Reviews - Toughpower XT 850W - A Second Look
Sample Provided by: Thermaltake (By OklahomaWolf on Sun, Nov-08-2009)

Page 1 -

Two weeks ago, Thermaltake came to us with an updated version of the Toughpower XT series. Since that model did so well, Thermaltake was curious to see how the updated version of the 850W model stacked up against the older revision I reviewed here. And so, I find myself here today looking at the Toughpower XT line for the third time. Will the 850W I have in front of me today make up for the poor showing the previous version had here at jonnyGURU.com? Let's all find out together.

Naturally, like every review, we start out with a box picture. And like every Toughpower XT review, the box is the same thing we've all seen before.

"Hey, can I help with this one?"
Who said that! I demand to know where that voice is coming from!
"Down here."
Oh. Hey, would you look at that. I have a box elder bug in the lab today. Hey, little guy! Sure, you can give me a hand with this one.
"I'm a girl."
Sorry. Say, what happened to your other antenna?
"I got in a fight with a spider."
So, do you have a name I can call you before we continue with this review?
"You can just call me Bugula."
Bugula? Are you serious? That's the best name you can come up with?
"I'm really a ladybug. This is my Halloween costume. I ate too much sap candy and couldn't get it off again. Bugula seems fitting."
Ok, ok. Bugula it is. Let's move on to the next shot.

"There seems to be a lot of stuff printed on this box. Maybe you should run it down for our readers."
Sigh. I'm not going to type all that out again.
"Are all humans this lazy?"
No, just me. And you might not want to insult this human considering I could just close that box flap on you.
"I apologize. You clearly are a model of action in the universe. Why, every fiber, every molecule, every atom of your being simply screams 'yes, I am willing to do anything for my readers.' When small children look at you they are inspired by your willingness to go out and do what needs to be done, and world leaders look to you for an example of..."
Enough! Just for that, I'm cutting and pasting again.

  • 12Vin1:
    As the +12Vrails deliver the major power to many of the components in a modern PC system, it is important to ensure each +12V rail provides adequate current for the relevant components. Inadequate current in any rail or poor distribution of current among the rails may lead to serious compatibility problems. Thermaltake understands your worries of the compatibility between PSU and your system, so we implement a pure and powerful single +12V rail to provide the best compatibility for your PC.
    -oh, man... where to begin. Friends, a properly designed and well built PSU is a properly designed and well built PSU, regardless of 12V rail topology. I know single 12V designs that suck lemons, and I know sextuple designs that utterly rock the house. The key is to do your homework beforehand and buy a unit appropriately sized to your hardware needs, and you will find that for the most part the unit's designers have done their job properly, whether your target PSU is single 12V or not.
  • High Quality Japanese Capacitor:
    Capacitors play very important roles in a power supply unit. Poor capacitors may lead to shorter life time, system instability, voltages fluctuating, and even damage the power supply unit. Toughpower XT series, built to the highest standard of quality, has implemented the high quality capacitors on the primary side and also the secondary side. All the high quality capacitors in Toughpower XT power supply units are Japanese-made and have the highest level of workmanship.
    -while this is all pretty much true, they left one out here. Failing capacitors can also increase ripple and noise, because they can no longer suppress it properly. But you'd have to be running a poorly built unit with "out of the back of a white van" capacitors to worry about that much these days. Many second tier capacitor brands like Teapo and Samxon actually do pretty well in computer SMPS use.
  • S.P.T. Indicator:
    Traditional power supplies tell you nothing about the status of your PSU so users find no way to protect their PSUs against failure. To help you monitor your power supply, Toughpower XT series utilizes S.P.T. indicator to indicate the standby mode, the power good signal, and the temperature of your PSU, bringing you the real-time monitoring over the power supply.
    -I expect this is somewhat more useful than the less common S.P.A. indicator, which only tells you if you have a Jacuzzi.
  • S.F.C. Quiet:
    Noise can be annoying and even harmful to human health. To bring the best comfortability to users, Thermaltake's designers minimize the noise generated by our products to the lowest level. All Toughpower XT power supply units' 14cm dual ball bearing cooling fan is equipped with S.F.C. Quiet technology so that the fan always operates at optimal speed (according to temperature inside the power supply unit) for the quietest performance.
  • FanDelayCool:
    Thermaltake lab, after years of careful tests and experiments, has discovered many of the PSU failures are caused by the fan's immediate stop after powering off. To better protect your power supply, FanDelayCool, derive from high-end projector's cooling fan, enables users to control how long the 14cm fan should continue to operate (up to 30 seconds) after system shutdown. This is to assure all components inside the power supply to be thoroughly cooled off.
    -Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Years of tests? Many failures? Projector cooling fans? Give me a break here. This feature is something I like, because the primary side of the unit along with the standby circuits is always up and running on most of these things, but this blurb is stretching things just a bit. If this unit is built on the platform I think it is (we'll see on page four), this little feature has been present on it already for years. You just couldn't turn the feature off, like this one claims, and more often than not it was undocumented. Moreover, the most heat susceptible components are the capacitors. A unit like this, using the good stuff from Japan, would never ever have to worry about a significantly shortened life span just because the fan didn't stay on after shutdown. It's a nice feature, but you won't be overrun with a plague of box elder bugs if it's not there.
  • High Quality
    As a new generation of ultra enthusiast system, Toughpower XT series has been built to the world's highest standard of quality, providing users with Thermaltake quality 5-year warranty for parts and labor. Besides, all the high quality capacitors in Toughpower XT power supply units are Japanese-made and have the highest level of workmanship. Engineers at Thermaltake lab have made every effort to ensure each Toughpower XT Series power supply unit satisfies our severe requirements for quality, durability, and performance.
  • Performance
    Toughpower XT Series power supply unit features a number of cutting-edge innovations that set it above the competition. New features such as FanDelayCool for thorough cooling, S.P.T. indicator, and 12Vin1 will all bring users the best performance. Besides, using exceptional quality materials and components has even made Toughpower XT Series qualifies for higher 80Plus efficiency standard.
    -just a quick note here... high quality and high efficiency are two different things. You can have one without the other.
  • Quiet
    To deliver a whole new user experience to users, Thermaltake's designers minimize the noise generated by our products to the lowest level. All Toughpower XT power supply units' 14cm dual-ball bearing cooling fan is equipped with Japanese 8mm bearing system and S.F.C. Quiet technology so that the fan always operates at optimal speed (according to temperature inside the power supply unit) for the quietest performance.

