|A member of the Funky Media Group|
|Review: Thermaltake Smart 730W Power Supply|
|Posted by Ed Smith|
|Tuesday, 03 January 2012 16:34|
Page 7 of 7
Verdict and Conclusion
Thermaltake's new Smart series of power supplies has a goal that I find admirable, I am hoping they continue in this vein as it is probably the largest market for power supplies, and more competition with the current manufacturers in this division is excellent for the end user.
The ThermalTake SMART 730w unit did very well in the voltage regulation tests, and happily put out it's full rated power. Better yet it was happy even with zero load, and the ripple results on the 12v rail were flat out excellent. The 5v and 3.3v rails weren't as spectacular, but were still only 50% of the way to the maximum allowed ripple. That makes their results better than a lot of power supplies out there!
The fan is fairly quiet at low speeds, there is a slight mechanical noise that I could hear on my dead-silent test bench, though I doubt it would be noticeable installed in a case. After a few minutes of full load the fan began to spin up, which lowered the mechanical noise and made some air movement noise. Nothing offensive at all, it seems to be a good fan.
Currently this unit is retailing at $99 on newegg, which puts it in the same price bracket as some units with similar output ratings and 80+ bronze efficiency. That said, those units have been discounted from MSRP while the ThermalTake SMART 730w is still at full price. It's a bit over priced in my opinion.
The capacitor sizes used for the unit are impressively large, and quite effective as well as you can see in the ripple results! I didn't include it in the photo tour, but the 5vSB rail has filter caps that would look right at home on a primary rail!
The soldering issues are a problem for me, clearly the unit works fine that way but if a unit comes through the manufacturing process a little further away from the solder pool it will have issues.
The fact that the box and internals don't agree on how many rails the PSU has for 12v output is hardly a new thing for me to see, but this unit has more rails than specified on the box, which is weird indeed. It's also a plus in my book, I prefer multiple rail units.
The PCIe cables could use another cable tie or two to hold the +2p connector to the main 6p wire.
None of the cables are sleeved and the wire ties are fairly far apart, so the cables tangle pretty easily. The sleeving on the ATX24P wires is quite nice, it would be nice to have that on all the wires, but sleeving costs money and is definitely a frill, and this is a no-frills PSU by design.
The cables are easily long enough for even the largest full tower cases, which is a plus.
To summarize, there are pros:
Nothing being perfect (that I have found, at least), there are cons too:
All told I am really rather impressed with the ThermalTake SMART 730w PSU, the ripple control in particular blew me away. Given that, as well as the rest of the pros and cons I give this unit a 8.5/10 rating.