Introduction, Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Very few of our readers are going to be familiar with the Thortech name as it hasn't been around very long at all. A few may recognize the name as showing up while poking around a few of the online stores, but probably didn't give them much of a thought. What most of you will be surprised to know is that Thortech is a subsidiary of GeIL. GeIL announced in 2010 that it would start offering power supplies under the Thortech brand. Since then, the company has offered two lines of power supplies - the Thunderbolt series and Thunderbolt Plus series.
Today we are going to be taking a look at the Thunderbolt Plus 1000W power supply. It's packed full of features that place it square in the eyes of many enthusiasts and looks very good on paper. One of the key features of the Thunderbolt Plus series is that it offers an interactive 5.25" display that will tell you just about everything you'd like to know about the power supply such as load, efficiency, fan speed, temperature and more. Keep reading on to find out if GeIL's latest and greatest is all bark and no bite or if it lives up to what it says it can do.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
GeIL gives the Thortech Thunderbolt Plus a huge single 12V rail capable of 83A of power. This should easily feed a pair of GPU's and the unit has the capability to supply power to up to four cards at once. Minor rails aren't short on power either, as each is capable of 24A for a combined total of 150W. Interesting to see is the slightly beefier 5VSB rail which is capable of 4A instead of the usual 3A. The extra amp is always welcome.
The Thortech Thunderbolt Plus easily fills our feature chart without any troubles at all. There is a full suite of protection available including Over Temperature Protection. The unit features both native and modular cables that are sleeved nicely. Rounding out some of the features, we find that the power supply is rated for 80Plus Gold efficiency and is capable of 100% continuous output at 50C.
We couldn't find the Thortech Thunderbolt Plus 1000W available for sale in the US or AU and Thortech didn't give us an MSRP on the unit either. We did however find several other Thortech PSU's for sale on Newegg and judging by the price difference between the Thunderbolt 850W and Thunderbolt Plus 800W, we would guess that the Thunderbolt Plus 1000W will cost somewhere between $260-$300. This is quite a hefty price for a 1000W unit, but if it performs well, it could be well worth it.
GeIL backs the Thortech Thunderbolt Plus with a five year warranty which is very good at any price point.
The Thunderbolt Plus comes in one of the largest packages we've ever seen a power supply come in. The front has some excellent information on it and does a great job of being unobtrusive.
The back is packed full of excellent information. There is a great list of specifications, an awesome cable chart and the I/O specifications as well. The large box size helps make all of this easy to read since they didn't try and cram the box full of marketing junk.
The top of the box has a carrying handle much different than we've seen before. The two cloth straps do a great job of making it easy to carry the unit around.
There isn't much on the top of the box other than product identification.
The bottom is also kept very simple with nothing more than the Thortech logo.
One side of the box is packed full of their graphical list of features.
The other side is filled with a simplified list of features in multiple languages.
Inside the Box
Inside the box we find the power supply sandwiched between two pieces of foam. Underneath all of this are the modular cables and accessories.
Lifting off the top layer of foam, we find the power supply in a bag to protect it even more.
Underneath the native cables lies the 5.25" display.
Here we catch our first glimpse of the Thortech Thunderbolt Plus 100W PSU. It has a matte black finish with the I/O specification sticker on the top.
Both sides of the power supply display the same Thunderbolt Plus 1000W label.
Airflow is kept to a maximum with the honeycomb mesh grill and minimal obstruction on the back of the unit.
The front houses the modular connectors. Notice that the native cables have both a grommet and are zip tied together where they exit the PSU.
The bottom of the unit gives us a glimpse of the fan that cools the unit. It is covered by a honeycomb mesh grill.
This is the iPower meter included with the Thortech Plus. They have it covered in plastic to keep it from getting scratched during shipping.
The back view shows that it is a simple controller board for the LCD and there is a single connection to hook it up to the power supply.
Here we see the iPower Meter when the power supply is turned on. It is rather bright in a very dimly lit room, but easy to read.
Also include in the box are the user manual, power cable, reusable Velcro cable ties and mounting screws.
Rounding out the list of things included are the modular cables. They are neatly held in place by a pouch that folds in half and Velcro's together.
Cabling Arrangement & A Look Inside
Just as it should be with any 1000W power supply, the Thortech Thunderbolt Plus 1000W has a very extensive list of cables. The power supply has dual EPS12V cables for those that need it and support for up to four graphics cards with a total of eight 8-pin PCI-E connectors.
Peripherals are covered very well with twelve SATA connectors, six Molex connectors and a single FDD over six cables. The Thunderbolt Plus also has an additional cable for connecting the iPower Meter that mounts in the 5.25" bay.
Thortech keeps the rail distribution sweet and simple with a single 12V rail.
A Look Inside
Opening up the power supply, we find a hefty amount of heatsinks to make sure that the unit stays nice and cool.
Dual Rubycon capacitors adorn the primary side of the Thunderbolt Plus.
Getting in close, we find that the secondary side is packed full of Nippon Chemi-Con's as well. It's always nice to see 100% Japanese capacitor construction.
Globe Fan provides the 135mm unit that cools this power supply. The model number on this particular fan is RL4Z B1352512H-3M.
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 the Thortech Thunderbolt Plus 100W, we can test it to the maximum.
Let's start by taking a look at the voltages to see how well this unit did during testing. Starting with the 12V rail, we see 2% regulation from start to finish with a total drop of .27V throughout all the tests. The 5V rail didn't quite fair as well with 3% voltage regulation and a total drop of .19V. Moving towards the 3.3V rail, the regulation goes down to 4% with a total voltage drop of .15V.
DC output quality was OK from start to finish. Starting out, we were clearly able to see a ripple on the scope during Test 1 where we measured noise at a moderate 35mV peak to peak. This steadily increased as the loads also increased. By the time we had reached around 50% load, the unit ripple had crept up to 43mV. Under full load, we saw that the noise on the 12V rail had crept up to 51mV
The Thortech Thunderbolt Plus 1000W is rated for 80Plus Gold efficiency. This means that the power supply must perform at 87%/90%/87% efficiency at 20%/50%/100% loads respectively. As you can see, the Thunderbolt Plus managed to blow that away on our test bench. With a little bit of effort, Thortech could easily have a Platinum efficiency PSU on their hands.
The Thortech Thunderbolt Plus 1000W power supply is mixed with lots of good and bad. We were expecting this as it isn't easy to jump right into the enthusiast power supply market without having a few ups and downs. For their second line of power supplies, GeIL has done a heck of a job. The unit has a great list of features, protections and options. Cable selection is great and the unit has solid build quality. Topping all of this off is the five year warranty and the inclusion of the iPower meter. We found it to be surprisingly accurate.
Unfortunately we couldn't even find the unit for sale right now despite being able to find several other Thortech units available for purchase. Availability and price are a huge concern for enthusiasts and while we don't have an exact price, we are pretty sure we aren't far off. Even at an estimated $260 for the unit, it's one of the more expensive 1000W units available. This wouldn't be a problem if it performed better, but as it stands, Thortech could stand to work on their voltage regulation a bit, especially on the 3.3V rail and their DC output quality. As the unit stands now, it just isn't much of a bargain when there are better performing units available for substantially less.
If Thortech were to drop their price on the unit to around $200, the unit would be priced much more competitively and would be a much more attractive package. The unit is worthy of the feature award for the interactive iPower Meter. There will be many that purchase the power supply simply for the meter alone, as it adds a good amount of bling to your otherwise plain system.
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