It's time to start testing this PSU. Power Supply testing is fairly easy and pretty standard. We will be testing the idle readings of the 3.3v, 5v, and 12v rails and then stress the computer hard and see if there are any fluctuations or dips in the readings. Any changes or dips in the rails tell us that the PSU isn't as stable as it could be. If you have weak rails, you could see issues with stability in your computer. For the idle setting, I left the computer idle for 10 minutes and then took the readings via a multimeter. For the load setting, I ran Orthos stress test and also ran through the Half Life 2: Lost Coast video stress test.
Sure, I could throw this in my main computer with a 8800 GT and a highly overclocked dual core CPU; chances are that this power supply wouldn't give me great results under those conditions, but it's not meant to be put in a computer like that. Instead, I threw some hardware together to give this PSU a fair chance at the benchmarks. Here's what it looks like:
Under no load we can see the readings are a little higher than I would typically like to see them. They are well within the specs, though. I did see some fluctuation on the 3.3V rail. While this is important, it isn't as important as other rails. Under load, things don't change all that much, which is good. We do see a small dip across the rails, which is normal.
I did see some fluctuation on the 3.3V and 5V rails. It isn't good that the two rails are moving like this. I really wouldn't want to put any more load on them than they have already. The 12v, on the other hand, was solid under load. This is probably due to the dual rails. If we wanted to, we could add a PCI-Express graphics card and still be okay.
The Thermaltake PurePower 500 Watt looks like your standard power supply. You are missing a few things that I've had in other PSU reviews, such as PFC or an additional 8-pin motherboard connection, or even dual PCI-Express Graphics connectors. This is only a 500 watt PSU, so some things like the ones I listed aren't going to be worthwhile to have on the PSU.
At only 500 watts, I wouldn't recommend it for anyone that is looking for a power supply that will be used in anything other than a mid-range non-overclocked computer. This is a great PSU for a mATX motherboard. While some of the rails were shaky, I don't see it being a very big problem.
For the money and niche in the market, I feel this is a good choice for a PSU. All others should stay clear of anything this low in power. Thanks for joining me for this review of the Thermaltake PurePower 500 Watt.
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