Thermaltake comes to us today with an exciting new product. One that I have personally been waiting forever since Corsair came along and dropped the AX860i at our doorsteps. Folks, we now have a second 850 watt class unit on the market able to be monitored and controlled via software through a USB port. Let’s get right to it and see if this bad boy has what it takes to topple Corsair off the throne.
SUPPLIED BY: Thermaltake
PRODUCT: Toughpower DPS 850W
PROD LINK: TP DPS 850W Product Page
PRICE: $169.99 @ NewEgg
Price is at the time of testing!
Let’s see… I think I’m ready for this review now. Got my Thermaltake DPS 850W review sample. Got my brand new Azio Levetron Mech5 keyboard. Got my hands. Got my Pepsi. Got my… sanity? Uh, nope. Can’t find it.
We’ll just get started without it. Folks say hello to the new Toughpower DPS. Clearly, Thermaltake looked at what Corsair was doing with the AX860i and thought to themselves it looked like a good idea. And I must confess that I’ve been waiting for more competition for that unit for a while now. And no, the NEX1500 doesn’t count. That unit is almost twice as powerful as this one and about a gazillion times more money, so it’s not really playing in the same ballgame.
On the box, we have a predictable array of marketing to get through. This time, not only do we have the usual fare, but now we have all this “digital power supply” stuff to get through. And let me set this straight right now… there’s nothing at all digital about the power conversion part of a power supply. It’s a switch-mode power supply… it doesn’t operate on ones and zeroes. What “digital” in this case should refer to would be the USB interface with the rest of the computer enabling the real-time status monitoring, not the actual power conversion circuitry itself.
And yes, there is a chance that this unit might contain DSP, like the AX860i, that allows it to regulate like a beast, but even so… that’s only one more part of the control circuitry that could be called digital. A power supply in itself isn’t 100% digital and never will be. It’s just the way they work.
More marketing here. More digital. Share records with friends on Facebook. You know, I really have to caution you against that last one. The RIAA is suing everything that moves for roughly thirty trillion dollars a pop, so you might not want to share that copy of “Bob Vila Sings the Blues” on Facebook. Just trying to look out for you guys.
I’m admittedly a little anxious to start getting into the load testing of this unit, and we have an awful lot of ground to cover, so let’s get this box unpacked now.
We have a power supply in a blanket, a bagful of goodies, and a pouch with what I’m assuming is the manual and a warranty sheet.
Hmm… not a manual, but a quick installation guide. The actual manuals, hardware, and software are found at the Thermaltake website in PDF format. Nice. I like saving paper. Except when the paper’s family refuses to pay a reward, at which time I have to threaten them with a paper shredder. Let me take a look at these manuals real quick here.
Ok… apparently this really is the hardware manual, and it could use some work. I don’t really see a lot of detailed specs in here, like the one I need to see to set up the hotbox testing – max temp at full power. Instead, there’s a generic zero to forty-five degrees temp spec, which does not always tell you if there’s a de-rating curve to worry about or not. So, I guess I’ll aim for forty-five. Now, the software manual.
Oh, no way. Says Java’s required for the software. Thermaltake, I am not putting Java back onto my main rig. That’s the reason why I had to do a clean wipe and reinstall of the OS last week… stupid Java exploits. Fortunately, this will be load tested in the office, where Java is also required to run the scope’s screengrab software, so I won’t have to dirty up the main rig. And really… what are the chances anyway that this thing will outperform the AX860i I have in there? Well… I guess that’s what we’re here to find out.
More about the software manual… apparently the software only allows control over the 12V rail with the 1050W model. There’s no mention of any control being possible over the minor rails. There are numerous other functions, like fan speed, that can be adjusted with it on these smaller DPS units, but if you want control over the actual voltages you need that 1050W unit.
The warranty guide. Tells you all about warranties, and such. There’s no guarantee that you will like the warranty, but I’d say a seven year term warrants a guaranteed nod of well-warranted approval. Guaranteed.
As is appropriate, all Thermaltake units come with an embossed “jonnyGURU.com” logo on the side. Wait… that’s just my watermark. Sorry. I guess I’ll have to dial down the opacity for the next review. Hard getting the main rig up to speed in just a couple days from a clean reinstall. In fact, that took so much of my time off the table this week that I don’t see myself doing much screwing around with the software. I’ll show a few screenshots on page four and get some useful test-related data as I did with the NEX1500 review, but I don’t think I’ll be in there doing much tweakery of the fan or anything like that.
I’m sorry, Thermaltake, but I have to say this. That may be the ugliest fan grille I’ve seen in quite some time. Good thing I no longer score on aesthetics.
Trust jonnyGURU.com for all your jonnyGURU.com needs. It’s jonnyGURU.comilicidocious. Let’s see you deal with THAT, Dreamweaver spell checker.