Articles

Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W PSU 10 Years Later

Author:Paul Johnson

Editor:Kyle Bennett

Date: Thursday , May 31, 2018

We once again take a PSU, actually two this time, that we have been using for a decade, and run those units through the HardOCP PSU Gauntlet one more time. These two units were used for testing motherboards and video cards and have been pushed hard over the years. How does usage and age impact a top-shelf Gold Award PSU from the past?
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Load Testing

For those of you that are curious as to some of the reasoning and equipment behind our PSU testing program here at HardOCP, we have put together a living document that shares a lot of the behind the scenes of the program. The testing we are conducting today is exactly as described in that document and will begin with a range of loads tested at 120v input including our torture test and then move on to the same set of tests at 100v input but without the torture test.

120v Load Testing Results After 10 Years of Service

Test #1 is equal to approximately 25% of the rated capacity of the Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W at 45C. This makes Test #1 equal to ~300W by loading the 12v rails to 20a, the 5v rail to 6a, the 3.3v rail to 4a, the +5vsb to 2a, and the -12v to 0.5a. The results of Test #1 see the 5v and 3.3v rails starting off below nominal while the 12v rails are either below or above nominal. The efficiency is coming in at 83.18% and the exhaust temperature is 48C.

Test #2 is equal to approximately 50% of the rated capacity of the Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W at 45C. This makes Test #2 equal to ~600W by loading the 12v rails to 40a, the 5v rail to 10a, the 3.3v rail to 8a, the +5vsb to 2a, and the -12v to 0.5a. Test #2 sees the 12v rails drop by up to 0.12v, the 5v rail drop by 0.11v, and 3.3v drop by 0.1v compared to Test #1. When we look at the efficiency, we see that it has already started to decline as it is coming in at 82.54%. The exhaust temperature is 52C in this test.

Test #3 is equal to approximately 75% of the rated capacity of the Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W at 45C. This makes Test #3 equal to ~900W by loading the 12v rails to 64a, the 5v rail to 18a, the 3.3v rail to 12a, the +5vsb to 2a, and the -12v to 0.5a. In Test #3, we see the 12v readings drop by up to 0.19v. The 5v rail drops by 0.13v and the 3.3v rail drops by 0.11v. Once more, we also see that the efficiency has declined to 80.26% but the exhaust temperature has increased to 62C.

Test #4 is equal to approximately 100% of the rated capacity of the Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W at 45C. This makes Test #4 equal to ~1200W by loading the 12v rails to 90a, the 5v rail to 15a, the 3.3v rail to 10a, the +5vsb to 2a, and the -12v to 0.5a. In the final regular test, we see the Toughpower 1200W moving down across the board once more. The 12v rails drop by up to 0.14v while the minor rails drop by 0.03v each. The efficiency has also dropped, to be expected, and it is now coming in at less than 80% with a value of 79.02%. The exhaust temperature has moved up to 66C.

100v Load Testing Results After 10 Years of Service

Test #1 is equal to approximately 25% of the rated capacity of the Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W at 45C. This makes Test #1 equal to ~300W by loading the 12v rails to 20a, the 5v rail to 6a, the 3.3v rail to 4a, the +5vsb to 2a, and the -12v to 0.5a. The results of Test #1 at 100v look similar to what we saw 120v as 5v and 3.3v rails are starting off at the same values as before. The 12v rails, however, vary a bit with the biggest difference between 100v and 120v test values being 0.08v lower! The efficiency has, as expected, shed a bit off of the 120v results as it is only hitting 82.09% with an exhaust temperature of 50C.

Test #2 is equal to approximately 50% of the rated capacity of the Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W at 45C. This makes Test #2 equal to ~600W by loading the 12v rails to 40a, the 5v rail to 10a, the 3.3v rail to 8a, the +5vsb to 2a, and the -12v to 0.5a. Test #2 sees the 12v, 5v, and 3.3v all drop. The 12v rails match the values we saw in the 120v tests but the minor rails have each shed an additional 0.01v. When we look at the efficiency, we see that there seems to have been a drop here, as expected, with our final value being 81.32%. This is coupled with an exhaust temperature of 53C.

