Thermaltake Toughpower PF1 850W Power Supply Review

A tough power supply from Thermaltake, which can handle harsh conditions.

Thermaltake Toughpower PF1 850W
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

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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 at 12V, satisfactory at 5V, not so tight at 3.3V, and quite loose at 5VSB. 

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 hold-up time is long and the power ok signal is accurate. 

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.

Inrush current isn't high with 115V input, and at normal levels with 230V. 

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.

Leakage current

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Leakage current is low. 

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.

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Test #12V5V3.3V5VSBDC/AC (Watts)EfficiencyFan Speed (RPM)PSU Noise (dB[A])Temps (In/Out)PF/AC Volts
15.263A1.982A1.987A0.992A84.97588.085%0<6.0 44.51°C0.949
12.041V5.046V3.322V5.041V96.469 40.01°C115.14V
211.554A2.975A2.985A1.197A170.06090.999%0<6.0 44.80°C0.978
12.044V5.043V3.316V5.014V186.882 40.86°C115.14V
318.178A3.473A3.487A1.404A255.06991.943%0<6.0 45.90°C0.988
12.048V5.041V3.313V4.987V277.421 41.48°C115.14V
424.808A3.972A3.990A1.613A340.08792.043%5896.3 41.58°C0.992
12.048V5.037V3.306V4.961V369.489 46.64°C115.13V
531.052A4.968A4.997A1.825A425.09691.300%5886.3 42.11°C0.995
12.063V5.034V3.303V4.932V465.606 47.78°C115.12V
637.281A5.964A6.003A2.000A509.41190.794%87519.0 42.64°C0.996
12.065V5.031V3.298V4.906V561.060 49.21°C115.12V
743.601A6.963A7.015A2.257A594.89990.113%126331.3 43.07°C0.996
12.059V5.028V3.293V4.876V660.172 50.22°C115.11V
849.927A7.964A8.028A2.475A680.24189.373%179641.1 43.77°C0.996
12.054V5.025V3.288V4.851V761.127 52.09°C115.11V
956.622A8.467A8.528A2.481A765.16888.647%180041.1 44.82°C0.997
12.056V5.022V3.284V4.839V863.163 53.80°C115.11V
1063.238A8.971A9.058A2.596A849.88287.807%180341.1 45.76°C0.997
12.060V5.019V3.279V4.817V967.894 55.66°C115.11V
1170.246A8.974A9.069A2.604A934.66686.933%216146.0 46.63°C0.997
12.064V5.016V3.275V4.802V1075.154 57.32°C115.11V
CL10.102A12.001A12.000A0.000A101.17484.167%584 6.1 41.92°C0.957
12.092V5.035V3.293V5.087V120.206 47.49°C115.14V
CL270.032A1.000A1.000A1.000A857.93088.481%1800 41.1 45.17°C0.997
12.061V5.027V3.300V4.948V969.621 55.66°C115.11V

The PSU can handle high operating temperatures while delivering full power (and even more). The fan's speed is either at zero or very low RPM, with up to 60% of the unit's max-rated-capacity load. 

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.

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

The PSU achieves high efficiency in these tests. 

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.

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

With 2% load, the PSU scores higher than 70% efficiency. 

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.

Satisfactory efficiency with normal loads and very high levels with light and super-light loads. We would like to see high PF with 230V, though. 

5VSB Efficiency

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

The unit is equipped with an efficient 5VSB rail. 

Power Consumption In Idle And Standby

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Mode12V5V3.3V5VSBWattsPF/AC Volts

Vampire power is kept low. 

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 so aggressive under high operating temperatures. If they could use a large fan, things would be better in this area since it wouldn't be necessary to reach high RPMs to achieve the required airflow. 

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)

At normal operating temperatures, the fan speed profile is way more relaxed compared to high ambient. In no case did the PSU's fan noise exceed 40 dBA. 

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Contributing Editor

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