Reviews - Thermaltake Toughpower Grand AH3 850W
Sample Provided by: Thermaltake (By OklahomaWolf on Mon, Dec-08-2014)

Page 1 - Marketing

Many a moon has come and gone since I reviewed a unit from the original series of Thermaltake's Toughpower Grand line of units. At the time, that company that takes all our thermals wanted to make a real impact on the market by releasing a line of awesome power supplies with long warranties and awesome performance that would rival units from the likes of Corsair and Antec.

And I was mostly impressed with what they brought to the table back in 2010. But, it's now pushing 2015... sometimes these things need updating. Fully modular units are slowly becoming the norm, and seem to be pushing the semi-modular stuff out of the market. Since the original Toughpower Grand units weren't fully modular, this is probably the least we can expect from this unit today. But will there be any performance improvements? Something to give Thermaltake a fighting chance against the likes of Seasonic and EVGA? The landscape has changed a bit since the Grand units first came to market. Let's see if Thermaltake was able to change to match.

As always, we have a few box shots to get out of the way first. And I can already tell you from the interior shot on the box that Channel Well Technology was chosen as OEM for this unit.

And yes, the unit is indeed fully modular. The rest of the unit is pretty standard stuff though for a high end unit. Japanese capacitors, synchronous rectification, voltage regulator modules for the minor rails... you know, the usual.

It also appears that they kept the rounded off design of the older Grand units to help set them apart from the pack. I like it from an aesthetics perspective, but I also remember making a functionality deduction for those rounded edges making it difficult to mount the unit. That said, I don't think I'll make the same deduction today. I feel like it's not as big a deal as I made it out to be way back when.

That said, those of you who are eagle eyed might have spotted something interesting in the middle shot on the bottom of the box. Do you also see that Teapo polymer capacitor there? I'll have to wait for page five to be sure, but it already looks like this unit doesn't have all Japanese capacitors, just some of them. I do score on non Japanese electrolytics, but I leave the polymers alone.

80 Plus Gold. Modular ribbon cables. Oh, look, we're doing the single 12V stuff again. Color me shocked, then color me burnt sienna. I always wanted to be burnt sienna. Or forest green... let's do forest green instead.

It's time to do some box unpacking.

I see a power supply in a blankie, a bag of modular cables, and a bag of documentation. A user guide and a warranty guide.

The user guide is nothing more than a large multilingual folded piece of paper. I suppose that does save some trees, but it is a step back from the one I remember from that first Grand unit I reviewed. I don't know if I'll score on it, as the pertinent information is all here, but I'm definitely thinking about it.

Inside the modular cable bag, I found some modular cables (surprise) and a bag of accessories. Let's unpack the latter now.

Really? We're doing this again? That, people, is an 18 gauge power cord. I've gotten after Thermaltake for this before, but as soon as you start passing 1kW at the wall this size power cord is not adequate. Even just below that mark it's barely adequate, which is why most of the competition tosses a 16 gauge line cord into the box of a unit this size. It's cheap insurance, and helps give your customers the feeling they're buying something of quality. I don't know why Thermaltake hasn't done this... after all, their own Toughpower Gold came with a 16 gauge! Is someone at the CWT factory still slipping these weenie little things in without Thermaltake noticing? Clearly, there's no such issue with units coming from the Enhance factory.

Even so, it could well be this unit won't draw over a kilowatt out of the wall. It is 80 Plus Gold, after all. We'll see, and then I'll score accordingly if I see the unit riding the line a little too closely. I went easy on Thermaltake last time this happened with that XT 1475W unit, just because they said they were dealing with it. I haven't heard whether or not they actually did, but... well, we'll just see what happens.


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