Thermaltake Smart 730 W Power Supply Review
By Gabriel Torres on February 24, 2012


Introduction

The Smart Series is a new entry-level power supply series from Thermaltake, with the standard 80 Plus certification. Coming to replace the old Purepower and TR2 “standard” series, this new series features 430 W, 530 W, 630 W, and 730 W models, all with the standard 80 Plus certification. We’ve already tested the 630 W model, which proved to have a terrific price/performance ratio. Let’s see if the 730 W model follows in the same footsteps.

Although Thermaltake claims that this power supply has the 80 Plus certification, this unit was not certified. Therefore, this unit uses an illegal (“fake”) 80 Plus logo. Thermaltake has already  been contacted by Ecos Consulting (the company behind the 80 Plus certification) in order to rectify this problem.

The new Smart Series power supplies are manufactured by HEC/Compucase, just like the old Purepower models. Apparently, the Smart Series is derived from HEC’s TB series. The Smart 730 W is not a 630 W model with “stronger” components; it actually uses a different printed circuit board and, therefore, a different platform.

Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply
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Figure 1: Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply

Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply
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Figure 2: Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply

The Thermaltake Smart 730 W is 5.5” (140 mm) deep, using a 120 mm sleeve bearing fan on its bottom (Thermaltake TT-1225A, which is actually manufactured by Young Lin Tech).

This unit doesn’t have a modular cabling system, and only the main motherboard cable uses a nylon sleeve, which comes from inside the unit. This power supply comes with the following cables:

All wires are 18 AWG wires, which is the minimum recommended gauge.

The cable configuration is excellent for an entry-level 730 W power supply, and it has two video card power connectors and two SATA power connectors more than the 630 W model.

Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply
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Figure 3: Cables

Let’s now take an in-depth look inside this power supply.

A Look Inside the Thermaltake Smart 730 W

We decided to disassemble this power supply to see what it looks like inside, how it is designed, and what components are used. Please read our “Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies” tutorial to understand how a power supply works and to compare this power supply to others.

On this page we will have an overall look, and then in the following pages we will discuss in detail the quality and ratings of the components used. As explained, the printed circuit board of the 730 W model is different from the 630 W model.

Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply
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Figure 4: Top view

Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply
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Figure 5: Front quarter view

Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply
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Figure 6: Rear quarter view

Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply
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Figure 7: The printed circuit board

Transient Filtering Stage

As we have mentioned in other articles and reviews, the first place we look when opening a power supply for a hint about its quality, is its filtering stage. The recommended components for this stage are two ferrite coils, two ceramic capacitors (Y capacitors, usually blue), one metalized polyester capacitor (X capacitor), and one MOV (Metal-Oxide Varistor). Very low-end power supplies use fewer components, usually removing the MOV and the first coil. 

In this stage, the Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply is flawless. It has two Y capacitors, one X capacitor, and one ferrite coil more than the minimum required.

Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply
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Figure 8: Transient filtering stage (part 1)

Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply
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Figure 9: Transient filtering stage (part 2)

On the next page, we will have a more detailed discussion about the components used in the Thermaltake Smart 730 W.

Primary Analysis

On this page we will take an in-depth look at the primary stage of the Thermaltake Smart 730 W. For a better understanding, please read our “Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies” tutorial.

This power supply uses one GBJ1506 rectifying bridge, which is attached to the same heatsink as the active PFC transistors and diode. This bridge supports up to 15 A at 100° C, so in theory, you would be able to pull up to 1,725 W from a 115 V power grid. Assuming 80% efficiency, the bridge would allow this unit to deliver up to 1,380 W without burning itself out. Of course, we are only talking about this particular component. The real limit will depend on all the components combined in this power supply. The 630 W model uses a 10 A bridge.

Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply
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Figure 10: Rectifying bridge

The active PFC circuit uses three IPP60R190C6 MOSFETs, each one capable of delivering up to 20.2 A at 25° C or 12.8 A at 100° C in continuous mode (note the difference temperature makes), or up to 59 A in pulse mode at 25° C. These transistors present a 190 mΩ resistance when turned on, a characteristic called RDS(on). The lower this number the better, meaning that the transistors will waste less power, and the power supply will achieve a higher efficiency. The 630 W model uses two of these transistors.

Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply
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Figure 11: Active PFC transistors and diode

The output of the active PFC circuit is filtered by a 470 µF x 400 V electrolytic capacitor from Teapo and labeled at 85° C. The 630 W model uses a 330 µF x 400 V capacitor here.

