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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.

Efficiency, Temperature And Noise

Efficiency

Our efficiency testing procedure is detailed here.

Using results from the previous page, we plotted a chart showing the STP-0600F-G's efficiency at low loads, and loads from 10 to 110 percent of its maximum-rated capacity.

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The STP-0600F-G doesn't score so well against other SFX and SFX-L power supplies. Despite the use of a very low-capacity bulk cap, this platform still isn't as efficient as Great Wall's SFX design used in Corsair's SF450 and SF600. Enhance should make all necessary changes to improve efficiency and find a way to fix the low hold-up time issue.

Efficiency At Low Loads

In the following tests, we measure the STP-0600F-G's efficiency at loads significantly lower than 10 percent of its maximum capacity (the lowest load the 80 PLUS standard measures). The loads we dialed were 20, 40, 60 and 80 W. This is important for representing when a PC is idle, with power-saving features turned on.

Test #12V5V3.3V5VSBDC/AC (Watts)EfficiencyFan SpeedFan NoisePF/AC Volts
11.204A0.492A0.477A0.195A19.6167.48%1915 RPM31.8 dB(A)0.877
12.092V5.021V3.334V5.052V29.06115.1V
22.439A0.991A0.990A0.395A39.7376.30%1975 RPM32.4 dB(A)0.942
12.085V5.016V3.329V5.042V52.07115.1V
33.669A1.487A1.501A5.035A59.7681.64%2095 RPM33.2 dB(A)0.963
12.079V5.012V3.324V5.035V73.20115.1V
44.897A1.995A1.984A0.797A79.7485.09%2170 RPM34.4 dB(A)0.972
12.080V5.008V3.319V5.028V93.71115.1V

Efficiency under light loads isn't great. We would like to see numbers above 70 percent with 20 W load and over 80 percent with 40 W. In addition, the passive mode wouldn't activate during the low-load tests due to an ambient temperature over 36 °C.

5VSB Efficiency

The ATX specification states that 5VSB standby supply efficiency should be as high as possible, recommending 50 percent or higher efficiency with 100 mA of load, 60 percent or higher with 250 mA of load, and 70 percent or higher with 1 A or more of load.

We take four measurements: one each at 100, 250 and 1000 mA, and one with the full load the 5VSB rail can handle. 

Test #5VSBDC/AC (Watts)EfficiencyPF/AC Volts
10.101A0.5170.83%0.076
5.059V0.72115.2V
20.251A1.2775.15%0.163
5.055V1.69115.2V
31.002A5.0576.63%0.354
5.038V6.59115.2V
42.501A12.5275.11%0.436
5.005V16.67115.2V
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Efficiency at 5VSB is disappointingly low.

Power Consumption In Idle And Standby

In the table below, you'll find the power consumption and voltage values of all rails (except -12V) when the PSU is idle (powered on, but without any load on its rails), and the power consumption when the PSU is in standby mode (without any load, at 5VSB).

Mode12V5V3.3V5VSBWattsPF/AC Volts
Idle12.099V5.025V3.339V5.061V5.470.395
115.2V
Standby0.060.007
115.2V
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As usual, the ErP Lot 6 2013 directive's requirement are easily met with both 115V and 230V input.

Fan RPM, Delta Temperature And Output Noise

Our mixed noise testing is described in detail here.

The first chart below illustrates the cooling fan's speed (in RPM), and the delta between input and output temperature. The results were obtained at 36 °C (96.8 °F) to 46 °C (114.8 °F) ambient temperature.   

The next chart shows the cooling fan's speed (again, in RPM) and output noise. We measured acoustics from one meter away, inside a small, custom-made anechoic chamber with internals completely covered in sound-proofing material (be quiet! Noise Absorber kit). Background noise inside the chamber was below 18 dB(A) during testing, and the results were obtained with the PSU operating at 36 °C (96.8 °F) to 46 °C (114.8 °F) ambient temperature. 

The following graph illustrates the fan's output noise over the PSU's operating range. The same conditions of the above graph apply to our measurements, though the ambient temperature was between at 28 °C (82.4 °F) to 30 °C (86 °F).  

Thermaltake's passive mode lasts briefly, even under normal operating temperatures. In this PSU, the semi-passive functionality is more a marketing trick than a useful feature. Fortunately, the fan profile is fairly loose at close to 30 °C ambient, so the STP-0600F-G is fairly quiet up to 300 W load. The small fan starts to get loud with over 430 W load, and you will definitely hear it with higher than 500 W loads. For a high-capacity SFX PSU, the STP-0600F-G is overall pretty quiet under normal temperature conditions.

  • 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