ThermalTake Toughpower 1500W Modular Power Supply Review

Thermaltake make a wide range of power supplies targeting all sectors. The ToughPower 1,500W Modular supply is firmly aimed at the hardcore gaming enthusiast sector who need to power multiple high end graphics cards. The ToughPower 1,500W can deliver up to 1,600Watts at peak load and is 80 Plus Silver Certified. Is this the ultimate supply when you can never have enough power?

The TP-1500W has four +12v rails and is cooled by a large 135mm fan, it even comes equipped with a heavy duty C19 AC power plug. Thermaltake offer a full 5 year warranty with this particular model for peace of mind.

Specifications:
  • 24 / 7 @ 40℃: Guaranteed to deliver 1500W continuous power even at extreme chassis temperatures as high as 40℃.
  • 80 PLUS Silver certified – with 87-91% efficiency @ 20-100% load under real world load conditions. This ensures that whether playing games or surfing the net your power bill wont be hit as hard.
  • Double-forward switching circuitry offers low power loss and high reliability.
  • Robust and dedicated quad +12V rails(30A for 12V1 & 12V2, 50A for 12V3 & 12V4) design provides superior performance under all types of system loading which will ensure all of your components get the power they need when they need it.
  • High quality Japanese capacitors: ensure superb performance and reliability.
  • Solid state capacitors: great stability at higher operating temperatures, frequencies and currents.
  • Universal AC input 100V~240V automatically scans and detects the correct voltage.
  • Multi-GPU ready: 8 x PCI-E connectors support up to 4-way ATI CrossFireX™ & Nvidia SLI™.
  • Designed to support latest Intel/AMD multi -core CPUs.
  • Ultra-silent operation with intelligent 13.5cm 13.5cm cooling fan with speed control to ensure that your power supply will run cool no matter the load.
  • Built in industrial-grade protections: over current, over voltage, under voltage, over power, over temperature and Short-Circuit protections . This ensures that if something goes wrong you will have the best chance of avoiding component damage or loss due to a power issue.
  • Safety / EMI : UL/CUL, CE, FCC, CB+Baurt mark, GOST and BSMI certified.

The Toughpower 1,500W Power supply arrives in a huge, back breaking box. We aren’t sure the artwork makes much sense mind you.

The bundle is excellent, with a lovely felt bag containing the modular cables. There is also a C19 heavy duty power cable, felt cable tidies and literature on the product.


Above left, the modular cables. Above right, the hardwired cables. The 1,500W isn’t a pure modular design.

Thermaltake are using very high quality (18AWG) cables with this supply, all sleeved. The main ATX connector, as well the EPS and VGA cables are thick 16AWG designs. They are all also very long, to suit bigger tower case system builds. The 24pin ATX connector has small capacitors near the header, this is to offer some additional ripple filtering.

The Toughpower 1500W supply is nicely finished with a silver sticker on either side, featuring the name and power output. This is a very large power supply, measuring 220 mm x 150 mm x 86 mm (LxWxH), so make sure your case can accommodate it.

The front of the PSU is fully vented to help with airflow. There is no power button on this unit, which is surprising and rather disappointing for such a flagship product. Thermaltake are using a C20 power which accepts the heavy duty C19 plug.

The top of the power supply has a large 135mm fan centered with the ‘Tt’ logo proudly showcased in the middle of the metal grill. If you look at the image above however, you can see that the fan sticker (below) can be seen from an angle. It would have looked better if this was removed, for a plain black finish.

The other side of the power supply contains the colour coded modular ports. These are all labeled to aid with the installation phase. The hardwired cables are left naked near the entrance to the chassis, which is slightly disappointing to see. There are so many cables entering this hole that the side panel is slightly ‘bulged’ to accommodate them. They really should have made this hole a little larger as I would have some minor concerns long term about cable fraying.

ThermalTake Toughpower 1500W Modular Power Supply
DC Output
+5V
+3.3V
+12V1 +12V2 +12V3 +12V4
-12V
+5Vsb
Max Output
40A
40A
30A 30A 50A 50A
0.5A
6.0A
Combined 280W 1320W 6.0W 30W
Total 1500W
A powerful supply, by any definition of the term. +12V3 and +12V4 both offer 50A.

