Today’s review is brought to you by the letters W, T, Q, and the number 3. W is for Wolf, that’s me; T is for Thermaltake, who sent me the review sample for today; and Q is for QFan, a specially designed fan that Thermaltake believes will decrease fan noise in your standard power supply while maintaining efficient cooling. While the Q in QFan could stand for many things, like Quality or Quigley: Down Under, the Q actually stands for Quiet. We’ll have to see if this fabled QFan of yore can be heard over the yowling, screaming exhaust fan in the old load tester, won’t we?
SUPPLIED BY: Thermaltake
PRODUCT: Toughpower QFan 650W
PROD LINK: Thermaltake’s current offerings.
PRICE: $141.80 @ AlwaysLowest
Price is at time of testing!
Why is this review brought to us by the number 3? Quite simply, that’s how many hours it took me to break out of the funny farm after the staff confiscated my lockpicks. I had to filch several hairpins from the lunch lady.
The box is pretty plain, except for this side, the box flap, where a whole mess of cool features is described in detail. On the top left, we have some pictures of the QFan itself, which is really just a fan without a frame. Below that, there are pictures of the different modular connectors on this beast, and how many there are. In the middle, in eight different languages, there’s a short paragraph that tells you that you are holding the box to a computer power supply. I’m glad they told me. I thought it was a toaster or something.
Over on the right, we have some interesting bullet points. The print is too small to read, so I’ll wear my fingers out for you:
- Extremely Quiet 140mm ball-bearing fan decreases 17% noise level.
- Stable 650W continuous output (at 50°C operating environment).
- Complies with ATX 2.2 & EPS 12V 2.91 version
- Four independent & dedicated +12V rails (12V1, 12V2, 12V3, 12V4) provide stable and superior performance for PC system (combined loading of 52A).
- Supports Dual Core CPU and all Multi-Core GPU technologies.
- Modularized Cable Management to eliminate clutter and improve airflow inside the case.
- Independent Voltage Circuit: offers unflappable current delivery under heavy load.
- Strict voltage regulation (±3%): provides steady voltage for system.
- Active Power Factor Correction (PF>0.99) and high efficiency (up to 85%).
- Industrial grade components (capacitor, transformer, etc).
- High Reliability: MTBF>120,000 hours.
- Protections: Over Current, Over Voltage, and Short-Circuit protection.
- Safety / EMI Approvals: CE, CB, TUV, FCC. UL, CUL, and BSMI certified.
Now that I’ve typed all that out, I’m going to get on my soapbox here for a moment. While I was typing point #4, I distinctly head a number of people saying, “Pfft. Quad 12V topology is bad. Pass.” This seems to be going around the various forums I frequent, and I wanted to take a moment to address this. The common thought is that the 240VA limitation imposed by Intel is a bad thing, resulting in “trapped power.”
To use a couple more Q words, this is a quibble not worth qualifying. The fact of the matter is, if the engineers knew what they were doing when they decided what connectors went to what 12V rail, there will never be a problem with the unit shutting down due to overdrawing one of the 12V rails, unless you tried to do something inadvisable like jump starting a car or powering a pelt off a single 12V rail. If the engineers did their job well, and I daresay most of them do these days, there will be no power starving or instability due to the multiple 12V overcurrent protection. You might run into issues from overloading the power supply in general, but incidences of the unit failing due solely to the multiple 12V topology are very few and far between. Actually, I can’t think of the last time I’ve seen it on the forums I frequent.
Ironically, some of the companies now out there blowing the “single 12V rail is better” trumpet were some of the only ones who couldn’t seem to design their units’ multiple 12V distribution properly. If these companies can’t build a good multiple 12V design, of course they’re going to claim single 12V is better, right? It’s not a design problem, it’s a feature!!! Perhaps children play checkers. I should point out though, some of these companies offering single 12V units are doing so strictly because they want to compete with certain others now doing so.
Moving on, opening up the box shows us an owner’s manual, a little paper with details of Thermaltake’s Key 3 Spirit concept which is really just an extra “we’re Thermaltake and our stuff rocks” type of thing, and a small bag with an adapter cable, bag of screws, and a rubber gasket. Apparently, I’m to fix my car with it. No, wait, I guess they want you to use that for mounting the power supply to the case as a further silencing step.
Here are the contents of the box all spread out for your viewing pleasure. A power supply with a Velcro bag full of modular cables beside it poses above the owner’s manual, the “we rule” green paper, the bag with the adapter, gasket, and case screws, and a little black box that either contains a super secret spy phone or the power cable. To my profound disappointment, there was no spy phone, only a hefty 16 gauge power cord. Unless the spy phone was invisible… I better go check. Nope, no spy phone.
At this juncture, the folks at Thermaltake would like to remind you to cool all your life. Not just some of it. Go buy an air conditioner, or something. By the way, those little horizontal slits? They go all the way around the unit to act as an additional air intake for the QFan. Quirky.
A shot of the front panel and its modular connectors. It was about here I noticed something a little unusual about this unit, and I’m not talking about that color. Hey, what is that color anyway? Olive green? Off brown? It’s different, anyway.
The unusual thing I spotted here was the connectors on the hardwired cables. Usually, on semi-modular units like this, the hardwired cables are the ATX cable and an EPS/ATX12V cable. Not this time. We have the usual ATX cable and a single 8 pin PCI Express connector cable. This PCI-e cable is intended to be used with the adapter we saw a couple pictures back to provide a third six pin PCI-e connector if needed. I’m getting ahead of myself.
Sharper eyes will have spotted not only proof that this is a Channel Well Technology based unit in the UL file number (e161451), but also the exact model from CWT that was used for this power supply: PSH650V-D. This makes it a cousin to the very capable Corsair TX750 and VX550, among others.
|Toughpower QFan 650W – DC Output|
|Max Combined Watts||180W||624W||9.6W||15W|
Power cable, modular cables, and adapter cable.
I thought I would unpack that Gasket of Power Supply Silencing for a quick shot. I like how it has a place for an 80mm fan, yet the unit has no 80mm fan.
Here are the seven modular cables posed next to the PCI-e adapter. Red connectors go to the red connectors, and black to black. These are not pin compatible by the way, so you can’t plug things in wrong. That reminds me, I need a table. A kitchen table, I’m hungry. Oh, and a cable table too, I guess.
|Toughpower QFan 650W – Cabling|
|Type of connector:|
|ATX connector (485mm)||20+4 pin|
|2 x 4 PCI-e (500mm)||1|
|8-pin Xeon/EPS connector (490mm)||1*|
|2 x 2 12V connectors (+150mm)||1|
|2 x 3 PCI-e (500mm)||2|
|5.25″ Drive connectors (500mm+150mm+150mm+150mm)||7|
|3.5″ Drive connectors (+150mm)||2|
*can be adapted to a third six pin PCI-e using 150mm adapter
The manual gives us our 12V rail distribution. Well, I suppose I could have gotten it from the disassembly phase too, but lazy is as lazy does. And I does do lazy done did today. Yeah, I don’t know what I mean by that either.
12V1 goes to all drive connectors. 12V2 goes to the EPS 12V and ATX12V connectors. Finally, 12V3 and 12V4 are divided between the three PCI-e connectors. This should avoid any of the “trapped power” non-issues I was ranting about earlier. Provided, that is, the unit can make good on its rated output. Let’s turn the page and see.