Thermaltake Smart Series 530 W Power Supply Review

Thermaltake sent us a large box of power supplies recently, this Smart Series 530 W unit is the first in the lineup.

The Smart Series is Thermaltake’s newest entry level series, the basic idea is to provide good power without expensive frills. Given the scarcity of good low end units in the power supply world I applaud this idea, hopefully this unit will give me something physical to applaud as well. We’ll see! First, some specs and features.

Specifications and Features

Direct from the product page at Thermaltakeusa.com

Guaranteed to deliver 530W continuous output @ 40°C:(104F) operating environment. While most power supplies work well in optimal conditions Thermaltake ensures the SMART Series power supply can operate efficiently even in the higher temperatures found in the computer chassis.
Robust and dedicated +12V rail delivers up to 38A to ensure your components get the power they need whenever they demand it.
80 PLUS® certified: with 82-86% efficiency allows the SMART Series power supply to deliver full power while also saving cost on your utility bill thanks to the high efficiency power design.
Double-forward switching circuitry offers low power loss and high reliability.
Active Power Factor Correction provides clean and reliable power to your system.
Ultra-silent operation with intelligent 12cm cooling fan with active speed control to ensure even under the heaviest load the SMART Series power supply will stay cool and stable.
Intel® & AMD multi core CPU compliant.
Nvidia® & ATI/AMD graphics card compatible.
Dimension: 150mm(W)x86mm(H)x140mm(L).
Built in industrial-grade protections: Over Current, Over Voltage, Over Power and Short-Circuit protections ensures that your components have many safeguards against possible power problems that could otherwise damage your expensive hardware.
Safety / EMI : TUV, CE, UL, FCC, BSMI.

I like the 40c full load rating, that’s a good number. I also like that it is listed. 80+ is good, 80+ bronze would be better, but this is an entry level unit. Double-forward switching isn’t exactly new or snazzy anymore, but it is inexpensive and decent. APFC is nice to have, I wouldn’t buy a unit without it. I’d certainly hope that the unit is compatible/compliant with AMD, Intel and Nvidia CPUs/GPUs; it’d be a good trick not to be really.

Protections are key as well, I’ll be checking the protections IC to make sure it can actually do the things the unit says it can.

GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS:   
- Wattage 530 watts
- Fan 120mm Fan2000 RPM ± 10%
- Efficiency 80%+
- PFC Active PFC
- Hold-Up Time 16ms at 65% Load @ 230 VAC 50Hz input
- Switches ATX Logic on-off additional power rocker switch
- Motherboard Connectors 20+4-pin Main Connector
4+4-pin Power Connector
- Power Good Signal 100-500ms
- Form Factor ATX 12V 2.3
- Dimension 5.5 x 5.9 x 3.4 inch ( L x W x H )
140 x 150 x 86 mm ( L x W x H )
- Warranty 3 years
- Certifications
AC INPUT:   
- Input Voltage 100 VAC ~ 240 VAC
- Input Current 115VAC/10A Max. 230VAC/5A Max.
- Input Frequency Range 50 ~ 60 Hz
- Inrush Current
- Operating Range 100 VAC ~ 240 VAC
- MTBF 100,000
- RFI / EMI UL, FCC, TUV, CE, BSMI
ENVIRONMENT:  
- Operating Temperature 10 ℃ to +40 ℃
- Storage Temperature -40 ℃ to +70 ℃
- Operating Humidity 20% to 85%,non-condensing
- Storage Humidity 5% to 95%,non-condensing
PROTECTION:  
- Over Voltage Protection Yes
- Over Current Protection Yes
- Over Load Protection Yes
- Over Termperature Protection
- Under Voltage Protection
- Short Circuit Protection Yes

I don’t like the lack of over-temp protection and under voltage protection. The second isn’t that much of an issue, but the first could be in some situations. Other than that, this is a pretty standard spec sheet.

No output table is provided, so here is a shot of the table on the unit itself:

Thermaltake Smart 530 W output chart

Thermaltake Smart 530 W output chart

Not really much of note there, either. Plenty of 12 V for a non-DC-DC 530 W unit, that is nice to see.

Photos Part One: The Packaging

 

The front of the Smart 530 W box,

The front of the Smart 530 W box,

The rear of the box.

The rear of the box.

One side of the box.

One side of the box.

The other side of the box.

The other side of the box.

Box open. Cheap packaging.

Box open. Cheap packaging.

A better view of the packaging.

A better view of the packaging.

