MSI 975X Platinum PUE (BIOS 7.4)
Intel E6600 Core2 Duo 4MB @ 3.30 GHZ : CoolIT Eliminator (1.32V)
ATi Radeon X1900XTX 512MB : Arctic Cooling Accelero S1
Corsair 2x1GB DDR2-667 4-4-4-12
Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi XtremeMusic : Logitech X-530
WD 74GB Raptor (10K), WD 250GB Caviar (7.2K)
Thermaltake Toughpower 850W
NEC 16x DVD±R/W IDE
NZXT. Apollo Orange Chassis
2x Logisys UV CCFL
USB powered components:
Logitech G15 Keyboard
Logitech G7 Mouse
Logitech QuickCam Web Camera
To test the Thermaltake Toughpower, I measured the 3.3, 5, and 12 volt outputs to the motherboard and various components at idle and load using a Craftsman volt meter. Idle situations consisted of a blank Windows desktop. Load situations include two instances of Folding@Home, one running on each core, a CD ripping to the secondary drive, the primary drive defragmenting, and the ATi Tool 3D view to stress the video card. Final measurements between components were averaged. Next, I used the OCCT stress test in conjunction with my motherboard's CPU core voltage sensor to get a sense of real time ripple on the CPU.
As far as the 3.3V and 5V lines are concerned, this thing is rock solid. On the four 12V rails, though, there was a little more variation than I would like to see. Not only is the idle state a little more overvolted than I would expect, but there is also pretty heavy ripple going on there. In the big picture, it's not a big deal, but it's not as good as I'd like to see.
The CPU side of things is a little brighter, with only a little over one percent ripple. These results are pretty impressive and show good voltage regulation despite the 12V overvolting we saw earlier.
A quad rail system can be a blessing and a curse. It's easier for Thermaltake to dump in more wattage with extra rails, but it's easier for the consumer to blow them out when there's only a few mediocre 12V lines and not just one really solid one. Though the performance is not exceptional on the 12V lines, between the PCIe guide and the modular system, Thermaltake did a really nice job of separating them out and making sure you don't mess anything up.
The 140mm fan included with the Toughpower is almost silent—I can't hear it over my CoolIT Eliminator which is also practically silent—and definitely gets the job done. Also, the cable management system was well designed and a pleasure to work with. All cables snap in nicely, even the SATA ones that you're never sure about feel solidly put. As far as practical usage is concerned, everything about the Toughpower was a joy to use.
One major drawback about the Toughpower, though, is the price. Anywhere from 200 to 260 USD, it's way out of most people's accepted price range. Do you get what you pay for? Definitely. But can you afford it? That's always a complicated question.
Despite the price, I would have a very hard time not recommending this great power supply. The Thermaltake Toughpower 850W definitely earns the OCIA.net Seal of Approval.