Date: Thursday , May 31, 2018
When building a "new" PC one of the components that enthusiasts often reuse is their power supply. And why not? For the most part, the ATX12v/EPS standards over the years have not changed nearly as much as other facets of the market and, barring some issues with efficiency, and low power sleep states, most of the changes are not noticeable to the end user so long as they push the on button and the system powers up.
However, as people do often reuse power supplies through multiple builds over multiple years, we have often been asked the question, "What happens to a power supply after you have been using it for an extended period and how does it perform relative to when it was new?" To begin to look at that question we reevaluated the SilverStone Olympia 1000W back in March of 2015 after that unit had been in service for 7 years and then, most recently, we reevaluated the Cooler Master Real Power Pro 1000W after being in service for 10 years back in March of this year.
Today, we have the opportunity to do something similar once more but just similar as we will only be addressing the first half of that question; what happens to a power supply after you have been using it for an extended period. This opportunity today only looks at that portion because we do not actually have the original Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W we reviewed ~11 years ago with us today. Instead, what we have today are two test bench units that HardOCP acquired following the review of the Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W and we then used these units for 10 years as our primary units for motherboard, GPU, and cooling testing.
So, our comparison will be a lot less direct and a bit less rigorous than before (so it is definitely not a scientifically rigorous answer for you) as we don't have the original baseline numbers. That said, today we should still get to see what it might look like when you have been using a product for 10 years and you finally decide to pull that PSU in favor of a new one even when it was still running. So, we will be rerunning all of the load tests that we ran initially on the review sample of Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W to see what this endpoint looks like with our test bench examples.
As a company, Thermaltake has a decent history being founded in just 1999 and, in that short time, they have grown rapidly. While Thermaltake's primary focus has been on thermal solutions, it has for some time now maintained a group of product lines dedicated to power supplies. The early power supplies in these lines were often of lower quality but, over the years, they have taken their power supply business in a new, and quite frankly better, direction as they paired with higher quality OEMs like CWT and Enhance.
At the time of the original Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W's release, Thermaltake was positioning this product as one of their flagship products for good reason. In 2007, a 1200W power supply was a big deal. Today, perhaps not so much, but it is still a very respectable capacity and you still only rarely see "value" or some other qualifier used when referring to products with a capacity like this other than flagship or high-end, etc.
Now, when it came time to see if the rubber met the road in that original review, we found that, for its time and place, the Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W was indeed a premium product as it earned a Gold Award with our conclusion being this :
What Thermaltake has managed to dish out to the competition by introducing the Toughpower 1200w is nothing short of brutal. Thermaltake has brought a PSU to retail that is so potent that the Toughpower 1200w will be a tall order for the competition to surpass in terms of quality and living up to the specifications printed on the packaging; both of which we find incredibly important. The Toughpower 1200w is still so new that it is hard to source, but certainly that will change shortly as it shows up at retailers. At $350 to $400 it is very expensive, but you do get what you pay for. The value and power that the Toughpower 1200w delivers is currently unmatched. Few users will need a power supply of this magnitude, but undoubtedly many will desire it.
So, we know the Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W was an award winning power supply for its time, but the question today is, what does the performance look like on examples of this model after the last 10 years that this unit has been in service? Let's move on and see.