In the switching section, another two IPP60R190C6 MOSFETs are used in the traditional two-transistor forward configuration. The specifications for these transistors were already discussed above. The 630 W model uses different (“weaker”) transistors here.

Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply
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Figure 12: One of the switching transistors

The primary is managed by a FAN4800I active PFC/PWM controller.

Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply
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Figure 13: Active PFC/PWM controller

Let’s now take a look at the secondary of this power supply.

Secondary Analysis

The Thermaltake Smart 730 W uses a regular design in its secondary, with Schottky rectifiers.

The maximum theoretical current each line can deliver is given by the formula I / (1 - D) where D is the duty cycle used and I is the maximum current supported by the rectifying diode. As an exercise, we can assume a duty cycle of 30 percent.

The +12 V output uses four PFR40L60CT Schottky rectifiers (40 A, 20 A per internal diode at 120° C, 0.60 V maximum voltage drop). This gives us a maximum theoretical current of 114 A or 1,371 W for the +12 V output.

The +5 V output uses two SBR30A40CT Schottky rectifiers (30 A, 15 A per internal diode at 110° C, 0.50 V maximum voltage drop). This gives us a maximum theoretical current of 43 A or 214 W for the +5 V output.

The +3.3 V output uses another two SBR30A40CT Schottky rectifiers. This gives us a maximum theoretical current of 43 A or 141 W for the +3.3 V output.

Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply
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Figure 14: The +12 V, +5 V, and +3.3 V rectifiers

This power supply uses a PS223 monitoring integrated circuit, which supports over voltage (OVP), under voltage (UVP), over current (OCP), and over temperature (OTP) protections. This chip offers two +12 V channels, but the manufacturer decided to use only one of them to make this unit have a single +12 V rail.

Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply
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Figure 15: Monitoring circuit

The electrolytic capacitors that filter the outputs are from Teapo, and are labeled at 105° C, as usual.

Power Distribution

In Figure 16, you can see the power supply label containing all the power specs.

Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply
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Figure 16: Power supply label

Since this unit has a single +12 V rail design, there is not much to talk about here.

How much power can this unit really deliver? Let’s find out.

Load Tests

We conducted several tests with this power supply, as described in the article, “Hardware Secrets Power Supply Test Methodology.” 

First we tested this power supply with five different load patterns, trying to pull around 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100% of its labeled maximum capacity (actual percentage used listed under “% Max Load”), watching the behavior of the reviewed unit under each load. In the table below, we list the load patterns we used and the results for each load.

If you add all the powers listed for each test, you may find a different value than what is posted under “Total” below. Since each output can have a slight variation (e.g., the +5 V output working at +5.10 V), the actual total amount of power being delivered is slightly different than the calculated value. In the “Total” row, we are using the real amount of power being delivered, as measured by our load tester.

The +12VA and +12VB inputs listed below are the two +12 V independent inputs from our load tester. During this test, both inputs were connected to the power supply’s single +12 V rail.

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

5.5 A (66 W)

11 A (132 W)

16.5 A (198 W)

21.5 A (258 W)

28 A (336 W)

+12VB

5.5 A (66 W)

11 A (132 W)

16 A (192 W)

21.5 A (258 W)

28 A (336 W)

+5 V

1 A (5 W)

2 A (10 W)

4 A (20 W)

6 A (30 W)

8 A (40 W)

+3.3 V

1 A (3.3 W)

2 A (6.6 W)

4 A (13.2 W)

6 A (19.8 W)

8 A (26.4 W)

+5VSB

1 A (5 W)

1.5 A (7.5 W)

2 A (10 W)

2.5 A (12.5 W)

3 A (15 W)

-12 V

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

Total

148.9 W

286.4 W

430.5 W

567.3 W

731.4 W

% Max Load

20.4%

39.2%

59.0%

77.7%

100.2%

Room Temp.

45.8° C

45.2° C

46.1° C

48.5° C

49.6° C

PSU Temp.

49.2° C

49.3° C

49.8° C

52.4° C

54.7° C

Voltage Regulation

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Failed on +5VSB

Ripple and Noise

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

AC Power

174.9 W

331.3 W

504.2 W

680.0 W

907.0 W

Efficiency

85.1%

86.4%

85.4%

83.4%

80.6%

AC Voltage

117.8 V

116.4 V

114.8 V

113.1 V

109.4 V

Power Factor

0.984

0.988

0.994

0.996

0.997

Final Result

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

The Thermaltake Smart 730 W can deliver its labeled wattage.

