Thermaltake TR2 700 W Power Supply Review
By Gabriel Torres on November 9, 2011


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

The TR2 Bronze is the latest mainstream power supply series from Thermaltake, with the 80 Plus Bronze certification and available in 380 W, 450 W, 500 W, 600 W, 700 W, and 800 W versions. (Not all versions are available on all markets.) It is important to understand that Thermaltake still has some low-end power supplies labeled as TR2, with lower efficiency. Why a manufacturer keeps using the same name for different products is beyond us. We are reviewing the 700 W model of the “new” TR2 series, a.k.a. the TR2 Bronze.

The Thermaltake TR2 700 W is manufactured by FSP; it is actually a rebranded FSP700-80GHN(85) unit, which is also sold as the FSP Epsilon 85 Plus 700.

Thermaltake TR2 700 W power supply
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Figure 1: Thermaltake TR2 700 W power supply

Thermaltake TR2 700 W power supply
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Figure 2: Thermaltake TR2 700 W power supply

The Thermaltake TR2 700 W is 5.5” (140 mm) deep, using a 120 mm sleeve bearing fan on its bottom (Thermaltake TT-1225, which is actually manufactured by Yate Loon).

This unit doesn’t have a modular cabling system. All cables are protected with nylon sleeves, which come from inside the unit. This power supply comes with the following cables:

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

The cable configuration is adequate for a mainstream 700 W power supply, with four video card power connectors and seven SATA power connectors.

Thermaltake TR2 700 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 TR2 700 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.

Thermaltake TR2 700 W power supply
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Figure 4: Top view

Thermaltake TR2 700 W power supply
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Figure 5: Front quarter view

Thermaltake TR2 700 W power supply
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Figure 6: Rear quarter view

Thermaltake TR2 700 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. 

Even though the Thermaltake TR2 700 W power supply has two Y capacitors and one X capacitor more than the minimum required, it doesn’t have an MOV, which is the component in charge of removing spikes coming from the power grid.

Thermaltake TR2 700 W power supply
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Figure 8: Transient filtering stage (part 1)

Thermaltake TR2 700 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 TR2 700 W.

Primary Analysis

On this page we will take an in-depth look at the primary stage of the Thermaltake TR2 700 W. For a better understanding, please read our “Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies” tutorial.

This power supply uses two GBU606 rectifying bridges, which are attached to the same heatsink as the switching transistors. Each bridge supports up to 6 A at 100° C, so in theory, you would be able to pull up to 1,380 W from a 115 V power grid. Assuming 80% efficiency, the bridges would allow this unit to deliver up to 1,104 W without burning themselves out. Of course, we are only talking about these particular components. The real limit will depend on all the components combined in this power supply.

Thermaltake TR2 700 W power supply
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Figure 10: Rectifying bridges

The active PFC circuit uses two FCPF21N60CT MOSFETs, each one supporting up to 20 A at 25° C or 12.5 A at 100° C in continuous mode (note the difference temperature makes), or 60 A at 25° C in pulse mode. These transistors present a 150 mΩ resistance when turned on, a characteristic called RDS(on). The lower the number is, the better, meaning that the transistor will waste less power, and the power supply will have a higher efficiency.

Thermaltake TR2 700 W power supply
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Figure 11: The active PFC transistors and diode

The output of the active PFC circuit is filtered by a 470 µF x 420 V Japanese electrolytic capacitor, from Matsushita (Panasonic), labeled at 105° C.

In the switching section, two IPA60R190C6 MOSFETs are employed using the traditional two-transistor forward configuration. Each transistor supports up to 20.2 A at 25° C or 12.8 A at 100° C in continuous mode, or 59 A at 25° C in pulse mode, with a 190 mΩ RDS(on).

Thermaltake TR2 700 W power supply
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Figure 12: The switching transistors

The primary is controlled by the famous CM6800 PWM/active PFC combo controller.

Thermaltake TR2 700 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 TR2 700 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 SBR30A45CT Schottky rectifiers (30 A, 15 A per internal diode at 110° C, 0.50 V maximum voltage drop), which gives us a maximum theoretical current of 86 A or 1,029 W for this output.

The +5 V output uses two MBR3045 Schottky rectifiers (30 A, 15 A per internal diode at 130° C, 0.76 V maximum voltage drop), which gives us a maximum theoretical current of 43 A or 214 W for this output.

The +3.3 V output uses two SBR30U30CT Schottky rectifiers (30 A, 15 A per internal diode at 140° C, 0.54 V maximum voltage drop), which gives us a maximum theoretical current of 43 A or 141 W for this output.

Thermaltake TR2 700 W power supply
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Figure 14: The +12 V rectifiers, +5 V rectifiers, and +3.3 V rectifiers

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

Thermaltake TR2 700 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

Figure 16 shows the power supply label containing all the power specs.

Thermaltake TR2 700 W power supply
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Figure 16: Power supply label

This power supply has a single +12 V rail, so 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, the +12VA and +12VB inputs were connected to the power supply’s single +12 V rail.

