Thermaltake Smart M 850W Power Supply Review

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Albert Einstein might have changed the course of history for the better through his contributions in Physics but there are also plenty of lessons to be learned from the way he lived his life. He believed in applying efficiency whenever possible. He did not wear socks because he was always sailing but also because he found it unnecessary when shoes protected his feet just fine from the pavement. He never bothered to memorize his phone number either as he deemed it unnecessary as he would never call himself, plus he is listed in the phone directory anyway. Einstein also rejected science fiction and games, such as Scrabble or chess, as he believed that mental effort is best applied to real scientific work. He might have taken the whole efficiency thing too far however, when he married his cousin. Then again, Einstein’s relationship with women should not be a model for anything, especially efficiency, since he seemed to have boundless energy for extra marital affairs.

Thermaltake Smart M850W Power Supply

 

When it comes to power supplies, there is almost no excuse to be inefficient with the number of affordable 80 plus rated power supplies in the market currently available. It doesn’t take somebody of Einstein’s mental acuity to see the advantages of using a highly efficient power supply. Aside from the cost of savings, highly efficient power supplies produce less heat, so it can also mean that it runs quieter since the cooling fan does not need to ramp up to a higher RPM compared to a power supply that is producing more heat. There are many 80 Plus Gold and Platinum rated models available currently but they are noticeably pricier. Users that need to stick to their budgets can be perfectly served with an 80 Plus bronze power supply with a decent feature set, such as one from Thermaltake’s Smart Series line.

Thermaltake Smart M850W Power Supply

 

The Thermaltake SP-850M power supply uses a high-efficiency circuit design rated 80 Plus bronze. The Thermaltake Smart M series 850W power supply has a powerful 70A on a single +12V rail and has four 6+2-pin PCIE connectors for multi-GPU Crossfire or SLI setups. Inside the SP-850M are high-quality Japanese and solid-state components which are kept cool with a 140mm fan while in operation. The Smart M 850W power supply’s modular cables utilize an easily-manageable slim design so chassis airflow is not obstructed. Aside from the 5-year warranty, a suite of industrial-grade protection including over-current, over-voltage, under-current, over-power and short-circuit protection offer comfort that the SP-850M will perform up to user expectations.

 

 


 

Specifications:

P/N SP-850M
Model SP-850AH3CCB
Type Intel ATX 12V 2.3
Max. Output Capacity 850W
Peak Output Capacity 1020W
Dimensions 86mm x 150mm x 160mm
PFC (Power Factor Correction) Active PFC
Power Good Signal
100-500 msec
Hold Up Time
16msec (minimum) @ 80% of full load at 115Vac/ 230Vac input.
Input Currency
10A / 5A
Input Frequency Range 47 Hz - 63 Hz
Input Voltage 100 Vac- 240 Vac
Operating Temperature 0℃ to +40℃
Operating Humidity 20% to 90%,non-condensing
Storage Temperature
-20 ℃ to +70 ℃
Storage Humidity 5% to 95%, non-condensing
Cooling System
140mm Fan: 2300 R.P.M. ± 10%
Efficiency 82-88% efficiency @ 20-100% load
MTBF 100,000 hrs minimum
Safety Approval UL/CUL/TUV/CE/FCC and BSMI
PCI-E adaptor cable PCI-E 6+2pin x 4

* Specifications are subject to change without notice.

Features

  • Supports the latest ATX 12V V2.3 & EPS 12V standards.
  • Guaranteed to deliver 850W continuous output @ 40℃ operating environment.
  • High current & single +12V rail provides superior performance.
  • 80 PLUS Bronze certified: with 82-88% efficiency @ 20-100% load under real world load conditions.
  • 100% High quality Japanese capacitors ensure superb performance and reliability.
  • Solid state capacitors: great stability at higher operating temperatures, frequencies and currents.
  • Double forward ultra-efficient circuitry design for added power savings.
  • Synchronous rectification circuit design with DC-DC converter for extremely stable performance and high efficiency.
  • Ultra-quiet 140mm cooling fan delivers excellent airflow at an exceptionally low noise level.
  • Active PFC with Universal AC input.
  • Flat, low-profile modular cables allow for easy cable routing and increased airflow.
  • Supports multiple core high-end graphic cards & CPU. (NVIDIA SLI & ATI CrossFire Ready)
  • Dimension: 150mm(W)x86mm(H)x160mm(D).
  • High reliability: MTBF>100,000 hours.
  • Heavy-duty protection circuitry of Over Current, Over Voltage, Under Voltage, Over Power and Short-Circuit protections.
  • Safety / EMI Approvals: UL/CUL/TUV/CE/FCC and BSMI certification. 

