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Edited By: Daniel Levy
As most computer enthusiasts, or even casual computer builders know, Thermaltake has been setting the standard in quality for years, and while some may argue that they've been slipping lately in chassis quality, they still know how to make a damn good budget power supply. Today we're going to look at the Thermaltake Toughpower's latest incarnation which uses something called "QFan" technology.
• Extremely Quiet 140mm ball-bearing fan decreases 17% noise level
• Stable 650W continues output (at 50C operating environment)
• Complies with ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V 2.91 Version
• Four independent & dedicated +12v rails provide stable and superior performance for PC system (combined loading of 52A)
• Supports Dual Core CPU and all Multi-Core GPU technologies
• Modularized Cable Management to eliminate clutter and improve airflow inside the case.
• Independent Voltage Circuit: offers unflappable current delivery under heavy load
• Strict voltage regulation provides steady voltage for system
• Active Power factor Correction (PF>0.99) and high efficiency (up to 85%)
• Over Current, Over Voltage, and Short-Circuit protection
Thermaltake's Product Page
Price $169.99 @ Newegg
Suprisingly, and unlike other power supplies I've seen, or used in my life, including a recent Cooler Master (hint, hint), Thermaltake did an amazing job packaging the power supply, and accessories into it's box. Thick styrofoam and plastic wrap covered the power suppy, and they included a carrying case to hold the black mesh modular power cables, which we'll get to later.
• One 20+4-pin sleeved ATX cable
• One 8-pin sleeved PCI-Express cable, 20cm 8-to-6-pin adapter
• One 12V black sleeved cable with 8pin and 4pin connectors
• Two 6-pin sleeved PCI-Express cables
• One sleeved with three Molex connectors
• One floppy connector.
• Two sleeved SATA power cables with three connectors
As previously mentioned, this power supply features something known as "QFan". Well, what is this mysterious QFan anyway? It's a special fan arrangement inside of the power suppy, meant to create the best heat dissipation environment possible, with a noise decrease of up to 17.1 decibles. Unlike normal fans, these fans have a unique design incorporating a 360° non-frame. In laymans terms, the big 120mm fan on the bottom of the power supply, has it's own seperate plastic / rubber bracket seperated from the inside of the PSU, effectively killing fan vibration, and lowering overall noise, while increasing air moved. It also doesn't touch the fan grill, and has nothing restricting air flow; if you could take off the metal grill, you'd most likely have some serious psu cooling. It's more of a novelty and a marketing thing, but we did notice lower sound and better airflow compared to similar Cooler Master, and lower model Thermaltake power supplies.
Starting from the left is an 8-pin + 12v power connector, 6-pin socket for PCI-E devices (red), and the last four sockets are for Molex, SATA, and of course good old floppy connectors. The main cable is nicely sleeved, but the extra added bulk may make stealthing cables a little more difficult, as in smaller cases, it'll be a tighter fit behind the motherboard tray. While we wouldn't recommend modular / sleeved to hardcore computer builders, anyone who has no idea how to properly manage cables, or hates dealing with masses of wire, will love being able to simply pick the cable they want, and plug it in, cutting down mess and increasing appearance for people with windows in their cases in an easy way.
The Thermaltake Toughpower W0163 650W power supply was tested on the following system:
• Asus P5ND2-SLI DELUXE
• Intel Pentium Dual Core 3.0Ghz
• Nvidia 7600GS
• 2 X 512MB OCZ Extreme Ram
• 250GB Western Digital Raptor Hardrive
• Samsung DVD Combo Drive
• 2 x 120mm Fans
Installation was an absolute breeze just like with any psu, however when it came to installing the rubber sound dampening cover inside of our micro-ATX case, it was a pain because every time we went to set the cover inside of the case, it would move out of the holes or bend over causing it not to fit in properly. The problem does not occur in every case but most likely in some micro-ATX cases, you'll experience difficulty installing the cover. I'd suggest having holes on the back of the psu, and having the rubber cover "lock" into those holes, making it easily stay on while you screw in the psu. So, if you're reading this Thermaltake, try to get your engineers to implement something like this, and you'd have an amazing sound dampening setup.
The power supply easily gets scratched around the corners and the sides which can be a small nuisance, but it’s no big deal as it doesn't affect operation of the power supply. You also might feel that the psu is a bit "over-branded", as Thermaltake put labels on the sides, top, and even underneath the modular plugs. If Thermaltake had simply kept the branding on the bottom of the power supply, it would have had a cleaner look.
We did our best to get the most accurate readings of voltages by averaging several voltages with a multimeter and a program called Speed Fan. The first recorded voltages were taken when the system had been sitting idle with the Windows Desktop for about two hours. The second recording was taken after 6 hours of non-stop Battlefield 2, Counter Strike: Source, and World of Warcraft.
+3.3v +5v +12v
Idle +3.2 + 4.98 +11.87
Load +3.25 +4.97 +11.88
Throughout the testing between idle and load, the voltages as you see above did not fluctuate too much. After using the Toughpower for about 2 weeks, it has delivered, good and stable running performance for our test computer.
The fan was extremely quiet, even at 100 percent loads. Although the fan does slightly fluctuate in speeds due to temperature change, it kept the PC at normal temperatures without being loud, or irritating.
The Toughpower W0163 is an exceptionally well designed PSU which has great potential for being used in new as well as older computers. If you're looking for a top-of-the-line power supply, with a budget price, and four independent 12V rails, this power supply is an amazing choice, especially for a budget overclocker. However, if you're looking for something a bit less fancy, you might want to check out Thermaltake's W0093RU.
Special thanks to Thermaltake's Marketing Deaprtment (Ramsom)
Quite / Cool
Stable / Efficient
Multitude of cables
Four rails, at this price?
Stiff cables make for hard management
Micro-ATX install can be tricky
Lack of availablilty
A little on the pricy-side for being budget
Not all cables were properly sleeved
Last edited by Daniel Levy (3/19/08 12:52 PM)
"I'd suggest having holes on the back of the psu, and having the rubber cover "lock" into those holes, making it easily stay on while you screw in the psu. So, if you're reading this Thermaltake, try to get your engineers to implement something like this, and you'd have an amazing sound dampening setup."
Heh, couldn't put it any better.