Power Supply Knowledge Base
Design and engineering both play critical role in balancing technology and the electrical requirements needed for today’s quality PC power supplies. With Thermaltake, we constantly strive to deliver the best product, following the industry’s latest design guideline and implementing cutting-edge circuit designs, to fit different type of applications; whether it is industrial mission-critical application or a gaming PC.
While you are assured of reliability and quality when buying any Thermaltake power supply, it is important that you understand the features as well as technologies implemented that can better suit the computer system you are building or upgrading.
The basic for calculate efficiency of a power supply is by dividing the DC output and AC input. Where output is the amount of mechanical work in watts or energy released by the process in joules , and input is the quantity of work or energy used as input to run the process.
EFFICIENCY n = DC Output / AC Input
Computer power supplies are generally about 70–75% efficient; to produce 75 W of DC output they require 100 W of AC input and dissipate the remaining 25 W in heat. Higher-efficiency power supplies can be over 80% efficient ; higher energy efficiency uses less power directly, and requires less power to cool as well.
Example: n = 75W / 100W
Therefore: n = 75%
For Thermaltake Toughpower Series; Efficiency level achieved from 85% to 93%
On Thermaltake 1200W @ 87% = 1044W (Output) / 1200W (Input)
Other Competitors 1200W @ 80% = 960W (Output) / 1200W (Input)
By means, the higher the efficiency level the lesser of power loss during it conversion.
The 80 PLUS performance specification requires multi-output power supplies in computers and servers to be 80% or greater energy efficient at 20%, 50% and 100% of rated load with a true power factor of 0.9 or greater. This makes an 80 PLUS certified power supply substantially more efficient than typical power supplies and creates a unique market differentiation opportunity for power supply and computer manufacturers.
Thermaltake has more than 90 different power supplies currently been certified by 80PLUS.
The Blue Angel is awarded to companies as kind of a reward for their commitment to environmental protection. They use it to professionally promote their eco-friendly products in the market. The Blue Angel is an ecological beacon showing the consumer the way to the ecologically superior product and promotes environmentally conscious consumption.
ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.
In 1992 the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced ENERGY STAR as a voluntary labeling program designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Computers and monitors were the first labeled products. Through 1995, EPA expanded the label to additional office equipment products and residential heating and cooling equipment. In 1996, EPA partnered with the US Department of Energy for particular product categories. The ENERGY STAR label is now on major appliances, office equipment, lighting, home electronics, and more. EPA has also extended the label to cover new homes and commercial and industrial buildings.
#NVIDIA® SLI-Ready certified
NVIDIA® SLI™ technology is a multi-graphic cards configuration platform that allows users to link two or more NVIDIA graphics solutions in an SLI-Certified motherboard to achieve greater performance. While certain Thermaltake power supplies are sent to NVIDIA for the certification process, enabling each respectable power supply to carry the NVIDIA® SLI-Ready certified logo, not all NVIDIA SLI-capable Thermaltake power supplies have it. It is important to consult with the graphic card’s specification or user’s manual to make sure the power requirement for your setup. Please visit www.slizone.com for more information.
#ATI CrossFireX™ Certification
ATI CrossFireX™ is a multi-graphic cards configuration platform that allows users to link two or more ATI graphic processors to work together to improve system’s graphic performance. While certain Thermaltake power supplies are sent to AMD for the certification process, enabling each respectable power supply to carry the ATI CrossFireX™ Certified logo, not all CrossFireX-capable Thermaltake power supplies have it. It is important to consult with the graphic card’s specification or user’s manual to make sure the power requirement for your setup. Please visit game.amd.com
for more information.
#AMD GAME! Ready Certification
AMD GAME! Ready Certification is an seal of approval from AMD, one of the industry’s leading CPU (Central Processing Unit) & GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) developer. Many enthusiasts and performance level products are sent to AMD to undergo extensive synthetic and real-world testing to ensure each customer who purchased a AMD GAME! Ready product can expect the best user experience.
