Hardware PSU Reviews

Thermaltake Toughpower Grand Platinum 700W PSU Review

Just when you thought the Toughpower series power supplies from Thermaltake didn’t get any better, the Grand Platinum series is proof that they do. The Toughpower lineup has always been the best of the best from Thermaltake’s lineup, and the Grand Platinum series takes it one step further. How? Well, all Grand Platinum series power supplies carry a 80+ Platinum (hence the name) efficiency rating. This is the highest standard a power supply can achieve which speaks good things about this PSU at first glance. Typically we find that more efficient power supplies are made from higher rated parts and components which makes them run longer and much cooler.

The Toughpower Grand Platinum series comes in just two varieties, 600W and 700W. If you are looking for a bit more oomph than 700W, you will have to sacrifice that platinum efficiency rating for a gold rated one. With the Grand Series’ design, Thermaltake has completely reworked this power supply from the ground up: giving it a high performance cooling fan, and nice rounded edges which is something you won’t find on any other power supply. MSRP for this unit is $189.99 which is probably the most expensive 700W power supply on the market. This power supply does have a lot of pretty amazing features, but will it justify the cost? We aim to answer that.

 

Features & Specs

As we mentioned on the previous page, the Grand Platinum 700W holds an 80 Plus Platinum efficiency rating. A rating like this separates the boys from the men in the world of PSUs. Now days efficiency is everything. From the cars we drive, to the battery life of our phones, efficiency plays a huge role in the every day decisions we make. Having an efficient computer is a must. The Grand Platinum series is rated at an outstanding 93% efficiency under a typical load. So what is PSU efficiency and why would anyone care how efficient a power supply is? Without getting into too much detail, efficiency in this sense is basically power in (from the wall) vs power out (to computer components). For instance, if you had a computer PSU that was rated at 400W, and is pulling 500W from the wall, then that PSU is 80% efficient. This is important for two reasons; one, a more efficient power supply will draw less current, meaning your computer will use less power. For the user running his machine at 100% constantly, will likely be shaving a few dollars a month off the power bill. This little amount will definitely add up over time. Second, a power supply with a high efficiency rating is likely built with higher rated components. Higher rated components can cause a power supply to run cooler and sometimes last longer.

Now lets take a look at some the the features built into this unit. The information below was taken from Thermaltake’s website.

Features

  • Compliance with Intel ATX 12V 2.3 & SSI EPS 12V 2.92 standards.
  • 80 PLUS Platinum certified – extreme efficiency PSU series with 89-93% efficiency @ 20-100% load to cut down electric cost.
  • 24/7 @ 50oC: Guaranteed to deliver 700W continuous power.
  • 100% High quality 105°C Japanese capacitors: ensure superb performance and reliability.
  • Solid state capacitors: great stability at higher operating temperatures, frequencies and currents.
  • LLC resonance circuit with DC-DC module for extremely stable performance & reliability
  • Massive single +12V rail design provides superior performance under all types of system loading.
  • 3oz PCB design reduces heat generation and allows greater efficiency.
  • FanDelayCool Technology allows 14cm fan to continue to operate 15-30 sec after system shuts-down to ensure all components are properly cooled.
  • Smart Fan control circuitry design not only optimizes heat dissipation, but also keeps the most silent operation for your system by reducing unnecessary fan rotation.
  • DC to DC converters for 3.3V and 5V outputs provide extremely high PSU efficiency.
  • Multi-GPU ready: comes with 4 x PCI-E 6+2pin for cutting-edge gaming machine.
  • Auto switching circuitry for universal AC input from 90-264V.
  • Active Power Factor Correction (PFC) with PF value of 0.95 at full load.
  • High reliability: MTBF>120,000 hours.
  • DIMENSION: 5.9”(W) x 3.4”(H) x ˙7.1” (L);150mm(W) x 86mm(H) x 180mm(L)
  • Built-in industry grade protections: Over Current, Over Power, Over Voltage, Under Voltage, Over Temperature and Short-Circuit protection.
  • Safety / EMI Approvals: CE, TUV, FCC, UL, CUL, GOST and BSMI certified.

Pure Aesthetic Outer Chassis
The Toughpower Grand series’ unparalleled aesthetic exterior design has set itself above other PSUs currently available on the market. The Toughpower Grand series certainly is one of Thermaltake’s innovate hallmarks.

Proprietary flower shape 14cm fan
Enables longer lifespan and lowers overall noise output by dramatically reducing bearing frictions. The unique fan blade shape increases airflow and reduce overall noise level.
The patented flower-shape fan edge reduces up to 3% of total noise output.

High Quality Japanese Made Electrolytic & Solid Capacitors
Toughpower Grand features 100% 105℃ Japanese made electrolytic capacitors & solid State capacitors with low ESR, which greatly improves the durability and offers the highest stability and reliability.

