Reviews - 1kW Shootout: Turbo-Cool vs. Silverstone Olympia
  (By jonny on Sat, Jan-27-2007)

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Editor's Note:  This review was originally published on 1/27/2007.  After finding that the initial review sample of the Silverstone Olympia OP1000 was defective, a replacement was obtained and a re-write of the review released on 2/24/2007.

     With thanks to the GPU manufacturers and the need for more power, power supplies have grown to mammoth proportions.  Until recently, PC Power & Cooling has always been on the crest of this wave by offering, as their box states, "the biggest, baddest power supplies, period."  Since then, this market has grown exponentially and now exceeds the 1kW benchmark put in place by PC Power & Cooling, with offerings from Tagan supposedly putting out 1100W and Ultra Products putting out a mind boggling 2000W.  Of course, until 3-way G90 video cards are a reality, anything over 700W can be considered "overkill."  That's not to say that a 1kW power supply is a complete waste of money.  By having a power supply that is engineered to potentially put out that much power, loads like 300W or 500W should allow the unit to run cooler or more efficient, never mind the e-Penis factor.

     Have a look at what these bigger power supplies are doing for the engineering aspect of smaller, more reasonable models.  They seem to be getting less expensive and, dare I say, better engineered than their predecessors.

     One of the most current offerings in the 1kW range is Silverstone's Olympia OP1000; a power house based on Seventeam's ST-1000E-AD. Silverstone modified the unit slightly by bridging the +12V sources together (the original was a quad-12V rail) and removing the OCP's (Over Current Protection.) They supposedly replaced the fan in the unit (the original was loud) and painted it a flat black color.

     In this review, I'm going to be plotting the tried and true PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 1kW-SR against the Silverstone Olympia OP1000. Enjoy!

     I'm not sure one could call this a retail box, as it's the box the Turbo-Cool 1kW ships in.  But there's no retail box inside this box.

"The Biggest, Baddest Power Supply, Period!"  Hmm... Using that phrase for this PSU today seems a bit dated.

     Inside the box is... CARDBOARD!

     But under the cardboard is our beloved Turbo-Cool 1kW, a power cord, test report and a modest manual.

     And we can't forget our baggie of screws.

     The power cord is notable.  It's a 3  x 14AWG cord.  It's very thick and capable of carrying a lot more juice than a 1kW power supply needs.

     Looking chic in basic black.

     Here we are from another angle.

     As you can see, this is the newest model with the single +12V rail rated at 72A.  This unit used to be available with three +12V rails, but PC Power & Cooling did away with that in favor for this single +12V rail version.

Turbo-Cool 1kW +3.3V +5V +12V -12V +5VSB
24A 30A 72A 0.8A 3.5A
Max Combined Watts 79.2W 150W 864W 9.6W 17.5W


     All of the cables are sleeved up to the first connector on the Turbo-Cool. The sleeving is very nicely done, with the heat-shrink going up very close to the connector.

     It is true that you can custom order the connectors and cable-lengths on your PC Power & Cooling power supply for an additional fee. The below represents my particular unit and is what you would get if you were to buy a Turbo-Cool 1kW off the shelf.

Type of connector: Turbo-Cool
ATX connector (1 x 533.4MM) 24
2 x 2 12V connectors (1 x 533.4MM) 1
2 x 3 PCIe (4 x 660.4MM) 4
8-pin Xeon/EPS connector (2 x 558.8MM) 2
6-pin Xeon/AUX connector 0
5.25" Drive connectors (1 x406.4MM + 127MM),
(1 x 508MM + 127MM + 127MM), (1 x 787.4MM + 127MM + 127MM)
3.5" Drive connectors (660.4MM from case) 1
SATA Drive power connectors (1 x 482.6MM + 152.4MM + 152.4MM),
(1 x 812.8MM + 152.4MM + 152.44MM)
Fan only connectors (thermostatically controlled 12V only) 0

     Our main ATX connector is not a 20+4 "breakaway" type, and unlike some reviewers this isn't something I'm going to complain about. If your motherboard is the type that doesn't even accept a 24-pin power connector, you need to be looking at upgrading your motherboard, not your power supply.

     The Turbo-Cool 1kW not only has a separate 4-pin and 8-pin CPU power connector, but there are two 8-pin power connectors as well as the 4-pin! Although there are four 6-pin PCI-e connectors, there are no 8-pin PCI-e connectors.

