Date: January 4th, 2005
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner, Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Product Submitted by: Thermaltake
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PRODUCT COMPOSITION & PICTORIAL
My associate, Mr. Bones, stepped in to help me try to show just how impressive this finish is. The finish is so mirror-like it's difficult to capture in a photo. It seems a shame to hide something that looks this good in the top rear of a case where it belongs.
Warning : Opening a PSU is dangerous and will void your warranty!
After removing the cover, the two Thermaltake brand ball bearing 80mm cooling fans are visible as well as the large aluminum heatsinks. Quality components and intelligent layout are readily apparent. Push-pull fan arrangement and temperature controlled fan speeds assure good cooling and quiet operation. This PSU is no lightweight either, weighing in at a hefty 5.5 pounds.
As you can see, there are plenty of leads and they are all (with the exception of the 3 pin fan lead) fully sleeved with nylon mesh and heat shrink. The sleeve colors are specific to function and are, from left to right:
Black - 24 pin ATX
Green - 4 X SATA connectors on two leads
Orange - 2 X PCI-E connectors on one lead
No sleeving - Fan Connector
Red - 4 pin 12V lead
Blue - 10X 4 pin molex and 2 FDD connectors on four leads
Now, that's a lot of connectors in anybody's book! And to give you some idea of the length of the leads on the 680W, the blue leads are just over three feet long! This can be a double-edged sword, as it will be a boon to people with full tower cases and aid in routing leads so as not to impede air flow, but can be problematic in smaller cases particularly when not all connectors are used.
INSTALLATION & TESTING
The 680W is a little longer than a "normal" PSU (16.5 cm or 6 in. vs. 14 cm or 5 in) and in my particular case interfered with the top "blowhole" fan.
I solved this problem by mounting the fan outside the case using a Thermaltake DuctingMod. Aside from this and the aforementioned lead-length issues, installation was uneventful. After starting up the machine after installation, I was surprised to find the blue sleeving to be UV reactive while the other colors were not.
OK. Time to beat on this bad boy and see how it responds. I don't have the kind of sophisticated electronic test equipment to do the kinds of torture tests it deserves, but I did my best to tax this PSU as much as I could.
Here's the PC configuration:
Intel P4 2.8 Northwood @ 3.2 GHz
Abit IC7-G Max II Advance
Zalman CNPS 7000B-Cu Cooler
KingMax 512 Mb PC-4000 DDR500 X 2
Western Digital WD800JB X 2
LG CD-RW-DVD Combo Drive
ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon 9000 Pro
Creative Audigy LS
I hooked up a total of ten fans (6 - 80mm, 4 - 40mm) to the system in addition to the PSU/CPU/MB fans.
I then ran various combinations of Sandra burn-in, Unreal Tournament, DVD Decrypter (rip DVD to hard drive), PCMark04 and Prime95 to stress as many components as I could. This went on for a period in excess of three hours and was monitored with a high-accuracy digital mulitmeter attached to the ATX connector and various other connectors from the PSU. Readings were taken at approximate intervals of one minute both at idle and under load. While admittedly unscientific and with less than bleeding-edge hardware, I think the test approximates or exceeds real world demands on the PSU.
Stability was just amazing! One of the reasons I spent three hours on this test was that I couldn't believe the PurePower 680W could be this stable. The only thing lacking was noise. The PSU fan never exceeded 1500 rpm throughout the test and runs around 1300 while the computer is at idle. This power supply is very, very quiet. The Northbridge cooler on my motherboard makes more noise than this PSU.