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Thermaltake 420w PurePower PSU Review

By: Mike Wright | Other PSUs in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Aug 24, 2002 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.5%Manufacturer: Thermaltake




When you first started getting into the computer craze, how many times would you get ready to add a brand new component only to find out you didn't have enough power connections left? Then it was a matter of having to hit the computer geek shop one more time and get a splitter. While not a huge problem, it did tend to be a pain in the rear.


To tackle this inconvenience, Thermaltake threw out all the rules and gave you everything that you will need for some time to come. No more looking around for a splitter or a fan that happens to allow a daisy-chain type power hookup. Here's what you get:


1x Standard ATX connector that has been wrapped in mesh,


1x Pentium4 4-pin square supplementary power connector,


1x Auxiliary power connector for those few who need it,


1x 3-pin connector to monitor fan speed,


3x FDD power connector for those with a need for them,


9x 4-pin power connectors for everything plus the kitchen sink.


As you can see, there should be no need to use splitters again. And since many fans now come with a daisy-chain type power connector, there should be more than enough power cables for even the most hardcore among us.


I was just a bit confused about having a dual fan rig but only a single fan monitoring cable. Maybe its just me, but it seems as though there should be a means to monitor both fans if you're going to do this?




Testing a PSU can be an interesting challenge for those of us who don't happen to have a multi-meter handy. But when it comes right down to it, what is the best way to try one out? Well by throwing everything handy at it and measuring the 5v and 12v rails to see if it can maintain a steady flow of power. So let's look at what I happened to have handy for the testing, shall we?


EPoX 8KHA+ Mainboard


AthlonXP 1800+ Processor


512MB Crucial DDR Memory (2x 256MB modules)


X-Micro GeForce4 Ti4200 w/ Thermaltake GF4 Cooler


SoundBlaster: Live


D-Link NIC


Seagate 40GB HDD




Creative 8x4x32 CD-RW


Pioneer 16x DVD


Sony FDD


SanDisk USB CompactFlash Reader


Microsoft USB Optical Mouse


Now so far, we have a pretty decent test bed set up to see how it can handle at least a reasonable power draw. But since I didn't think that this was just quite good enough, I decided to add some fans to the mix. Fans tend to be some of the largest power drainers available when it comes to the power system. So I added in eight 80mm x 80mm x 25mm fans, two 80mm x 80mm x 38mm fans and a pair of spare 60mm x 60mm x 38mm monsters that I just happened to have sitting on the shelf. Yep, this ought to do the trick.


Before I go on, let me warn anyone from doing these tests in the house if there happen to be domestic animals present. When I hooked everything up and cranked up the system, I heard the terrified trampling of clawed feet tearing around the house like wild crazy. I may have to take my two cats to counseling after this. You have been warned.


All right then, we have the system running very smoothly, so lets start playing a bit. The system is overclocked to 1668MHz, the CD Burner is burning a disk, I have a 3DMark demo going, and I have enough airflow moving to create liftoff. After all this, I took a measurement of the power levels with both SiSoft Sandra and Motherboard Monitor 5. Here are the results:




Even with everything else going on, we have some very solid results. According to SiSoft, we have a respectable 4.95v power output on the 5v rail and 12.22v on the 12v rail. MBM5 gives similar readings with 4.97v and 12.16v respectively. Not too shabby considering that I'm trying to create enough airflow to lift my house from the foundation.


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