Thermaltake Toughpower Grand RGB 750W PSU Review
Thermaltake over the years has built some extremely good computer power supply units and along with that, it has also charged a premium for those which sometimes put it at a severe disadvantage in the value department. That changes today, in a very good way. It has flashy spinny LEDs, which you can turn off easily. And a 10 year warranty.
While the Thermaltake Toughpower Grand RGB 750W is the latest in a long line of power supplies that we have seen from Thermaltake, it is just the 4th Toughpower Grand unit we have seen. Interestingly, among those Toughpower Grand units we have seen it is the lowest capacity one to date. So, while we have had somewhat mixed, but still passing, results from previous Grand units, we don't have an idea on how the sub-1000W products typically perform. That means that, today, Thermaltake has an opportunity to "wow" us with a Toughpower Grand product that slots into a realm we have not seen before. Has the Grand RGB 750W done just that? Or, is this just another passing unit that has the name Grand on it? Let's see.
HardOCP’s testing methodology is intended to very much push power supplies to their advertised wattage rating in temperatures that will represent some of the hottest computer enthusiast cases. So if a unit passes all our testing it is definitely not something to take lightly. In fact we expect more power supplies to fail our testing than make it through unscathed.
The build quality of the Thermaltake Toughpower Grand RGB 750W starts the day off on a good foot. Externally, the Toughpower Grand RGB 750W looks a lot like the DPS G RGB 850W with a few extra switches on the rear and a bit different modular interface. Otherwise, it is a well put together package that generally looks good, has a rugged finish, and FlexForce style cables. When we move to the interior of the Toughpower Grand RGB 750W, we find a Sirfa design that we have seen variations of before. While Sirfa has rarely thrilled us in any aspect, the interior build quality looks to be good today. The topology is modern and the integration/soldering is generally good. One of the few glaring issues are the very long leads that were not trimmed on the unit. Beyond that though, the component selection is excellent for the most part as we see Rubycon and Nippon Chemi-con standard capacitors and Nippon Chemi-con solid capacitors. In addition to these parts, we see a Hong Sheng fan which isn't quite as nice in a high end unit. Documentation is just "OK". However an industry-leading 10 year warranty should make a lot of people more confident in their purchase.
Today, the load testing results for the Thermaltake Toughpower Grand RGB 750W were passing and good overall. First up, we have the voltage regulation. Here, we see that the 12v rail had a peak change of 0.18v during testing and the minor rails had a peak change of 0.05v. Clearly, the 12v results are not amazing but the minor rails do rather well. In fact, the minor rails keep this unit competitive by relative standards (as this unit was a bit above the middle of the pack when all things were considered). For instance, this unit was better than the SilverStone ST75F-GS V2, the In Win C 750W, and the FirePower Fatal1ty 750W. It only trailed the Enermax Revolution X't II 750W and the Antec EDGE 750W while tying the FSP Hydro G 750W. So, this starts things off on both an absolute good foot and a relative good foot. When we look at this unit’s efficiency, we see that it was 88.74% to 91.56% efficient at 120v AC input and 86.89% to 90.70% efficient at 100v AC input during our tests today. Following our regular load tests, we then ran the 80 Plus tests and we saw efficiency values of 88.85%-91.91%-88.37% for the Toughpower Grand RGB 750W. These results easily put this unit inside of its claimed 80 Plus Gold category. Lastly, the Toughpower Grand RGB 750W finished the Torture Test in good shape. So, nothing to complain about here.
The Transient Load Tests results for the Thermaltake Toughpower GRAND RGB 750W are passing but, overall, the results here are kind of mediocre. When directly loaded, the 12v rail showed a peak change of ~400mV and the 5v rail had a peak change of ~120mV. The unloaded 5v peak change during the 12v load was ~110mV. None of these results are particularly great, though they are all in specification, and this results in a unit that is not particularly great compared to the competition. For instance, this unit trails the FSP Hydro G 750W and the FirePower Fatal1ty 750W while almost trailing the Antec EDGE 750W and the In Win C750. The only unit it bests is the SilverStone ST75F-GS V2. So, while passing, this is one results that is not helping this unit stand out in any way.
DC Output Quality
Now, what does make this unit stand out, however, are the results we see in the DC Output Quality. Today, the Toughpower Grand RGB 750W is doing well. Not just a little well, mind you, but AMAZINGLY well. Why? Well, during our testing, the peak 12v trace amplitude was ~20mV while the peak 5v and 3.3v trace amplitudes were ~10mV. That is it! Without going into details, to prevent shaming them again, this means that the Toughpower grand RGB 750W was better than ALL of the units we have been comparing it to today in this set of tests. Not just a bit better most of the time either, but a LOT better. That makes this result a signature result today and something to hang your Thermaltake embroidered hat on!
The Thermaltake Toughpower Grand RGB 750W is interesting when it comes to the noise output aspect of our review as it is a premium product line and, these days, people expect quiet and premium to go hand in hand. To this end, Thermaltake equips the unit with a large overhead fan, a semi-fanless mode, and a modified sleeve bearing fan. Certainly, these items (coupled with the demonstrated efficiency of the unit) make a package that we can see hitting those noise objectives displayed on the back of the units packaging. As it turns out, we also could hear, or more correctly not hear, the Grand RGB 750W hit those noise objectives as well (save for at full load and 100v AC input). While not the quietest unit we have ever seen, we have seen fanless units after all, the Grand RGB 750W seems to be a reasonable option as it never was noticeable in our testing environment except for that one set of circumstances. So, it did a good job in this aspect.
OK, so one of the things I have gotten on to Thermaltake about before with their Grand units is that they have not always felt, well, "Grand." Today, I'm not sure that the Thermaltake Toughpower Grand RGB 750W has changed that completely, but I will have to give Thermaltake credit that at least in one aspect this unit was indeed "Grand," and that was the DC Output Quality (which was impeccable). Now, beyond that, the unit is in fact, quite good in a number of ways but "good" is not "Grand." So, on the marketing side, I am not sure I agree with the Grand branding for this unit. Now, what I am sure of is that I agree with the pricing relative to the performance and the competition! I mean for a new product like this to be hitting such an aggressive price point from a brand with the premium that Thermaltake usually carries, this is Grand! With that being the case, the branding might not be the right match but this time we'll just have to say "who cares" and love the "Grand" value.
The Bottom Line
With previous Thermaltake Grand units we have had some generally good, but not "Grand", results in our testing. Today, the Thermaltake Toughpower Grand RGB 750W breaks from that mold a bit and probably ends up being the "grandest" of the Grands we have seen to date when all is said and done. That does not mean that this unit does not have a few things that should be better to truly earn the Grand moniker (Transient Load test results), but it does a better job than previous outings such that we are starting to see some real upside here. Why? We start off with generally very good build quality and follow this up with good support and general load testing results that makes this unit more than competitive. Where things make us take notice, however, is in the DC Output Quality which was class leading and class leading is "Grand!" We could probably stop there and say "hey, we have that item that makes this unit a buy," and leave it at that. If we did that though, we would forget one of those critical components; price.
Price is often a tough thing because large brands like Thermaltake often have a bit of a "tax" built into their price because of the name. Today though, it appears we are seeing one of those "tax free" holidays because the Toughpower Grand RGB 750W can be had for $99.99 with PRIME shipping! What makes that more remarkable is this product has just recently launched! That is the launch price, not the "it has been on the market a while get a rebate on it to get it moving" price! So, while not a "Grand" unit by absolute performance in all aspects today (again the DC Output Quality is "Grand") this unit might just be a "Grand" bargain.