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

4.5 A (54 W)

9.5 A (114 W)

14.5 A (174 W)

19 A (228 W)

25 A (300 W)

+12VB

4.5 A (54 W)

9.5 A (114 W)

14.5 A (174 W)

19 A (228 W)

25 A (300 W)

+5 V

2 A (10 W)

4 A (20 W)

6 A (30 W)

8 A (40 W)

10 A (50 W)

+3.3 V

2 A (6.6 W)

4 A (13.2 W)

6 A (19.8 W)

8 A (26.4 W)

10 A (33 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

136.1 W

275.6 W

412.4 W

536.9 W

698.4 W

% Max Load

19.4%

39.4%

58.9%

76.7%

99.8%

Room Temp.

46.5° C

45.8° C

45.8° C

47.1° C

49.4° C

PSU Temp.

47.2° C

46.9° C

47.1° C

48.5° C

50.4° C

Voltage Regulation

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Ripple and Noise

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

AC Power

158.3 W

315.5 W

478.2 W

634.0 W

846.0 W

Efficiency

86.0%

87.4%

86.2%

84.7%

82.6%

AC Voltage

118.2 V

116.8 V

115.4 V

113.9 V

110.8 V

Power Factor

0.967

0.981

0.987

0.991

0.993

Final Result

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

The Thermaltake TR2 700 W passed our tests with flying colors.

Efficiency was between 82.6% and 87.4% during our tests, which is impressive, as we rarely see units with the 80 Plus Bronze certification with more than 87% efficiency, and also because this unit could sustain efficiency above 82% delivering its labeled wattage at very high temperatures. As you know, there are several power supplies with the 80 Plus Bronze certification that can’t deliver 82% efficiency at full load under high temperatures.

Voltages were closer to their nominal values (3% regulation) during all tests, which is terrific. 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.

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 TR2 700 W provided very low ripple and noise levels during all tests, as you can see in the table below.

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

29.4 mV

31.4 mV

37.2 mV

43.4 mV

58.4 mV

+12VB

27.6 mV

28.8 mV

33.4 mV

40.2 mV

50.6 mV

+5 V

9.6 mV

10.8 mV

12.0 mV

11.6 mV

12.8 mV

+3.3 V

14.0 mV

15.8 mV

16.2 mV

19.2 mV

21.2 mV

+5VSB

17.0 mV

18.4 mV

19.2 mV

22.6 mV

26.4 mV

-12 V

34.6 mV

37.2 mV

42.4 mV

49.8 mV

61.4 mV

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

Thermaltake TR2 700 W power supply
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Figure 17: +12VA input from load tester during test five at 698.4 W (58.4 mV)

Thermaltake TR2 700 W power supply
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Figure 18: +12VB input from load tester during test five at 698.4 W (50.6 mV)

Thermaltake TR2 700 W power supply
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Figure 19: +5V rail during test five at 698.4 W (12.8 mV)

Thermaltake TR2 700 W power supply
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Figure 20: +3.3 V rail during test five at 698.4 W (21.2 mV)

Let’s see if we can pull more than 700 W from this unit.

Overload Tests

Below you can see the maximum we could pull from this power supply. We couldn’t pull more than that because the power supply shut down, showing that its protections were working well. During this test, voltages were still within 3% of their nominal values, while ripple and noise levels were still very low.

Input

Overload Test

+12VA

26 A (312 W)

+12VB

26 A (312 W)

+5 V

12 A (60 W)

+3.3 V

12 A (39.6 W)

+5VSB

3 A (15 W)

-12 V

0.5 A (6 W)

Total

740.9 W

% Max Load

105.8%

Room Temp.

45.4° C

PSU Temp.

44.4° C

AC Power

908 W

Efficiency

81.6%

AC Voltage

110.4 V

Power Factor

0.994

Main Specifications

The main specifications for the Thermaltake TR2 700 W power supply include:

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

Conclusions

We were very impressed by the new Thermaltake TR2 700 W, as in the past the TR2 series used to be a very entry-level power supply series, with low-efficiency units. The TR2 700 W proved to be a flawless unit, with high efficiency between 82.6% and 87.4%, voltages closer to their nominal values all the time (3% regulation), and very low noise and ripple levels.

The only negative aspect of the TR2 700 W is the relatively reduced number of SATA power connectors (seven), but since it is targeted to the mainstream market, this should not be a problem.

What we can’t understand is why Thermaltake decided to use the name “TR2” for this new power supply series. As mentioned, several of the old TR2 models presented lousy performance, and many people may think that the new models have the same problem.

We believe that the price of this power supply is right. At USD 100, it faces the direct competition of the new OCZ ZT Series 650 W, which has a full modular cabling system and is also a “flawless” product. This model from Thermaltake, however, presents higher efficiency.

 

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Thermaltake-TR2-700-W-Power-Supply-Review/1422


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