     Here's the front side (inside) of the Turbo-Cool 1kW. Round holes are used here on the intake side.

     Here we are at the back of the unit. PC Power & Cooling uses a Delta 80MM fan. The power switch gives a good hardy CLICK when it gets slammed into the "On" position. I wouldn't expect anything less.

     Now for the load testing...

     I've decided to use all ten of my load tester's presets, programming 8 tests for a gradual load, test 1 for a high 3.3V/5V crossload and test 10 for a high 12V crossload. Let's see how this thing does open air in a 25°C room.

Results from Turbo-Cool 1kW COLD load tests
+3.3V +5V +12V Watts Efficiency  PF Intake Exhaust
Simulated system load tests
16A 30A 2A 245.9W 70% .99 27°C 36°C
3.35V 5.08V 12.14V
4A 6A 8A 157.2W 70% .98 27°C 36°C
3.36V 5.14V 12.16V
6A 10A 14A 256.7W 75% .99 27°C 36°C
3.36V 5.12V 12.12V
8A 14A 20A 355.9W 78% .99 26°C 36°C
3.35V 5.10V 12.09V
10A 18A 28A 478.3W 79% .99 26°C 37°C
3.35V 5.08V 12.05V
12A 22A 36A 599.7W 79% .99 26°C 37°C
3.35V 5.06V 12.02V
14A 26A 48A 767.4W 78% .99 26°C 39°C
3.35V 5.03V 11.96V
16A 30A 60A 933.7W 78% .99 27°C 40°C
3.35V 5.01V 11.90V
14A 14A 72A 988W 78% .99 27°C 40°C
3.35V 5.03V 11.87V
3A 4A 72A 900.5W 79% .99 26°C 40°C
3.36V 5.07V 11.90V

     The fan in the Turbo-Cool was NEVER quiet.  By test 4, it kicked into high gear which is when it completely drowned out the load tester's fan.  By test 9, you could easily hear the Turbo-Cool from clear across the room, even 20 feet away. The upshot of this is that the PSU had no problem keeping itself cool. Even at nearly 1000W, the PSU stayed at 40°C.

     If we look at test 1 and test 10, we see that the rails are all well behaved, well within specification. Looking at tests 2 through 9, we see a drop of .29V on the +12V rail. This isn't bad considering we've gone from an 8A to 72A load on the +12V rail, but PC Power & Cooling's marketing lead me to believe this drop would be considerably less.

     The efficiency at low loads was rather disappointing. Not so much the 78 and 79% efficiency at middle loads, but even during test 2, which was about a 25% load, the efficiency is only 75%. The box says this unit is "high efficiency." I beg to differ.

     Now let's put the cover on the case and let this thing warm up and see if any of our results change.


Results from Turbo-Cool 1kW HOT load tests
+3.3V +5V +12V Watts Efficiency PF Intake Exhaust
Simulated system load tests
16A 30A 2A 245.9W 70% .99 34°C 40°C
3.35V 5.08V 12.16V
4A 6A 8A 157.2W 70% .98 34°C 40°C
3.36V 5.14V 12.16V
6A 10A 14A 256.8W 75% .99 35°C 40°C
3.36V 5.12V 12.13V
8A 14A 20A 356.1W 78% .99 37°C 42°C
3.35V 5.10V 12.10V
10A 18A 28A 478.4W 79% .99 38°C 43°C
3.35V 5.08V 12.06V
12A 22A 36A 600W 79% .99 39°C 44°C
3.35V 5.06V 12.02V
14A 26A 48A 767.5W 78% .99 41°C 45°C
3.35V 5.03V 11.96V
16A 30A 60A 933.7W 78% .99 44°C 47°C
3.35V 5.00V 11.90V
14A 14A 72A 987.1W 78% .99 47°C 52°C
3.35V 5.02V 11.86V
3A 4A 72A 899.9W 79% .99 47°C 52°C
3.36V 5.06V 11.89V

     Results were relatively unchanged, even though the exhaust temperatures were as high as 52°C, but I'm just going to come right out and say this.... the PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool is NOT the PSU for someone that wants a quiet PC.  The fans were loud five minutes into test 1.   By test 8, it easily drowned out everything in the room from the TV to my three year old daughter.

     Now let's take a look at the Silverstone Olympia OP1000....


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