The box is a fairly informative and a fairly cool looking operation; no wild claims to speak of either. The best I can find is the claim that the fan is “Ultra Silent”. Silence is an absolute, you can’t have partial silence, nor ultra silence.

If that’s the best I can find, Thermaltake did a good job keeping the marketing department under control.

 

External Inspection

The unit and its accessories.

The unit and its accessories.

The unit resembles the box fairly strongly. It has a slightly shiny matte black finish, a matte black fan, and a couple labels with swirly sine wave type things on them. Nothing spectacular here. The accessories consist of a power cord and four silver screws. Don’t laugh, some PSUs don’t come with a power cord! It’s an awkward thing to discover.

The fan side of things.

The fan side of things.

The specs label.

The specs label.

One side of the smart 530 W has a snazzy label.

One side of the smart 530 W has a snazzy label.

The other side is blank.

The other side is blank.

The output end, nothing to see here.

The output end, nothing to see here.

The exhaust grill. Nice looking transient filter in there.

The exhaust grill. Nice looking transient filter in there.

The PSU isn’t really as blue as my camera seems to think that it is.

Of note here is we have a largely understated PSU, I like the absence of “COLORS!  SPACESHIPS! SWORDS!” on it. The exhaust mesh is some the most open I’ve seen, I like that too. What I can see through the grill and fan looks pretty good internal wise, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

Only the ATX24P cable is sleeved, the others have to make do with cable ties every few inches. They don’t get any more or less tangled than other units, though the PCIe cable annoys me for reasons I’ll make clear shortly.

Other than that, this PSU is pretty much like Thermaltake described it: It’s a PSU, just a nice simple PSU that works. At least I assume that it works. Don’t worry though, I’ll test too!

Let’s look at the cables before we get too out of control testing this thing.

CPU power connectors.

CPU power connectors.

SATA cables, lots of plugs.

SATA cables, lots of plugs.

Molex and FDD cable.

Molex and FDD cable.

ATX24P motherboard connector.

ATX24P motherboard connector.

PCIe cable, it's annoying.

PCIe cable, it's annoying.

Note how the +2P bits of the PCIe cable are not tied to the second half of the cable, they’re free to dangle all over the place and get caught on things. The coloring of the wires on the CPU power connector implies multiple rails, I doubt there really are multiple rails though. The wires on all cables are 18 gauge for the stuff that carries meaningful loads (-12 V for instance does not carry a meaningful load).

Last for this section, more pictures! Also, a surprise.

Thermaltake Smart 530 W

Thermaltake Smart 530 W

Thermaltake Smart 530 W, angle two.

Thermaltake Smart 530 W, angle two.

Thermaltake Smart 530 W, the other end.

Thermaltake Smart 530 W, the other end.

Thermaltake Smart 530 W, side shot!

Thermaltake Smart 530 W, side shot!

Thermaltake Smart 530 W, last one.

Thermaltake Smart 530 W, last one.

Not really a whole lot to see there when you get down to it, it’s a nice simple unit artwork wise.

Ready for the surprise? When I was flipping the unit around for those last pictures, this character fell out:

The solder blob that fell out of the PSU.

The solder blob that fell out of the PSU.

Other side of the solder blob.

Other side of the solder blob.

It looks like while one of the techs that did whatever hand soldering needed to be done (the receptacle is almost always hand soldered, often a few other bits too), their iron brushed a wire and scraped some solder off without them noticing. I’ll look around inside and see if I can find the wire when I rip the unit apart in the dissection section.

I seriously doubt all the units have loose solder in them, but if this thing had stayed in and lodged between Gate and Drain pins on an APFC or main switching MOSFET I would have been in for some excitement. It’s one of those unfortunate accidents, I have to score based on it though.

Load Testing, Cold

A decent load test of a PSU requires a decent load. Contrary to what some may believe, that means you need a known load that can fully stress the PSU. Computer hardware does not cut it. Worse if the PSU fails during testing it might take out the computer hardware anyway. Commercial load testers cost a lot of money. I do not have a lot of money, so I built my own with juicy power resistors and a Toyota cylinder head. It works great. I’ll be using it to load this thing down fairly severely and will check voltages and ripple (more on that later) at various points. The down side to my tester is that the loads it can put on PSUs are fairly coarse, they go in increments of 48 W for 12 V, 50 W for 5 V and 22 W for 3.3V. Those wattages assume the PSU is putting out exactly the official rail voltage, a PSU putting out 12.24 V rather than 12 V will be at 49.9 W per step rather than 48 W. I file that under the “tough beans” category as I figure if a percent or two of load makes that much of a difference the PSU manufacturer should have hit the voltage regulation more squarely. It does make calculating efficiency difficult at best.  however, given that the input power is read via a Kill-a-watt, the efficiency numbers are dubious to begin with. Kill-a-watts not being known for extreme accuracy on things with automatic power factor correction. For this reason, I am not listing the efficiency.

