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Thermaltake Toughpower PF1 650W Power Supply Review

Thermaltake Toughpower PF1 650W
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

To learn more about our PSU tests and methodology, please check out How We Test Power Supply Units. 

Primary Rails And 5VSB Load Regulation

The following charts show the main rails' voltage values recorded between a range of 40W up to the PSU's maximum specified load, along with the deviation (in percent). Tight regulation is an important consideration every time we review a power supply because it facilitates constant voltage levels despite varying loads. Tight load regulation also, among other factors, improves the system’s stability, especially under overclocked conditions and, at the same time, it applies less stress to the DC-DC converters that many system components utilize.

Load regulation is tight on all major rails. It exceeds 3% at 5VSB, but we don't care much about this rail as long as its voltage is within the ATX spec's range. 

Hold-Up Time

Put simply; hold-up time is the amount of time that the system can continue to run without shutting down or rebooting during a power interruption.

The large Rubycon bulk caps provide a long hold-up time, almost 23ms.  The Power Ok signal is accurate, too. 

Inrush Current

Inrush current, or switch-on surge, refers to the maximum, instantaneous input current drawn by an electrical device when it is first turned on. A large enough inrush current can cause circuit breakers and fuses to trip. It can also damage switches, relays, and bridge rectifiers. As a result, the lower the inrush current of a PSU right as it is turned on, the better.

The inrush current is low with 115V and on the high side with 230V. A higher resistance NTC thermistor could help lower the 230V input inrush current. 

Leakage Current

In layman's terms, leakage current is the unwanted transfer of energy from one circuit to another. In power supplies, it is the current flowing from the primary side to the ground or the chassis, which in the majority of cases is connected to the ground. For measuring leakage current, we use a GW Instek GPT-9904 electrical safety tester instrument.

The leakage current test is conducted at 110% of the DUT's rated voltage input (so for a 230-240V device, we should conduct the test with 253-264V input). The maximum acceptable limit of a leakage current is 3.5 mA and it is defined by the IEC-60950-1 regulation, ensuring that the current is low and will not harm any person coming in contact with the power supply's chassis.

Results 14b

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Leakage current stays at low levels. 

10-110% Load Tests

These tests reveal the PSU's load regulation and efficiency levels under high ambient temperatures. They also show how the fan speed profile behaves under increased operating temperatures.

Test #12V5V3.3V5VSBDC/AC (Watts)EfficiencyFan Speed (RPM)PSU Noise (dB[A])Temps (In/Out)PF/AC Volts
13.578A1.969A1.978A0.983A64.95787.184%0<6.0 45.46°C0.943
12.119V5.074V3.338V5.088V74.506 40.46°C115.15V
28.177A2.958A2.970A1.183A130.01490.915%0<6.0 46.57°C0.973
12.120V5.072V3.335V5.072V143.006 40.57°C115.14V
313.111A3.451A3.467A1.384A195.00992.030%0<6.0 47.85°C0.981
12.124V5.071V3.332V5.057V211.898 41.35°C115.14V
418.041A3.946A3.966A1.587A260.00992.375%0<6.0 49.45°C0.987
12.128V5.070V3.329V5.041V281.470 41.85°C115.14V
522.603A4.934A4.962A1.792A325.04791.927%566<6.0 42.33°C0.991
12.146V5.068V3.326V5.023V353.593 50.66°C115.16V
627.143A5.922A5.960A1.997A389.42991.644%81916.3 42.42°C0.992
12.144V5.067V3.322V5.007V424.935 51.24°C115.16V
731.744A6.911A6.961A2.204A454.76391.219%82216.8 43.21°C0.994
12.149V5.065V3.319V4.990V498.541 52.49°C115.16V
836.331A7.903A7.964A2.413A520.05890.640%104825.4 43.30°C0.994
12.156V5.064V3.315V4.972V573.764 53.03°C115.16V
941.349A8.396A8.451A2.417A584.96990.102%145235.3 44.09°C0.995
12.152V5.062V3.313V4.964V649.233 54.68°C115.16V
1046.283A8.895A8.974A2.524A649.68789.501%179541.1 45.69°C0.995
12.153V5.060V3.310V4.951V725.903 56.89°C115.15V
1151.630A8.897A8.977A2.528A714.50088.867%215245.9 46.60°C0.996
12.150V5.058V3.308V4.944V804.007 58.50°C115.14V
CL10.102A12.000A11.999A0.000A101.95385.941%575 <6.0 42.93°C0.972
12.172V5.075V3.318V5.100V118.631 51.22°C115.18V
CL254.018A1.001A0.999A1.000A669.67790.129%1451 35.3 45.99°C0.995
12.149V5.063V3.326V5.021V743.023 56.65°C115.15V

The PSU delivered 110% of its max-rated-capacity at almost 47 degrees Celsius without any problems. Naturally, the fan spins at full speed under such tough conditions to cope with the thermal load, which is not excessive at 89.5W. 

20-80W Load Tests

In the following tests, we measure the PSU's efficiency at loads significantly lower than 10% of its maximum capacity (the lowest load the 80 PLUS standard measures). This is important for representing when a PC is idle with power-saving features turned on.

Test #12V5V3.3V5VSBDC/AC (Watts)EfficiencyFan Speed (RPM)PSU Noise (dB[A])PF/AC Volts

The cooling fan doesn't need to spin at light loads, even if the ambient temperature exceeds 35 degrees Celsius. 

2% or 10W Load Test

Intel plans on raising the ante at efficiency levels under ultra-light loads. So from July 2020, the ATX spec will require 70% and higher efficiency with 115V input. The applied load is only 10W for PSUs with 500W and lower capacities, while for stronger units we dial 2% of their max-rated-capacity.

Test #12V5V3.3V5VSBDC/AC (Watts)EfficiencyFan Speed (RPM)PSU Noise (dB[A])PF/AC Volts

It is a shame that this platform cannot deliver more than 70% efficiency with 2% load, as the new ATX spec dictates. It is pretty close, though. 

Efficiency & Power Factor

Next, we plotted a chart showing the PSU’s efficiency at low loads, and loads from 10 to 110% of its maximum rated capacity. The higher a PSU’s efficiency, the less energy goes wasted, leading to a reduced carbon footprint and lower electricity bills. The same goes for Power Factor.

All in all, this is a highly efficient platform requiring some tuning with super-light loads.

5VSB Efficiency

Test #5VSBDC/AC (Watts)EfficiencyPF/AC Volts

The 5VSB rail is highly efficient. 

Power Consumption In Idle And Standby

Mode12V5V3.3V5VSBWattsPF/AC Volts

Vampire power is low with both 115V and 230V input. 

Fan RPM, Delta Temperature, And Output Noise

All results are obtained between an ambient temperature of 37 to 47 degrees Celsius (98.6 to 116.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The fan speed profile is not aggressive, and given the lack of proper heat sinks on the secondary side, it is logical that it allows for high speeds under increased loads and operating temperatures. 

The following results were obtained at 30 to 32 degrees Celsius (86 to 89.6 degrees Fahrenheit) ambient temperature.       

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Under normal operating temperatures, the fan speed profile is relaxed. 

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MORE: How We Test Power Supplies

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Aris Mpitziopoulos
Contributing Editor

Aris Mpitziopoulos is a Contributing Editor at Tom's Hardware US, covering PSUs.