The Smart Series is a new entry-level power supply series from Thermaltake, with the standard 80 Plus certification. Coming to replace the old Purepower and TR2 “standard” series, this new series features 430 W, 530 W, 630 W, and 730 W models, all with the standard 80 Plus certification. We’ve already tested the 630 W model, which proved to have a terrific price/performance ratio. Let’s see if the 730 W model follows in the same footsteps.
Although Thermaltake claims that this power supply has the 80 Plus certification, this unit was not certified. Therefore, this unit uses an illegal (“fake”) 80 Plus logo. Thermaltake has already been contacted by Ecos Consulting (the company behind the 80 Plus certification) in order to rectify this problem.
The new Smart Series power supplies are manufactured by HEC/Compucase, just like the old Purepower models. Apparently, the Smart Series is derived from HEC’s TB series. The Smart 730 W is not a 630 W model with “stronger” components; it actually uses a different printed circuit board and, therefore, a different platform.
The Thermaltake Smart 730 W is 5.5” (140 mm) deep, using a 120 mm sleeve bearing fan on its bottom (Thermaltake TT-1225A, which is actually manufactured by Young Lin Tech).
This unit doesn’t have a modular cabling system, and only the main motherboard cable uses a nylon sleeve, which comes from inside the unit. This power supply comes with the following cables:
- Main motherboard cable with a 20/24-pin connector, 22” (56 cm) long
- One cable with two ATX12V connectors that together form an EPS12V connector, 22.4” (57 cm) long
- Two cables, each with two six/eight-pin connectors for video cards, 18.5” (47 cm) to the first connector, 5.9” (15 cm) between connectors
- Two cables, each with four SATA power connectors, 18.9” (48 cm) to the first connector, 5.9” (15 cm) between connectors
- One cable with four standard peripheral power connectors and one floppy disk drive power connector, 18.9” (48 cm) to the first connector, 5.9” (15 cm) between connectors
All wires are 18 AWG wires, which is the minimum recommended gauge.
The cable configuration is excellent for an entry-level 730 W power supply, and it has two video card power connectors and two SATA power connectors more than the 630 W model.
Let’s now take an in-depth look inside this power supply.
[nextpage title=”A Look Inside the Thermaltake Smart 730 W”]
We decided to disassemble this power supply to see what it looks like inside, how it is designed, and what components are used. Please read our “Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies” tutorial to understand how a power supply works and to compare this power supply to others.
On this page we will have an overall look, and then in the following pages we will discuss in detail the quality and ratings of the components used. As explained, the printed circuit board of the 730 W model is different from the 630 W model.
[nextpage title=”Transient Filtering Stage”]
As we have mentioned in other articles and reviews, the first place we look when opening a power supply for a hint about its quality, is its filtering stage. The recommended components for this stage are two ferrite coils, two ceramic capacitors (Y capacitors, usually blue), one metalized polyester capacitor (X capacitor), and one MOV (Metal-Oxide Varistor). Very low-end power supplies use fewer components, usually removing the MOV and the first coil.
In this stage, the Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply is flawless. It has two Y capacitors, one X capacitor, and one ferrite coil more than the minimum required.
On the next page, we will have a more detailed discussion about the components used in the Thermaltake Smart 730 W.
[nextpage title=”Primary Analysis”]
On this page we will take an in-depth look at the primary stage of the Thermaltake Smart 730 W. For a better understanding, please read our “Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies” tutorial.
This power supply uses one GBJ1506 rectifying bridge, which is attached to the same heatsink as the active PFC transistors and diode. This bridge supports up to 15 A at 100° C, so in theory, you would be able to pull up to 1,725 W from a 115 V power grid. Assuming 80% efficiency, the bridge would allow this unit to delive
r up to 1,380 W without burning itself out. Of course, we are only talking about this particular component. The real limit will depend on all the components combined in this power supply. The 630 W model uses a 10 A bridge.
The active PFC circuit uses three IPP60R190C6 MOSFETs, each one capable of delivering up to 20.2 A at 25° C or 12.8 A at 100° C in continuous mode (note the difference temperature makes), or up to 59 A in pulse mode at 25° C. These transistors present a 190 mΩ resistance when turned on, a characteristic called RDS(on). The lower this number the better, meaning that the transistors will waste less power, and the power supply will achieve a higher efficiency. The 630 W model uses two of these transistors.
The output of the active PFC circuit is filtered by a 470 µF x 400 V electrolytic capacitor from Teapo and labeled at 85° C. The 630 W model uses a 330 µF x 400 V capacitor here.
In the switching section, another two IPP60R190C6 MOSFETs are used in the traditional two-transistor forward configuration. The specifications for these transistors were already discussed above. The 630 W model uses different (“weaker”) transistors here.
The primary is managed by a FAN4800I active PFC/PWM controller.
Let’s now take a look at the secondary of this power supply.