The ATX spec says that voltage regulation must be within 5% of the rail’s official designation, regardless of load. It doesn’t actually mention that the PSU shouldn’t explode, though I expect they figured it was implied. Exploding is a failure in my book regardless.

If I was feeling polite I would carefully ensure that the unit always had some load on each rail to keep the rails happy. I’m not and I won’t. Some of the loads here are highly unrealistic (1, 2, 7), but if the unit can get through them halfway decently you know that it is a very capable unit.

Wattages (total) 12 V Rail 5 V Rail 3.3 V Rail Kill-a-Watts
0/0/0w (0w) 12.26  5.00 3.34 6
96/0/0w (96w)  12.02  5.09  3.46 114
144/50/22w (216w)  12.36  4.89  3.32 258
240/50/44w (334w)  12.25  4.91  3.31 400
336/50/44w (430w)  12.18  4.93  3.31 514
432/50/44w (526w)  12.11  4.96  3.31 630
480/50/0w (530w) CL12v  12.04  4.98  3.49 623

This unit could appreciate cross loads more, the 3.3 V rail really doesn’t like having zero load on it and goes out of spec in one those tests (max spec is 3.465 V). In normal operation there will always be some load on the rail and I expect it to be happy, as the regulation on that rail when it has a load is excellent. The 12 V rail and 5 V rail do a remarkably good job of keeping themselves together, even in the face of rather rude cross loading. While this does look like a group regulated unit, the 12 V and 5 V bits do well.  Including the Tests of Excessive Brutality, we get the follow regulation numbers:  12 V: 2.8%, 5 V 4%. 3.3 V: 5.4%. Not the best I’ve seen by any means, but functional enough for me. The 3.3 V rail’s dislike of cross loads is rather interesting, it should have its own inductor and regulation, generally that makes it better at surviving cross loads than the 5 V rail is. Not this time!

At a sustained full load the fan speeds up a bit, but never gets terribly noticeable. I expect the fans on other components would drown it out quite easily.

Load Testing, Hot

I placed the PSU into the Enclosure of Excessive Warmth (ok, it’s a cardboard box), which forces the PSU to inhale its own exhaust air. Temperature was monitored by a dual probe thermocouple thermometer made by myself. Intake temperature for these tests was 41c, exhaust temperature was 55c. I ran the unit up to 45c intake to see if it cared. It did not care.

Wattages (total) 12 V Rail 5 V Rail 3.3 V Rail Kill-a-Watts
432/50/44w (526w) 12.06 4.98 3.24 638
480/50/0w (530w) CL12v 12.00 5.00 3.44 630

Interestingly these numbers are better on average than the cold testing results for these tests, 3.3 V stays in spec and the other two rails are closer to perfect than cold.

At full load hot the fan is still reasonable, the noise it produces is entirely airflow noise and there isn’t a huge amount of noise at all. I’m fairly impressed by it.

Ripple Testing

Ripple is fluctuation of the PSU’s output voltage caused by a variety of factors. It is pretty much impossible to have zero ripple in a SMPS computer power supply because of how a SMPS works, so the question is how much ripple is there? In the regulation testing phase we found out how the PSU does at keeping the average voltage at a set level, now we’re going to see what that voltage is doing on really short time frames. The ATX spec says that the 12 V rail cannot have more than 120 mV peak to peak ripple, the 5 V and 3.3 V rails need to stay under 50 mV.

If that isn’t complicated enough for you, there are three forms of ripple to keep track of as well. Long-term ripple from the PSU’s controller adjusting the output voltage and over/undershooting, correcting, overshooting, etc. Medium-term ripple from the voltage controller charging and discharging the inductor(s) and capacitor(s) that make up the VRM, and very short-term ripple caused by the switching itself. The first and second forms are the most important, if they are out of spec it can cause instability at best or damage in extreme situations. The very short-term (I call it transient ripple) flavor is less crucial, excessive amounts can still cause issues though it takes more of it to do so. The ATX spec does not differentiate, as far as the spec goes 121 mV of transient ripple is just as much of a failure as 121 mV of medium or long term ripple.

