Tagan 2-Force II TG700-U33 700w PSU Page: 1 Introduction
Having reviewed several Tagan PSU's in the past, including the TG700-U35, TG1100-U95 and several units from Tagan's entry-level brand 'SilverPower', it goes without saying that Tagan and its subsidiary brands certainly have a reputation for making some of the best power supplies on the market.
Recently, Tagan refreshed it's PSU line-up and added several new and exciting models including the U26, U88 and of course the U33 that we are going to be looking at today. All of these models boast improvements in both performance, noise levels and looks over their predecessors, along with Tagan's usual level of reliability backed by a 3 year warranty.
The following information has been taken from the specifications PDF available at Maxpoint's website:
• Compliant with Intel EPS12V V2.91, standard ATX V2.2 and downward versions with four independent +12V rails. • Four independent +12V rails provide different devices individual power, thus making the system more stable. • Universal main board compatibility due to 20+4 pin main power as well as 4-pin & 8-pin +12V power connectors. • One 6PIN & one 6+2PIN PCI Express connectors support NVIDIA SLI and ATI Crossfire graphic cards. • Less heat and less noise due to 80% efficiency. This saves electricity and making it an economical and ecological solution. • One PCI-Express 6PIN and one 6+2PIN cables with REMI technology (ferrite core and cable shielding) reduces up to 50% of ripple and noise. • Up to 14 IDE and SATA connectors are available for top level usage. Therefore, perfect for home-, office-, gaming- and server-usage. • „TURBO“ mode switch can integrate all six separate +12V-rails into one single common rail with more DC power output. • Perfect cooling and silence solution due to the 8cm push-pull fans together with the super-big heat sink inside and the bottom mesh cover design. • Thermal fan control TSCT (Tagan Silence Control Technology) automatically adjusts fan speed to lowest noise (under 30dBA at max. load) with perfect cooling. • Black mesh and copper-shielded cables help user to optimize airflow and makes the cables short-circuit-proof. • OVP (Over Voltage Protection) and OCP (Over Current Protection) functions help to protect all electronical devices. • Universal AC input range for all countries: 100~240VAC with active PFC for better electricity performance and flexibility. • Big anti-vibration rubber for the back side avoids vibration and reduces noise. • Unique ground wire with golden pin releases static electricity and interferences from connected devices.
From the specifications above, we can see that the TG700-U33 supports all of the latest standards including an 8-Pin PCI-E connector. In keeping with the previous "2-Force" series, the unit also features a "Turbo Mode" which essentially combines all four of the +12v rails into a single rail. This can be useful when running a system configuration where the components connected to one of the +12v rails exceeds the rated output (in this case 20A).
For a PSU rated at 700w, the distribution of power between the rails is fairly standard. The +3.3v and +5v rails are provided with 24A and 26A respectively, with a maximium combined output of 170w. As for the +12v rails, these are rated up to 20a, with a maximum combined output of 56a (672w).
Tagan 2-Force II TG700-U33 700w PSU Page: 2 Packaging
It's certainly fair to say that some of Tagan's previous power supplies have featured the most outlandish and extravagant packaging of any product we've ever reviewed here at Overclock3D. Fromleather suitcases to leather toolboxes, we've always been impressed by the protection provided by this packaging but wondered how much extra cost has been passed on to the end user.
However, this time around Tagan have gone for a more regular approach to their packaging and have placed the TG700-U33 inside a double walled cardboard box complete with a cardboard outer sleeve.
The outer packaging is quite simplistic, featuring a dark black and purple background along with Tagan's trademark stealth figher aircraft. Around the side of the packaging, Tagan have provided detailed specs on the TG700-U33's noise output at various load levels along with a table showing how the 700w is distributed among the 8 rails inside the unit.
At the back of the packaging, a list of features not dissimilar to the specifications on page 1 can be found in a total of 7 languages.
Tagan have placed the TG700-U33 inside a bubble wrap bag that protects the unit from scratches and other minor courier inflicted damage. Also included in the box are the following items:
• Tagan 2-Force II Series manual. • Shielded power cable. • Vibration dampening silicon PSU surround. • Case screws.
When compared to the likes of Tagan's I-Xeye II and U88 range, the U33 certainly seems the most mature of the bunch. No LED fans or other gimmicks have been used, and the plain black powder coated surface of the unit looks professional and unoffensive.
The back of the unit sports an 80mm fan protected by one of Tagan's chrome fan grilles along with a rather hefty power switch and the Tagan 2-Force "Turbo" rail combining slider. Unfortunately during testing we actually encountered some problems with the switch not making proper contact when in the 'On' position. This subsequently caused arcing and produced a cracking sound at random intervals inside the switch. Hopefully this is just an isolated incident and retail units will not suffer from the same issue.
Both sides of the casing feature an Aztec style grill that stretches the length of the unit. Whether or not these grills provide the unit with essential ventilation or are just for aesthetics is not clear, but it looks good neverless!
At the back of the unit is yet another 80mm fan. This dual fan design is very similar to the TG1100-U95 Turbojet and provides optimal airflow through the unit by using a push/pull configuration with the fans.
Tagan 2-Force II TG700-U33 700w PSU Page: 3 Internal Components
In the past, many people have judged the quality of a PSU on it's weight and quantity of internal components. However, with many manufacturers moving on to newer and more efficient ways of designing their PSU's, it has become increasingly obvious that this is no longer a reliable method for gauging a power supply's quality. However, in the interest of having something fun to do, we'll be opening up the TG700-U33 and having a poke around.
For a PSU rated at 700w, I was surprised by the clean and uncluttered arangement of components inside the unit. From the images above we can see two fairly small yellow transformers manufactured by Viking. The smallest of the two transformers is most likely responsible for stepping down the power to the +3.3v and +5.0v rails with the larger being responsible for all four of the +12v rails.