[nextpage title=”Secondary Analysis”]
The Thermaltake Smart 730 W uses a regular design in its secondary, with Schottky rectifiers.
The maximum theoretical current each line can deliver is given by the formula I / (1 – D) where D is the duty cycle used and I is the maximum current supported by the rectifying diode. As an exercise, we can assume a duty cycle of 30 percent.
The +12 V output uses four PFR40L60CT Schottky rectifiers (40 A, 20 A per internal diode at 120° C, 0.60 V maximum voltage drop). This gives us a maximum theoretical current of 114 A or 1,371 W for the +12 V output.
The +5 V output uses two SBR30A40CT Schottky rectifiers (30 A, 15 A per internal diode at 110° C, 0.50 V maximum voltage drop). This gives us a maximum theoretical current of 43 A or 214 W for the +5 V output.
The +3.3 V output uses another two SBR30A40CT Schottky rectifiers. This gives us a maximum theoretical current of 43 A or 141 W for the +3.3 V output.
This power supply uses a PS223 monitoring integrated circuit, which supports over voltage (OVP), under voltage (UVP), over current (OCP), and over temperature (OTP) protections. This chip offers two +12 V channels, but the manufacturer decided to use only one of them to make this unit have a single +12 V rail.
The electrolytic capacitors that filter the outputs are from Teapo, and are labeled at 105° C, as usual.
[nextpage title=”Power Distribution”]
In Figure 16, you can see the power supply label containing all the power specs.
Since this unit has a single +12 V rail design, there is not much to talk about here.
How much power can this unit really deliver? Let’s find out.
[nextpage title=”Load Tests”]
We conducted several tests with this power supply, as described in the article, “Hardware Secrets Power Supply Test Methodology.”
First we tested this power supply with five different load patterns, trying to pull around 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100% of its labeled maximum capacity (actual percentage used listed under “% Max Load”), watching the behavior of the reviewed unit under each load. In the table below, we list the load patterns we used and the results for each load.
If you add all the powers listed for each test, you may find a different value than what is posted under “Total” below. Since each output can have a slight variation (e.g., the +5 V output working at +5.10 V), the actual total amount of power being delivered is slightly different than the calculated value. In the “Total” row, we are using the real amount of power being delivered, as measured by our load tester.
The +12VA and +12VB inputs listed below are the two +12 V independent inputs from our load tester. During this test, both inputs were connected to the power supply’s single +12 V rail.
|Input||Test 1||Test 2||Test 3||Test 4||Test 5|
|+12VA||5.5 A (66 W)||11 A (132 W)||16.5 A (198 W)||21.5 A (258 W)||28 A (336 W)|
|+12VB||5.5 A (66 W)||11 A (132 W)||16 A (192 W)||21.5 A (258 W)||28 A (336 W)|
|+5 V||1 A (5 W)||2 A (10 W)||4 A (20 W)||6 A (30 W)||8 A (40 W)|
|+3.3 V||1 A (3.3 W)||2 A (6.6 W)||6 A (19.8 W)||8 A (26.4 W)|
|+5VSB||1 A (5 W)||1.5 A (7.5 W)||2 A (10 W)||2.5 A (12.5 W)||3 A (15 W)|
|-12 V||0.5 A (6 W)||0.5 A (6 W)||0.5 A (6 W)||0.5 A (6 W)||0.5 A (6 W)|
|Total||148.9 W||286.4 W||430.5 W||567.3 W||731.4 W|
|% Max Load||20.4%||39.2%||59.0%||77.7%||100.2%|
|Room Temp.||45.8° C||45.2° C||46.1° C||48.5° C||49.6° C|
|PSU Temp.||49.2° C||49.3° C||49.8° C||52.4° C||54.7° C|
|Voltage Regulation||Pass||Pass||Pass||Pass||Failed on +5VSB|
|Ripple and Noise||Pass||Pass||Pass||Pass||Pass|
|AC Power||174.9 W||331.3 W||504.2 W||680.0 W||907.0 W|
|AC Voltage||117.8 V||116.4 V||114.8 V||113.1 V||109.4 V|
The Thermaltake Smart 730 W can deliver its labeled wattage.
Efficiency was between 80.6% and 86.4% during our tests, matching the values promised by the standard 80 Plus certification.
Voltage regulation was fair, with all voltages closer to their nominal values than required (three percent regulation) most of the time, but we saw the +12 V, the +5VSB, and the -12 V outputs outside this tighter range in some tests. See table below. While the +12 V and -12 V outputs were still inside the allowed range, the +5VSB output was less than the minimum allowed on test five, at +4.72 V (the minimum allowed is +4.75 V). The ATX12V specification states that positive voltages must be within 5% of their nominal values, and negative voltages must be within 10% of their nominal values.
|Input||Test 1||Test 2||Test 3||Test 4||Test 5|
|+12VA||≤ 3%||≤ 3%||≤ 3%||≤ 3%||+11.57 V|
|+12VB||≤ 3%||≤ 3%||≤ 3%||+11.63 V||+11.52 V|
|+5 V||≤ 3%||≤ 3%||≤ 3%||≤ 3%||≤ 3%|
|+3.3 V||≤ 3%||≤ 3%||≤ 3%||≤ 3%||≤ 3%|
|+5VSB||≤ 3%||≤ 3%||+4.84 V||+4.78 V||+4.72 V|
|-12 V||-11.42 V||≤ 3%||≤ 3%||≤ 3%||≤ 3%|
Let’s discuss the ripple and noise levels on the next page.