We’ll start with cold testing at zero load. The haze outside the thick line comes from transients, we’ll see some in detail later on.

~25 mV of ripple. Scope at 10mv/div and 10ms/div

12 V rail, ~25 mV of ripple. Scope at 10mV/div and 10ms/div

5 V rail, ~28 mV of ripple. Scope at 10mv/div and 10ms/div

5 V rail, ~28 mV of ripple. Scope at 10mV/div and 10ms/div

3.3 V rail, ~18 mV of ripple. Scope at 10mv/div and 10ms/div

3.3 V rail, ~18 mV of ripple. Scope at 10mV/div and 10ms/div

Everything looks good at zero load. The 12 V rail bounces a bit, it’d prefer to have a load on it. Nothing that will cause issues though.

Next, the unit is loaded to 100% and we re-test:

12 V rail, ~53 mV of ripple. Scope at 10mv/div and 10ms/div

12 V rail, ~53 mV of ripple. Scope at 10mV/div and 10ms/div

5 V rail, ~49 mV of ripple. Scope at 10mv/div and 10μs/div

5 V rail, ~49 mV of ripple. Scope at 10mV/div and 10μs/div

3.3 V rail, ~47 mV of ripple. Scope at 10mv/div and 10μs/div

3.3 V rail, ~47 mV of ripple. Scope at 10mV/div and 10μs/div

At full load, and nice cool ambient temps, the ripple on the 12 V rail looks good, while the 5 V and 3.3 V are extremely close to maximum spec with transients. Their medium and slow speed ripple are good.

Time for a cross load. As we saw in the testing section, this unit doesn’t appreciate a big load on 12 V and no load on 3.3 V. We’re still testing cold ambient temps here.

12 V rail, ~59 mV of ripple. Scope at 10mV/div and 10ms/div

12 V rail, ~59 mV of ripple. Scope at 10mV/div and 10ms/div

5 V rail, ~51 mV of ripple. Scope at 10mV/div and 10μs/div

5 V rail, ~51 mV of ripple. Scope at 10mV/div and 10μs/div

3.3 V rail, ~64 mV of ripple. Scope at 10mV/div and 10μs/div

3.3 V rail, ~64 mV of ripple. Scope at 10mV/div and 10ms/div

12 V ripple still looks good, 5 V has just barely broken spec, 3.3 V has broken spec by a larger amount. I’m not surprised really, nor am I overly concerned. It’d be nice if it stayed in spec, though.

At this point I usually bring Enclosure of Unreasonable Warmth back into action and check the ripple at full load. I did this time too, and the results are better hot than cold across the board. Only 4-5 mV better, but better. That is the kind of reaction to heat that we saw in the load testing, and exactly the reaction I like to see. Rather than go through another big set of waveforms that look the same, we’ll go straight to ripping the unit apart.

Dissection

Disclaimer: Power supplies can have dangerous voltages inside them even after being unplugged, DO NOT OPEN POWER SUPPLIES. It’s just not a good idea, and doing so could very well kill you. Don’t try this at home. Don’t try this at work. Just don’t do it.

First up as always, the fan hub and an overview.

Tt Smart 530 W's fan hub. Standard Tt fan.

Tt Smart 530 W's fan hub. Standard Tt fan.

An overview of the guts of the unit.

An overview of the guts of the unit.

Nothing special so far, though there seems to be an awful lot of transient filter. Let’s start there.

The transient filter’s job is to clean up the messy incoming AC sine wave and make it a nice smooth wave, something easy for the rectifier and APFC to deal with.

Two Y caps, an X cap and a ferrite bead.

Two Y caps, an X cap and a ferrite bead.

Two inductors, two X caps, two Y caps, two TVS Diodes and a fuse.

Two inductors, two X caps, two Y caps, two TVS Diodes and a fuse.

This is a good looking transient filter! On the receptacle we have two Y caps and an X cap, plus a ferrite bead on the leads to the switch. After the switch we head to the PCB, where we find two more Y caps, two more X caps, a fuse and two TVS diodes for surge protection. I approve.

Next up comes the APFC unit, it takes the incoming AC and rectifies it to DC, and boosts it to around 360-380 volts and stores it in the primary storage capacitor.

Overview of the APFC bits.

Overview of the APFC bits.

The rectifier, a KBU-10J.

The rectifier, a KBU-10J.

One of two APFC switches, a 18N50 MOSFET.