Power Supply Unit Glossary
#Power Factor Correction (PFC)
PFC is a feature included in some computer and other power supply boxes that reduces the amount of reactive power generated by a computer. Reactive power operates at right angles to true power and energizes the magnetic field . Reactive power has no real value for an electronic device, but electric companies charge for both true and reactive power resulting in unnecessary charges. PFC is a required feature for power supplies shipped to Europe.
Active PFC - it provides more efficient power frequency. Because Active PFC uses a circuit to correct power factor, Active PFC is able to generate a theoretical power factor of over 95%. Active Power Factor Correction also markedly diminishes total harmonics, automatically corrects for AC input voltage, and is capable of a full range of input voltage. Since Active PFC is the more complex method of Power Factor Correction, it is more expensive to produce an Active PFC power supply.
Passive PFC - Passive PFC uses a capacitive filter at the AC input to correct poor power factor. Passive PFC may be affected when environmental vibration occurs. Passive PFC requires that the AC input voltage be set manually. Passive PFC also does not use the full energy potential of the AC line.
#Universal Input Power Supply
There are dozens of voltage regulation around the world mostly from 90VAC to 240VAC depends on the country location. As today power supply manufacturer designing a Universal Input power supply has more demand than those who standardized their built.
Example: United States is using 120V@60Hz, Japan is using 100V@50/60Hz and Malaysia is using 240V@50Hz. Because of Universal Input one power supply can be used around the world without to worry the differences of voltage output.
20/24 pin - The 20 pin ATX connector that inserts into an ATX motherboard. If your motherboard has a slot for the 20 pin connector shown in the graphic then you can be almost certain that an ATX power supply is required for your motherboard. Some motherboards may require a 24 pin ATX Connector.
P4 – ATX 12V Power connector, most motherboards that have Intel Pentium 4 processors will have a slot on the board for this P4 connector. If your motherboard has this slot then make sure you get a power supply with a P4 connector on it because it will not run without it. As of today standard most power supplies are designed with this connector.
8 pin & 4+4 pin– EPS12V connector, on some motherboards, rather than have the 4 pin connector, they'll have this 8 pin connector. On most workstation, server and higher end motherboards the 8 pin is a necessity, it provides more power to the motherboard and they are required.
4 pin Molex – The molex connector provides 12V, 7V and 5V to most Optical Drives, Hard Disk, Fans and other accessories.
Floppy Connector - The 4 pin floppy connector supplies power to floppy drives that may be on your computer. Other devices such as card reader drives commonly use this connection also.
SATA – Since Hard Disk Drive manufacturer has created a new specification on the Serial ATA, most power supply manufacturer are forced to provide this unique connector. It delivers 12V, 5V and 3.3V for the components.
6 pin PCI-E – Power input connector found on most current NVIDIA & AMD/ATI graphic cards.
6+2 pin (8 pin PCI-E) – The latest graphic power connector from both NVIDIA & AMD/ATI which is capable of delivering up to 150W of power.
#ATX (Advance Technology Extended)
ATX form factor was created by Intel in 1995 . It was the first big change in computer case and motherboard design in many years. ATX overtook AT completely as the default form factor for new systems. ATX addressed many of the AT form factor's annoyances that had frustrated system builders. Other standards for smaller boards (including microATX , FlexATX and mini-ITX ) usually keep the basic rear layout but reduce the size of the board and the number of expansion slot positions . The most recent specification of the ATX standard PSU as of mid-2008 is version 2.31. This enables different power supplies to be interchangeable with different components inside the computer. ATX power supplies also are designed to turn on and off using a signal from the motherboard (PS-ON wire, which can be shorted to ground to turn on the PSU outside the computer), and provide support for modern functions such as the standby mode available in many computers.
#Hold up time
The hold-up time is the amount of time that the system can continue to run without resetting or rebooting during a power interruption.
Mean Time Between Failures. MTBF numbers represent a statistical approximation of how long a set of devices should last before failure. MTBF numbers are not valuable at determining when a specific device will fail. MTBF numbers are usually stated in terms of hours.
EMC is the globally accepted acronym for "Electromagnetic Compatibility." EMC refers not only to the electromagnetic interference (EMI) generated by a product but also to a product's level of resistance or immunity to external sources of EMI sharing the same environment. When products are able to operate properly and harmoniously within a shared electromagnetic environment, they are considered "compatible."
