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Choosing a PSU: Ultra or Thermaltake

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November 20, 2005 5:58:47 PM

Greetings!

I am considering the following two replacement PSUs:
Ultra XConnect 500W Titanium
Thermaltake TR2 W0070 430W

My system currently consists of a P4 2.5Ghz, 512Mb PC2700, Radeon 9600Pro AGP, ATA133 7200RPM HD, CD/RW. I will soon be adding a second HD and a DVD burner. I am also running 2 case fans and a HD fan.

Ultra
Pro
(1) 500W
(2) 34A on 12V rail
(3) fewer cables = better airflow
Con
(1) 20 Pin Only - No 24 or 20+4 connector
(2) No PCIe connector
I do not need these connectors today, but my next machine is guaranteed to require them

Thermaltake
Pro
(1) Cheaper
(2) all power connectors, including 20+4 and PCIe
Con
(1) 18A on the 12V rail
This makes me real nervous. My current (generic) PSU is getting 16A on the 12V rail and does not have the juice to run my system under load.

They both sport dual fans and relatively quite operation.

Your thoughts?
November 20, 2005 6:21:59 PM

430 watts is more than you will need, I assure you.

I have been running a 3.2 Prescott with 3 hard drives, 2 gigs of DDR Ram, an ATI X800XT-PE, DVD Burner, a TV tuner card and a PCMCIA reader with an 3 year old Antec TruePower 430 watt PSU and it runs stable even with a 4% overclock on memory timings of 2-2-2-5.

Depends if you want to get sufficient power for current rig with still enough for expanding (the 430 watt quality PSU will do) or if you want the flash and bling bling with future entire system upgrade in mind (the 500 watt X-connect PSU which is rad but costly).

BTW, Monday I am to receive a new PSU from Antec to replace my 2-1/2 year old Antec 430 watt PSU, since I had an opportunity to get an Antec 550 watt TruePower from NewEgg for $75 including shipping. I will re-use the old 430 watt in a rig for my girls.
November 20, 2005 6:31:03 PM

On second thought, neither of those models have two 12-volt rails, of which I would want for my PC. So I would not buy either one, and look towards the line of an Antec TruePower 430 or 480 for your power supply since they are reasonably priced and perform well enough for all but the most demanding overclockers.
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November 20, 2005 6:51:19 PM

Hey, thanks for the quick reply!

Quote:
430 watts is more than you will need, I assure you.
Well, my current 350W has 16 amps on the 12V rail. This 430W has 18 amps. If I'm that close on 16 amps, is 2 more amps really going to be enough?

Quote:
On second thought, neither of those models have two 12-volt rails, of which I would want for my PC.
Why would dual rails be that important? I thought this was only needed for SLI.
November 20, 2005 9:09:22 PM

do not use ultra!!! it only puts out max power the whole time. go with the thermaltake!! or better yet, get FSP or Enermax or Antec. Their qualities are much better than ultra. although u can take off the cables for ultra, they are huge and stiff. plus the ultra may have 2 fans, but it doen't move a lot of air. FYI the 24 pin converter is $12.99!?

if ur looking at the rebates, remember this:

Ultra + rebate = death

they use onrebate.com stuff, which rejects people 3 out of 5 times
November 20, 2005 9:49:57 PM

Quote:
do not use ultra!!! it only puts out max power the whole time.

Pardon me for being dense, but how is the output of max power a bad thing?

One of the things I like about the Ultra is the 34 amps on the 12V rail. The thermaltake only has 18 amps. My current 350W PSU got 16 amps and could not keep the system running at full load.
November 20, 2005 10:11:05 PM

My old Antec True Power 430 watt I am replacing and upgrading to a Antec 550 watt TruePower has 36amp on 5 volt rail and 28amps on the 12 volt rail.
That seems like a better choice than either of the ones you listed, and costs nearly half as much.
November 20, 2005 10:23:29 PM

Quote:
how is the output of max power a bad thing?


okay, that puts yout PSU at strain the whole time, thus deceases the lifetime of a PSU. Better ones can adjust to the power need, hence more efficient. using 500W every single second is an overkill and drives up the electricity bill.

btw, i don know how efficient Ultra is. good ones should run around 70% or greater.
November 20, 2005 10:24:59 PM

IOW's, THEY SUCK BIG NASTY ONES!
November 20, 2005 11:08:59 PM

Quote:
btw, i don know how efficient Ultra is. good ones should run around 70% or greater.
The Ultra is 70% and the Thermaltake is at 65% efficiency.




But, we are digressing from the original intent of my post. You see, I am not so concerned about the name on the box as I am about the numbers on the label.

My current system failed after I added a middle-of-the-road AGP card. As it turns out, the PSU wasn't strong enough on the 12V rail. I survey my choices of PSUs at NewEgg only to discover that the vast majority of them have less than 20 amps on the 12V rail. Fine, I get out my calculator to see how much my system needs. I come up with 12-13 amps. WTF?!?! Well, my current PSU should be able to handle the load, but it obviously couldn't.

Now, back to my original question: 500 watts and 34 amps with no upgradability versus 430 watts and 17 amps, which may not work or upgrade. Hmmm....

What are your thoughts concerning these numbers?

Thanks!
November 20, 2005 11:11:37 PM

My thoughts again...

My old Antec True Power 430 watt has 36amp on 5 volt rail and 28amps on the 12 volt rail.
That seems like a better choice than either of the ones you listed, and costs nearly half as much.
November 20, 2005 11:57:45 PM

Thanks!

Quote:
My thoughts again...

My old Antec True Power 430 watt has 36amp on 5 volt rail and 28amps on the 12 volt rail.
That seems like a better choice than either of the ones you listed, and costs nearly half as much.


Including all taxes and shipping charges, and accounting for any rebates:

Ultra $47
Thermaltake $30
Antec 430 $77

There is no doubt about it, Antec makes a nice PSU as well as a nice case. Unfortunately, I really cannot justify the extra funds for Antec quality at this time. I'd really like to go with the Thermaltake because it is cheaper. But, if I have to replace it in 2 years because 18 amps will not be enough, then it isn't really the cheapest. On top of that, I'm not even sure if it is enough for today. Hence my conundrum of balancing cost today against use tomorrow.

Now, for an extra $4 I can pick up a Rosewill 450W with 22A on the 12V rail. It does not have a PCIe connector, though. My next machine will most certainly be using PCIe (unless PCIe gets replaced before then). For this reason, I don't think the Rosewill is worth the cost. I'd really like to order the Thermaltake. But, will it work? The ultra is especially attractive since I can go get one in less than an hour.
a c 158 ) Power supply
November 21, 2005 12:24:17 AM

I'd stay away from the Ultra. What the atheist was trying to explain earlier is that Ultra rates their PSUs on maximum wattage (sustainable for 20 sec) instead of maximum continuous wattage. Basically they are overrating their PSUs.
November 21, 2005 12:36:38 AM

You should of bought the Antec TruePower 550 watt like I did 3 days ago, it will arrive for me Monday.
It cost $74.99 including shipping from NewEgg, a bargain by my standards. :wink: It will be replacing my 430 watter. :p 
a c 158 ) Power supply
November 21, 2005 9:32:23 PM

A bargain by most standards...If only I could get a Seasonic S12 in that price range....
!