One of two APFC switches, both are 18N50 MOSFETs.

The primary storage cap. Teapo 85c.

The primary storage cap. Teapo 85c.

The rectifier is a KBU-10J (600 V, 10 A), the switches are 18N50 MOSFETs (600 V, 18 A), the boost diode (not pictured) is a nice standard BYC10600 (600 V, 10 A). There is also a thermistor for inrush protection. The Teapo primary storage cap is rated for 85c rather than the 105c I would rather see, but it does have a fan blowing straight down on it.

 

Next up are the main switches and the rectifiers, then the output filter capacitors.

One of two main switches, a 13N50 MOSFET.

One of two main switches, both are 13N50 MOSFETs.

One of two 12 V rectifiers, a 40L30CT.

One of two 12 V rectifiers, both are 40L30CT units.

The 5 V rectifier, a STPS30L45CT.

The 5 V rectifier, a STPS30L45CT.

One of two 3.3 V rectifiers, both are STPS30L45CT units.

One of two 3.3 V rectifiers, both are STPS30L45CT units.

The larger output filter caps are Teapo 105c units.

The larger output filter caps are Teapo 105c units.

There are a few smaller Su'scon filter caps, too.

There are a few smaller Su'scon filter caps, too.

Nothing really special here either. It isn’t a hugely overbuilt unit, but it isn’t rated dangerously close to meltdown levels either. It’s an average PSU, really.

Teapo caps don’t have the greatest reputation, largely due to a bad run and Dell misusing them back in the early 2000′s. In SMPS duty they work fine.

The protections IC is a PS223 unit. It has support for dual 12 V rails and this unit almost has two rails, it looks like they had it in mind and changed their minds at the last minute. It also supports UVP and OTP. Both appear to be wired as well, despite what the spec sheet says. The PS223 datasheet has some OVP/UVP numbers for us too.

PS223 protections IC.

PS223 protections IC.

PS223's OVP/UVP trip points (Courtesy PS223 datasheet).

PS223's OVP/UVP trip points (Courtesy PS223 datasheet).

 

Last, let’s check out the soldering.

Decent soldering.

Decent soldering.

One long lead. A couple little solder balls.

One long lead. A couple little solder balls.

Bit sloppy. Damaged soldermask.

Bit sloppy. Damaged solder mask.

Not enough heat, here.

Not enough heat, here.

Overall the soldering is decent, there are a few issues as shown above, but no show stoppers. I was unable to find the wire the solder blob was attached to.

The case has a UL number on it that traces to COMPUCASE ENTERPRISE CO LTD, while the PCB’s UL number traces to DONGGUAN HE TONG ELECTRONICS CO LTD. I’m surprised, as I’d have figured Compucase would manufacture both case and PCB.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

I like the idea behind Thermaltake’s Smart series. Good entry level units are fairly few and far between, usually they either cost too much to be called entry level or they’re cheap junk. There aren’t many in between!

The Smart 530 W is a solid design, the majority of my issues with it are related to rushed assembly.

It has plenty of cables and connectors for the average single GPU build, though the lack of an extra wire-tie or two on the PCIe cable is annoying. On the plus side, the cables are plenty long for use in large cases with bottom mounted PSUs and/or for cable management.

The styling I like, it’s simple and looks good. No obscenely flashy nonsense.

The soldering is fairly clearly rushed, I think Thermaltake would be better off spending an extra couple minutes per unit on soldering. It would cost a bit more money, but they wouldn’t have long leads and soldering issues. That would have taken care of the chunk of solder that fell out of this unit, too.

The Teapo capacitors are pretty standard for an entry level unit. As far as entry level capacitors go they’re rather good really. I’d prefer to see a 105c primary cap, though. Su’scon I’ve never heard of before.

The fan was nice and quiet even at full load with cool ambients, and far from offensive even with a 40c ambient.

Ripple was in spec or close to it, no serious issues there. Nothing to write home about either, though.

The current price for this unit looks to be around $65, this is a bit higher than I’d like to see, though there are very few known good units under this price. For $10 more you can get a 550 W 80+ gold unit right now, but I doubt that price will last. In any case, it’s not a fantastic value, but not a horrible value either.

I’ll summarize a bit, in case you’d rather not read the above wall of text. There are pros:

  • Quiet fan.
  • Nice long cables.
  • Loves the heat.

There are, as always in my reviews, cons too:

  • Solder blob fell out when I turned the unit over.
  • Soldering in general could be better.
  • Ripple marginally over spec on 5 V and 3.3 V rail in some situations.

