Tagan BZ Series TG1100-U88 (1100W)
Tagan’s BZ series is interesting for including a few models with ESA support. Nvidia has proposed the ESA protocol for the various components of a computer to report their status. Thus, ESA-compatible power supplies have USB interface and can report current voltages and loads on different power rails.
I won’t discuss ESA today because I’ve got an early BZ series model for my tests. It doesn’t support ESA.
The PSU looks ordinary enough from this point of view, but you can see a protective silicone cap on the On/Off switch (I don’t understand the purpose of this protection) and the text “+12V Auto Turbo Switch”. The latter represents an attempt of Tagan’s marketing department to reconcile two irreconcilable things – the presence and absence of “virtual” lines on the +12V power rail. I can remind you that these lines are produced by means of protection that turns the PSU off not only on reaching a certain overall load but also on reaching a certain current on specific connectors. This improves safety, but a situation is possible when the protection is triggered on due to one overloaded line although the PSU on the whole still has more than enough of output power. Therefore some manufacturers remove such protection altogether or make 6 or 8 lines so that each heavy consumer could have its own line (if one line is shared by two such consumers, overload is more likely). Others increase the load capacity of each line from 18A (as required by the EN-60950 safety standard which had provoked the very existence of such “virtual” lines) to 22-30A.
Tagan’s marketing people seem to believe that multiple “virtual” lines contribute to higher stability and wattage (as you can learn from the previous paragraph, this is not true) and have been unable to give them up altogether. As a result, they have introduced an auto-off protection system: when the current is lower than the threshold, the protection works. As soon as the current is as high as the threshold, the protection is turned off and all the virtual lines join into one! In practical terms, it means that the PSU has no “virtual” lines with individual protection from overload.
The back panel of the PSU resembles the above-discussed model from Kingwin. The connectors for detachable cables are designed in a similar way (although the connectors themselves are somewhat different).
Indeed, when the PSU is working, the occupied connectors are shining in bright colors (the Kingwin has blue highlighting only). This pretty sight should be appreciated by users of system cases with translucent side panel.
The PSU is equipped with the following cables and connectors:
- Mainboard cable with a 20+4-pin connector (52cm)
- CPU cable with a 4-pin connector (57cm)
- CPU cable with an 8-pin connector (57cm)
- One cable with two 6-pin connectors for graphics cards (54+15cm)
- One cable with one Molex connector (57cm)
- Ground wire (52cm)
- Four connectors for additional graphics card cables
- Four connectors for additional peripheral power cables
Included with the PSU are:
- Two cables with one 6+2-pin graphics card connector on each (60cm)
- Two cables with one 6-pin graphics card connector on each (60cm)
- Two cables with four SATA power plugs on each (50+15+15+15cm)
- Two cables with two Molex connectors and one floppy-drive plug on each (55+15+15cm)
- Four adapters from SATA to PATA power plugs
- One adapter from a Molex connector to two floppy-drive plugs
Tagan offers a nice selection of connectors. At last we see a power supply with a minimum of obsolete and unused connectors for PATA drives. Users who still have a lot of PATA disks can connect them using the included adapters. In fact, I wouldn’t mind if one of the detachable PATA cables were replaced with a SATA one.
The PSU has a special grounding wire that can be attached to any screw of your system case. If you securely fasten the PSU with screws to your system case without any insulating pads, this wire won’t be necessary.
The peripheral power cables are nylon-sleeved. The graphics card cables are hidden into a thick, stiff and unhandy tube and have ferrite rings that act as high-frequency noise filters.
The PSU only differs from other of its class with the mirroring position of the PCB: the low-voltage section is in the right of the photo and the high-voltage section is on the left. They have the opposite positions in most other PSUs. This may affect the ease of assembly, depending on the specific system case.
Although I don’t have complaints about the assembly quality in general, the electrolytic capacitors soldered to the card with connectors for detachable cables are not neat. They look as if the manufacturer had not planned them to be there.
According to the label, the PSU has six “virtual” +12V lines each of which can deliver up to 20A for a total of 80A. But as I have written above, the +12V Auto Turbo Switch technology turns the protection off if any line is overloaded, thus joining all the lines together.
I can’t say anything about the other parameters of the PSU. The specs are normal and typical of today’s PSUs.
Together with my APC SmartUPS SC 620 this power supply worked at loads up to 370W when powered by the mains but was not stable when powered by the batteries. The UPS would immediately shut down reporting overload at 300W or higher. At a load of 250W the UPS would wait for 3-4 seconds and then shut down, too. Thus, this power supply is practically incompatible with UPSes (save for online models).
Output Voltage Stability
The Tagan is perfect is this test: the +12V voltage deflects no more than 1%. The +5V and +3.3V voltages deflect no more than 2%.
Output Voltage Ripple
The additional capacitors did not save the PSU from conspicuous spikes of voltage at the moments of the switching of the inverter’s transistors. However, the voltage ripple is not higher than the permissible limit at full load even though is close to that limit on the +5V and +3.3V rails.
The PSU is cooled by a 135x135x26mm fan whose real manufacturer can be identified from the model name. It is Globe Fan.
The fan’s speed is about 1000rpm until a load of 500W. Then the fan begins to accelerate up to 2000rpm. Overall, the PSU is average in terms of noisiness.
Efficiency and Power Factor
The efficiency is not recording-breaking but high: up to 87% at the maximum.
The Tagan BZ Series TG1100-U88 does not stand out among its numerous opponents, but may be interesting to people who like various kinds of highlighting. The indication of connected cables is implemented very beautifully in this PSU. The shortcoming of this model is its almost complete incompatibility with UPSes.