Thermaltake are using a Young Lin DFB132512H fan which we have seen used in other high end power supplies such as the Silverstone Strider Gold 1200W. This is a high performance fan which shouldn’t generate a lot of noise under load.

Thermaltake are using an Enhance OEM design for this supply. The full area of the PCB is covered with huge black heatsinks.

The transient filtering stage features two pairs of X and Y caps at the AC receptacle.



The supply uses four primary capacitors from Nippon Chemi Con, rated at 270μF each, to 105c. They can handle up to 420V each. The filtering capacitors are mainly Teapo although we noticed a few Rubycon, all rated to 105c. On the front of the modular panel are four small high quality capacitors.
On this page we present some super high resolution images of the product taken with the 24.5MP Nikon D3X camera and 24-70mm ED lens. These will take much longer to open due to the dimensions, especially on slower connections. If you use these pictures on another site or publication, please credit Kitguru.net as the owner/source.











Additional technical assistance: Peter McFarland and Jeremy Price.
Correctly testing power supplies is a complex procedure and KitGuru have configured a test bench which can deliver up to a 2,000 watt DC load. Due to public requests we have changed our temperature settings recently – previously we rated with ambient temperatures at 25C, we have increased ambient temperatures by 10c (to 35c) in our environment to greater reflect warmer internal chassis conditions.
We use combinations of the following hardware:
• SunMoon SM-268
• CSI3710A Programmable DC load (+3.3V and +5V outputs)
• CSI3711A Programmable DC load (+12V1, +12V2, +12V3, and +12V4)
• Extech Power Analyzer
• Extech MultiMaster MM570 digital multimeter
• Extech digital sound level meter
• Digital oscilloscope (20M S/s with 12 Bit ADC)
• Variable Autotransformer, 1.4 KVA
12V output is combined for our testing.
DC Output Load Regulation
Combined
DC Load
+3.3V
+5V
+12V
+5VSB
-12V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A V
500W
7.60
3.38
8.80
5.17
36.02
12.25
1.5
5.15
0.30 -12.01
750W
12.61
3.35
14.12
5.12
52.03
12.16
2.0
5.12
0.30 -12.08
1000W
17.72
3.29
20.02
5.08
72.23
12.09
2.5
5.05
0.50 -12.12
1250W 18.82 3.27 24.05 5.02 90.12 12.00 3.0 5.02 0.60 -12.14
1500W
18.85
3.22
24.62
5.00
115.90
11.92
3.5
4.98
0.80 -12.19
Load regulation is good, although the +3.3V output suffers from a little dip to 3.22 at full load.
ThermalTake Toughpower 1500W Modular Maximum Load
1667W
We managed to get the PSU to achieve 1667W before it would shut down, delivering around 167W more than the rated specifications.
Next we want to try Cross Loading. This basically means loads which are not balanced. If a PC for instance needs 500W on the +12V outputs but something like 30W via the combined 3.3V and +5V outputs then the voltage regulation can fluctuate badly.
Cross Load Testing +3.3V +5V +12V -12V +5VSB
A V A V A V A V A V
1150W 3.0 3.36 2.0 5.12 92.0 11.91 0.2 -12.21 0.50 5.01
250W 20.0 3.27 24.0 5.00 5.0 12.21 0.2 -12.15 0.50 5.00
The power supply passed the cross load tests, falling well within safe parameters, even when hit with 92A on the +12V output.
We then used an oscilloscope to measure AC ripple and noise present on the DC outputs. We set the oscilloscope time base to check for AC ripple at both high and low ends of the spectrum.
ATX12V V2.2 specification for DC output ripple and noise is defined in the ATX 12V power supply design guide.
ATX12V Ver 2.2 Noise/Ripple Tolerance
Output
Ripple (mV p-p)
+3.3V
50
+5V
50
+12V1
120
+12V2
120
-12V
120
+5VSB
50
Obviously when measuring AC noise and ripple on the DC outputs the cleaner (less recorded) means we have a better end result. We measured this AC signal amplitude to see how closely the unit complied with the ATX standard.
AC Ripple (mV p-p)
DC Load +3.3V +5V +12V 5VSB
500W 10 5 5 10
750W 15 10 10 10
1000W 20 10 15 15
1250W 25 15 15 15
1500W 30 15 25 20
These ripple results are extremely impressive, especially from the +12V output, which peaks at 25mV at full load, well within the rated guidelines of 120mV. All the other results are great too. 3.3V is a little higher, but still within the tolerance guidelines of 50mV.
Efficiency (%)
500W
89.11
750W
90.13
1000W
89.32
1250W
88.65
1500W 87.76
The efficiency ratings are excellent, peaking at over 90 percent when at 50 percent load. It drops to just under 88% at full load.
We take the issue of noise very seriously at KitGuru and this is why we have built a special home brew system as a reference point when we test noise levels of various components. Why do this? Well this means we can eliminate secondary noise pollution in the test room and concentrate on components we are testing. It also brings us slightly closer to industry standards, such as DIN 45635.
Today to test the power supply we have taken it into our acoustics room environment and have set our Digital Sound Level Noise Decibel Meter Style 2 one meter away from the unit. We have no other fans running so we can effectively measure just the noise from the unit itself.
As this can be a little confusing for people, here are various dBa ratings in with real world situations to help describe the various levels.
KitGuru noise guide
10dBA - Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA - High Quality Computer fan
40dBA - A Bubbling Brook, or a Refrigerator
50dBA - Normal Conversation
60dBA - Laughter
70dBA - Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA - City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA - Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA - MP3 Player at maximum output
110dBA - Orchestra
120dBA - Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA - Threshold of Pain
140dBA - Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA - Instant Perforation of eardrum
Noise (dBA)
500W
29.7
750W
32.4
1000W
33.6
1250W
34.4
1500W 35.8
The power supply is relatively quiet until around 900W when the fan works a little harder to remove excessive heat. The fan cranks up a little at 1100W, emitting around 34dBa of noise, which holds steady until around 1350W when it steps up another gear, emitting just under 36 dBa. Overall, it is surprisingly quiet throughout the range, and will likely be drown out by other case fans, even when loaded to over 1,000W.
Temperature (c)

