Thermaltake London 550W Semi-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


Naming power supplies after cities of the world is certainly a unique strategy to grab the attention of buyers in an otherwise saturated power supply market: Thermaltake have opted for “Berlin” and “London” name-tags on some of their power supply series. On paper, at least, the Thermaltake London 550W power supply that we are reviewing today does appear to be a new product even though it falls under the existing Toughpower series.

At first glance the similarities between the Thermaltake London 550W and Toughpower Gold 550W seem strong as they are both 80 Plus Gold rated 550W power supplies boasting 5 year warranties and active PFC. But comparing their specifications we see the London 550W PSU features a semi modular design, quieter fan and an increased MTBF over the Toughpower Gold 550W – all of which are improvements. On the negative side the London 550W features a shorter hold up time of 12ms which actually falls below the minimum 16ms allowed by the ATX specification: the Toughpower 550W Gold offered 17ms. The London unit is also slightly bigger featuring an extra 20mm of depth which is what allows it to run a bit cooler and quieter as a 140mm fan can be used instead of a 120mm on the older Toughpower Gold.

Packaging and Contents

The London naming also plays into the branding with a picture of London’s iconic Tower Bridge gracing the box and the power supply unit.

Around the rear, quite ironically, we see that the box’s writing is in German. Maybe they sell the Thermaltake Berlin power supply in English to balance it out?

The accessory package is nothing out of the ordinary with a user manual, warranty guide, power chord, some screws for securing the PSU into your case and a rather stingy 4 zip ties for cable management.

Corsair HX1000i Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


Corsair’s power supply portfolio seems to be constantly evolving with major updates coming all the time as Corsair learn from previous product releases and customer feedback. In late 2013 we saw the introduction of the RM series which was Corsair’s newest range of Gold rated power supplies with all the bells and whistles of a high-end PSU like a fully modular design with black cables, Corsair Link support and a semi-passive fan mode. The Corsair HX1000i that we have with us here today is the second largest wattage of the new HXi series of power supplies. The HXi series builds on the RM series platform in many ways. Channel Well Technology are the OEM producer of both series platforms and the HX1000i is an enhanced version of the RM platform as it features better efficiency, more sophisticated ripple suppression capabilities and extra bells and whistles such as digital monitoring and controls of the rail mode and fan speed. These digital controls are what give this product the “i” moniker that set it apart from previous HX series Corsair power supplies, but it is important to note the HXi series does not have digital circuits like the AXi series has. The HXi series should be thought of as partially-digital whereas the AXi series is fully digital.

With 1000W of continous power Corsair are targeting this particular unit at multi-GPU system owners who need something with proven quality. The HX1000i comes backed with a 7 year warranty as well as being rated for continuous stable power delivery at 50 degrees celsius. That stability under high temperatures is one of the main reasons Corsair are able to deploy a semi-passive fan mode on this unit with an extremely tame fan profile when the fan does finally need to turn on. The HX 1000i seems to be the ultimate power supply to have before making the step up to Corsair’s AXi series which features even more advanced digital controls of voltages and ripple suppression. Strangely Corsair do not offer an AX1000i unit so the HX1000i has no direct competitor, the closest model is arguably the AX1200i.

Packaging and Contents

The HX1000i comes packed in a substantially sized box. The main reason for the large package is that the power supply unit is quite large but also because Corsair include a significant selection of cables to cater to just about every possible use-case scenario of 1000 watts.

The accessory package includes a variety of documentation, black zip-ties, a Corsair case badge, black case screws and a power chord.

Deepcool DQ1000 Quanta Semi-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


Deepcool recently launched their first consumer line of power supply units called the Quanta Series. In this series Deepcool offer a range of wattages that suit mid-range to high-end builds. All the Quanta power supplies boast 80 Plus Gold efficiency, semi-modular cable arrangements, active PFC and large 140mm cooling fans (with some models having LEDs equipped). For their consumer power supply products Deepcool teamed up with cost-effective power supply vendor Channel Well Technology (CWT) who are best known for their work with Corsair on their CX series PSUs. Today we are reviewing Deepcool’s DQ1000 power supply.

Being a new entrant to the power supply market Deepcool have the disadvantage of having to prove their name to consumers who otherwise would not have heard of their products and have no reason to trust them. For Deepcool any mistakes made this early in the game could cost them in the long-term because once you’ve got a reputation for something it’s pretty hard to shake it off. That said Deepcool have already made a decent name for themselves with a selection of cooling products and their novel Steamcastle chassis that seems to have gone down well with consumers.

Packaging and Contents

The packaging Deepcool use is not only simple but also very compact, for a 1000W unit this surprises me a little.

Inside we find some screws, a power cable and a warranty card – very basic indeed.

Thermaltake Smart M550W Semi-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction


When it comes to the budget & low wattage PSU market every major vendor has something to offer to cater for the growing demand, and declining TDPs as well as increasing power efficiency on most system components (CPUs, Graphics cards, Storage [SSDs over HDDs], etc) mean having a conservative wattage power supply has never been more appropriate. That said Thermaltake have sent us one of their budget power supply offerings for entry level and mid-range systems. Weighing in with 550W of continuous power with up to 605W of peak power the Thermaltake Smart M550W is an ideal companion for any budget system builder. It offers a quiet 140mm fan, active PFC, a semi-modular design, 3 year warranty and a competitive price point. However, what we really want to know is just how good does it perform? With stiff competition from the likes of Corsair’s CX/TX series, Cooler Master’s GX series, Cougar’s Power-X series, Be Quiet’s Pure Power series, Enermax’s Triathlor series….zzzzzz, you get the idea! There’s a lot of competition for this PSU to fight it out with. Below you can see the key specifications.

Now let’s proceed with the rest of the review.

Corsair GS800 (800W) Non-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction


Today we take a look at another power supply from Corsair and we have the GS800 (V2) “Gaming Series” power supply in for testing. The GS800 boasts 80 Plus Bronze Certification, a bucket load of connectors, a 3 year warranty and more uniquely customisable LEDs and plastic strips (though the strips are sold separately). The GS800 is in this regard one of the most unique PSUs on the market in that it allows you to customise its colour scheme. Though by default it comes with a blue LED and blue strip to match the blue sticker. The Corsair GS800 uses blue, white and red LEDs which you can see below. These are switched between by using the LED switch on the rear of the power supply, accessible from outside the case.

Other than that there isn’t that much else to discuss because this is pretty much an 80 Plus Bronze non-modular PSU with some extra bells and whistles. Let’s proceed with the testing and see how good the GS800 (V2) from Corsair performs.

Corsair CX500M (V2) Semi Modular Power Supply


Corsair’s CX Series of power supplies have become increasingly popular in the DIY PC market. They offer strong value for money, good build quality, Corsair’s trademark warranty service and offer up 80 Plus Bronze certification at a reasonable price point. Today we are looking at the CX500M power supply which is a modular 80 Plus Bronze 500W power supply from Corsair.

Corsair’s CX500M power supply isn’t as extravagant as some of the power supplies we’ve looked at in the past but that is fine as this power supply is really only aimed at the single GPU gamer with a relatively mid-range system and on a restricted budget. If consumers want something more “high-end” they can obviously opt for Corsair’s more premium HX and AX series of power supplies.

If you’ve been following the pre-built system market you may see that Corsair’s CX500M has gained significant traction in that market inside pre-built systems from vendors like PC Specialist, Overclockers UK, Scan 3XS and so on. That said the CX500M has never been more popular and without any further ado let’s dive in and take a look at this budget offering from Corsair.