 

 


In the absence of high end load testing equipment, HTL will conduct a real world test and load the power supply using components that can often be found in a recent gaming system and try to produce a ~80-100% load when under OCCT. Some components might be overclocked to achieve a ~80-100% load. All components are tested inside a case and room temperature was kept at 25C for the duration of the tests. The +12V, +5V and +3.3V will be measured using a digital multimeter and the total system load will be measured in Watts using a digital power meter. For additional heavy gaming system loading scenarios, 3DMark 11 will also be used as a benchmark.

Test System:

System Specifications

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 3770K
  • Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77 WS
  • Heatsink: Noctua NH-D14
  • Thermal Paste: Noctua NT-H1
  • Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580, ASUS GeForce GTX 580
  • Memory: Kingston HyperX Red 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600
  • Power Supply: Thermaltake Smart M850
  • Hard Drive: OCZ Agility 4, Seagate 7200.12 1TB HDDs
  • Optical Drive: ASUS BC12-B1ST BD-Combo Drive
  • Operating System: Windows 8 Pro

 

Benchmarks:

  • OCCT x 30 minutes for load temperatures
  • 3DMark11
  • Readings taken with motherboard sensors and a digital multimeter

 

OCCT (515W)

Thermaltake Smart M850W Power Supply 5V Benchmarks

Thermaltake Smart M850W Power Supply 3,3V Benchmarks

 

Thermaltake Smart M850W Power Supply 12V Benchmarks

Note: OCCT software readings for the +12V are not showing up correctly due to OCCT's incompatibility with the motherboard's voltage sensor. The multi-meter readings below show the physical measurements.

 


Multimeter Readings

OCCT
IDLE (160W)
50~60% Load (510W) 80~100% Load (705W)
+12V 12.10V 12.10V 12.02V
+5V 5.01V 5.00V 4.97V
+3.3V 3.31V 3.34V 3.28V

 

3DMark 11
Graphics 1 Graphics 2 Graphics 3 Graphics 4 Physics Combined
+12V 12.10V 12.10V 12.10V 12.10V 12.12V 12.01V
+5V 5.01V 5.01V 5.01V 5.01V 4.99V 4.99V
+3.3V 3.35V 3.35V 3.34V 3.35V 3.35V 3.35V

 

 


Provided by: Thermaltake
No compensation was received for review of this product.

Price Point

Price: $124.99 USD (Amazon.com)

Class: Mainstream

With an estimated price point of $124.99 USD, the Thermaltake Smart M850W Power Supply is in the mainstream category of power supplies.

Reviewer's Opinion

Thermaltake was not wrong when they named the Smart M series for it has a well-balanced feature set that caters to a more budget-aware, yet discerning, crowd. Compared to the previous Smart series power supplies, Thermaltake chose a new platform with high-quality Japanese components and cable modularity for the new Smart M line. The modular cables are the slim type, so they are easily manageable and stealthier.  Although no 4-pin floppy connector is hardwired to the Smart M 850W, a 4-pin molex to 4-pin FDD adapter is included, which is actually the smarter way to incorporate this feature. Some users still use a fan controller or peripheral that requires FDD connectors, so including the adapter as an option is a good idea as it does not add length and clutter inside the case when the cables are managed.

There were some cost-saving measurements taken with the packaging as the bubble-wrap padding seemed spartan compared to typical power supply packages with thick cardboard and foam protection. Considering the feature advantages offered by the product, however, this is a minor concern, as the SP-M850W power supply will be packed in a bigger box if you purchase it from an online store anyway, making additional internal package protection redundant.

Available currently for $124.99, the Thermaltake Smart M 850W power supply is in-line with other hybrid modular 80 Plus Bronze power supplies when it comes to the price point. What separates the Smart M 850W from most however is the use of a 140mm fan and the 5-year warranty. Using a larger 140mm fan, the Thermaltake Smart M 850W can push out more heat from the internal components without ramping up to a higher RPM compared to a 120mm or 135mm fan. This obviously results in a quieter operation, although when pushing the load near maximum, the fan, understandably, can ramp upwards of 2400 rpm. While this is noticeably audible, it is not louder than a stock video card on the same system. Thermaltake’s 5-year warranty is impressive for a mainstream unit, compared to the typical 3-year warranty. Coupled with industrial grade protection, such as OCP, OVP, UVP, OPP, etc. The Thermaltake Smart M 850W should last users at least three upgrade cycles. Overall, the Thermaltake Smart M 850W offers a good balanced feature set for the price, especially within a crowded market segment. The decision to provide 5-year warranty makes it a competitive offering and a much superior update to the original Smart series line.

 

Likes:

  • 80 Plus Bronze
  • Industrial Grade protection
  • Flat modular cables
  • ErP Lot 6
  • High-quality Japanese Components
  • 5-year Warranty

 

Dislikes:

  • Fan noise near full-load

 

 

HiTechLegion Gold Award

 

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