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Thermaltake Toughpower SFX 600W PSU Review

The highest-end member of Thermaltake's Toughpower SFX Gold line is on our test bench today. It offers Gold efficiency, modular cabling, and a semi-passive fan mode. Thanks to its 600 W capacity, you can easily build a powerful system with it.

Pros, Cons And Final Verdict

Thermaltake took Enhance's SFX platform, which is also utilized by SilverStone's SX600-G, and equipped it with better-quality caps. It also added a double ball-bearing fan in order to back the STP-0600F-G up with a seven-year warranty. But given that this design is on the edge with 600 W of maximum capacity, we aren't sure it'll last seven years if you push its limits on a daily basis.

Although Thermaltake claims that this PSU's peak power is 720 W in short bursts, we discovered that anything above 105 to 107 percent of its maximum rating causes increased ripple on every rail, putting the PSU and your hardware in danger. For such a physically compact PSU, 600 W is already too much. This is why Enhance only provides a couple of PCIe connectors along with a single EPS one, limiting the ways you can pull wattage from it in real-life applications. Normally, a 600 W PSU should be equipped with at least four PCIe connectors and a couple of EPS ones, all available at the same time. But this clearly isn't the case for Thermaltake's STP-0600F-G and SilverStone's identical SX600-G. In our opinion, there is no point to a 600 W PSU with so few PCIe and EPS connectors, so get the 450 W version instead and save some money.

The STP-0600F-G's negatives, beyond too-few bundled cables, also include mediocre load regulation, increased ripple at +12V, average transient response, and very high inrush currents. When it comes to protection features, OTP is notably missing, and over-power protection is set at a dangerously high level. So far, things don't look so good...

We did spot some positive aspects to call out, though. You get quiet operation (under normal operating conditions, at least), higher-quality filtering capacitors than what the SX600-G uses, modular cabling, and a good fan. To make this PSU more appealing, and to match Corsair's warranty, Thermaltake offers a seven-year guarantee. Considering the lack of over-temperature protection and the loose over-power protection threshold, this seems like a huge gamble. However, only time will tell.

In the end, we believe that this Enhance platform needs some serious modifications in order to compete aggressively with Corsair. It is weird to see a modern PSU registering less than 6 ms hold-up time when the ATX specification's minimum is 17 ms. Moreover, ripple goes way out of control when the PSU is pushed beyond its nominal capacity, which is made more egregious by the manufacturer claiming that peak load can reach 120 percent of the maximum power rating. 

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  • Dark Lord of Tech
    Hard to compete with the SF Corsairs.
    Reply
  • Pixdawg
    Based on this review, I wouldn't buy the thing for half its listed price. How the devil did it get a Gold rating, anyway?
    Reply
  • Clamyboy74
    You would only need 2 pcie cables since these psu are designed for sff builds, with only 1 gpu since you also use a m-itx board.
    Reply
  • turkey3_scratch
    This power supply is a disaster. It does not have working protection circuitry and should be a 450W unit, not a 600W unit.

    This thing sucks.

    This unit is a 450W power supply IMO. Basically, Thermaltake probably took their 450W power supply, slapped 600W on it, kept the same amount of PCIe cables, and called it a 600W power supply. This power supply is stupid, I don't know who would buy it. That's just my opinion of course, but safety should be the most important thing of a power supply, and even thought it didn't blow up, if it had 510mv of ripple at 110% load, imagine what it had at 140% load before it shut off? Probably 2000mv of ripple. There goes the GPU. There goes the CPU. There goes everything!

    But Thermaltake knows that not a single person who purchases this thing will have done their PSU research, and therefore not a single person buying this thing will probably have a system that demands more than 250-300W. Thermaltake preys on the vulnerabilities of the uneducated, it's a disgrace, it's disgusting.

    18596603 said:
    You would only need 2 pcie cables since these psu are designed for sff builds, with only 1 gpu since you also use a m-itx board.

    You wouldn't need a 600W power supply with an SFF build period. It razzes my berries that the mere fruit of the existence of this thing is an example of an unethically engineered product that nobody needs but is designed for those who don't know what they don't need.
    Reply
  • jonnyguru
    18596603 said:
    You would only need 2 pcie cables since these psu are designed for sff builds, with only 1 gpu since you also use a m-itx board.

    Not until the Corsair SF Series was released while I was sitting behind a desk at Corsair did I realize just how many people use SFX power supplies in full size cases. Absolutely AMAZES me. So.. yeah...
    Reply
  • turkey3_scratch
    Dont know if a 300mm 24-pin cable could reach the board in a full sized case.
    Reply
  • cats_Paw
    As much as I give Tomshardware a lot of pain for many of their articles This one is a very solid test.
    The PSU is one of the most important parts of the PC (Id say its THE most important), so a good review of a PSU is always welcome.

    Well done toms.
    Reply
  • Dark Lord of Tech
    I commend Thermaltake for releasing into the SFX market , more competition is good for the industry. With very little to choose from , it's still a huge plus to have more SFX units out there on the retail market.
    Reply
  • turkey3_scratch
    18599544 said:
    I commend Thermaltake for releasing into the SFX market , more competition is good for the industry. With very little to choose from , it's still a huge plus to have more SFX units out there on the retail market.

    Yeah but this is not what I'd call competition... Nobody needs to compete against Thermaltake's product since it stinks.
    Reply
  • nem3s1s
    GOOD QUALITY as usual on Enhance but seems they need smart enginiers to up level to the designs. wireless etc
    Reply