Efficiency was between 80.6% and 86.4% during our tests, matching the values promised by the standard 80 Plus certification.

Voltage regulation was fair, with all voltages closer to their nominal values than required (three percent regulation) most of the time, but we saw the +12 V, the +5VSB, and the -12 V outputs outside this tighter range in some tests. See table below. While the +12 V and -12 V outputs were still inside the allowed range, the +5VSB output was less than the minimum allowed on test five, at +4.72 V (the minimum allowed is +4.75 V). The ATX12V specification states that positive voltages must be within 5% of their nominal values, and negative voltages must be within 10% of their nominal values.

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

+11.57 V

+12VB

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

+11.63 V

+11.52 V

+5 V

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

+3.3 V

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

+5VSB

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

+4.84 V

+4.78 V

+4.72 V

-12 V

-11.42 V

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

Let’s discuss the ripple and noise levels on the next page.

Ripple and Noise Tests

Voltages at the power supply outputs must be as “clean” as possible, with no noise or oscillation (also known as “ripple”). The maximum ripple and noise levels allowed are 120 mV for +12 V and -12 V outputs, and 50 mV for +5 V, +3.3 V and +5VSB outputs. All values are peak-to-peak figures. We consider a power supply as being top-notch if it can produce half or less of the maximum allowed ripple and noise levels.

The Thermaltake Smart 730 W provided ripple and noise levels inside the proper range, as you can see in the table below.

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

 Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

33.2 mV

21.0 mV

36.6 mV

49.2 mV

72.6 mV

+12VB

30.2 mV

21.2 mV

36.4 mV

48.8 mV

70.2 mV

+5 V

13.6 mV

11.2 mV

15.2 mV

17.8 mV

21.2 mV

+3.3 V

20.2 mV

13.4 mV

19.6 mV

21.2 mV

23.2 mV

+5VSB

21.4 mV

14.8 mV

21.6 mV

29.2 mV

32.4 mV

-12 V

55.2 mV

24.6 mV

59.4 mV

62.4 mV

65.6 mV

Below you can see the waveforms of the outputs during test five.

Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply
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Figure 17: +12VA input from load tester during test five at 731.4 W (72.6 mV)

Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply
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Figure 18: +12VB input from load tester during test five at 731.4 W (70.2 mV)

Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply
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Figure 19: +5V rail during test five at 731.4 W (21.2 mV)

Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply
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Figure 20: +3.3 V rail during test five at 731.4 W (23.2 mV)

Let’s see if we can pull more than 730 W from this unit.

Overload Tests

Below you can see the maximum we could pull from this power supply. We couldn’t pull more, as the power supply would shut down, showing that its protections are present and working fine. During this extreme configuration, noise and ripple levels were still below the maximum allowed, but the +3.3 V output dropped to +3.12 V and the +5VSB output dropped  to +4.70 V, both below the minimum allowed.

Input

Overload Test

+12VA

29 A (348 W)

+12VB

29 A (348 W)

+5 V

16 A (80 W)

+3.3 V

16 A (52.8 W)

+5VSB

3 A (15 W)

-12 V

0.5 A (6 W)

Total

822.9 W

% Max Load

112.7%

Room Temp.

42.5° C

PSU Temp.

50.8° C

AC Power

1,043 W

Efficiency

78.9%

AC Voltage

109.4 V

Power Factor

0.998

Main Specifications

The main specifications for the Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply include:

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

Conclusions

As explained, the Thermaltake Smart 730 W model uses a different platform from the 630 W model.

The Thermaltake Smart 730 W is clearly an entry-level power supply, having very good performance for this market segment, with efficiency between 80.6% and 86.4%, voltages closer to their nominal values than required (three percent regulation) most of the time, and noise and ripple levels below the maximum allowed. It is also worth mentioning that the cables are not too short, which is a problem that plagues some entry-level products.

However, the +5VSB output presented +4.72 V during our full load test, a number that is below the minimum allowed.

Even though this unit can really present efficiency above 80%, officially, it doesn’t have the 80 Plus certification, so the manufacturer couldn’t claim 80 Plus certification or use the 80 Plus logo. As previously explained, the company was already contacted in order to get this unit certified. 

Also, this power supply is too expensive for what it is, as for the same price you can buy a 750 W power supply with the 80 Plus Bronze certification. On the other hand, if you live in the U.S., you can get a USD 15 mail-in rebate card, which makes this unit cost USD 85.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Thermaltake-Smart-730-W-Power-Supply-Review/1497


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