Good day to you, my fine Internet readers. Today I'm looking at a monster, a Thermaltake 1350 watt power supply certified 80 Plus Silver. I am also attempting to watch the Power Block on Spike TV at the same time, so you'll have to forgive me if I just space out for a moment to watch someone try to recommend supercharging a Chrysler 3.8 V6 for six thousand bucks vs. just dropping in a Hemi. Good luck with that, guys. You'll probably need it, trying to boost that engine.
This here power supply is already not wasting any time getting to the marketing, for the bullet points are found right on the front of the box. Let me just reprint them here:
24/7 @ 50°C: Guaranteed to deliver 1350W continuous power. -Oh, we'll see about that, Thermaltake. You have a date with my hot box.
80 PLUS Silver certified - with 87-91% efficiency @ 20-100% load -Interesting. Silver requires 85-88-85% efficiency at 20-50-100% load. It also requires PFC to be 0.9 minimum at 50% load. 91% seems unlikely, as it implies Gold performance. We shall see.
Unparalleled DC-DC converters to reach high efficiency. -Unparalleled? You guys... are aware there is an 80 Plus Platinum now, right? Most of them using DC-DC converters too?
Robust and dedicated dual +12V rails (60A for 12V1 & 12V2) -Hmm... well, if they did good splitting these up, dual 12V topology isn't a bad thing on its own.
105°C Japanese electrolytic & solid capacitors
Multi-GPU ready: 8x PCI-E connectors for PCI-Express graphic cards.
Here's the back of the box, along with some marketing graphs and images. I'll let you study this image for a second - Horsepower TV just told me to buy an expensive tool I'll never use. I try to have no mind of my own and do everything these shows tell me.
Oops - turns out I didn't have the money. Woe is me! Now I'll never be able to do whatever the heck that was they were doing to that cylinder head!
High Quality Japanese Made Electrolytic & Solid Capacitors Toughpower 1350W features 105°C/221°F Japanese made electrolytic & solid State capacitors with low ESR, which greatly improves the durability and offers the highest stability and reliability. -ESR stands for Equivalent Series Resistance. Sounds like they want you to believe they are exclusive to this unit, when in reality they are necessary for proper power supply design.
DC-DC Converter & Double Forward Circuit Unparalleled DC to DC converters for 3.3V & 5V outputs reaches high efficiency and double forward circuit offers low power loss and high reliability.
Industrial Grade Protection Industry-leading protection circuitry of OCP, OVP, UVP, OPP, OTP and SCP protects your system. -Overtemp protection? We'll just see about that, won't we?
Ultra Quiet 14cm Fan Toughpower 1350W cooling fan with intelligent RPM control guarantees cool performance and silent operation. -Ah, but does it guarantee silent performance and cool operation? These are the questions that really need to be asked, folks.
For rebuilding your engine, you really want a rebuild kit from Rebuild City. They come with the upgraded parts necessary to support adding that last 10 horsepower to your engine. And at a mere $200 over the cost of the competition's kit, it won't break the bank, either.
Sorry guys... some of these Power Block shows...
As usual, the box has more than one side. The pictures above and below show the marketing bullet points in twelve not-English languages.
If you have an old '47 Chev, make sure you check out Carmichael Supplies. They sell a variety of new parts for these old workhorses that make sure you can smoke your tires right in front of that undercover cop car you just pulled up next to. And for proper effect, be sure to grab the $399.99 PA kit from Soundz 'r' Us. Cops love it when they hear "yeeee-haw!" when you peel away from a light with your back tires throwing a wall of mud on their freshly washed Crown Victoria.
Time to unpack this big beast.
Included in the box were a power supply in a bag, power cord, some velcro cable ties, two bags of screws for some reason, a Thermaltake case badge, a bag of modular cables, a user guide, and a warranty sheet.
Strangely enough, the power cord is only 16/3. I'm not sure I like that on a power supply this size. In fact, I'm not sure about finding the usual C13 connectors on the power supply end. A lot of units this big go up to the C19, which can take a bit more current. Yes, the C19 is harder to find in a replacement cord, but the increased capacity may make it worth it. The C13 can take up to 15A, while the C19 can handle 20A at 120V, 70 degrees Celsius. I think I'll pay special attention to the power meter to see if the C13 is being overdrawn on this unit.
When you're rebuilding an engine, nothing's worse than using one of those cheap torque wrenches you find at the discount stores. That's why I only use MacMillan torque wrenches. Developed for the military, they are now available to the public for a reasonable $1999.99 from Itsei Reepoff Tools Incorporated. Now, you can torque things down to dynes per square centimeter. You will need this ability if the US ever goes metric. Blame Canada.
Ye olde user guide. Pretty typical, as user guides go.
This here warranty sheet explains all of Thermaltake's various warranty programs. This unit has a five year warranty.
