Dual 12V PSU Shootout
Date Posted:21/07/2005 13:42.03
|AMS Mercury PP-44603 SLRating: ||
|Seasonic S-12-430 SLRating: ||
|Thermaltake TWV500 SLRating: ||
The three of these power supplies really don\'t shoot-out each other. If you want cheap, the AMS. If you want quiet, the Seasonic. If you want modular, the Thermaltake.
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The Thermaltake TWV500
the past, I've been pretty rough on Thermaltake, having blown up
a couple of the 480W Butterflies and given them low scores. A
few other people around this mighty Internet have been disappointed
with them as well, but some of
folks have been unfairly calling them "garbage." I
think this is a completely inaccurate assesment of their product.
problem with Thermaltake power supplies of the past have simply
been the fact that they market a higher wattage power supply with all
of it's power on the 5V rail in a market that NOW needs
have power on the 12V rail. If you NEED a 480W power supply,
you NEED more than 18A on your single 12V rail. But the overall
QUALITY of Thermaltake's power supplies have always been
by the label on this particular unit, all previous animosity towards
the Thermaltake power supply power supply line should be eliminated...
IF the quality is still up to snuff too.
side of the TWV500 looks very much like the other Thermaltake power
supplies with a very large silver label facing
out to your side panel's window. The bling of this unit is
quite subtle. There's an LED in the fan, but it doesn't change
colors. It's always blue. Also, there's no side window
like one of the Thermaltakes I had reviewed in the past.
Above we can see the modular interface
side of our power supply. I love how clearly labeled the connectors
are. I mean; you can't really plug the wrong cable into the
wrong port, but it's still nice.
get to the actual cable count later, but I wanted to show you
photos of the cables now. They look
very similar to the Antec Neo Power cables we reviewed last month. Above
are the drive Molexes and plenty of them.
Here's our two PCI Express cables
and our 12V 2x2 connector. The interface for the 2x2 connector is
actually 2x4 so an SSI Xeon connector is a possibility, but
no 8-pin power cable was included. Perhaps one is sold
Here's our main ATX connector. I'm
not sure why they bothered making this modular. Unlike
the Ultra X-Connect where the 20-pin can be exchanged for
a 24-pin, this cable is a 24-pin natively that can have the
last four pins taken off for backwards compatibility. Making
this cable modular does add a bit of resistance. Not
much, but under heavy loads the drop in voltage can be as
much as .1V.
Above we have a photograph of the modular
Unlike most modular SATA cables,
Thermaltake provides a separate 3.3V lead for future
SATA drives that
may start to use 3.3V. Why make the connector separate? So
the interface on the power supply can still be used for
regular PATA drive power connectors, of course.
Here's the other goodies
we get with this power supply. A 120MM fan and the TWV panel. The
fan is actually quite nice and the panel does give us
the ability to adjust the speed of both the "bonus" fan
and the fan in the power supply. The only thing
I don't like is the useless "total wattage viewer." It's
inaccurate and really quite useless. Telling me
how much juice is on EACH RAIL? THAT would be cool. Work
on it Thermaltake! ;-)
looks like my useless "total wattage viewer" is really,
really useless. With
a 468.8W load on the power supply, my TWV is reporting
10W. I think I got a defective unit. Oh
well! I'll RMA it later. :-)
Inside we have gobs
of caulk. But
the wiring is still fairly neat inside because of
the use of a separate PCB for all of the modular
cable interface. This is similar to that used
in Superflower manufacturered power supplies and
gets rid of the mess of cables similar to that of
the Ultra and Antec modular power supplies.
In the above two photos
we can see the separate PCB's for the active
correction and thermistatically controlled fans. We
can also see the unique heatsinks used by Thermaltake. The
fins are slightly angled to help move the air from
the fan to the vent at the back of the unit.
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