Thermaltake Toughpower Grand Platinum 700W Introduction

Thermaltake is a well-known manufacturer with worldwide presence and one of the first to focus on products for gamers and enthusiasts. The company offers a vast selection of products, from cases and power supplies to gaming keyboards and mice. Today we will be having a look at one of the latest power supplies, the Toughpower Grand Platinum 700W, a product boasting a very long list of features and a unique appearance.

Thermaltake TGP-700M Power Supply 

With a MSRP price of $189.99 at the time of this review, the Toughpower Grand Platinum is one of the most expensive 700W power supplies available in the market; however, the high price could be possibly justified by the number of features and the performance of this unit. The list of features of the Toughpower Grand Platinum is so long that we simply cannot list them all in a single paragraph; however, we feel that the major highlights of this power supply are the 80Plus Platinum certification, the 7-year long manufacturer's warranty and its unique appearance. Several white PSUs have been released in 2012 but the Toughpower Grand Platinum is the first we have seen with white cables and sleeving. Then again, appearance is not nearly as important as performance when it comes to power supplies, so read on to see how the Toughpower Grand Platinum 700W unit performed on our test bench.

TGP-700M fan engine logo 

Thermaltake TGP-700M Power Supply Features:

Thermaltake TGP-700M Power Supply Specifications:

AC INPUT

Input Voltage: 100V - 240V
Input Current: 10A max
Frequency: 50Hz - 60Hz

DC OUTPUT

+3.3V

+5V

+12V

-12V

+5VSB

Max Output Current

22A

22A

58A

0.5A

3A

Max Output Power

120W

696W

6W

15W

Continuous Power

700W

Let's move along and take a closer look at the retail packaging and power supply.

Unboxing the TGP-700M

The box

Thermaltake supplies the Toughpower Grand Platinum 700W unit in a fairly large cardboard box covered with extensive artwork. Inside the box we found the power supply wrapped inside a nylon pouch and protected by polyethylene foam slabs, ensuring its protection during transport.

The box (rear)

The rear of the box is a small manual, with Thermaltake opting for visual material rather than a multi-lingual list of features. There is a table with the electrical specifications of the unit, another one with the number of connectors and many icons regarding the features and certifications that this unit has.

Bundled items

The items bundle could have been much better but there are a few unique parts supplied with this unit. Besides the typical A/C power cable and basic manual, we found a few short cable ties, a set of four long 3M mounting screws, plastic cable locks, anti-vibration rubber elbows and a nylon bag for storing the unused modular cables. There also is a Molex to floppy adapter, unfortunately not in any way matching the rest of the cables supplied with this unit.

Modular cables

Perhaps the most unique feature of the Toughpower Grand Platinum 700W power supply is the white cables. The modular cables are flat, ribbon-like cables without any sleeving and with snow-white insulation, including the PCIe cable. The connectors of the Molex/SATA cables are black, while the PCI-E connectors are red.

Connector close-up

External Design of the TGP-700M

The Toughpower Grand Platinum 700W PSU

The Toughpower Grand Platinum 700W is certainly unique in terms of appearance. Thermaltake is using a proprietary chassis with rounded corners which is sprayed with a snow-white matte paint, a black honeycomb mesh fan cover and white sleeving on the hardwired cables, just to name a few differences over basic designs. The chassis is 180mm long, making this power supply somewhat longer than a standard ATX unit.

Side sticker

We found the company and power supply series logos etched on the sides of the power supply, barely visible on the bright white surface of the TGP-700M. A black glossy ribbon runs around the power supply inside an embossed channel which the chassis forms.

Top side

The sticker with the electrical specifications of the Toughpower Grand Platinum 700W unit is to be found at the top side of the power supply. It is printed in both English and Chinese, as Thermaltake obviously plans on marketing this product in Asia. A "Tt design" logo is embossed beneath the sticker.

Rear Side

Six connectors for the modular cables can be found at the rear side of this power supply. Although the connectors themselves are colored, with the red ones being 8 pin connectors for the PCI-E cables and the black ones being 6-pin connectors for the Molex/SATA cables, Thermaltake also placed a legend and labels next to the connectors.