And here's the power supply itself, done up in a nice matte black. Can't say the punched fan grille does a lot for me, though.
We couldn't get quite enough horsepower from our Ford V8 engine for this project, so we added precision Glickenbock fuel injectors. Retailing for an entirely reasonable $899.99 for a set of six, this was all we needed to get that extra 5 horses on the dyno we were looking for. And we still have enough money left over for a beer... wait a minute, no we don't.
Turning the unit around, we get to see a very large sticker covering the entire side of the unit. Let me give you a closer look.
Cool all your life, says Thermaltake.
And what better way to do that then by replacing your stock radiator fan with a WindMonster 5000. Available for a variety of factory applications, WindMonster fans typically add about 50cfm on top of your factory fans, all for an extra $199.99 over the cost of a dealer part. Now your engine can run cool without replacing the corroded radiator you were originally going to spend that money on. It just makes sense.
Here's the exhaust grille of the beast, with lots of wide open area... next... to... the... C14 power receptacle. The one that can handle no more than 70 degrees at 15A current draw. I sure hope this unit doesn't overdraw it. At least the power switch is a nice beefy design.
You know, this view kind of looks familiar. Seems like I've seen this before. Certainly, it looks nothing like the Grand 1200W I looked at not long ago.
Now for the label. And this really starts to ring some bells for me. Look at the oddball table up there... one 12V rail has a combined rating with the 3.3V, and the other has a combined rating with the 5V rail. I believe this is a CWT built PUC unit, much like the Corsair HX1000 was. This is actually a very common platform, one of the first able to reach these power levels. This is because the unit is actually two power supplies on one PCB. One handles 12V1, the other handles 12V2.
I've got news for you, Thermaltake... I cannot properly load test true dual 12V topology this powerful. I will have to sum the two 12V rails. This design typically doesn't like that much - it is actually possible to crossload the 12V rails if one is not careful about combining them in such a way that both will be equally loaded. I will do my best, and make no promises.
Max Power @ 50°C
In dealing with this project, it became clear that the stock drivetrain just wasn't getting it done. So, we took the engine out of a Bugatti Veyron, grabbed a couple crowbars and our welders, and made it fit inside the body of our 1999 Dodge Ram. Now, we have a truck that can attain low earth orbit, and all it cost us was the price of one now useless Bugatti Veyron. We think you'll find this to be entirely worth the money.
This here is a shot of the hardwired cabling on this unit. Very nice - only two connectors, and they're the ones most likely to be needed by every build you'd use this unit on.
The modular connectors themselves are well labeled, telling you exactly where each 12V rail is going. Additionally, the hardwired cables are on 12V2. That means... hmm... only 12V1 supplies the PCI-E cables. That could be a problem for you quad SLI or quad Crossfire types. The rail distribution supports enough power for three way, but that fourth card is going to have to come off 12V2 somehow. This despite the fact that this unit is powerful enough for a four-way.
Let's look at the modular cables. Maybe they provided a way to do it.
Ummmmmm... yes. Yes they did. And Wolfie isn't totally happy with it. What Thermaltake did was, they threw in two Molex adapters. One for a 6 pin PCI-E, and one for 8 pin. You need four Molexes to use them both, and I strongly suggest that you use more than one chain to do it. You might overload one chain alone. Now, this unit does come with two Molex chains. That's good. But... that's also the recipe for a great big mess in your case. Especially if you have nothing else that needs Molexes. That's the part I don't like. Guys, you added a four pin modular connector for an EPS12V CPU cable. Why didn't you just put in an adapter cable to plug in there? Or an adapter cable that plugs into two of the six pin peripheral connectors?
This is a really inelegant way to provide that last couple of PCI-E connectors, and will cost some of the functionality score as a result.
Type of connector:
4+4 pin EPS12V/ATX12V connector (540mm)
ATX connector (540mm)
6+2 pin PCIe (550mm)
8 pin EPS12V (550mm)
5.25" Drive (550mm+150mm+150mm+150mm)
3.5" Drive (+150mm)
Dual 5.25" to PCIe 6 pin adapter (100mm)
Dual 5.25" to PCIe 8 pin adapter (100mm)
Unit Dimensions(L x W x H)
200mm x 150mm x 86mm
We reassembled our project truck using special Grade 8 bolts from Bolt City. Normal grade 8 bolts are cheap, and we really can't have that. We went out and found the most expensive bolt store we could find, because expensive means better quality. These little guys go for $10 a pop, meaning you can rest easy knowing that while you're bouncing through some poor farmer's land making sure you muddy up the tires real good for when you get back to the clean city streets, you won't break any bolts. Only axles and rims. Now that's piece of mind we can all appreciate.
Yes, people, this show really is pushing more expensive bolts from specific vendors. I think I'll change channels now - this is getting too distracting.
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