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Thermaltake Toughpower PF1 ARGB 1200W Power Supply Review: RGB Power

The Toughpower PF1 ARGB 1200W is powerful​, achieves high performance and has RGB lighting.

(Image: © Future)

Load Regulation, Hold-Up Time, Inrush Current, Efficiency and Noise

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.

The load regulation is tight in all rails. 

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 longer than 17ms, but the power-ok signal is not 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.

The registered inrush currents are low, given the PSU's capacity.

10-110% Load Tests

These tests reveal the Toughpower'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
18.207A1.968A2.003A0.986A120.18987.757%0<6.0 48.19°C0.981
12.011V5.086V3.297V5.073V136.956 39.14°C115.14V
217.410A2.953A3.003A1.184A239.85491.317%0<6.0 49.72°C0.994
12.002V5.082V3.294V5.067V262.660 40.26°C115.14V
326.948A3.447A3.492A1.383A359.34891.721%158142.1 41.50°C0.997
11.999V5.078V3.292V5.061V391.784 51.27°C115.14V
436.539A3.943A4.011A1.583A479.77991.833%158942.1 41.79°C0.998
12.003V5.074V3.289V5.055V522.450 51.84°C115.14V
545.791A4.932A5.019A1.783A599.90091.887%160041.5 42.37°C0.998
11.998V5.070V3.286V5.049V652.870 52.72°C115.14V
655.020A5.924A6.034A1.983A720.04891.155%160541.5 42.76°C0.998
12.000V5.065V3.282V5.043V789.919 53.75°C115.16V
764.235A6.918A7.044A2.184A839.80290.669%161141.5 43.02°C0.998
11.998V5.061V3.279V5.037V926.231 54.54°C115.18V
873.521A7.912A8.058A2.385A960.29390.073%161741.6 43.82°C0.998
11.995V5.057V3.276V5.031V1066.122 55.74°C115.18V
983.167A8.414A8.555A2.387A1079.61089.468%162041.6 44.15°C0.998
11.989V5.053V3.273V5.029V1206.702 56.84°C115.12V
1092.672A8.915A9.082A2.992A1200.10788.581%162541.8 45.75°C0.998
11.982V5.049V3.270V5.014V1354.811 58.81°C115.14V
11102.739A8.923A9.087A2.994A1320.11887.763%162541.8 46.59°C0.997
11.976V5.045V3.268V5.011V1504.193 60.64°C115.16V
CL10.158A16.002A16.000A0.000A135.48981.927%1585 42.1 42.01°C0.977
11.994V5.071V3.278V5.103V165.378 52.52°C115.13V
CL2100.036A1.004A1.000A1.000A1212.73688.907%1623 41.7 45.61°C0.998
11.989V5.056V3.284V5.045V1364.050 58.53°C115.15V

In the first two tests, the PSU operates in passive mode, but afterward, the cooling fan has to operate at high speeds, to remove the heat. It is also quite strange the fact that in test #6 the fan's speed drops notably. This drop in the fan's speed also takes place with 100V and 230V input, at the same load level, so most likely, the MCU that controls the fan speed needs re-programming. 

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

Because of the increased capacity, the PSU's efficiency is not so high under light loads. 

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

With 2% load the efficiency is high enough, but it doesn't exceed 70%.


Next, we plotted a chart showing the Toughpower’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 unit's efficiency is high with normal loads and satisfactory with 2% of its max-rated- capacity and 20-80W loads. 

5VSB Efficiency

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

The 5VSB circuit's efficiency is low. CWT should use a more capable 5VSB circuit in this unit. 

Power Consumption In Idle And Standby

Mode12V5V3.3V5VSBWattsPF/AC Volts

The vampire power is low, with both voltage inputs. 

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: Future)

(Image credit: Future)

Although the cooling fan can spin at higher speeds, its speed profile doesn't allow it to go much higher than 1600RPM. This leads to a rather aggressive speed profile, though, since from 360W load the fan reaches its max permitted speed.

What makes an impression is the fan's speed drop with 600W load. Clearly, there is a problem with the fan controller's programming.

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

(Image credit: Future)

(Image credit: Future)

The fan profile remains aggressive under normal operating temperatures, as well. Even under light and mid-loads, there are regions where the fan's noise exceeds 40 dB(A).

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Aris Mpitziopoulos
Contributing Editor

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