Cables and capacitors

As we mentioned above, the hardwired cables of the Toughpower Grand Platinum 700W unit are covered with a snow-white sleeving. Unfortunately, the wires beneath the sleeving are color-coded and it shows; all-white wires here would increase the visual value of this product tremendously. Thermaltake also placed capacitors near the PCI-E connectors in order to decrease voltage ripple but they also add some bulk.

Front Side

Naturally, the front side of the Toughpower Grand Platinum is mostly perforated. There is a typical on/off switch and an A/C receptacle, as well as a rectangular plate with the company's name printed on it.

A look inside the TGP-700M

The cooling fan

The flower shaped 140mm cooling fan is supplied by Y.S. Tech, rebranded to a Thermaltake logo and part number. Funnily, the fan is branded as a "Yen Sun Technology Copy"! It is a very powerful fan, capable of reaching a maximum speed of 1900RPM, a figure which is almost ridiculous for a 140mm fan. Thermaltake claims that the flower shaped fan can reduce noise by up to 3%; not a figure of any real significance if you ask us but let's just wait for the acoustics testing before jumping to any conclusions.

Inside the Toughpower Grand Platinum 700W unit

Thermaltake's Toughpower Grand series has been around for years and the company made use of several different OEMs in the past. This time, Thermaltake entrusted the design and assembly of the Toughpower Grand Platinum Snow Edition to High Power (also known as a branch of Sirfa Electronics Co.). Although it is rare to see High Power being the OEM behind so classy designs, we have to admit that we found the quality of the workmanship and soldering to be excellent.

The filtering and rectifying stages

The filtering stage of this power supply begins on the back of the A/C receptacle, with components glued onto the plastic body of the on/off switch and of the receptacle itself. The entire stage consists of four Y capacitors, two X capacitors, two filtering chokes and a MOV, creating a by-the-book filtering design. Here we can also see one of the bridge rectifiers which is attached to the large main heatsink of the unit instead of having its own small heatsink.

Primary side

The sizable heatsink across the left side of the PCB holds the primary bridge rectifiers, the active components of the APFC circuit and the primary stage inversion components. A very large 680uF/400V capacitor supplied by Panasonic and an equally large filtering coil form the passive components of the PFC circuit.

Secondary side

Another sizable heatsink holds the conversion transistors on the secondary side of the main transformer. The vertical PCB right next to the heatsink is home to the two DC-DC converters, which reduce portion of the main 12V line into the 5V and 3.3V lines. There are many polymer capacitors, all supplied by Enesol, with a few electrolytic capacitors supplied by Nippon Chemi-Con. The hardwired cables are tightly packed together but their number creates a significant mess to the right side of the power supply.

Test Setup

The load

In order to be able to effectively and efficiently test any computer power supply unit, we developed and constructed our own proprietary testing station. Our testing station consists of a number of power resistors and small capacitors, which in turn are connected to a RS485 electronic relay array which allow our load to be controlled through computer software alone.

USB interface and connection panel

When accuracy and speed are of critical importance, a simple multimeter or voltage meter is not sufficient for the task. To ensure the quality of our testing, an USB laboratory interface is being used to continuously monitor and record the readings of all voltage lines simultaneously. For ripple measurements, an oscilloscope is necessary and we chose the USB Instruments Stingray, the most widely used oscilloscope amongst low voltage PSU engineers and testers.

Measurement instruments

For accurate testing and repeatable results, a stable power input is also required. Thus, we are providing power to our test samples through a 3kVA VARIAC which allows us to control the input voltage of our test samples and also perform efficiency tests under both 110V AC and 230V AC input. A Lutron DW-6091 is also being used, monitoring the input voltage, real and apparent power, power factor and amperage.

The software

A power supply testing procedure would not be complete without thermal and acoustics tests. For our acoustics tests we are using a SL-5868P digital sound level meter, placed 1 meter away from the unit (DIN standard). Two PT100 sensors and their respective displays are being used to monitor the ambient temperature and the exhaust temperature of the unit.

