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.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, Availability and Pricing]
- Page 2 [The Packaging]
- Page 3 [Inside the Box]
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