Intake
Exhaust
500W
36
40
750W
38
44
1000W
41
50
1250W
45
55
1500W
48
58
The fan handles the internal temperatures well, maintaining good ambient temperatures. It rises to around 10c above ambient at full load.
Maximum load
Efficiency
1667W
86.3%
At 1667W, the efficiency level is still good, measuring 86.3%. Not a practical situation to be running 24/7, but worth noting.
It is hard not to be impressed by the Thermaltake Toughpower 1,500W power supply, it is a monster design capable of delivering over 1,600W when needed.
If anyone needs this level of power on a regular basis, I would be surprised because the most powerful system we have in our offices is a dual GTX590 QUAD Sli system with Intel Core i7 3960X overclocked to 4.8ghz. This system demands 940W under full load and the Thermaltake Toughpower 1500W power supply dealt with it without even a tiny flutter.
On a design level, the Toughpower 1,500W appealed to me. The appearance is subtle and the paintwork is first class and it will fit into any system build without standing out as an ugly eyesore. Just be careful that your computer case can accommodate the power supply, as it measures 220mm in length.
Technically, there is little to fault. Noise suppression is fantastic, measuring only 25mV from the +12v output at full load. One of the best results we have recorded from such a massive power supply. Load regulation is also strong and it dealt with our intensive cross loading test without a problem. The +3.3V fluctuates a little, but nothing serious enough to cause instability problems.
The large, high quality Young Lin fan copes with the demanding environment well, never creating a racket, even when the supply is delivering over 1,300W.
Our only concern, and it is one I don’t think we have ever have to mention before, would be the hardwired cabling implementation.
The hole in the chassis is too small, causing strain on the side panel and more seriously there is no cable sleeving as they enter the chassis. Without a protective grommet in place this raised an eyebrow in our labs as there is potential for frayed cabling over the long term. I would actually try and insert my own protective material just as the cables enter the chassis, for peace of mind. I am surprised that this issue was not caught before the product hit the retail channels.
Currently this power supply is available from Novatech in the United Kingdom for £234.98 inc vat. This is a good price, and very similar to 1000W/1250W 80 Plus Gold Certified units. If they could drop the price to £199.99 inc vat however it would sell many more units to the high end audience.
Pros:
  • Excellent performance.
  • great noise suppression.
  • low to moderate noise, even at 1,300W+
  • can handle any system.
  • price point.
Cons:
  • cables aren’t protected as they enter the chassis.
  • physically large.
  • no power button.
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