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Tagan SuperRock TG880-U33II

The Tagan website says that the SuperRock series is certified to comply with 80+Plus Bronze, but my sample belongs to an early batch that does not have that certification. There is nothing extraordinary about that. If the manufacturer finds that its existing platform can be easily upgraded to comply with new standards, why not do that?

Exterior Design

The Tagan TG880-U33II is cooled by a 120mm fan whereas most makers have already switched to 140mm ones, and this solution seems to be due to marketing rather than technical reasons. Otherwise, it is a conventional power supply of medium size and painted matte black. There is an operation mode indicator next to the mains connector.

The cables are not detachable.

The sticker “Certified by Tagan” looks funny to me. It takes a lot of self-confidence and shows great self-sufficiency to certify one’s own products!

Interior Design

The power supply is packed densely inside. There are a lot of large components: heatsinks, two transformers, and three parallel-connected high-voltage capacitors.

After last-generation models with small heatsinks and half-empty PCB, one might suspect the SuperRock of using yesterday’s components, but that’s not so. For example, there are two cards of switching DC-DC converters below one of the heatsinks. Thus, the output voltages of the TG880-U33II are regulated in the same way as, for example, in the Corsair HX850W: the main regulator yields +12V whereas the +5V and +3.3V voltages are generated by separate regulators.

Teapo capacitors are installed at the PSU output.

Specifications

The +12V rail is split into four “virtual” lines, 18 amperes each, which is not a good idea. A top-end graphics card like a GeForce GTX 480 or even 470 may overload such a line, triggering the PSU's protection. If you've got one graphics card, you should connect it to the PSU in such a way that different +12V lines led to the card's power connectors (the user manual says that two lines, 12V3 and 12V4, are connected to the graphics card connectors), but you may have problems with a SLI or CrossFireX configuration even though the PSU will offer enough of total output power.

Cables and Connectors

The PSU is equipped with the following cables and connectors:

  • Mainboard cable with a 20+4-pin connector (55 cm)
  • CPU cable with a 4+4-pin connector (58 cm)
  • CPU cable with an 8-pin connector (57 cm)
  • Two graphics card cables with one 6-pin connector on each (55 cm)
  • Two graphics card cables with one 6+2-pin connector on each (55 cm)
  • Two cables with three PATA power connectors and one floppy-drive plug on each (50+15+15+15 cm)
  • Two cables with four SATA power connectors on each (51+15+15+15 cm)

There is nothing I can find fault with here. The PSU offers all necessary connectors.

UPS Compatibility

Working with my APC SmartUPS SC 620, this power supply was stable at loads up to 384 watts when powered by the mains and up to 300 watts when powered by the batteries. At a load of 330 watts the UPS would shut down in 10-15 seconds, reporting overload. An UPS with a sinusoid output voltage and a reserve of wattage may help here.

Output Voltage Stability

None of the voltages tracked violates the permissible limits at any loads, the +12V voltage even staying within a 2% deflection from the nominal level.

Output Voltage Ripple

The short spikes spoil the oscillogram somewhat, yet the PSU passes this test.

Noise

The PSU is cooled by a 120x120x25mm fan from Protechnic Electric. This company’s products do not enjoy a good reputation, but I must acknowledge I did not hear any unwanted noises from the fan of my PSU sample.

The PSU is average in terms of noisiness. The fan is as fast as 1000 RPM at loads up to 400 watts. At higher loads, the fan accelerates, reaching a maximum of 2000 RPM. The PSU gets really loud at 550-600 watts but cannot satisfy users who prefer silent computers even at lower loads. The difference from PSUs whose fans start out at 800 RPM or lower is clear in a home environment.

Efficiency and Power Factor

Although the PSU is not formally certified for the 80+Plus Bronze standard, it wouldn't have any problems getting one. In the 220V power grid I tested it in, its efficiency is no lower than 84% at loads ranging from 20 to 100% of its full output power.

Standby Source

The standby source copes with its job easily: its voltage lowers to 4.89 volts at full load whereas the permissible bottom level is 4.75 volts.

Summary

There are two drawbacks I can see in the Tagan SuperRock TG880-U33II and both are not going to be serious for most users. This model is somewhat noisier than most of its opponents and is not stable in pair with an UPS. Otherwise, it is a well-made high-wattage power supply suitable for a modern gaming PC.

 
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