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.
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.
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.
|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
|Hold Up Time
||16msec (minimum) @ 80% of full load at 115Vac/ 230Vac input.|
||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|
||-20 ℃ to +70 ℃|
|Storage Humidity||5% to 95%, non-condensing|
||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.
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.
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.
||50~60% Load (510W)||80~100% Load (705W)|
|Graphics 1||Graphics 2||Graphics 3||Graphics 4||Physics||Combined|
Provided by: Thermaltake
No compensation was received for review of this product.
Price: $124.99 USD (Amazon.com)
With an estimated price point of $124.99 USD, the Thermaltake Smart M850W Power Supply is in the mainstream category of power supplies.
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.