Features:

  • High-quality Japanese-made capacitors provide superb performance and reliability
  • S.P.T. indicator indicates standby, PG signal, and temperature status of the power supply
  • FanDelayCool: FDC cooling function can be selected to adjust the amount of time the cooling fan keep running after after system shutdown
  • 12Vin1: single +12V rail provides the best compatibility for the latest components
  • Gold-plated connectors for superior conductivity
  • Meet 80PLUS efficiency requirement: Eco-friendly design for the highest efficiency, least heat, and also lowers energy bills
  • TT5Years Warranty: Thermaltake quality 5-years parts and labor warranty
  • 14cm ball bearing cooling fan with Japanese made 8mm bearing system

"It looks like the back of the box has some fancy tables and stuff. What's this one for?"
Why, that one tells you how many connectors and cables come with each model in the series. This is the 850 watt model, so you'd look under that column there. See?
"Hey, I can read fine, human. What's that over there?"
That graph? That's a fancy graphic showing what happens to the case temperature when a power supply is turned off and the fans immediately quit spinning. The red line is supposed to be a traditional power supply, and the blue line is this one with its fan delay.
"It says that lower temperatures are better there. Gee, even I knew that."
Haha - yeah. I've mocked that line a couple of times myself.
"That table up there in the upper left corner - that's a set of specifications, right?"
Yes. And there are several pictures of some of the fancy stuff Thermaltake wants us to know about right next to it, like the Japanese capacitors and S.P.T. indicators.
"A cousin of mine works in a Japanese capacitor factory. He's a horsefly. He works in the cafeteria. Sometimes in the bathrooms."
That's... ugh... fascinating, but it has nothing to do with this review.
"Sorry. I'm a bug, I have a short attention span."
Well, let me unpack the box and we'll see if we can't engage your interest again, dear Bugula.

"Ooh! I like this! It's so brown and earthy! It's like being home out by the maple tree, getting ready to feast on some nice delicious sap!"
That's the power supply itself you're crawling on, there. That big black thing is the bag full of modular cables. There's also a power cable, a manual, some papers, and another bag full of goodies I'll show you later on.
"This power supply thing looks like it could get warm. I like warm. Can I climb into these holes up here?"
Uh, no, you don't want to do that. See, I'm going to be load testing that thing later. There's going to be all kinds of hazardous voltages in there.
"Bugger! Ha... see what I did there?"
Yes, yes, you made a terrible pun, I saw. We all saw. I'm sure we'd all like to un-see that now.