Test #3 is equal to approximately 75% of the rated capacity of the Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W at 45C. This makes Test #3 equal to ~900W by loading the 12v rails to 64a, the 5v rail to 18a, the 3.3v rail to 12a, the +5vsb to 2a, and the -12v to 0.5a. In Test #3, we see the same values that were posted in Test #3 at 120v when it comes to the DC output voltages. Once more, we see that the efficiency has declined from our 120v test as we are hitting just 78.84% with an exhaust temperature of 65C.

Test #4 is equal to approximately 100% of the rated capacity of the Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W at 45C. This makes Test #4 equal to ~1200W by loading the 12v rails to 90a, the 5v rail to 15a, the 3.3v rail to 10a, the +5vsb to 2a, and the -12v to 0.5a. In the final regular test, we see the minor rails matching the 120v load test values while some of the 12v rails have dropped by up to 0.06v more. The efficiency has hit the lowest point of testing in this test with a value of 77.57% while the exhaust temperature is hitting 69C.

Torture Testing

The final component of our load testing involves our 8 hour torture test. This test is meant to simulate what gaming or hardware enthusiasts might encounter when they use their systems for extended periods of time under stressful conditions such as 3D gaming or long term stability testing and benchmarking. However though, we do not suggest using your power supply at 100% loads for extended periods of time and our torture test does reflect this. We load the PSU being tested to ~80% of its rated capacity for 8 hours at a temperature of 45C. This is outlined in our testing Methodology should you wish to have more information.

Torture Test Results After 10 Years of Service

The Torture Test is equal to approximately 80% of the rated capacity of the Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W at 45C. This makes the Torture Test equal to ~960W by loading the 12v rails to 68a, the 5v rail to 18a, the 3.3v rail to 12a, the +5vsb to 2a, and the -12v to 0.5a. The results of the Torture Test today show us a unit that is still running but, much like some of the values in the regular load test, does not seem to be very healthy. While the values we see here do fall between what we saw in Test # 3and Test #4 at 120v, they are out of specification on the 5v rail, 3.3v rail, and +5vsb even though the unit did finish the test. At the same time, the unit posted an efficiency of 79.56% with an exhaust temperature of 72C.

Load Testing Summary

The results for this first Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W example today seem to follow a trend we have seen from previous units that were tested after many years of service such as the SilverStone Olympia 1000W and Cooler Master Real Power Pro 1000W in that everything is not quite as it should be. Now, things do differ today in that we did not test this exact unit previously so we don't have the initial values. However, this was a very high end unit of its time and, in addition to the review units we had, I have had a couple more Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W units in over the years as well as a number of other CWT PUC based units of the same capacity. None of those units started life out with values that were out of specification. So, while we can not tell you today how much this unit changed over the years exactly, what we see above does tell us that the unit has certainly suffered some performance degradation over the years. This is most noticeable when we look at the minor rails voltage regulation. The worst offender here is the 3.3v rail which was out of specification by Test #2 at 100v AC input. The 5v rail followed this up, shortly, by being out of specification during the Torture Test and Test #4. Even the +5vsb, whose load never changed, was out of specification by Test #3. Beyond that, the 12v rails showed very loose regulation with one of those dipping as low as 11.46v with the specification limit being 11.4v. So, in specification but not doing great. Also on the not doing great line is the efficiency which ranged from 79.02% to 83.18% at 120v AC input and 77.57% to 82.09% at 100v AC input. These values are a good bit lower than we would expect from a new unit of this type given what we saw from our review sample. Overall then, we are definitely seeing what appears to be some amount of performance degradation in these specific samples in our tests after 10 years of service. Let's move on now to the DC Output Quality and see what we have there.