All told it’s an ok unit for an ok price. Usually this would result in an approved stamp, but the solder blob is not something I can overlook and it doesn’t take much to push this unit into the Meh bin. If you can find it for $55 or less it is worth considering, at $65 or more there are better options currently available.

(Click the Meh to read about how Overclockers.com rates products)

Bobnova


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Discussion
  1. What was the previous PSU that had the connectors wired for bottom-up?

    I have never seen one.

    The highest heat part of a drive is the aluminum housing that it also uses for a heatsink. It's on the bottom.
    I agree, but the current design is in my opinion a flaw. My previous PSU did not have this issue.

    Suggesting to put drives in upside down is not the greatest advice, since heat rises and in this case would mean drawing heat back on to the plates. I'm not trolling, the rest of your review was top notch and very thorough. I wish I read it before my purchase, but I am satisfied with the purchase... and no bonus welding blobs to speak of. ;)
    Like I said, all the PSUs I've checked personally have been set up for top to bottom cable runs along the SATA drves. It's annoying, and standard.

    This includes my Smart-530w review sample, as clearly shown in the review, in this picture:



    Now if yours don't match what you see in that picture, blame whoever Thermaltake has manufacturing them at the moment.

    If yours do match what you see in the picture, then they, like pretty much every unit out there, are still set up for top to bottom cable runs.

    It sounds like your issue is that you want to do a bottom to top cable run for wire management purposes. As a non-modular, cheap, PSU this unit isn't exactly built with wire management in mind.

    Still, if you want to do bottom to top you can put the drives in upside down, other than the optical drive of course.

    Or if you're feeling bold you can pull the connectors off and put them back on upside down (per spec, anyway). Don't mess it up though, or everything dies.

    In any event, the connectors on the unit I had in my hands were 100% standard, including orientation, as the photo in the review shows.
    Bobnova
    Can you define "Upside down"?

    Does the case have the PSU at the top, or the bottom?

    Every unit I've used has assumed that the cables are coming down from a PSU mounted at the top of the case. That goes for everything from the cheapest unit up through the $450 NEX1500.


    Corsair 600T SE White

    My PSU is mounted on the bottom. I haven't seen a case with a top mounted PSU in a very long time.

    The wires are way too short to do a top down while hiding the wire looms:

    I have one branch of 3 sata power connections going towards a top bay position for my dvd burner

    ( I could move it down, I guess but esthetically it would look off to me.) and from there I had to skip one sata power connection due to this spinning to be able to mount to the first position HD.

    Ofcourse all cases are different. This was my experience. I do have some Molex to sata connects from a previous build, but if a builder doesn't have these on hand, he will have a bad day.

    The other row of 3 Sata power connects went from bottom up.. and thats when you have to spin them around and lose about 2 inches of wire each time... out of 6 drives I can hit 5. the molex/sata connect took care of the last drive I am 99.8% sure my statement is correct.
    Can you define "Upside down"?

    Does the case have the PSU at the top, or the bottom?

    Every unit I've used has assumed that the cables are coming down from a PSU mounted at the top of the case. That goes for everything from the cheapest unit up through the $450 NEX1500.
    I recently purchased this entry level PSU.

    The reviewer failed to mention this:

    For some reason the power connectors are all upside down in the chain.

    I don't know why this is exactly but makes wiring quite difficult.

    Which should drop the review down a wee bit past "Meh." If you got a mid-tower or an oversized mid-tower like my 600T Corsair.
    I hope the solder blob was just a 1 time accident and not related to the marginal soldering quality, imagine the frustration of your below avg pc builder who gets one of these things and at the push of a button watches every component in his system fry.

    I personally think these budget power supplies shouldn't even exist as they are often equivalent to some generic no name psu that comes with oem computers and for not a whole lot more $$$ you can get something that is truly high quality, I learned my lesson years ago with the apevia brand.
    Thermaltake should be slapped for calling it "Smart Series"!

    Reminds me too much of Antec's dreaded SmartPower family, (Discontinued, thank God!) which was plagued by a flawed fan controller, which the outside fan usually never works! :mad:

    I now have a bulging Fuhjyyu cap next to the fan that usually never works on my 2005 Antec SmartPower 2.0 500W. :mad:
    Tragic, really. Other than that it's a decent enough unit. So it goes!

    There are more Tt PSU reviews coming, they have plenty of chances for redemption :D