Introduction

It has been sometime since we've seen a major brand like Thermaltake launch a new series of power supplies designed to address the needs of moderate users. We first saw Thermaltake TR2 QFan series at CES or CeBIT earlier this year, but the products haven't appeared in the retail market yet. We received test samples a few months ago, still with no sign of retail product, but Thermaltake assures us availability will occur during the next month.

The TR2 QFan series' claim to fame is limited to one area, and it's not even really a feature. What's so special? The series starts with a modest 300W unit, and ranges up to 500W in 50W increments. We will be looking at four of the units today -- everything except the top 500W model.

The QFan part of the name comes from the use of Thermaltake's patented fan design, which is supposed to decrease noise levels at higher fan speeds. Unfortunately, last time we looked the fan was just as noisy as any other fan design, but at least we can look forward to testing some decent power supplies that cater to users that don't need hundreds of watts of power. Finding good quality PSUs for this market has become increasingly difficult, and Thermaltake could step in to fill the void.

As you might expect, the differences between the various models are generally small. The 3.3V and 5V rails in the 300 and 350W unit are rated at 15A and 21A, respectively, while the 400W and 450W units are 15A and 24A. The 300W version comes with two 12V rails at 11A and 8A compared to the 350W version's 11A and 14A. The 400W and 450W also have different 12V ratings, with 17A on 12V1 and 14A (400W) and 16A (450W) on 12V2. All of this is in line with the higher output ratings, though there will also be some differences on internal components in order to support the higher wattages.

Packaging and Appearance
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  • D3v - Monday, November 24, 2008 - link

    It's nice to see a PSU review that clears up the fact that you don't need an 800-1000w PSU to run a Q6600 with a 4850 or a 9800. After I ran an 1900xtx512 setup with 'only' a 550W PSU (those cards eat power!), I just couldn't understand why anyone needed anything more.

    I hope they come out soon; they look fantastic, and are a step back to reality, for most of us.

    Great review on a promising product. I didn't see the plus-80 stickers anywhere though.. did I miss something?
    Reply
  • JohnMD1022 - Friday, November 21, 2008 - link

    1. More reviews of 500w and under, of course.

    2. A push for more modular units at all levels.

    3. A corresponding push for standardization of the plugs on the modular PSUs.

    Number 3 is especially important... because...

    If the connectors at the PSU end were standard, the cable manufacturers would make cables of varying lengths, colors, etc., just as they make USB cables, SATA, cables, etc.

    It's so nice to buy 8, 10 and 12 inch SATA cables with 90 degree connectors.

    Wouldn't it be great if we could get proper lengths for our PSU cables?
    Reply
  • RagingDragon - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    Nice to see a review of small/moderate sized PSU's, and better yet to see you plan more of them in the future.

    The secondary heatsink temperature of these units look scary though, especially considering 80 degrees is very close to the 85 degree max heat rating of most inexpensive capacitors. I think I'll avoid these units for fear of exploding secondary capacitors... I'd like to see comparable results for the Seasonic 380W and 430W, the Corsair 450W and 550W units, and others in this power range - currently I'm using a Seasonic 430 and a Corsair 550, so I'd like to see how they perform relative to the competition.
    Reply
  • Operandi - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    SamXon are actually very high quality caps, they rate right up and sometimes surpass the best from Japan. I wouldn't be worried about them failing. Reply
  • yehuda - Friday, November 21, 2008 - link

    How do they compare with the secondary OST caps that Seasonic puts in its cheaper lines nowadays? I've seen them in the EarthWatt series, the CX400W [1] and the Seasonic branded OEM SS-400ET [2]. I wonder if the two Taiwanese companies are equally decent or if one has a better track record than the other.

    [1] http://www.pc-experience.de/wbb2/thread.php?thread...">http://www.pc-experience.de/wbb2/thread.php?thread...
    [2] http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php...">http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php...
    Reply
  • Operandi - Saturday, November 22, 2008 - link

    SamXon specs out with some of the best. There was some long term testing done with also at badcaps.net and they passed that test as well with flying colors.

    As far as OST; I've seen them fail when placed in critical locations such as CPU VRM but they seem to fine in secondary locations and probably fine for PSU use. I know Seasonic uses (or used) them in their OEM units and they are still used in the lower wattage PCP&C Silencers which is OEM'd by Seasonic and I've never seen a failed Seasonic or PCP&C unit (I've personally used both).
    Reply
  • yehuda - Sunday, November 23, 2008 - link

    Thanks, I'll keep that in mind.

    Do you happen to have a link to the badcaps test? I occasionally visit their forum but I don't think I've come across it.
    Reply
  • Operandi - Sunday, November 23, 2008 - link

    The test is still going. Looks like it started in 2006, and all the caps are still holding their original ESR readings, except for the Samsung board that got killed by lighting. No surprise for the Rubycon and Panasonic but as you see the Samxon are right up there with them.

    I don't know how long they plan to run the test... if the Samxon are really as good as the Rubycon and Panasonics it could take awhile...

    http://forums.badcaps.net/forum/showthread.php?t=2...">http://forums.badcaps.net/forum/showthread.php?t=2...
    Reply
  • Kibbles - Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - link

    I'm curious how these picoPSU fair.
    http://www.mini-box.com/picoPSU-120-power-kit?sc=8...">http://www.mini-box.com/picoPSU-120-power-kit?sc=8...
    They seem to be just DC-DC converters but the 12v source is rated at 5amp. I don't see how they can call it a 120w kit. Still, this thing seems extremely enticing should you only need 100w for maybe a small HTPC.
    They also have a 200w version on there, but the 12v source question comes into play again. If I'm calculating this right, for 200w at 100% eff, you would need 16.7amp from a 12v source.
    Reply
  • JonnyDough - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    I second (third actually) the request for pico PSU reviews. We need a standard size PSU that can fit into iTX and mATX cases. I hope someone will create a standard size soon. Reply

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