1 000 000 points F@H

certificate 1000000 points at F@H


Thermaltake ToughPower 1500 arrived


Thermaltake Toughpower 1500

Thermaltake Toughpower 1500

Thermaltake ToughPower 1500 arrived from PC-Planet Germany yesterday. I still have big question, what way to go (1) one 1500W PSU or (2) two 750W PSU-s per system.

Thermaltakes pro’s are that it relly has 4 x 6-pin and 4 x 8-pin PCI-E connectors ant itä’s ready to use out of the box. No need for molex to 6-pin adapters or 2 x 6-pin to 8-pin adapters whatsoever.

Packaging of Toughpower liiked very hi quality and also product itself from outside. I found very good insight review of the same PSU and it confirmed, that ToughPower 1500 is hi quality product also internally. Actually, its two 750 PSU-s combined in one case.

On 23.-th of Feb I receive GTX 295’s to build new 4 card rig. All the rest has been arrived now. If my new PSU doesn’t let me down, I really go for 1 PSU configuration in my rig.

Folding rig for beginners

Many people ask questions and take first steps in protein folding on GPU’s. What configuration to choose? It all comes down to the budget. Best bang for the buck configuration for 20 000+ PPD rig would be:

  • 2 x NVIDIA9800 GX2 cards (each has 2 GPU’s)
  • MSI K9A2 CF system board (has 2 x PCIX x16 with enough space between);
  • CPU some AMD cheaper Phenom X3;
  • 2 GB RAM (just enough for 4 GPU clients + SMP);
  • WIN XP x32 (compatible with 2 GPU systems)

I would not put money on CPU, as 20 000 PPD is coming from GPU-s and why to pay lots of $$ for rest 5-10% of performance.It requires affordable 650-750W PSU with 2×6-pin and 2×8-pin PCI-E connectors (this is important to have!).


MSI K9A2 CF: http://global.msi.eu/index.php?func=pro … od_no=1333

9800 GX2: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a … 9800%20GX2

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a … 6817148035

CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103283 

I believe, this system is very-very good in PPD per $ scale.

Good PSU’s for folding rigs

This post is about 1 PSU configurations. This is easiest way (not cheapest) to start folding with 4 cards, You don’t need to fing rare 2 PSU case.

If You have challange to fold on 4 modern graphics cards, like NVIDIA GTX 295, You might find lack of suitable power supplies. First, there is not enough 6-pin and 6+2-pin PCI-E connectors. Secondly, they don’t deliver enough current — one GTX 295 draws 24-25 Amperes. Each card has 1 6-pin and one 8-pin (6+2-pin) connectors. I have been researching PSU-s for 4 card scenarios and here are my suggestions:

Manufacturers and models suitable for 4 tough cards:

Thermaltake ToughPower 1500W: 4 x 6-pin + 4 x 8-pin P, 12V rails total 120 Amp’s

Cooler Master Real Power Pro 1250W: 6 x 6-pin + 3 x 8-pin, You have to combine two 6-pin to one 8-pin, 12V rail total power 128 Amp’s;

Enermax Revolution 1250 EGT: 8 x 6+2-pin PCI-E, 6 rails a’ 30 Amp.

Known PSU makers, not having enough:

Corsair — only 1000W model with 6 x 8-pin PCI-E configuration

Antec – only 1000W model with 2 card support

ePower – has 2000W PSU, but limited only to 2-3 card, having only 2 x 8-pin PCI-E

Ultra has X3 1600W PSU, but only 2 x 8-pin PCI-E


more after the break…

19″ 20 U Rack is ordered


Eltek rack

Eltek rack

So, I start to assemble rack system. I ordered 20 U rack from local producer Eltek and 4U shelfs from USA, Middle Atlantic. Eltek’s rack is 1200 mm high and equipped with wheels. So, my first rack system will fit 5x 4U shelfs. Four of them are ment for GPU clusters, one for future needs (PSU’s mainly).


Few words about Middle Atlantic. I was really happy with their sales and customer support. They confirmed kindly, that shelfs I ordered, were exactly the same, Atlas project uses:


“Hello Jaak,
Thanks for inquiring about Middle Atlantic Products. Yes, the RC-4 is the model referred to in the link you provided.

Middle Atlantic Products”


So, I know, that this is what I ment. Secondly, they use Google Checkout system and accept credit cards not issued only in US. They don’t ship outside US, but I used my US adress for that purpose.

Very useful feedback

I got very valuable feedback from mdk777, who clearly know’s internals of PSU-s very well. This is very big setback and makes my PSU really unuseable. Currenly I’m thinking to go to 2 PSU solution.

Thermaltake 12v rails

Sent at: 17 Feb 2009, 18:32
From: mdk777
To: jaak ennuste 

Hey Jaak,      

Further on the Thermaltake Power supply:

If you download their manual from the web site (the model that you ordered from your site) you will see that the four rails are split.
The PCIE are ALL on V3 and V4.
While THermaltake claims huge overall wattage, V3 and V4 are only rated for 40 amps each.

Hence your 1500 watt rated power supply will only be supplying 80 amps to your four cards!!!

EVGA recommends 46 amps on the 12 v rail PER CARD. We know this is high, but just throwing it out to show that the Thermaltake is really only good for two cards and not 4.

Thermaltake is not the highest rated or the highest quality power supply maker.
As I mentioned posting on your web site, I would hate to see you burn up more equipment.

In comparison, one 850 watt corsair power supply has a single 12v rail rated at 70 amps. (129$ at the egg, I know not your favorite supplier, but I think corsair has a presence in the EU)

Two of these would get you 140 amps available on the 12v rail. instead of the 80 amps you will be getting with the Thermaltake.

Best of luck however you go.


Hmm, interesting. 40 Amperes per 12 volts DC means 480 Watts. NVIDIA GTX 295 tech specs say, that it tdraws 289 Watts under full load. It’s 24 Amperes, far from 46 Amps, required by EVGA? I don’t really understan as huge required reserve.

In my direct measurements system w 3 x GTX 295 pulled 900 Watts from the wall. Say, 15% is PSU loss, system board and each card draws 200 Watts, no more.



Power supply sulutions for GPGPU computing

GPU-s are really power-hungry. Tech sheets say, that NVIDIA GTX 295 draws 289 Watts under full load. Direct measurement show, that it reality it’s still 200-220 Watts. Three-four of these cards per system, and combined power requirements rise to 1300 – 1500 Watt territory.

Basically there are 2 ways to cope this power need

1. One powerful 1,5 KW PSU with 4 x 6-pin + 4 x 8-pin PCI-E connectors

2. Two 750 Watt PSU-s, both having at least two PCI-E sets.

What are the benefits?


1. Easier to build, doesnt need PSY sync

2. Doesn’t need 2 PSU case 


1. Cheaper PSU-s (2 x 750 W price < 1 x 1500 W price

2. Safer, cause of lower currents

Price/performance charts based on ThermalTake ToughPower series


List of Thermaltake ToughPower units with prices

List of Thermaltake ToughPower units with prices (PC-Planet, Germany)


ThermalTake ToughPower prices

ThermalTake ToughPower prices


Watts per € (euro) chart

Watts per € (euro) chart


Last chart shows, that power-supplies in 500 – 750 Watt area are considerably cheaper than units from 1000 + area. So, rule of thumb is to use < 1000W units.

  • One PSU 1500 W = 330 € 
  • Two PSU à 750 W = 220 €

Conclusion, one big supply solution is 50% less cost effective than double PSU solution