Complete test setup during trial run

 

Testing results (Regulation & Ripple)

 

The electrical performance of the Toughpower Grand Platinum 700W is good, with Thermaltake focused on delivering excellent voltage regulation over anything else. True enough, the voltage regulation is excellent, being about 1% for the 3.3V and 5V lines, while the 12V line is just but a bit behind, at 1.35%. Sadly, the ripple suppression is not nearly as good, with us recording a 60-62mV voltage ripple on the 12V line while the unit is under maximum load. This still is a good figure and merely half of the limit imposed by the ATX power supply design standard, but hardcore enthusiasts would expect more from a power supply of this price range.

Testing results (Efficiency, Noise & Thermal)

Even if it is an 80Plus Platinum certified unit, the efficiency of the Toughpower Grand Platinum is surprisingly high while the power supply operates at 50% capacity, reaching up to 93.5% when the source voltage is at 110VAC and goes further up by 0.6% if the source voltage goes up to 230VAC. Unfortunately, these figures diminish quickly if the load is either increased or decreased, yet the power supply always honors its 80Plus Platinum certification and the efficiency never drops below 90%.

The thermal performance of the Toughpower Grand Platinum 700W power supply appears strange at first but that is because the flower shaped fan did not start rotating before the load exceeded 30% of the power supply's capacity. Once the fan starts, there is a temperature drop and then the temperature will start rising again as the load increases, reaching a delta of about 9°C under maximum load.

As the fan is not even rotating beneath 40% load, there were no sound volume recordings at all before that point. Once the fan starts and up to 80% load, the noise level is within the audible range but very well comfortable. That quickly changes if the load exceeds 80% of the unit's power capacity, where the fan starts speeding up significantly and becomes much louder than before, reaching at maximum load a noise level that is about 8 times higher than that at 50% load. 

Thermaltake Toughpower Grand Platinum 700W Review Conclusion

Thermaltake had always been a company with a strong focus on aesthetics, trying to create products standing out of the crowd. The Toughpower Grand Platinum 700W is certainly such a product, being one of the few white power supplies available and possibly the only one on the planet at this point of time which makes use of white cables. The only visual quirk is the use of color-coded wires behind the while sleeving of the native cables, which is an obvious dissimilarity over the all-white modular cables. How about quality or performance though?

 The TGP-700M

Regarding quality, the 7 year warranty alone certainly is reassuring. We believe that High Power did the best possible job they could as an OEM, with a very clean assembly and great soldering quality. The choice of components also indicates that Thermaltake had been trying to create a very reliable product, as even the least important passive component is coming from a well-known manufacturer. 

Although the electrical performance of the Toughpower Grand Platinum 700W unit was very good, we cannot hide it but to admit that we expected something more from a power supply of that league. The power supply displayed great efficiency and very good voltage regulation, being capable of regulating the voltage lines within 1.35% between minimum and maximum load; however, with voltage ripples in excess of 60mV under maximum load, the voltage ripple suppression capabilities of this unit are mediocre, even weak for a 700W power supply with a price tag of $189.99.

Primary capacitor of the TGP-700M 

The Toughpower Grand Platinum 700W is certainly a unique product in terms of appearance, very reliable and covered by a very long warranty. However, we feel that Thermaltake might have been a little bit too focused on aesthetics and marketing this time around, as the overall performance of this power supply is a few notches behind the competition within its price range. Unless the actual retail price is significantly lower than the $189.99 MSRP price, it would have to compete directly against products such as the Corsair AX760 and the Seasonic Platinum 760, both of which may not share the unique appearance of the Toughpower Grand Platinum but they cost even less while their platforms have the potential of even better performance.

 

Legit Bottom Line: The Toughpower Grand Platinum 700W is certainly a very attractive and very well made power supply, which ought to please even the most hardcore of modders. Loaded with features and covered by a very long warranty, it will not disappoint the vast majority of users. The high price however pits it against some very stiff competition and enthusiasts who want the best possible performance out of their power supply might be looking elsewhere unless the retail price is significantly more competitive.