Thermaltake has been doing some pretty exciting things lately. The XTunner wireless fan controller, the Pipe101 heatsink, a new water cooling system called BigWater, and even a fanless CPU heatpipe cooler. Leave it to Thermaltake to come up with some twist to a mundane device like a power supply. Enter the TWV480 Total Watts Viewer, part of the Thermaltake Pure Power Series.
The two images below detail the packaging the TWV480 arrives in...
Let’s take a look at the power supply itself first, then the accessories that make it different.
This power supply is a Thermaltake model W0044, one of two TWV480 power supplies that are offered. The W0043 is nearly identical, but offers Active Power Factor Correction. Where as this power supply does not. I will not go into the advantages of Passive and Active PFC in this review, as there are many sources of information on the Internet.
The TWV480 is painted a medium gloss black and is accented by two orange fans. One side shows the familiar Thermaltake butterfly cross of the Xaser line of cases. This is nice because that is the side that will normally show when mounted inside a case. No longer do you have to look at the specifications label when you open your case. On the backside is the sticker mentioned above and shows some of the following specifications.
• 480-Watts Total Power / 550-Watts Peak
• +5 Volt Rail: 40A, +/- 5% Regulation
• +3.3 Volt Rail: 30A, +/- 5% Regulation
• +12 Volt Rail: 18A, +/- 5% Regulation
• -5 Volt Rail: 0.3A, +/-10% Regulation
• -12 Volt Rail: 0.8A, +/-10% Regulation
• +5 VSB: 2A, +/- 5% Regulation
Many power supplies these days don’t have enough connectors for all of the devices a gaming machine is likely to have. This PSU does not have that issue. There are a total of 9 four-pin Molex connectors and 2 floppy style connectors. 2 SATA power connectors are also a big added benefit. Serial ATA hard drives are here to stay, its great to see a pair included. The regular power lines are wrapped in a light blue mesh, the SATA connectors in green mesh and the 4 pin peripheral power sports a vibrant orange like the fan blades. The main 20-pin ATX power cable has a heavier duty black mesh. If you take a look at the first picture below, you will notice the lack of a 6 pin auxiliary power connector. Thermaltake has an optional 6-pin adapter that plugs in to the 4 pin peripheral connector if you find yourself in need of that type. Personally, I am very happy to see it not included, less to find a hiding spot for.
Let’s crack this thing open and see how it’s built. A power supply needs to be well built to provide good, steady, clean power. This supply looks to fit the bill... large transformer, and big capacitors, plenty of filter circuit components. Buried somewhere deep down in there is a small circuit for monitoring the power.
If that was all that was included in the box, this would be a very nice power supply with some nice features, however, this is Thermaltake and the box was much larger than that, time to dump it out and see what falls! Inside the box are 3 smaller boxes and a 14-page booklet.
Box #1 includes a special 80mm fan with a set of orange fan blades and a bunch of extra wires besides the pass-through 4 pin Molex power connector. Also in this box is a strange set of long machine screws, metal washers, and nuts. I was expecting the standard coarse thread, self-tapping fan screws normally included with fans.
Box #2 has a standard power cord, a set of mounting screws, and a 20-pin to 24-pin adapter for a server motherboard.
Box #3 is where things get real interesting. Included is a 5 ¼” bay device that monitors the total wattage your system is using and allows you to manually control one of the fans in the supply and the auxiliary fan from box #1. On the front are two large aluminum knobs and a red L.E.D. display all buried in the Thermaltake Xaser butterfly cross. Around back is a small circuit board with a 3-pin connector and a pair of wires, one coming off each of the speed controls.
The power supply has another 3 cables extending out of it. The 3-wire (red, white, black) is the signal wire for the watt readout. The first 2-wire (yellow and black) is a fan speed monitor for the manually controllable fan, and plugs into a fan header on your motherboard. The second 2-wire (both red) connects to one channel of the bay device and allows you to manually vary the speed of the back fan inside the power supply. Both of the fans inside the power supply are also thermally controlled automatically.
This fan arrangement is limiting. The controller will only control the included fan and the one inside the supply. The circuitry is contained in the fan itself, only the potentiometer is mounted on the controller. This is not a standard Rheobus that will control any fan plugged into it. I would have much rather seen a standard 2 channel Rheobus.
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