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Appeared on: Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Thermaltake 1200W

1. Introduction

Thermaltake's devotion to innovative products shows itself once more with the arrival of the first ever 1200Watt power supply. The press release made an impact among users since for the first time, such a high powered power supply was announced onto the market. But why would someone need such a power supply, when most needs can be covered with a good 600W PSU? The answer lies in the recent arrival of next generation video cards, sporting Nvidia's 8800GTX and ATI's R600 GPU chipsets.

- Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W

Thermaltake Technology launched a 1200W as well as a 1000W product back in February 2007. The new additions are the response to the demands for higher power from both ATI and Nvidia graphics card that allows for unprecedented graphics realism and image quality.  Today’s high-end graphics cards will draw as much as 300W of power alone and with the popularity of multi graphics card configurations, users are expected to allocate aside at least 600W just for graphics cards.

Toughpower 1000W and 1200W will both feature three industry first 8-pin PCI-E connectors as well as three original 6-pin PCI-E connector configurations to support the Quad GPU system setup.  The 8-pin PCI-E connector is the next generation standard power connector for both ATI and Nvidia high-end graphics cards; it is downward compatible with the existing 6-pin PCI-E connector with an 8 pin to 6 pin converter. Hence, even though there are only 6-pin sockets available on the graphics cards, Toughpower 1000W/1200W can still run Quad GPU systems with no problem.

Unlike competing power supplies with only one or two 12V rails, four dedicated 12V rails, tightly regulated voltage (±3%) and Active PFC found on Toughpower, provide unparalleled reliability and stability.  The use of industrial-grade voltage controllers and on time control enables high-efficiency across all rails that exhibit up to 87% efficiency even under high-loads. This significantly lowers operating cost in addition to lowering thermal overhead, especially for users who operate their PC continuously.

Toughpower 1000W and 1200W both comply with the most recent Intel ATX 12V V2.2 for desktop and EPS 12V V2.91 for workstation or server platforms. On top of the three 6-pin PCI-E and three 8-pin PCI-E connectors, eight SATA power connectors and eight Molex connectors present a full array of future hardware upgrades. Cable Management feature eliminates clutters inside the chassis for great system airflow and improved thermal management. Ultra-quiet dual ball bearing 14cm fan with automated thermal control only increases fan speed when needed and maintains lowest noise level during idle or low power usage status.

Over Voltage Protection (OVP), Over Current Protection (OCP), Short Circuit Protection (SCP) and No Load Operation Protection are all the standard safety protection features found on each and every one of Thermaltake's power supplies.

- Features

- Specifications

ATX Logic on-off additional power rocker switch
Active PFC (PF > 0.9)
Cooling System
140mm Fan, 2300RPM ± 10%
16 dBA at 1300 RPM
P. G. Signal
100-500 ms
up to 87%
Hold-up Time

Input Voltage
115 VAC ~ 230 VAC
Input Frequency Range
47 ~ 63 Hz
120,000 hrs minimum (at 25 ℃)
Input Current

Regulation *1
Ripple & Noise *2
Max Output
Total Power

*1. +5Vsb operate at 3.5A max load base on PS-ON mode. If PS-OFF +5Vsb only operate
      at 3A max load.
*2. Add 0.1uF and 47uF capacitors across output terminal during ripple & noise test.

Operating Temp.
10 ℃ to 50 ℃
Storage Temp.
-20 ℃ to 70℃
Operating Humidity
20% to 90%, non-condensing
Storage Humidity
5% to 95%, non-condensing

DC rail
Trigger Point/Range
Over Voltage Protection
+3.3V trip point
4.5 Vmax
+5.0V trip point
7.0 Vmax
+12.0V trip point
15.6 Vmax
Over Current Protection
33A ~ 50A
33A ~ 50A
+12V1 & +12V2
22A ~ 35A
+12V3 & +12V4
39A ~ 55A
Under Voltage Protection
+3.3V trip point
2.0 Vmin
+5.0V trip point
3.3 Vmin
+12.0V trip point
8.5 Vmin
Short Protection
All output to GND

2. The Retail Package

The Thermaltake 1200W can be found at a price range of US$390~420, depending on your location and VAT. The retail package is much bigger than the usual and all contents are well packaged. There are no indications on the retail package about warranty or SLI/Crossfire certifications. After looking around Thermaltake's website for the warranty, we saw that all PSUs are covered by a 5 year warranty. However, we are not sure if the same warranty applies to EU or other regions. Check with your retailer.

The PSU is larger than other PSUs at 200 x 160 x 86mm and is certified for ATX v2.2 standard. We assume that this PSU will fit in most cases, but check against your case dimensions to be sure.

The PSU has a 140mm cooling fan that rotates at 2300rpm producing a rather low noise level (16dB at 1300 RPM ). The fan speed is dynamically adjusted, based on power supply load and temperature.

The external silver-gray color looks good and won't leave fingerprints like with other PSUs we have tested in the past. The edges are rounded, so you can handle it without any worries. The rear has a honeycomb design, that helps ventilation and lower the PSU's internal temperature, as hot air is forced out of the case.

On top, we find a label with all the PSU specs and ratings:

On the front, we find the modular cabling system connections:

Thermaltake has included a sticker identifying each connector, very handy for inexperienced users.

The retail package includes a power cord, four mounting screws and a silicon pouch for absorbing PSU vibrations. This is the first time we have seen such "accessories" included in a PSU retail package

Below is what is listed on the retail package:

The modular cabling system offers high flexibility and more room. Another positive is that each cable is "tagged" with a label, so you cannot make any mistakes as to where each cable connects to :-)

The PSU has the three "standard" cables installed, the 24pin connector, 1x 4+4 pin +12V and 1x 8pin +12 power connector. You can use whichever one better fits on your motherboard.

3. Tests

To test the PSU, we put our system under load through heavy CPU+3D usage with 3D Mark 06 v1.0.2. Our test PC was as follows:

All PSU ratings were monitored with Everest Ultimate Edition v3.0. The following table lists the industry wide specifications for DC Output Voltage Regulation.


After running 3D Mark 06, the monitored outputs showed us how much stress the PSU had taken. The summary of the test results can be found in the following table:

CPU Core
+3.3 V
+5 V
+12 V

The results are very good. All ratings are well within range, while even at full load, the voltage only changes by 0.01~0.06V. This is the lowest voltage deviation we have seen in our labs from a power supply.

4. Conclusion

Thermaltake's Toughpower offers very high performance with unique features. The adoption of a 14cm rotating fan can make a difference. Even at full load the PSU will raise the RPMs in order to keep internal temperatures low, resulting in some noise. The 1200Watt edition offers what no-other power supply offers, the first 8pin cabling system for next generation graphics cards and plenty of connectors for storage devices, like HDDs and optical drives.

There are three 6-pin and three 8-pin PCI-E connectors for VGA cards as well as the next trend in graphics which is to include physics cards which is why Thermaltake offers three PCI-E connectors at both 6 and 8pins. Don't forget that there are also eight SATA, eight Molex and two FDD connectors available too! The modular cable design will free up valuable space in your case and help keep internal temperatures lower due to better air-flow. All cables are tagged for easy identification also. 

Passing on to the product's performance, we saw the least deviation measured on voltages of any PSU we have measured in our labs. Of course, we didn't have very high-end graphics cards (like 2x8800GTX) but we believe that this power supply will handle just about whatever you throw at it. Thermaltake also offers a 5 year warranty, important for such a high priced power supply..

Overall, this product screams in both specifications and performance. We have no complaints, Thermaltake has managed to introduce an innovative product for power users, but of course with the corresponding price tag.

- The Good

- The Bad

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