Introduction

It has been sometime since we've seen a major brand like Thermaltake launch a new series of power supplies designed to address the needs of moderate users. We first saw Thermaltake TR2 QFan series at CES or CeBIT earlier this year, but the products haven't appeared in the retail market yet. We received test samples a few months ago, still with no sign of retail product, but Thermaltake assures us availability will occur during the next month.

The TR2 QFan series' claim to fame is limited to one area, and it's not even really a feature. What's so special? The series starts with a modest 300W unit, and ranges up to 500W in 50W increments. We will be looking at four of the units today -- everything except the top 500W model.

The QFan part of the name comes from the use of Thermaltake's patented fan design, which is supposed to decrease noise levels at higher fan speeds. Unfortunately, last time we looked the fan was just as noisy as any other fan design, but at least we can look forward to testing some decent power supplies that cater to users that don't need hundreds of watts of power. Finding good quality PSUs for this market has become increasingly difficult, and Thermaltake could step in to fill the void.

As you might expect, the differences between the various models are generally small. The 3.3V and 5V rails in the 300 and 350W unit are rated at 15A and 21A, respectively, while the 400W and 450W units are 15A and 24A. The 300W version comes with two 12V rails at 11A and 8A compared to the 350W version's 11A and 14A. The 400W and 450W also have different 12V ratings, with 17A on 12V1 and 14A (400W) and 16A (450W) on 12V2. All of this is in line with the higher output ratings, though there will also be some differences on internal components in order to support the higher wattages.

Packaging and Appearance
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  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - link

    Do all the fans follow that exact curve? Or does the 300W hit 30+dB near max output?

    Also, don't tip vortices flow off the tips of blades? Making a fan unlikely to suck air in from open sides?
    Reply
  • cweinheimer - Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - link

    Please include the thermaltake tr2 430 watt unit for midrange budget psu comparison. In the 400-500 watt category on newegg, it appears to be the highest selling unit with 1946 reviews, and highest rating. I have a few and have been happy with them for midrange game rigs. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - link

    Apparently I'll be the first post so let me say for many of us readers THANK YOU. I/we have been waiting for a review like this for the 90% of us that will benefit from these lower power supplies. I will be building a mid-range (single gpu, moderately OC'd quad) in the next 2 months and will likely be selecting from PSU's in this range. Can you give us an idea on other budget/midrange PSU lineups you might be reviewing in the near future?

    Once again, thanks from the little guy...
    Reply
  • Clauzii - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    Thank You also from me. Was about time with normal PSU's, for which >most< (>95%) setups will run fine.

    Do You have NorthQ PSUs in the states?? I have a 4001 running on it's 5th year or so. Seems like they also make stable products.
    Reply
  • Slomo4shO - Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - link

    Agreed!

    I as well would like to thank the writers for addressing the needs of the average user.
    Reply
  • Christoph Katzer - Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - link

    Thanks ;)

    I've got quite some ~500W units coming up. But just tell me what YOU want to see here and I'll make sure to get those.
    Reply
  • Ptaltaica - Tuesday, November 25, 2008 - link

    I just wanted to second what everyone else has said and add a couple points.

    Reviews of lower priced ($30-50), lower capacity (250-500w-ish) units would be great. But how about some reviews of non-ATX power supplies? There are more than a few machines out there that use TFX or SFX power supplies, and while the market isn't nearly as big, most of the replacement power supplies that I've found-even from normally reputable manufacturers-are suspiciously cheap and suspiciously light. Enough so that I won't buy or use (both at home and work) systems that won't take standard ATX power supplies because I don't trust a lot of the other ones.
    Reply
  • Concillian - Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - link

    Personally, I'd like to see several 300-500W reviews.

    Not only are these the sizes that normal people use, these are the sizes most likely to suffer from sub-par component selection impacting important performance parameters and manufacturers find the right corners to cut to compete in this midrange segment that basically accomodates everyone but the Sli / Crossfire users.

    I mean if Kill-a-Watt meters can be believed, I see the most power consumption in Furmark at 250W from the wall with an overclocked e7200 and overclocked HD4850. With TDP on a GTX280 at ~240W (130W above my HD4850), a 500W supply can basically accomodate anyone not using a dual card platform.

    That's a HUGE segment that would see benefit from a series of reviews in the 350-500W range.

    It used to be that you needed to go overboard on the PSU, because computers were mainly using 12v, but supplies were still made with significant output consideration on 3.3 and 5v rails older computers needed. You had to oversize in order to guarantee enough 12v. Modern supplies don't need this, there is less need to "go nuts" on PSU than ever before.

    Also, the axis on the 12v output graph has some incorrect labeling.
    Reply
  • JonnyDough - Thursday, November 20, 2008 - link

    While I have to agree that a slightly lower wattage would be nice due to better efficiency and possible lower cost of the unit, I do like to have headroom. What if you don't OC and you want to someday? What if you upgrade decide to add a second card? I don't know that there's much difference between a 300w PSU and a 400w PSU. They likely cost about the same, and the 400w is bound to have a few better components inside. Anyway, I think what readers really want are a short list of the top 5 cheapest PSUs that will provide ample power for a minimum cost. PSUs are still one of those things that most people don't care about much - as long as it provides good power, isn't overly costly to purchase, and lasts. I honestly don't care what mine look like, as long as it has the leads I need - I don't even care if the cords are wrapped. Over. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - link

    1. Go to NewEgg or whatever local online store that is most popular where you live.
    2. Find the cheapest PSUs rated 400w-600w (Estimated. A bit higher is fine, like Enermax's 620w PSUs - nothing below 400w).
    3. Find the most efficient longest lasting ones with little ripple and flux both 450-500w, and 600w.
    4. Recommend them.
    Reply

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