[nextpage title=”Ripple and Noise Tests”]
Voltages at the power supply outputs must be as “clean” as possible, with no noise or oscillation (also known as “ripple”). The maximum ripple and noise levels allowed are 120 mV for +12 V and -12 V outputs, and 50 mV for +5 V, +3.3 V and +5VSB outputs. All values are peak-to-peak figures. We consider a power supply as being top-notch if it can produce half or less of the maximum allowed ripple and noise levels.
The Thermaltake Smart 730 W provided ripple and noise levels inside the proper range, as you can see in the table below.
|Input||Test 1||Test 2||Test 3||Test 4||Test 5|
|+12VA||33.2 mV||21.0 mV||36.6 mV||49.2 mV||72.6 mV|
|+12VB||30.2 mV||21.2 mV||36.4 mV||48.8 mV||70.2 mV|
|+5 V||13.6 mV||11.2 mV||15.2 mV||17.8 mV||21.2 mV|
|+3.3 V||20.2 mV||13.4 mV||19.6 mV||21.2 mV||23.2 mV|
|+5VSB||21.4 mV||14.8 mV||21.6 mV||29.2 mV||32.4 mV|
|-12 V||55.2 mV||24.6 mV||59.4 mV||62.4 mV||65.6 mV|
Below you can see the waveforms of the outputs during test five.
Let’s see if we can pull more than 730 W from this unit.
[nextpage title=”Overload Tests”]
Below you can see the maximum we could pull from this power supply. We couldn’t pull more, as the power supply would shut down, showing that its protections are present and working fine. During this extreme configuration, noise and ripple levels were still below the maximum allowed, but the +3.3 V output dropped to +3.12 V and the +5VSB output dropped to +4.70 V, both below the minimum allowed.
|+12VA||29 A (348 W)|
|+12VB||29 A (348 W)|
|+5 V||16 A (80 W)|
|+3.3 V||16 A (52.8 W)|
|+5VSB||3 A (15 W)|
|-12 V||0.5 A (6 W)|
|% Max Load||112.7%|
|Room Temp.||42.5° C|
|PSU Temp.||50.8° C|
|AC Power||1,043 W|
|AC Voltage||109.4 V|
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
The main specifications for the Thermaltake Smart 730 W power supply include:
- Standards: ATX12V 2.3
- Nominal labeled power: 730 W at 40° C continuous
- Measured maximum power: 822.9 W at 42.5° C
- Labeled efficiency: Between 82% and 86%
- Measured efficiency: Between 80.6% and 86.4% at 115 V (nominal, see complete results for actual voltage)
- Active PFC: Yes
- Modular Cabling System: No
- Motherboard Power Connectors: One 20/24-pin connector and two ATX12V
connectors that together form an EPS12V connector
- Video Card Power Connectors: Four six/eight-pin connectors on two cables
- SATA Power Connectors: Eight on two cables
- Peripheral Power Connectors: Four on one cable
- Floppy Disk Drive Power Connectors: One
- Protections (as listed by the manufacturer): Over current (OCP), over voltage (OVP), over power (OPP), and short circuit (SCP)
- Are the above protections really available? Yes. This unit also has under voltage protection (UVP).
- Warranty: Five years
- Real Manufacturer: HEC/Compucase
- More Information: https://thermaltakeusa.com
- Average Price in the U.S.*: USD 100.00
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
As explained, the Thermaltake Smart 730 W model uses a different platform from the 630 W model.
The Thermaltake Smart 730 W is clearly an entry-level power supply, having very good performance for this market segment, with efficiency between 80.6% and 86.4%, voltages closer to their nominal values than required (three percent regulation) most of the time, and noise and ripple levels below the maximum allowed. It is also worth mentioning that the cables are not too short, which is a problem that plagues some entry-level products.
However, the +5VSB output presented +4.72 V during our full load test, a number that is below the minimum allowed.
Even though this unit can really present efficiency above 80%, officially, it doesn’t have the 80 Plus certification, so the manufacturer couldn’t claim 80 Plus certification or use the 80 Plus logo. As previously explained, the company was already contacted in order to get this unit certified.
Also, this power supply is too expensive for what it is, as for the same price you can buy a 750 W power supply with the 80 Plus Bronze certification. On the other hand, if you live in the U.S., you can get a USD 15 mail-in rebate card, which makes this unit cost USD 85.