Thermaltake Toughpower PF1 1050W PSU Review

The Thermaltake Toughpower PF1 model with 1050 max power is a new addition in the brand’s portofolio, offering high performance but lacking the highly desired PCIe 5.0 connector. Noise output could be lower, too. 
Thermaltake has been pushing many new models recently, and I am lucky enough to have most of them in the lab, so you should expect many TT reviews in the following weeks and months. My only problem is the available time since I have to split it between reviews here and videos on our YouTube channels, Hardware Busters and Hardware Busters International. But this is another story. Back to the test subject of today’s review, the Thermaltake Toughpower PF1 1050. The PSU is based on a platform provided by HKC, which has recently delivered good results, gaining popularity. The efficiency level is Platinum in both 80 PLUS and Cybenetics schemes. Regarding noise, TT and HKC didn’t pay much attention, unfortunately, so the PSU is rated as Cybenetics Standard+, meaning close to 40 dBA average noise output, which is high. The PSUs tiny footprint, only 140mm in depth, doesn’t help the fan speed profile. Compact dimensions in powerful PSUs lead to overpopulated PCBs, so airflow isn’t ideal.     Cybenetics Report  
Technical Specifications:
  • Manufacturer (OEM): HKC
  • Max Power: 1050W
  • Cybenetics Efficiency: [115V] Platinum (89-91%), [230V] Platinum (91-93%)
  • 80 Plus Efficiency: Platinum
  • Noise: Cybenetics Standard+ (35 – 40 dBA)
  • Compliance: ATX12V v2.53, EPS 2.92
  • Alternative Low Power Mode support: Yes
  • Power 12V: 1050W
  • Power 5V + 3.3V: 100W
  • Power 5VSB: 12.5W
  • Cooling: 120mm Hydraulic Bearing Fan [TT-1225(A1225M12S)]
  • Semi-Passive Operation: Yes (Selectable)
  • Modular Design: Yes (Fully)
  • High Power Connectors: 2x EPS (2x cables), 8x PCIe 6+2 pin (4x cables)
  • Peripheral Connectors: 12x SATA (3x cables), 4x 4-pin Molex (single cable)
  • ATX/EPS Cable Length: 600/650mm
  • Distance between SATA & Molex connectors: 150mm
  • In-cable capacitors: No
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 150 x 85  x 140mm
  • Weight: 1.69 kg (3.73 lb)
  • Warranty: 10 years

Box & Bundle

The package offers adequate protection, which is the most important. At its front, we find a photo of the PSU with the modular panel in sight and a short feature list. Shame that TT doesn’t use its Cybenetics badges on the box from the moment it goes the extra mile and certifies most of its products, including this model.

Product Photos

This is a compact PSU with only 140mm depth. They keep on making them smaller and smaller! EVGA’s SuperNOVA 1000 G7 has 10mm less depth! The PF1 1050 has a restrictive fan grille, and the massive badge at its center doesn’t help airflow. The same goes for the exhaust grille. The good thing is that there is a switch to toggle on/off the unit’s semi-passive operation.

Cables

All cables are flat, stealth, and pretty long. You will also be pleased to know that there are no in-cable caps, which can make cable routing a nightmare. Moreover, TT is among the few brands offering an adequately long distance among all peripheral connectors. The only problem here is that there is no 12VHPWR connector. You should expect a new version of this PSU soon with this connector.

Protection Features

OCP (Cold @ 29°C) 12V: 114.4A (130.74%), 11.958V 5V: 29.1A (145.5%), 5.019V 3.3V: 29.2A (146%), 3.334V 5VSB: 4.5A (180%), 4.921V
OCP (Hot @ 41°C) 12V: 114.6A (130.97%), 11.978V 5V: 28A (140%), 5.021V 3.3V: 29.1A (145.5%), 3.335V 5VSB: 4.5A (180%), 4.922V
OPP (Cold @ 29°C) 1351.1W (128.68%)
OPP (Hot @ 40°C) 1372.7W (130.73%)
OTP ✓ (168°C @ secondary side)
SCP 12V to Earth: ✓ 5V to Earth: ✓ 3.3V to Earth: ✓ 5VSB to Earth: ✓ -12V to Earth: ✓
PWR_OK Accurate but lower than 16ms
NLO
SIP Surge: MOV Inrush: NTC Thermistor & Bypass relay
OCP is set correctly at 12V, and the same applies to OPP. Typically, the minor rails are close to 140% of their max-rated amperage. I am ok with the 30A at 5V since this rail is heavily utilized by ARGB lighting, but I don’t find any reason for 30A at 3.3V.

