PurePower HPC-420-102 DF (W0009, 420W)
This is one of the oldest models in Thermaltake’s PSU line-up, and it has already taken part in our tests a number of times and under different brands because its actual manufacturer Sirtec supplies it to different companies. The HPC-420-102 DF is still available in shops, so I included it into this review to give you a fuller overall picture.
The suffix “102 DF” in the model name denotes a version of the power supply without power factor correction (“202” stands for models with passive PFC, “302” means models with active PFC) and with two cooling fans (“Dual Fan”).
This power supply has a plain gray case. One of its fans is located at the back panel, the other is placed on the bottom panel (I’m referring to the panels’ positions as they would be if the power supply were installed in the system case). It has a Turn on/off switch and an input voltage switch.
The internal design of this power supply is absolutely ordinary. It is assembled neatly, so I can find nothing to complain about. The PSU has an input socket with an integrated filter in addition to the filter on the main PCB.
The W0009 is designed up to the already out-dated ATX12V 1.3 standard (the current on the +12V rail can be up to 18A). This version of the standard was introduced as transitional from version 1.2 to 2.0 and became obsolete after the arrival of version 2.0-compliant units. So, in a modern computer, which mostly loads the +12V rail, the real load capacity of the HPC-420-102 DF won’t be higher than 250W: the maximum of 216W on the +12V rail plus 25-40W on the +5V and +3.3V rails (modern systems just don’t need any more power from these low-voltage lines).
The PSU is equipped with the following cables and connectors:
- One cable with a 20-pin ATX connector (50cm, 16AWG wires)
- One cable with a 4-pin ATX12V connector (51cm, 18AWG wires)
- Two cables with three Molex connectors and one floppy mini-plug on each (50cm from the PSU case to the first connector and 20cm more to each next connector; 16AWG wires)
- One cable with three Molex connectors for PATA drives (50cm+20cm+20cm, 16AWG wires)
- One cable with two SATA power connectors (50cm+20cm, 18AWG wires)
- A cable with a fan speed sensor
The mainboard’s connector has 20 pins, of course. The 24 connector was not yet described in the ATX12V 1.3 standard and was not actually required in power supplies for which the maximum allowable current on the +12V line was rather low. It’s nice to have two SATA power connectors here – you won’t have to use adapters.
The cross-load diagram for this PSU doesn’t look nice to my eye. The +5V voltage is so high that it varies within a range of 5.2-5.25V through almost half the diagram. The +12V voltage is not very stable, either. It fluctuates rather much and is going to get the nominal value in older computers in which most of the total load was on the +5V line, contrary to modern systems.
At a load of 400W (12V/210W, 5V/156W) the voltage ripple on the +5V and +12V rails is 25 and 57 millivolts, respectively. Both low- and high-frequency pulsations are present.
The PSU is cooled with two SuperRed fans (CHA8012BBS-M and CHA8010CBS-A models). The speeds of the fans are quite efficiently controlled so that the PSU is quiet, although not exactly silent, under loads below 150W. The fans become audible at higher loads, the speed of the faster of them getting as high as 3000rpm and more at the maximum.
The PSU’s efficiency factor is surprisingly good – above 80% in most of the load range (I say surprisingly because it’s mostly modern power supplies the W0009 can hardly be counted among that are usually highly efficient). The power factor is just what you can expect from a PFC-less unit: not higher than 0.7 at the maximum (for comparison: units with passive PFC and active PFC usually have a power factor of 0.75 and of over 0.95, respectively).
So, even if you meet a W0009 in shops, you will hardly be seriously interested in it. This power supply was designed to comply with the now-obsolete ATX12V 1.3 standard, so its real load capacity is going to be low in modern systems (well, a majority of PCs will be satisfied even with that – you will only have problems if you’re using a top-end central processor or a SLI/CrossFire graphics subsystem). Moreover, the tested unit’s +5V voltage is a too high and +12V voltage is unstable. Considering that the price of the W0009 doesn’t differ much from the prices of new ATX12V 2.0 products, I see no sense in purchasing it.