"What's all this stuff?"
Well, going from left to right, we have a warranty information sheet, a green "Key 3 Spirit" sheet, and a black marketing sheet that tells you how thankful Thermaltake is that you bought one of these.

"This must be the user manual. I like this part, it says here all Toughpower XT power supplies have these status indicators."
Yes, that's right. At least, all the ones I've looked at had those. Hey, wait... are you reading the German section?
"Yep. Can't you read it?"
Nein! I mean, no! This is amazing, a box elder bug with one antenna who can talk and read German!
"Hey, I may be a bug, but I'm not stupid. Think about that the next time you swat a fly."
I'll be sure to do that once they let me out of the loony bin I'm sure to be locked up in once this review goes live.

"What's that over there?"
Oh, that's the SunMoon SM-268 I'll be using to load test this unit. It's an impressive looking machine, but if you could turn around a moment I'm showing off the power supply itself to our readers.

"Hey, I can almost see myself in there! I just love this finish, I can't say it enough."
Well, I'm still not sure I feel the same as you about it. It just doesn't do much for me.
"Why didn't they sleeve that big bunch of wires into the case? I like pretty colors as much as the next bug, but those wires look a little out of place like that."
Yeah, I've commented on that before, too. Lets show our readers what they'll be looking at if they have a windowed case.

"That's a big metal sticker that covers the whole side of the unit, isn't it?"
Yes it is. And I think I'm going to get lazy again because of it. I won't be taking this unit apart on page four like I usually do.
"Why?"
You see, Thermaltake hid some of the screws for this unit under that big metal sticker. I have to destroy the sticker to get the unit apart, and I'm not really feeling the will to do that this time. Also, this unit is but a normal Channel Well PSH based unit with a few tweaks. One can consult either my last review or the review of the previous version of this unit to see what these look like inside.
"Did you say Channel Well? My uncle works there."
How is it you know all these insects from halfway around the world?
"Hey, I'm your hallucination. You tell me."

"You know, I may be just a bug, but even to me that stamped fan grille seems unappealing."
I don't know - it seems ok to me, Bugula. I guess I'm neither put off nor excited about it.
"I suppose as long as it gets the job done. Hey, how about you show our readers a spec label?"
Right. Here you go, readers.

"Hahahahaha! That's a good joke!"
What's a good joke? I don't see anything funny up there.
"That 12V rating! Look, don't you see it?"
It's a single 62 ampere 12 volt rail. Not too bad. What am I missing?
"Go back and look at the specs on the 750W Toughpower XT again. You'll see."
I don't see anyth... oh. Now I see. The 750W model has a 60A 12V rail. This unit only offers two amperes more 12V capacity than its little brother. That's not funny, that's sad. It looks like all the extra power is made up on the 3.3V and 5V rails. Useless for a modern 12V based computer.

Thermaltake Toughpower
XT 850W

+3.3V +5V +12V -12V +5VSB
30A 30A 62A 0.8A 3A
Max Power 180W 744W 9.6W 15W
850W

This here is the back panel, where all the modular cables plug in. If you take a look, Bugula, you'll see that the red connectors for the PCI-E cables are differently sized and colored from the black peripheral connectors. Bugula? Where are you?
"Over here!"

"That's a long ATX cable! Wow! It would take me a good five minutes to crawl my way along that!"
Yes, it's got some good length to it, doesn't it? It's 640mm long. I need to unpack this little accessory bag and show our readers what's in it before we get to the cable length table.
"You go ahead, I'm going to go find a snack. If I'm not back in time for the conclusions, don't wait for me."
Ok, I'll see you when I see you.

Now that Bugula's crawled away on us, here are the extra goodies the XT units come with. Some velcro cable ties, a case sticker, some screws, a rubber isolation gasket, two 8 pin to 6 pin PCI-E adapters, and one 4 pin ATX12V extension cable.

Type of connector: Thermaltake Toughpower
XT 850W
ATX connector (640mm) 20+4 pin
Modular Cables
8 pin EPS12V connector (640mm) 1
4 pin ATX12V connector (+150mm) 1
SATA (500mm+150mm+150mm) 6
5.25" Drive (500mm+150mm+150mm+150mm) 8
3.5" Drive (+150mm) 2
6 pin PCIe (500mm) 2
8 pin PCIe (500mm) 2
Unit Dimensions(L x W x H)
160mm x 150mm x 86mm

Lucky me, I was able to just cut and paste again, for this unit has the exact same cable complement as that 750W version I just looked at two weeks ago.


 

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