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Tagan Silver Power SP-1000W

Date: June 28, 2007
Author(s): Greg King

It seems that with each new advancement in hardware, the power requirements increase twice as fast… that power has to come from somewhere. Tagan sent us up the Silver Power 1000W to evaluate so thats what we did.



Introduction


It wasn’t too long ago that any power supply above 700 watts was considered gross overkill. Then it got interesting. Over the past year, we have seen a marvelous family of video cards from NVIDIA and four core computing from both AMD and Intel come to light, even if AMD’s simply a knee jerk reaction to Core 2 Quad. While quite impressive, they each demand their fair share of power.

What was once considered an excess, is not quite common. To meet the demands of this new hardware, power supply companies are playing the game of seeing who can release the largest rated power supply to market. Think of it as the megahertz race of a few years back, only substitute watts for megahertz… or something like that.

The blaring reality of it all is that power supply manufacturers are quickly approaching the absolute limit of wattage that we can pull from our home circuits to run our PCs with here in the states. At least Europe has a more powerful power system in place so that part of the world should keep the power supply manufacturers plenty busy for at least another year.

What I am sarcastically getting at is that we do not need that much power. This was best exemplified at Computex at the Cooler Master booth. Cooler Master was brilliantly showing off their Real Power Pro 1250W power supply running not one extremely high end machine, but TWO. If a single power supply can do this with a pair of machines that a majority of all users don’t run either because they don’t need it, or they can’t afford it, what kind of power do we need to run our systems?

One company that has been in the power supply game for a while now is Tagan. With a product lineup ranging from everyday OEM caliber power supplies all the way up to the monstrous 1100W top end power supply.

While we don’t have the 1100W on the bench today, we have the latest release from their subsidiary company Silver Power, the slightly less capable GuardianX SP-1000E 1000W power supply. With power supply in hand and a slew of different peripherals to at the very least attempt to tax the power supply, we intend to see how the SP-1000E holds up in our testing.

Last January, we stopped by the Tagan booth at CES. There, we spoke to one of the chief engineers behind Tagan’s products. To say the least, the gentleman not only knows what he is talking about, but was quite animated and very passionate about the technology. It was here that we also got our first look at Tagan’s absolutely superb PC case, the Black Pearl. Along with that case, Tagan sent us their latest power supply offering, the SP-1000W. It is said to be an affordable alternative to the higher wattage power supplies.

Coming to us in its retail packaging, the SP-1000W’s box doesn’t set any new precedent in the packaging department, with the name and some trippy colors on the front. Hey, at least it has a handle.

Flipping the box over on its back, there is a bit of information about the unit in not one language, but six.

Once opened, Silver Power has chosen to package the power supply in a foam shell. This allows the unit to be shipped in relative safety and survive any minor bumps it might receive in transit. With foam walls separating the different components, we get our first look at the amazing amount of cables that come with the power supply. To aid in installation, Tagan includes a power cord, a manual and a set of screws. Pretty normal stuff, but appreciated none the less.

Once we have the power supply out of the box, we quickly see that the PSU is not modular. This isn’t a huge deal but it is something that makes installation and cable management a breeze. When they first started popping up, namely Ultra, they were a neat idea, but not one that I was ready to subscribe to. After working with a couple, including the Enermax Galaxy 850W and the Corsair 620W, I now have a strong appreciation of the ease of managing cables that a modular power supply brings with it once it’s purchased.



Packaging and Exterior

Starting in the back, we see the one and only cooling fan on the power supply. A single 80mm fan is used to keep this 1000 watt beast cool while in use. One has to wonder why this approach was taken by Silver Power/Tagan. Regardless of the cooling choice, we find a switch and a LED to alert you that the power is in fact turned on.

Moving to the side of the Silver Power, we can see a set of open ventilation holes. These aid the lone 80mm fan in keeping the internals of the PSU cool.

At the other end of the SP-1000E, we find the rather large grouping of cables sticking out of the power supply. To allow air moved by the fan to flow easier, the entire back of the power supply is open with a large pattern of holes. One nice thing about the cables of the SP-1000W is that each of the cables coming out of it are sleeved. This not only adds to the appearance of the inside of your PC, but also helps air flow more freely past the cables.

Shifting our view to the other side of the power supply, we see a sticker with all the information one would need about the power supply. This gives us information about the power ratings as well as warnings galore. There is also an interesting tidbit that states that this is the second revision of this power supply. While this isn’t a big deal, I simply don’t recall hearing about this power supply until Tagan offered to let us evaluate it so I was unaware of a first revision.

The cables are plenty long for most installs and provide more than enough connections. In all, there are:

There really isn’t much to installing a power supply so we don’t see a need to get to deep into it in this review. However, one small thing that we liked about this PSU was the inclusion of black screws. Seeing how a majority of cases are black, it helps keep the outside of the case looking nice, even though it’s in the back.



Testing, Final Thoughts

First off, I want to repeat that there was not a load tester involved in the review of this power supply. While we do have one at our disposable, this editor does not have access to its capabilities. With that in mind, we are taking the approach of placing it in a real world environment. To do this, we simply hooked up as many peripherals as we had around, accessed them, spun them up, overclocked them and kept them going. We basically threw everything that we had at it.

For good measure, once we completed the tests, we did it all again, but this time, the power supply was placed in a box and heated up to approximately 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Again, the system was loaded and left for 2 hours.

To get a reading on the rails, we could have used the numbers that the BIOS spit out at us, but instead, we took the high(er) road and used a trusty multimeter. Before we get into the results, here is the machine that we used to test.

Now for the results:

As the graph shows, the rails remained solid, even with all of the devices they were feeding revved up as high as we could get them. Without a load tester, this is going to have to do. In the event that this power supply can be hooked up to the tester, we will certainly post the additional results here.

Final Thoughts

To wrap the review up, I would like to touch upon the serious need for power supplies like this. As the results have show, the SP-1000W is a very stable power supply and fed our PC without a hitch. While it offers up to 1000W of power, very few people are going to need a PSU of this caliber anytime soon. With that said, for those that do need something like this offering from Tagan, I can recommend it whole heartedly.

It should prove adequate for anyone who either upgrades hardware frequently or overclocks what they have to it’s limit. While 1000Ws seems like a lot, and it is, the SP-1000W from Silver Power / Tagan, provides that 1000Ws of power quite reliably, kudos to Tagan for delivering on an outstanding product once again. It’s because all of this that the Silver Power SP-1000W earns an 8 out of 10.

It should be also mentioned that it was confirmed to me that Tagan is working on another version of this power supply that will include modular cables and a 120mm fan. While they feel that the 80mm fan is adequate, so many people are calling for something a bit quieter, this editor included.

Online pricing for this power supply could not be found but an educated guess would place it somewhere in the $200 to $250 (US) price range. That’s a lot of money but look at it this way… your getting a full kilowatt of power for that price.

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