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Posted by Rob Jiang on Jun 27, 2011

Review – Thermaltake 1050W Toughpower Grand Modular Power Supply

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One of the most neglected components of building a new PC definitely has to be the power supply. In our modern day of two, three, sometimes even four graphics cards, selecting an appropriate power supply unit (PSU) requires much more attention. Though there are many different manufacturers of these vital PC organs, there is still great difficulty in comparing between power supplies. I have worked with many units throughout my PC enthusiast life, especially while working with the Geek Squad, so I do have a good baseline to work from. Let’s see what Thermaltake can bring to the table with its 1050W Toughpower Grand modular power supply.

Contents

The Toughpower Grand series actually has a few models, so depending on whether you purchased the 850W, 1050W, or 1200W models, you may have different contents; however, the 1050W that I am reviewing came with the following:

  • 1 x 1050W Power Supply Unit
  • 1 x 24pin Main / Motherboard Connector
  • 1 x 4+4pin +12V CPU Connector
  • 1 x 8pin + 12V CPU Connector
  • 8 x 4pin Peripheral Connectors (Standard molex)
  • 1 x 4pin Floppy Connector
  • 12 x 5pin SATA Connectors
  • 8 x 6+2pin PCI-E Connectors
  • 1 x Standard Power Cable
  • 1 x User Manual
  • 4 x Velcro Attachment Bands
  • 1 x Accessory Bag (includes rubber mounting pads for vibration reduction and cable clams)

Power Specifications

 

First Impression

The power supply itself comes shipped in a pretty largely sized box. The packaging, which includes a label for Thermaltake’s 7 Year Warranty that I will talk about later, gives the immediate impression that this is a premium power supply. The Toughpower Grand series reflects Thermaltake’s best and most expensive power supply units. Taking a look inside, everything, including the power supply, peripheral cabling, even the accessories for the unit, came with its own satin or polyester carrying bag. While nice to have for the additional connectors, I find that the extra carry bag for the PSU to be highly unnecessary. Once a power supply has been installed, I will almost never take it out unless it fails – point being that a carrying bag for the unit is completely useless.

The unit itself looks very impressive. The matte black power supply is much heftier than most standard units, and you can really get a good of idea of the durability of the unit just by picking it up. In the rear of the unit you will find the standard power input connector. The I/O switch in the rear is noteworthy because there is an LED that illuminates to let you know that the unit is on, which is rare and seemingly useful. The rear also has a small faux-screen that displays the Thermaltake brand name.

On the front panel of the unit, the cabling is sleeved with the common black color that you will find on the majority of units today. The 6 red PCI-E express ports are located directly about the 4 available SATA and peripheral connector inputs. With regards to the overall impression of the unit and packaging, it is obvious why these units are considered to be the top of the line units.

Functionality

Functionality of power supply units is a broad subject, so I will break it down to two general areas when dealing with functionality. First, power supplies must do their job, and do it properly – meaning that the power supply unit must actually give you enough juice to run your quad core, multiple GPU behemoth. Of course, 1050 watts is overkill for most computers, but the unit was manufactured with SLI or Crossfire in mind. Looking at the power specifications from above, this baby has no problem with two or three graphics cards. Quad SLI is a bit of a different situation. The unit only comes with 6 PCI-E input connectors. Of course that translates to only having at a maximum of 3 PCI-E cards requiring 2 x 6 or 8 pin power connectors. If you are looking for a serious quad GPU set up, 1050 watts may not be enough anyways, so for all intents and purposes this unit definitely powers the overwhelming majority of setups.

Second, we must not overlook the ease of use, form factor, and as well as modding potential. As with any modular power supply, cable management becomes a much easier process as you only have to use the cables that you need. For some reason though, the unit comes with not only an 8 pin motherboard connector, but also a 4+4 pin connector as well. As motherboards come with either an 8 pin or a 4 pin, having both non-detachable cables forces you to have an unused cable regardless of your setup. As mentioned previously, the LED on the I/O switch is nice convenience to have if you are wondering whether or not the computer is still powered on. I can remember many times where I have had to look for switches and ports on the back of the computer, where the sun never shines. Having an LED is always nice.

Warranty

The warranty deserves a special mention. Not only being Thermaltake’s longest offered warranty protection of 7 years, but the warranty covers probably the least lasting component of a PC. Always, the first thing to die in my PCs with enough usage is the power supply unit. I really cannot imagine a situation where someone would need to void the warranty of a PSU unit as even most modders stay away from modifying the PSU. I could imagine that a big part of the cost of the unit resides in its ability to provide such a warranty.

Conclusion

While I would have loved to have had this unit while building my new PC just this summer, normally I would say that I cannot justify the $269.99 price tag on Newegg at the time of the review. The unit itself has a few minor flaws, but overall I can safely say that Toughpower Grand 1050W has been one of the most thought through units that I have personally used. There are some areas that I think Thermaltake has tried too hard to differentiate this unit from an entry level PSU – specifically adding a carrying bag for the PSU. Unfortunately these additional features such as having an LED for the I/O switch does not make up what you must compensate in price; however, with that being said, the warranty is a game changer for me. The 7 year warranty is fantastic to have, but its importance will vary between users.

The Good

  • Well crafted unit, looks and feels durable
  • More than enough juice for newly built systems
  • Light up I/O switch
  • Modular supply units make for great cable management
  • Cable clams and vibration dampeners
  • Very long Thermaltake trusted warranty

 

The Bad

  • Extra baggage is unnecessary
  • Having separate cables for the 8 pin motherboard input along with the 4+4 pin connector
  • Very Expensive

 

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