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Switching Power Supplies A - Z, Second Edition
Switching Power Supplies A - Z, Second Edition, by Sanjaya Maniktala (Newnes), starting at $55.25
Home » Power
Thermaltake Toughpower 1500 W Power Supply
Author: Gabriel Torres 81,664 views
Type: First Look Last Updated: July 30, 2008
Page: 1 of 9

Thermaltake Toughpower 1500 W is one of the most powerful PC power supplies in the world – so powerful that it can’t be sold in the USA, as it is over the maximum allowed power for household appliances set by the Underwriter Laboratories (UL) – which is 1,300 W, by the way. Because of that, this model can only be found in Europe. The architecture used is really interesting: this power supply is in fact two completely independent 750 W power supplies inside the same housing. Besides its monstrous power capability – which the manufacturer says can be delivered at 50° C with a peak power of 1,600 W –, Toughpower 1500 W has a modular cabling system with a total of eight power connectors for video cards and a 140 mm fan. In this article we will completely dissect this monster.

Unfortunately this time we won’t be able to put this unit on our load tester to see if it can really deliver its rated power. Besides the real risk of melting the wires from our lab, this power supply only works at 230 V, as it is targeted to the European market, and our voltage here is 115 V. Also, our load tester can only handle units up to 1,000 W. We will, however, show all the internals from this unit.

Thermaltake Toughpower 1500 W power supply
click to enlarge
Figure 1: Product box.

Thermaltake Toughpower 1500 W power supply
click to enlarge
Figure 2: Thermaltake Toughpower 1500 W power supply.

The first thing that comes into our mind is… who needs a 1,500 W power supply anyway? Thousand-watt units are overkill even for the most high-end user, so in the right mind would buy a 1.5 KW unit? There are a few answers to this question. Besides showing off to friends, this unit is clearly targeted to the user that wants to build the most extreme system with the power supply running around 50% of its maximum capacity. As we explained in detail in our Everything You Need to Know About Power Supplies tutorial, power supplies reach their maximum efficiency when they are operating between 40% and 60% of their maximum power. So by operating this product at around 50% of its capacity, you can enjoy its maximum efficiency (87% according to Thermaltake) and save on your electricity bill.

Another reason for someone buying this power supply would be the support for eight power cables for video cards, allowing you to install up to four very high-end video cards that use two auxiliary power connectors each. Almost all high-end power supplies provide only four auxiliary power cables for video cards, allowing you to connect only two very high-end video cards without the use of adapters.

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