Electromagnetic interference (or EMI, also called radio frequency interference or RFI) is a disturbance that affects an electrical circuit due to either electromagnetic conduction or electromagnetic radiation emitted from an external source
#OCP (Over Current Protection)
The power supply will latch off to avoid any damage when output current exceeds the regularity. The main outputs can be reset by cycling the DC remote on/off or AC power. +5Vsb output is auto recovery when fault condition removed.
#OVP(Over Voltage Protection)
The power supply will latch off to avoid any damage when output voltage exceeds the regularity. The main outputs can be reset by cycling the DC remote on/off or AC power. +5Vsb output is auto recovery when fault condition removed.
#UVP(Under Voltage Protection)
The power supply automatically switches off if the voltage converted by the power supply falls below a defined threshold. This protects the power supply and hardware components against damage.
#OPP(Over Power Protection)
The power supply will latch off to avoid any damage when output power exceeds the regularity.
The main outputs can be reset by cycling the DC remote on/off or AC power. +5Vsb output is
auto recovery when fault condition removed.
#OTP(Over Temperature Protection)
The power supply will be protected when over temperature condition caused by loss of fan
cooling or excessive ambient temperature. In an OTP condition, the PSU will shutdown.
#SCP(Short Circuit Protection)
The power supply will shutdown and latch off without damage to the power supply. The power supply should return to normal operation after the short circuit has been removed and the power switch has been turned off for no more than 2 seconds.
PSU Certification Marks
UL - Underwriters Laboratories Inc. is a U.S. for-profit, privately owned and operated product safety testing and certification organization. Based in Northbrook, Illinois , UL develops standards and test procedures for products, materials, components, assemblies, tools and equipment, chiefly dealing with product safety.
CE - is a mandatory conformity mark on many products placed on the single market in the European Economic Area . By affixing the CE marking, the manufacturer, its authorized representative, or person placing the product on the market or putting it into service asserts that the item meets all the essential requirements of the relevant European Directives.
TÜV – ( T echnischer Ü berwachungs- V erein), Technical Monitoring Association in English; are German organizations that work to validate the safety of products of all kinds to protect humans and the environment against hazards. As an independent consultant , they examine monitoring -needy plants , motor vehicles , energy installations, devices and products.
CCC - ( China Compulsory Certificate) is a compulsory safety mark for many products sold on the Chinese market. It became effective on May 1, 2002. It is the result of the integration of China's two old compulsory inspection systems.
FCC – ( Federal Communications Commission) The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 as the successor to the Federal Radio Commission and is charged with regulating all non-Federal Government use of the radio spectrum (including radio and television broadcasting), and all interstate telecommunications ( wire , satellite and cable ) as well as all international communications that originate or terminate in the United States. It is an important factor in US telecommunication policy .
GOST - Russian production certification
(Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection, M.O.E.A., R.O.C) - Taiwanese safety certification
RoHS – ( Restriction of Hazardous Substances) was adopted in February 2003 by the European Union . The RoHS directive took effect on 1 July 2006 , and is required to be enforced and become law in each member state. This directive restricts the use of six hazardous materials in the manufacture of various types of electronic and electrical equipment.
WEEE – ( Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment ) it linked closely with RoHS. The directive imposes the responsibility for the disposal of waste electrical and electronic equipment on the manufacturers of such equipment. Those companies should establish an infrastructure for collecting WEEE, in such a way that "Users of electrical and electronic equipment from private households should have the possibility of returning WEEE at least free of charge". Also, the companies are compelled to use the collected waste in an ecological-friendly manner, either by ecological disposal or by reuse/refurbishment of the collected WEEE.
ErP(Energy Related Products) – which use, generate, transfer or measure energy (e.g. electricity, gas, fossil fuel), including consumer goods such as boilers, water heaters, computers, televisions, and industrial products such as transformers, industrial fans and industrial furnaces.
In order to meet ErP requirements (Lot 6), the following Intel guidance be met for the 5Vsb efficiency.
2010 5Vsb Efficiency
AC input power should be < 0.9W, including no load condition