Two large black aluminium heatsinks have been used to cool the mosfets beneath, with an arrangement of fins that compliments the direction of airflow through the unit.
As previously mentioned, both fans used inside the TG700-U33 are 80mm in size. However, after removing them from the casing, it's clear to see that Tagan have chosen two different fans, with the fan on the left being 25mm depth and the fan on the right being a much skinnier 15mm depth. Full details on both fans can be found below:
One of the things Tagan are well known for is their attention to detail when it comes to keeping cables tidy. Previous Tagan units have always featured their trademark shielded PCI-E connectors along with platted SATA and Molex cables. Let's see if Tagan has continued this trend with the U33..
As we can see from above, Tagan have decided to sleeve all cables right to the very last connector. Many manufacturers only sleeve some of the cables, or sleeve up to the first connector on every cable which can leave the PSU looking incomplete.
The sleeving job is of high quality, with fabric tape holding the sleeving in place and black heatshrink extending right up to the SATA and Molex plugs.
The ATX connector on the TG700-U33 is native 24-pin. However, as you can see above, a small block of 4 connectors can be broken off to switch the connector to 20-pin. As many motherboards still make use of the P4-12v 4-Pin connector, Tagan have chosen to include two separate cables for P4-12v (4-pin) and EPS12v (8-pin) standards.
With new graphics cards hitting the market that make use of the 8-Pin PCI-E connector it's good to see that Tagan have provided a connector that can be used in this format. For those of us who require 2x 6-Pin PCI-E connectors for configurations such a dual 8800GTS grapics cards, the 8-Pin connector can be reduced to 6-Pin by simply snapping away the extra two blocks at the end of the connector.
To provide our readers with the most accurate results, Overclock3D uses a custom built PSU load tester on all reviews. This not only gives much more reliable results than the testing methods employed by other sites, but also allows for all current and future review results to be compared side-by-side.
Efficiency tests are performed by measuring the wattage consumed by the power supply at the mains (Mains Draw) against the power consumed by the OC3D power supply stress tester (PSU Load). These results may not be 100% accurate, but have proven to be extremely close to results obtained from professional equipment.
Note: The results below were obtained with the Tagan 2-Force II TG700-U33 in "Turbo" mode, hence the recording of only one +12v rail.
The Tagan 2-Force II 700w provided respectable results in both the 50% and 100% load testing with a maximum fluctuation of 0.14v being exhibited on the +12v rail. Both the +3.3v rail and +5.0v rail proved to be extremely sturdy too - never dipping below their rated outputs. Overall a very good result from the TG700-U33.
Tagan rate the TG700-U33 at 80% efficiency, and our testing pretty much confirms these figures. Under 323w load the unit was able to manage 79.95% efficiency (bear in mind that our equipment isn't 100% accurate) and increasing the load up to 646w saw the efficiency increase to just above a perfect 80%.
In our continuing efforts to make power supply reviews more thorough, rather than simply checking voltage stability, Overclock3D will now be recording the temerature of each PSU as it undergoes testing. Temperature recordings will be taken from the underside of the PSU's outer casing at 0%, 50% and 100% load levels using a laser infrared thermometer in an attempt to gauge how much heat is likely to radiate into the end-users case.
As we can see from above, the two 80mm fans inside TG700-U33 do a fairly good job of keeping the unit cool, with the PSU casing temperature rising from an ambient of 24°C to 35°C when under 100% load. This is certainly a much better result than some of the other 80mm fan based PSU's we've tested recently, and on par with many of the 120mm fan based units.
Noise Level Recordings
Possibly the hardest part of any PSU review is summarising the level of noise given out by the unit. The threshold for what is considered 'noisy' varies from person to person and therefore what I may consider a quiet unit, another person may consider extremely loud. A common way to resolve this issue is to use a dBA meter to measure the units noise level, however this doesn't take into account the pitch (type) of noise emitted and whether it is likely to irritate end users.
For this reason OC3D records all power supplies at idle and load in wav format for you to make your own informed decisions. All recordings are taken at 30cm away from the PSU and outside of a PC case. You will need to remember that noise levels will be reduced by varying amounts once the PSU has been installed inside your PC enclosure.
Tagan 2-Force II TG700-U33 700w PSU Page: 5 Conclusion
Designed to replace the now ageing Tagan U22 series, the TG700-U33 takes all the features of its predecessor including the infamous split/join +12v rail capability and adds support for the latest motherboard and graphics card connectors.
Having never reviewed a U22 unit on Overclock3D I can't comment on it's peformance compared to the U33. However when under a load of 646w on our testing equipment, the TG700-U33 proved to be very stable with most rails not fluctuating outside of their ideal voltages. In addition to this, the unit managed it's advertised efficiency of 80%, and even though this may not be as high as some PSU's from other manufacturers, it will certainly help keep the electricity bills down.
Expected to arrive with retailers in the next few weeks at a recommended price of under £100.00 (inc VAT), the TG700-U33 comes in at an extremely competitive price point. Once final figures are confirmed, we'll be sure to update the review, but for the moment I have no reservations in awarding the U33 "Value for money" status along with a score of 9 for price.
The Good • Single 8-Pin PCI-E connector for the latest graphics cards. • All cables professionally sleeved to the last connector. • +3.3v and +5v rails very solid and did not dip below their ideal outputs. • Dual 80mm fans managed to keep the unit cool.
The Mediocre • Meets advertised 80% efficiency, but many PSU's recently have been managing ~84%. • +12v rail showed good stability, only dropping to 11.91v under 646w load. • Could have featured dual 8-Pin PCI-E connectors for future expandability.
The Bad • We experienced some problems with arcing inside the power switch.
Thanks to Tagan for making this review possible. Discuss this review in our forums.