Thermaltake Purepower 600w Page: 1
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://ufo1.com/ad/c.js"></script> Posted 04/04/2006
Author: James Napier (XMS)
Hardware Acquired: Thermaltake


Introduction

With the introduction of SLI, Crossfire and Dual Core processors, it is becoming increasingly apparent that you cant cut corners when it comes to selecting a power supply.
Without clean and stable voltages, your computer simply won't function correctly, and may even cause damage to your precious components.

Today i'm going to be looking at the Thermaltake Purepower 600w PSU, which has some very impressive specifications for a power supply in its price range. Will it be good enough to power a top end power hungry, water cooled, SLI rig? Read on to find out...


Packaging

Box Front Box Back

The packaging is simple but effective. The front of the box clearly shows all of the supported system types along with a nice picture of the power supply. Flip the box around, and you can see information on all of the connectors, and the combined rated amperage of the +12v rails.

Box Side All Components

Inside the box you will find a generic power cord and screws, the user manual, and the power supply covered in bubble wrap to protect the mirror finish. The bulk of cables are all held together neatly with a cable tie.


Thermaltake Purepower 600w Page: 2
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://ufo1.com/ad/c.js"></script> Posted 04/04/2006
Author: James Napier (XMS)
Hardware Acquired: Thermaltake


Specification

For the most part, these specifications have been taken directly from Thermaltake's website:

- Complies with SSI EPS 12V & ATX 12V 2.2 version     
- Supports dual PCI Express and 24-pin detachable main power connector    
- High efficiency (80%) with 0.99 Active Power Factor value    
- Separate 12V rails provide sufficient 52A for PC system    
- PCI Express, SLI, Cross-Fire, and dual-core CPU ready    
- Low noise 12cm ball bearing fan and mirror effect housing    
- Gold-plated connectors for better conductivity    
- Protections: OVP, UVP, Short-Circuit, Over-power, Overload, and Over-temperature    
- Safety / EMI Approvals: CB,CE, FCC, UL, CUL, TUV certification

Specs

PSU Output


Thermaltake Purepower 600w Page: 3
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://ufo1.com/ad/c.js"></script> Posted 04/04/2006
Author: James Napier (XMS)
Hardware Acquired: Thermaltake


Appearence

Thermaltake have clearly pulled out all the stops in this catagory. The Purepower comes with a nickel plated reflective finish, sleeved cabling, gold fan grill and easy grip molex connectors. The designers were obviously going for a 'classy' look with this power supply, as no UV/LED 'bling' has been added.

PSU Grill PSU Fan Grill

PSU Top Reflective Surface

The reflective surface of the power supply is easily marked by finger prints, which can be a bit of a pain. However, a swift buff with a duster and everything is restored to its former glory.
A nice touch would have been to include a cloth in with the package (as seen on other reflective PSU's), but its no biggie as i'm sure we all have spare cloths laying around!

The honeycomb grill on the back of the PSU is one of those things that grows on you over time. Personally i prefer the old look 80mm fan on the back which can be seen in Thermaltake's 680w series PSU, but i'm willing to bet that this layout gives equal, if not better cooling/noise performance.


Thermaltake Purepower 600w Page: 4
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://ufo1.com/ad/c.js"></script> Posted 04/04/2006
Author: James Napier (XMS)
Hardware Acquired: Thermaltake


Connectors

To say that this power supply comes with all the connectors you'll ever need is an underestimate. This power supply has enough molexes to accomodate any Raid 5, SLI , Water cooled setup. It would be nice to see this power supply available in a modular format, as some people may find it hard to hide the bulk of unused connectors in their cases. However, with plenty of cable ties and some good 'behind the motherboard' routing, its possible to keep your rig looking 'ship shape'.

Cables 24-Pin ATX

P4 Connector PCI-E Connectors

Photo's above show the 20/24-Pin ATX connector (which can be split into 20-Pin or joined into 24-Pin depending on your needs), The 4+4 Pin 12v connector (which again can be split/joined), and the two PCI-E Connectors. See below for a total list of connectors.

Connectors

All connectors are sleeved in black nylon mesh, with black shrinkwrap finishing off the ends, with the exception of the case fan speed monitoring connector which can be used in conjunction with the 'Case Fan Only' molex connectors to monitor the speed of your case fans.