Part Analysis

General Data
Manufacturer (OEM) HKC
PCB Type Double Sided
Primary Side
Transient Filter 4x Y caps, 2x X caps, 2x CM chokes, 1x MOV
Inrush Protection NTC Thermistor MF72-5D15 (5 Ohm) & Relay
Bridge Rectifier(s)
2x  GBU2506L (600V, 25A @ 100°C)
APFC MOSFETs
2x Lonten LSD65R099GF (650V, 26A @ 100°C, Rds(on): 0.099Ohm)
APFC Boost Diode
1x Global Power Technology G3S06510A (650V, 10A @ 155°C)
Bulk Cap(s)
1x Nichicon (400V, 1,000uF, 2,000h @ 105°C, GG)
Main Switchers
4x Lonten LSD55R140GF (550V, 15A @ 100°C, Rds(on): 0.14Ohm)
APFC Controller
Champion CM6500UNX & CM03AX
Resonant Controller Champion CM6901T6X
Topology
Primary side: APFC, Full-Bridge & LLC converter Secondary side: Synchronous Rectification & DC-DC converters
Secondary Side
+12V MOSFETs 8x Infineon BSC014N04LS (40V, 125A @ 100°C, Rds(on): 1.4mOhm)
5V & 3.3V DC-DC Converters
Filtering Capacitors Electrolytic: 3x Nichicon (10,000h @ 105°C, HW), 1x Rubycon (6-10,000h @ 105°C, ZLH), 5x Nippon Chemi-Con (4-10,000h @ 105°C, KY), 1x Nippon Chemi-Con (4-10,000h @ 105°C, KYA) Polymer: 31x Teapo
Supervisor IC Grenergy GR8329N (OCP, OVP, UVP, SCP, PG)
Fan Model Thermaltake TT-1225 (A1225M12S) (120mm, 12V, 0.38A, Hydraulic Bearing Fan)
5VSB Circuit
Rectifier 1x CRMicro CRTD045N03L (30V, 93A @ 100°C, Rds(on): 4.5mOhm) FET
Standby PWM Controller Sanken STR-A6069H
-12V Circuit
Rectifier
1x
The platform is well built and uses good capacitors, including many Teapo polymer ones. Teapo caps, especially the polymer ones, which are much more tolerant to heat, are fine; this is why TT provides an extended warranty on this product. While on the secondary side, I found Infineon FETs, on the primary side HKC went with a Chinese brand that is not widely known, Lonten. In high-end PSUs, Infineon is omnipresent, or other equally good FET manufacturers, so it was a surprise to find a relatively unknown brand. Nevertheless, the PSU uses a full-bridge topology on its primary side, so the stress on the FETs is lower. The 120mm fan uses a fluid dynamic bearing, so it will last long if you don’t expose it to extremely harsh conditions for prolonged periods. The overpopulated PCB doesn’t help to keep the fan speed low since increased airflow is required to remove the heat. Moreover, the ten-year warranty is probably stressful for HKC’s engineers, so they tuned the fan speed profile accordingly. I hope that this won’t create any issues for the fan in the long run. With a larger chassis, they would be able to install a 135/140mm fan, which would provide the same airflow at lower RPM, producing less noise.

Testing Methodology

I follow Cybenetics’ PSU testing methodology since I use the same labs. Moreover, the same methodology describes the performance algorithm that I use to extract overall performance. This algorithm has been updated several times, so in some cases, where I have to include some older products, I have to use older versions. This is why in some reviews, you might notice deviations in overall performance compared to other reviews. Finally, if you are wondering about my equipment, you can look at the following scheme.

Load Regulation

Load regulation is tight enough.

Ripple Suppression

Ripple suppression is good.

Transient Response

The results are not so good here, especially on the minor rails, which will cost several performance points.

Hold Up Time

The hold-up time is long enough, and the power ok signal is accurate. The latter fails to reach 16ms for only 0.2ms, so I will let this slide.

Timings

The PSU doesn’t support Alternative Low Power Modes, which is weird, given that it is a new model.

Inrush Current

Inrush currents are high.

Efficiency Normal, Light & Super-Light Loads

The platform is efficient. There is room for improvement at light loads, though.

Average Efficiency 5VSB

The 5VSB rail achieves high efficiency.

Vampire Power

Vampire power should be below 0.1W, especially with 115V input.

Average Efficiency

The platform is highly efficient, leading the category with 115V.

Average PF

The APFC converter has decent performance, but there is room for improvement, especially with 230V input.

Average Noise

The average noise output is sky-high!

Fan Noise & Speed Maps @ 28-32 °C

The semi-passive operation doesn’t last long and has a weird operation. With more than 590W, the PSU’s fan exceeds 30 dBA; with around 650W, it enters the 35-40 dBA zone. The party starts with more than 850W, where the fan’s noise exceeds 45 dBA.

Overall Performance

Despite the not-so-good transient response, the PF1 1050 is high in the overall performance chart. With improved transient response, it would easily take the lead. HKC has started delivering amazing results, and they can do even better under the proper guidance.

Epilogue

Thermaltake uses more and more HKC platforms lately, and I can see why. With a little more tuning, the PF1 1050 can easily top the performance charts, and even with its current configuration, it achieves second place! The unit is highly efficient and has tight enough load regulation and good ripple suppression, so your precious PC parts will be fed by clean voltage rails. On the other hand, if you plan on heavily pushing it, you should be prepared to get treated with a loud noise, so you will have to either use headphones and warn the neighbors or have a good sound system that will cover the PSU’s noise. Although Thermaltake cooperates with Cybenetics, it doesn’t pay the required attention to the LAMBDA noise certification, and this is a shame because most users nowadays want silent PC parts. I remember that many years ago, I didn’t care either much about noise output. I could sleep with a Delta fan screaming one meter away from me, but these computing days have long passed, thankfully, and currently, I cannot stand loud PC components. Buy Thermaltake Toughpower PF1 ARGB 1050W Buy Corsair HX1000i Buy Corsair RM1000x Buy EVGA 1000 P6 Buy ASUS Rog Strix 1000
Pros:
  • Full power at 47°C
  • High overall performance
  • Efficient
  • Highly efficient 5VSB rail
  • High build quality
  • Capable APFC converter
  • Tight enough load regulation
  • Good ripple suppression
  • Longer than 17ms hold-up time
  • Accurate power ok signal
  • Adequate distance between the peripheral connectors
  • FDB fan
  • Ten-year warranty
Cons:
  • Not so good transient response
  • Noisy fan speed profile
  • No 12VHPWR connector
  • No Alternative Low Power Mode (ALPM) support
  • High inrush currents
  • No need for such high amperage at 3.3V
  • Above 0.1W vampire power with 115V and 230V

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