This review is one of a series of PSU reviews, if you have not read any of the others you can read all about the test set up and methodology below.
  1. Testing Overview
  2. Wattage
  3. Parameters
  4. Methodology


Thermaltake Purepower TWV480

I was presented with another Thermaltake to review.

My only standard for these tests is that the power supply be 450 to 600W.  Unfortunately, not all 480W's are created equal.  Case and point:  The 450 LION I just reviewed.  It's "only" a 450W, but it did 30A on a 12V rail only rated for 28A.  That's pretty good.  The Thermaltake we're reviewing today, the TWV480 with active PFC, only has 18A available on the 12V rail.  That's only 1A more than the Butterfly power supply I had reviewed earlier, which now seems to have been an "older model" since Thermaltake's website now states that the Butterfly has 18A on the 12V rail as well.

I have to wonder why they bothered at all.  All of the rails have different specs, but if they had to migrate over to a different platform, why not either completley redesign the power supply or discontinue it?  Truth be told, I could get any number of mere 400W power supplies if I wanted something with less than 20A on the 12V rail.  This one is 480W. That's what's irritating to me.  Not that this power supply can't do 480W; but that to get to that wattage, one would have to have almost all of their load on the 5V rail.  So this would be a good power supply for someone with a Socket A board, perhaps a micro ATX Socket A board, or a Pentium III. 

The side of the power supply looks cool in it's own "Warning Will Robinson!" kind of way.

So the TWV has less bling than the Butterfly and more... well... bling.  Instead of lights and a window, we have an LED that tells us a number that's supposed to be the wattage of the power supply.  This is useful to know if you want a 15 second running start prior to your power supply blowing up.  We also get a bonus fan and a control knob for said fan and the power supply fan.

As with the other PurePower, we are given a bunch of toys to "sweeten" the deal.

Two fans in "Thermaltake Orange" cool the TWV480.

The fans are very quiet, but once the power supply was pushed, the fans spun at full RPM, which was VERY loud, and wouldn't spin back down even after I lowered the load.  Not until I tured the power supply off did it quiet down!

Ok. Maybe my SunMoon isn't picking up the load created by the PSU fans, and the TWV dashboard is....

I really wish Thermaltake could have put something USEFUL on the dashboard, other than "total watts."  Like voltage, or maybe even watts per rail.  Then again, Thermaltake is selling a 480W power supply with only 18A available on the 12V rail.  The client base for this unit is obviously more concerned with "total wattage" then more useful numbers.

...but that wouldn't explain getting a LOWER number with the dashboard.  Hmm....

Oddly enough, the "Total Watts Viewer" never matched up the total wattage indicated by my tester.  If the numbers were always a little higher or always a little lower, then I could easily assume a logical explaination.  But sometimes the reading would be high... sometimes low.  No rhyme or reason.  At least the numbers were never more than 6% off from each other.

This unit looks just like the other PurePower we took a look at, except for the large circuit board to the left.

The added circuit board has to do with the Active PFC, as do the smaller than normal caps.  Don't be judgemental.  It's normal to see half-sized caps in active PFC power supplies.

Now it's time to take a look at the label....

Only 18A available on the 12V rail. Pathetic. I'm not even going to try for Test Three.  Last time I did this, I blew up the power supply.

Thermaltake Purepower TWV480 +3.3V +5V +12V -12V -5V +5VSB
Max Output Current 30A 40A


0.8A 0.3A 2A
Max Combined Peak Wattage 550W

As before; an ass-load of multi-colored cable mayhem.

Time for a quick cable count?

Thermaltake Purepower TWV480 QUANTITY OF CONNECTORS
ATX connector 20-pin
2 x 2 12V connectors 1
2 x 3 PCIe 0
6-pin Xeon/AUX connector 0
5.25" Drive connectors 9
3.5" Drive connectors 1
SATA Drive power connectors 2
Fan only connectors (Thermostatically controlled 12V only connectors) 0


Thermaltake Purepower TWV480 Zero Load Test One (370W) Test Two (305W) Full Load (493W)
12V 11.86 11.96 12.46 12.42
5V 5.27 5.15 5.05 5.01
3.3V 3.43 3.39 3.39 3.37
Efficiency 32% 73% 73% 69%
Power Factor .88 .99 .99 .99

Temperature during Test Two:  33.5C.  Temperature after shut down:  38C.

Ok.  You can tell that I'm being unusually harsh on this power supply, and I'm sorry if this makes me out to be unprofessional.  I never claimed to be a professional.  But I know Thermaltake knows the score.  They make what appears to be a very capable power supply for the demands of a Prescott or Athlon 64 in the PurePower 460W power supply (ATX12V2.01 PSU with dual 12V rails, 15A each.)  But what power supply is "20W more at 480W?"  Which power supply has the added toys like fan-speed controls, multi-colored lights and a "Total Watts Viewer?" The one with only 18A on the 12V rail... that's the one.

Certainly Thermaltake isn't trying to sell this power supply as anything more than an ATX12V1.3 power supply, and it is a very good ATX12V power supply.  But when you entice the buying public with bling and gizmos, slap a 400W label on it, and then bundle a 20-to-24-pin adapter, you invite disaster. 

Albiet this power supply did not blow up, I'm still only giving it a 6.5.

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