Thermaltake Purepower 600w Page: 5
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://ufo1.com/ad/c.js"></script> Posted 04/04/2006
Author: James Napier (XMS)
Hardware Acquired: Thermaltake


Looking Inside

We couldn't let this power supply get through our review without opening it up and having a poke around inside. Many power supplies have potentiometers inside which allow you to fine-tune the output voltages. This can be very handy if a PSU's load voltage dips below what its supposed to be.

Inside the Purepower Inside the Purepower

Unfortunatly in this case i was unable to find any potentiometers to have a play with. This isn't neccesarily a bad thing, as the power supply was most likely configured in the factory to provide good load voltages. We'll find out for sure on the next few pages.

Sirtec

Its fairly common knowledge that PSU manufacturers oursource the internal components of their power supplies to other companies. We can see above that Thermaltake have chosen a company called Sirtec. A quick search of the web shows that Sirtec have been in business since 1968, and have been producing power supplies for around 10 years. Reviews of Sirtec products on other websites seem positive on the whole, so hopefully this is a good sign.


Thermaltake Purepower 600w Page: 6
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://ufo1.com/ad/c.js"></script> Posted 04/04/2006
Author: James Napier (XMS)
Hardware Acquired: Thermaltake


Testing

In order for our tests on high end PSU's to remain fair and comparable with past and future reviews we have created our own PSU stress testing device. The device is capable of placing a 8,16,24 and 32 amp load on the power supply on single or multiple 12v rails.

I've yet to see a power supply that doesnt struggle to keep the voltage above 12v when under 32a load, but lets see how our Thermaltake fairs.

 12v Molex, 8a Load 12v Molex, 16a Load

The above load tests were carried out on a single molex connector, with the voltage being measured from a PCI-E connector. I am not sure how the 3 rails in this PSU are arranged, but i would have hoped that the PCI-E connectors were on their own rail seperate from the rest of the standard molex connectors. Hopefully Thermaltake can confirm the layout of the rails.

12v PCI-E + Molex, 24a Load 12v PCI-E + Molex, 32a Load

The above 2 tests were conducted with amperage load split across a standard molex connector and a PCI-E connector. This is intended to simulate the strain of a system with a high end graphics system (crossfire/sli) and multiple other high consumption devices.

12v Rail Results

Under 32a load the Purepower managed to produce 11.80v. This is a very respectable result and well within the ATX specification margin of 5%.
The tests on the next page will show how the PSU performs in a real system, and should give you more of an idea what you can expect out of the power supply in your own system.


Thermaltake Purepower 600w Page: 7
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://ufo1.com/ad/c.js"></script> Posted 04/04/2006
Author: James Napier (XMS)
Hardware Acquired: Thermaltake


Testing Cont.

Its all very well performing tests on this power supply with a simulated load, but how well does it perform in a real system? The following tests have been perfomed on the system below. Load testing was recorded during Prime95 and Unreal Tournament 2004 loops.

AMD Opteron 146 @ 3.0ghz 1.6v
DFI Lanparty NF4 SLI-D
G.Skill PC4400 1GB @ 300mhz
2x WD Raptor 72gb RAID0
ATI X1800XT 512mb
4x UV Cathodes


Thermaltake Test

Above you can see the Purepower hooked up to our test rig. I will be monitoring the voltages using a multimeter (rather than any software or BIOS methods) to ensure that the readouts are as accurate as possible.

 12v Idle 12v Rail Load

12v Rail 5v Rail

The results are very impressive. Neither the 5v rail nor the 12v rail budged by any noticable amount. The difference was so small that we had to resort to changing the graph to such a small scale so that you'd actually be able to see the difference! This is the kind of performance i would have expected to see from a power supply costing double the price of the Purepower. Results from the 3.3v rail have not been included as they did not fluctuate in the slightest.


Thermaltake Purepower 600w Page: 8
Conclusion

The Thermaltake Purepower 600w has taken me by suprise. I certainly wasn't expecting it to perform anywhere near as well as it has. It provided great voltages on my system, and even performed really well in our custom stress tests.

This, combined with the units great looks and competetive price tag (currently £69.50 at Specialtech) mean that i will certainly be recommending it to people looking for a new power supply in the future.


Pro's
Great looks
Plenty of connectors
Sleeved cabling & Easy grip Molex's
Excellent voltages on high end system
Quiet operation

Con's
Would be nice to see as a modular PSU.
Adjustable rails would be a bonus to fine-tune voltages under heavy load.


OC3D Recommended

We have contacted ThermalTake to ask them if they wish to give us any feedback on this review and perhaps answer any of the questions raised. We will update this review with anything that they come back to us with.

Discuss this review in our forums..