.92V
±5%
-1.6%
+12V1
5.10A
12.21V
±5%
+1.7%
+12V2
10.63A
12.19V
±5%
+1.6%
-12V
0.35A
11.68V
±10%
-2.6%
+5VSB
2.18A
5.00V
±5%
0
Total PSU DC Loading = 240W (20% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W (TPG-1200M) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 241VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
8.22A
3.28V
±5%
-0.6%
+5V
9.53A
4.90V
±5%
-2.0%
+12V1
15.91A
12.13V
±5%
+1.1%
+12V2
27.20A
12.13V
±5%
+1.1%
-12V
0.36A
11.76V
±10%
-2.0%
+5VSB
2.17A
4.94V
±5%
-1.2%
Total PSU DC Loading = 611W (51% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W (TPG-1200M) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 241VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
12.92A
3.23V
±5%
-2.1%
+5V
14.51A
4.83V
±5%
-3.4%
+12V1
37.16A
12.05V
±5%
+0.4%
+12V2
54.01A
12.05V
±5%
+0.4%
-12V
0.36A
12.09V
±10%
+0.7%
+5VSB
2.14A
4.89V
±5%
-2.2%
Total PSU DC Loading = 1225W (102% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

The Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W power supply produced a satisfactory set of results in this section with the regulation remaining well within the limits set down by the ATX12V V2.2 specification at all times so let's move on.

Testing (Continued):

Efficiency and Power Factor:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W (TPG-1200M) Efficiency & Power Factor
Supply = 110VAC/50Hz
DC Load (W)
0
240
617
1207
DC Load As A Percent Of Max (%)
N/A
20
51
101
Efficiency (%)
N/A
87
88.5
83
Power Factor (PF)
0.71
0.96
0.98
0.99

 

The levels required for 80 Plus Gold certification are 87%, 90% and 87% efficiency at 20%, 50% and 100% loading but as usual the measured levels are a little lower following the OCC power supply testing methodology apart from the dip to 83% at 100% loading which is a little unusual. Power factor levels at all times hit the mark, so apart from the dip in efficiency at 100%, no major problems.

 

 

 

Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W (TPG-1200M) Efficiency & Power Factor
Supply = 230VAC/50Hz
DC Load (W)
0
240
611
1225
DC Load As A Percent Of Max (%)
N/A
20
51
102
Efficiency (%)
N/A
87.5
89
87
Power Factor (PF)
0.35
0.90
0.93
0.96

 

Slightly higher efficiency, lower but satisfactory power factors levels and a much improved full load efficiency at 230VAC.

 

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 = 5mv/div, Timebase = 5uS/div

 

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

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 5mv/div, Timebase = 5uS/div

 

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

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 5mv/div, Timebase = 5uS/div

 

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

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 10mv/div, Timebase = 5uS/div

 

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

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 5mv/div, Timebase = 5uS/div

 

Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W (TPG-1200M) AC Ripple/Noise
Supply = 230VAC/50Hz DC Loading = 1225W
DC Rail
+3V3
+5V0
+12V
-12V0
+5VSB
ATX12 Max (mV p-p)
50
50
120
120
50
Ripple (mV p-p)
41
47
34
75
38
Pass/Fail
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass

 

The Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W power supply produced what can only be described as an adequate set of results in this section. The AC ripple/noise levels on all the rails remained within the limits set down by the ATX12V V2.2 specification, but they are a little on the high side when compared with similar power supplies in this class.

Testing(Continued):

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W (TPG-1200M) 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
758/754
240/240
20.7/22.1
23.7/23.9
3.0/1.8
739/744
617/611
21.8/23.0
30.2/29.0
8.4/6.0
995/920
1207/1225
20.0/21.0
35.8/36.7
15.8/15.7
1489/1483

 

Temperatures along with fan noise levels remained low at all times no doubt helped by high efficiency, relatively low fan speeds and the special "flower" shaped design of the cooling fan blades. The Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W power supply uses FanDelayCool technology and in the case of the review sample the cooling fan ran for almost two minutes after power supply shutdown to improve cooling.

It was briefly mentioned earlier that there is a panel on the rear of the power supply that lights up when the power supply is running. Well here it is.

Conclusion:

 

Price Per the Watt:

Power Supply Thermaltake Toughpower Grand at $279.00 = $0.23/Watt (08-2011)

 

The Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W is a well made unit with good packaging, an excellent set of accessories that includes plenty of well made modular cables and good looks, but how does it perform?

The Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W performance wasn't remarkable - just satisfactory. It produced a decent set of results that passed the ATX12V V2.2 specification, but it wasn't remarkable in any way. DC quality and efficiency are satisfactory with the exception of a dip in efficiency at full load on 110VAC following the OCC power supply testing methodology.

I couldn't recommend this power supply on a cost/performance basis alone, when you can have a Corsair AX1200 for a very similar price. It'll certainly get the job done and is capable of powering any high-end gaming rig with two or even three high-end graphics cards. and on that basis it's certainly deserves an OCC Bronze award - but it's hard to justify $279.00 for this level of performance. For that sort of money you need to be able to award it a Gold, but unfortunately it doesn't quite get there!

 

Pros:

 

Cons: