In the past, many people have judged the quality of a PSU on its weight and size 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. By looking inside the Toughpower we should be able to identify some of the components used and get a good feel for the overall build quality of the unit.
Without doubt, the Toughpower has one of the most unique internal layouts of any PSU we've ever tested here at Overclock3D. As you can see from the images above, components such as the capacitors, ferrite coils and transformers are almost mirrored on both sides of the PCB. This leads me to believe that my initial thoughts on the Toughpower 1500w actually being two 750w units sandwiched together, may well be true.
Regardless of this, the general layout inside the unit is actually very tidy with minimal cable clutter around the components. We can also see that Thermaltake have gone to the trouble of using an AC filter on the mains power socket as a first line of defence against voltage spikes and line noise.
As previously mentioned, the Toughpower makes use of a 140mm fan that covers the entire width of the PSU casing. Using a 140mm fan should offer a better noise-to-airflow ratio than traditional 120mm fans and also has the added advantage of cooling any components at the edge of the PSU. At a glance you'd be forgiven for thinking that the fan is manufactured by Thermaltake, but closer inspection reveals that it is actually the work of a highly respected Taiwanese manufacturer named Yate Loon. The specifications of this fan can be seen below:
• Model: Yate Loon D14BH-12
• Size (mm): 140x140x25
• Bearing: BALL
• Speed (RPM): 2800
• Airflow (CFM): 140.0
• Noise (dBA): 48.5
Bearing in mind that the average PSU needs nowhere near 140CFM of airflow to keep the components cool, I think we can safely assume that Thermaltake will be running the Yate Loon fan at roughly 1/2 this speed, thus dramatically reducing the noise levels.
Cables & Connectors
With the Toughpower being a modular unit, the last thing you want to do is lose any extra cables that you might need at a later date. For this reason Thermaltake have included a canvas pouch suitable for stowing away any modular cables not used in your PC build.
All cables on the Toughpower are sleeved in black mesh right up to the very last connector, and the job is completed professionally with the use of zip-ties and heatshrink to keep everything in place.
In addition to this, all connectors on the Toughpower are finished in black, with the molex connectors adopting the 'easy grip' design. This should make removal of the connectors from devices easier.
Thermaltake have gone a bit "OTT" with the number of PCI-E cables included with the unit. I counted a total of 8 cables and adapters - not including the additional cable (pictured right) that is hard-wired into the unit. I'm guessing this may be to provide full support for "Tripple SLI" when/if it becomes a little more mainstream.
The ATX connector on the Toughpower 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, thus make it compatible with older motherboards. The same can also be said for the 8-Pin "EPS-12v" connector which can be snapped in half to convert it to the older 4-Pin "P4-12v" standard.