Thermaltake Smart RGB 500w Power Supply Review
Another great PSU from Thermaltake and one of the cheapest options on the market. However, the new lower price of the 700w model is probably a better buy
Overall - 85%
I have previously reviewed the Thermaltake Smart RGB 700 Watt 80+ PSU, and today's model is from the same family but for a lower power rating.
As with the previous review, this is a non-modular power supply with RGB lighting that has a 120mm cooling fan with intelligent RPM control. The Smart RGB Series are equipped with a powerful single +12V rail, eliminating the limitations caused by voltage distributions, delivering the power your CPU and VGA demand in any situations
The fan colour can be switched among variants including Pulse Red/Green/Blue/Yellow/Purple/Light Blue/White, RGB Cycle, Solid Red/Green/Blue/Yellow/Purple/Light Blue/White and a LED Off mode
The previous review found that the 700w model offered superb value for money, which at the time of writing was £66, it now sits at just under £50 which is an absolute bargain.
The 500w currently costs £37.97 on Amazon or £34.99+P&P on Scan, so if you are looking to trim down the costs as much as possible, then it is about as cheap as you can get. Looking on Scan there are very few options around this price point. There is the EVGA 500W 80 PLUS which is the same price but only because it is on offer and the Strider Series Essential v2.0 500W which is £1.50 cheaper. Neither of the competing options has RGB.
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This comes with a 5-year warranty too, whereas EVGA has 3 years and Silverstone 2 years. Randomly picking other more expensive PSUs showed that nothing close to this price point offered this level of warranty, it wasn’t until the £56.99 Corsair 550 Watt CX550 where you got 5 years, then the Seasonic Focus Plus+ 550 which has 10.
For connections you get enough for a 500W system, this includes:
- 1 x 20+4 main power connector.
- 1 x ATX 12 V 4 + 4 PIN
- 5 x SATA
- 2 x 6 + 2 PCI-E
- 4 x Molex
- 1 X Floppy Disk Adaptor
Similar to my last review I don’t have the required hardware to test things like voltage regulation and ripple but the general consensus from other reviewers is that it is excellent for the money being well within the acceptable range.
Building with this is the same as the 700W version, the cables are easily long enough for most cases, certainly mid-tower budget cases this will likely go in, but it could be pushing it for full-size large cases. The lack of modularity does make cable management harder, so a PSU shroud would come in handy if you have a glass side panel.
For me, perhaps the worst part of all affordable PSUs is the lack of a passive mode, so the fan is always spinning, and it is quite audible. The lower power output of this means its fans speed up a little quicker than the higher wattage option due to the load percentage.
As with the 700w model, even if you are an RGB fan, the RGB lighting benefit here is minimal, you will need to have the PSU upside down with the fan facing into the case to see the LEDs properly, though they would provide a faint glow on the underside too. With a PSU shroud, the lights will be either covered or restricted also. However, the RGB feature appears to have no effect on the final price of this, so it is an additional feature regardless of how useful it is or not.
There is nothing to fault about this PSU; it is probably the most affordable option on the market from a decent brand. There are cheaper options from random companies, but I wouldn’t want to risk my precious components on them.
While it is incredibly good value for money, the 700w model is currently only £12 more on Amazon, and I feel like that would represent a better buy, giving you a little more room for expansion in the future, and also keeping the PSU under a lower load overall, which in turn will keep the fan speeds down. However, if you need to cut the price as much as possible, then there is nothing to fault about the 500w option.