DC-DC Converter
Unparalleled DC to DC converters for 3.3V & 5V outputs to reach high efficiency

Massive and dedicated +12V output
Toughpower Grand Series is equipped with a pure and powerful single +12V rail to provide the best compatibility for your PC.

Components protected by Fan Delay Cool
keeps the 14cm PSU cooling fan running for 15-30 seconds after system shutdown to dissipate the remaining system heat, thereby prolonging system life.

Output Specification

P/N
Main Power Connector
(24Pin)
4+4pin +12V CPU Connector
8pin +12V CPU Connector
4pin Peripheral Connector
4pin Floppy Connector
5pin SATA Connector
6+2pin PCI-E Connector
TPG – 700M
1 (600mm)
1 (600mm)
1 (600mm)
6 (550mm)
1 (150mm)
8 (550mm)
4 (600mm)

 

A Closer Look

Thermaltake did an excellent job overall with the packaging of this PSU which should keep the unit nice and safe during shipping. The exterior of the box was designed nicely and it does a nice job presenting the product and its factual information. There is even a flip-top you can open and read even more about your investment.

Once you pop open one of the sides of the packaging, you are greeted with another box, then upon opening that things start getting good. The package includes all your warranty and instructions, a power cable, and a bag which contains the modular cables. The power supply itself is nested in a nice bed of foam to keep it safe while traveling long distances.

The overall design of the power supply is unique to say the least. First, it’s white which is very uncommon for a PSU. Regardless, the white look, in my opinion, looks very nice and should contrast nicely in pretty much any computer build. Besides the whiteness, the most obvious feature are the nice rounded corners. Again, another nice touch that separates this power supply from all others. Some other features include a top fan grill is a honey comb pattern rather than the standard wire mesh grill, and white non-modular cable sleeving.

The top fan’s speed is controlled based on load. As load on the power supply increases, so does the fan. After the power supply shuts down (or your computer for that matter), the fan stays on for an additional 30 seconds. This helps exhaust hot temperatures quickly, and even cycle out the hot air in your case as well.

The modular cables plug into the end of the PSU like any other. As you can see you have additional hookups for 2x PCI-E connectors, and 4x Peripheral and SATA connectors. The modular cables themselves are also white. This will no doubt draw extra attention to the inside of your case!

Now that we have a better idea of what we are dealing with, lets see how the Grand Platinum 700W tests!

Testing & Results

Testing Methodology

The most important thing we look for is the behavior of voltage as the load on the power supply is increased. This is because when you see a voltage drop at mid to high loads, this can cause serious problems to internal computer components if the drop is significant enough. We will test this by incrementing up 100W for 20 minutes at each step. We will run each 100W increment all the way up to 800W. At each increment, we will let the power supply sit at that specific load for 20 minutes to allow it to reach it’s maximum temperature. Now we know this PSU is rated at 700W but there is a lot to be said for stability past maximum ratings. Although Thermaltake claims a 93% efficiency rating, we will also be performing our own efficiency calculations just to be sure. We will do this by placing a specific load on the power supply and then measuring the wattage going in to the power supply with our handy Killawatt meter. In addition to this, we will test the overall ‘quality’ of the unit by dropping the input voltage below its rated value (115V AC). We will then measure the output DC voltage to see how it does under minimalistic operating conditions. We will also be checking the thermal output at 0%, 50%, and 100% loads.

 

Testing

To provide a decent and accurate load, we used our own home brew power supply load tester. More info on this tester can be found on our unofficial page here:

Below is a table of how the Silencer MK III did on our voltage drop test.

The voltage drop was pretty consistent up until it’s maximum load which was 700W. Overall, it looks good but it would have been nice to see a higher starting voltage such as12.2V. This would have given this power supply much more wiggle room for the voltage drop which would have likely brought the 800W and 900W tests up to positive (+12V) levels. At 1000W of load, the power supply’s OCP (Over-Current Protection) kicked in and shut off the unit to prevent damage. This was proof that this power supply does in fact use OCP and that it works.

Next we will take a look at efficiency. Remember Efficiency = Power Out / Power In.

Overall, the Grand Platinum PSU turned out to be pretty efficient! Scoring no less than 90.58% at 100% load. The fact that it never dipped below 90% shows that this is indeed an 80+ Platinum rated PSU. At a typical load of 350W, we scored a precent of 93.67 putting it slightly above what Thermaltake claimed.

One interesting note: the fan did not actually start until we reached 50% load. Very good if you are trying to build a completely silent system. Bad if you have no other fans in your system and you rely on your power supply to exhaust the hot air out of your PC. While testing with the fan off, the PSU emmitted no heat measuring at 28C according to an infrared thermometer. at 100% load temperatures exhausted from the back of the PSU reached a max of 37C.

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