Introduction, Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Topower should be a familiar name to many in the PC industry. For years they have produced quality power supplies, cases and more for computer enthusiasts. Several companies have turned to Topower to design and produce power supplies over the years and many often simply rebrand Topower's power supplies as their own. We've seen this twice lately with the Mushkin Enhanced Joule 700W and 800W models as these are simply Topower's Nano Series power supplies with different labels.
Today we are taking a look at the first 80Plus Gold rated power supply from Topower. The Topower TOP-1000WG also happens to be the largest power supply that the company offers in the Nano Series. It promises to deliver up to 1000W of power, features a quad-12V rail design and boasts quite a selection of connectors so that you can make good use of the full 1000W.
Let's start by taking a look at some of the specs and seeing how strong the TOP-1000WG appears on paper.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Topower provides plenty of power on the minor rails with both the 3.3V and 5V being rated for 30A each and a combined load of 150W. 12V power is delivered by four individual rails capable of 19A each and a combined load of 76A. It would be nice to see these rails capable of a little more power. Several of today's top of the line GPU's can each pull more than each of these rails provide and some of the rails share loads with other devices. While this should be sufficient for a majority of users out there, a few might find that the individual rails on the TOP-1000WG just aren't strong enough to handle their individual needs.
The TOP-1000WG certainly isn't the most feature rich 1kW unit that we've taken a look at, but it has a majority of the features we check for. Almost the full suite of protections are included with the exception of over temperature protection. Topower decided to natively wire all of the cables for the TOP-1000WG, but they are all sleeved well. Unfortunately the unit is not rated for 100% continuous output at 50C, but the unit does boast an 80Plus Gold efficiency rating.
Topower has excellent market penetration with their power supplies and the TOP-1000WG can be found very easily. Newegg lists the power supply shipped for $171.99. However, some crafty searching will let you grab the 1000W unit for about $161 shipped. Topower warranties the TOP-1000WG for a period of three years. While this isn't quite as long as we would like to see for a modern day power supply, it is certainly better than a one year warranty.
Topower keeps the packaging simplistic. On the front you get just enough information to let you know if you're interested in the unit with the wattage, SLI and Crossfire logos and the 80Plus Gold logo.
Flipping over to the back, we find a bit more information on the features of the TOP-1000WG. Most notably, we see that there are multiple 12V rails, 6+2pin PCI-E support and a list of incorporated power protections.
The sides of the box do not contain any information, but flipping things over to the top, we find a good list of connectors that are available on all the power supplies in the Nano Series.
On the bottom we see the I/O specifications for all of the Nano Series power supplies.
Inside the Box
The TOP-1000WG fits snugly in its box protected by a layer of bubble wrap. Upon pulling the power supply out, we find the PSU finished in semi-gloss black. One side displays the I/O specification label, while the other side, top and front are blank.
Checking out the back of the power supply, we find the same large grill that Mushkin's Joule power supplies have. The large mesh design allows for lots of air flow.
Flipping things over to the bottom side of the power supply, we see a sneak peak at the cooling solution for the TOP-1000WG. The 120mm Nanotek fan is said to have three times the lifespan of standard ball bearing fans.
Also included with the Topower TOP-1000WG is the user manual, AC power cord, mounting screws, reusable Velcro cable ties and a few zip ties.
Cabling Arrangement & A Look Inside
The TOP-1000WG features a great list of connectors and cables for a 1000W power supply. In total, you're looking at a total of 26 connectors over 10 cables. Other than the obligatory 20+4 pin Main and ATX 4+4 cables, there is also an EPS12V connector. Each of the three cables for PCI-E connections feature a pair of 6+2 pin connectors. Peripheral cables include three SATA cables with four connectors each and a single Molex cable with four Molex connectors and a single FDD connector at the end.
Rail distribution for the TOP-1000WG is split up quite well. 12V1 handles the 20+4 pin Main connector and all of the peripheral connectors. 12V2 handles the EPS12V connector and one of the PCI-E cables, while 12V3 power just one PCI-E cable. 12V4 finishes off the rest of the cables with the remaining PCI-E cable and the ATX4+4 cable. While the distribution couldn't be much better, one must keep in mind that each of the rails are only capable 228W of power and some of today's GPUs can pull upwards of 240W of power.
A Look Inside
Opening things up, we find things packed in a little tight, but well cooled.
The primary side features a pair of Taiwanese Teapo caps that are rated for 85 instead of the preferred 105C.
The secondary side is filled with more Teapo capacitors. At least these are all rated for 105C.
Finalizing our shots of the inside is the BTek fan that cools the TOP-1000WG. It is at 120mm fan, model A1225L12S.
Test Results & Final Thoughts
Our load tests utilize a couple of FAST ATE active load testers and a variety of other equipment such as an oscilloscope, power conditioner, temperature probe and a power consumption meter. You can read more about our standard testing approach here.
The tests performed are based around six conceivable setups that are out there and progressively load down the PSU up to the power supply's limits or 1000W, whichever comes first. Since our test equipment's limits are equal to that of Topower TOP-1000WG, we can test it to the maximum.
Starting off with the voltages, we see that the TOP-1000WG performed rather well. With the exception of the 12V2 rail, everything managed to stay within 2% of specifications and 12V2 just barely snuck into the 3% range at the start. The 3.3V and 5V rails performed on par with what we saw from the 12V rails. While there was a little more fluctuation in voltage from start to finish than we are used to seeing, everything stayed well within ATX specifications.
DC output quality is certainly where the Nano Series from Topower excels. The TOP-1000WG had hardly any noise on the 12V rails at the start, showing on 6mV peak to peak. It isn't until we upped the load on the power supply to about 50% that we finally noticed some noise on the scope at 15mV peak to peak. Ripple continued to climb until we finally hit full load. Even at full load, the TOP-1000WG only showed 35mV of noise on the 12V rail.
The TOP-1000WG performed quite well in the area of efficiency too. While the power supply was cutting it a little close at the start of the tests, that quickly changed as the loads were increased. At about 50% load the efficiency was right where you would expect. The impressive part was the results under full load where the TOP-1000WG was still showing above 89% efficiency.
Topower's TOP-1000WG performed rather well in our tests. Voltage regulation was within 3% across the board, DC output quality was great and the efficiency of the unit was also wonderful. The power supply comes with a great selection of connectors and cables for a natively wired unit and most will be hard pressed to find a need for additional cables or connectors. Topping off the list of things that the TOP-1000WG has going for it is the price. At a price of right around $160, it is one of the cheapest 80Plus Gold rated units on the market. Couple that with the solid performance the power supply offers and you've got a bargain that is hard to beat.
Unfortunately the unit isn't without its flaws and shortcomings. Right from the start we saw that the output on each of the 12V rails was a little bit low and became even more apparent once we noticed that the 12V rails shared loads between PCI-E and other devices. As we often see with power supplies that perform well, but are cheaper than the competition, the TOP-1000WG sacrifices a few features for the price point. In this case we lose modular cables, over temperature protection and a 50C power rating. Topower also only offers a three year warranty for the unit.
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