Articles: Cases/PSU

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Thermaltake Toughpower 850 AP (W0131, 850W)

You may disagree with me, yet I think that an 800W power supply is the reasonable maximum the owner of a top-end gaming station with two graphics cards should consider as a possible buy. Our measurements show that a PC with a Core 2 Quad and a pair of GeForce 8800 GTX does not consume even 500W under full load. So, an 850W is going to provide a reserve for now as well as for the future. Higher-wattage PSUs represent the manufacturer’s desire to shock the customer with big numbers and to appear in computer-related news but they are not in fact necessary for today’s PCs.

This PSU looks exactly like the Purepower RX 550 AP and has a bronze-colored case with a punched-out fan grid.

But when you take a look at the back, you see rows of connectors for detachable cables. The mainboard cable and two graphics cards cables are the only non-detachable ones in the W0131. I wonder why the CPU cable is not non-detachable, either. Have you ever seen a PC without a CPU? The Purepower RX series includes PSUs with detachable cables too, but we haven’t reviewed them yet.

The internal design isn’t different from the two previous PSUs. They are all based on the same platform and only differ in the ratings of some components and in the size of the heatsinks. Particularly, the Toughpower 850 AP has larger heatsinks.

The card with output connectors is located at the rear panel of the case in the previously empty space.

The PSU has four “virtual” +12V lines with a maximum combined current of 62A. The current limit is raised almost twofold on two of the output lines, to 30A. This is the consequence of the use of a unified PCB. This PCB offers room for four shunts only and the required power has to be delivered by relaxing the overcurrent limitations.

But opening the PSU up I found a reinforced shunt on the +12V3 line only whereas the +12V4 line had an ordinary, 18A shunt. Three 18A lines plus one 30A line do provide the necessary current, yet I’d like to see the PSU being more true to its own label!

And my second complaint is that I could find no information about how those lines were wired. This is important information considering the different current limiters. I had to find that out by myself: the +12V1 line powers the CPU (the first half of the 8-pin connector); the +12V2 is for the CPU (the second half of the connector) and for one detachable graphics card cable; the +12V3 line powers the mainboard and the non-detachable graphics card cables; and the +12V4 line powers the second detachable graphics card cable and all the peripherals.

The PSU offers the following cables and connectors:

  • Mainboard cable with a 20+4 connector (46cm)
  • Two graphics card cables with 6-pin connectors (48cm)
  • 8-pin connector for the CPU cable
  • Two 6-pin connectors for graphics card cables
  • Four 6-pin connectors for peripherals

Included with the PSU are:

  • CPU cable with 8-pin and 4-pin connectors (45+15cm)
  • Two graphics card cables with 6-pin connectors (50cm)
  • Two cables with four Molex connectors and one FDD mini-plug on each (50+15+15+15+15cm)
  • Two cables with four SATA power connectors on each (50+15+15+15cm).

All of the cables are sleeved.

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