Thermaltake SP-530PCWEU Review

Manufacturer: Thermaltake
UK price (as reviewed): £49.36 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): Unknown

The Thermaltake SP-530PCWEU is the larger sibling of the SP-430, and, as canny readers will be able to tell, has a claimed maximum output of 530W as opposed to 430W. This 100W increase in rated output is accompanied by a £14 increase in price, meaning that the SP-530 retails for a still rather reasonable £49. It’s also made in the same factory as the SP-430 – HEC makes the SP-530 for Thermaltake.

The SP-530 is an entirely captive PSU, so you’ll need to find some room in your case to stash unused wires. Unfortunately, the majority of the cables aren’t braided, so they look messy, although the effect can be mitigated with some thoughtful cable routeing – this will depend largely on your case though.

*What is the best 400-599W PSU? Thermaltake SP-530PCWEU Review *What is the best 400-599W PSU? Thermaltake SP-530PCWEU Review
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The SP-530 is equipped with four Molex and six SATA connectors, and a single floppy connector. It also packs a pair of 6+2-pin PCI-E connecters, so it's able to accommodate the majority of graphics cards on the market, although it may struggle with SLI or CrossFireX setups.

The SP-530 is designed with a single, powerful 12V rail, which is rated at 38A and can output a maximum of 456W. This is complemented by a 24A-rated 3.3V rail and a 15A-rated 5V rail, which can output a maximum combined wattage of 120W.

12V ripple at 50 per cent load

12V ripple at 50 per cent load

12V ripple at 100 per cent load

12V ripple at 100 per cent load

At 50 per cent load, the SP-530 proved to be perfectly stable with each of its rails outputting voltages well within the ATX spec. At this load, the PSU recorded an efficiency of 86 per cent. Increasing the power draw from our Chroma machine to its full 530W maximum provided the PSU with a much sterner test, but one that it passed.

The only cause for raised eyebrows was the 3.3V rail, which dropped to only 0.05V above the lower limit of what is deemed allowable. Efficiency also suffered a hit at this load level, dropping to 83 per cent. The otherwise quiet fan also became slightly audible at 100 per cent load, emitting a deep, thrumming hum.

Meanwhile, the SP-530’s ripple amplitude of 37.7mV was bettered by cheaper PSUs on test such as the Corsair VX430 V2, but was still well below the 150mV limit of the ATX spec.

Holdup times on the two rails that we tested were just outside of the ATX recommendations, though, by 2ms on the 12V rail and 3ms on the 5V rail.

You couldn’t really describe the Thermaltake SP-530 as a spectacular PSU, but it’s solid in all the areas that matter. This, coupled with its keen price and sensible range of connectors, means it makes a sensible choice for a budget build that would also allow for future upgrades and expansions.

*What is the best 400-599W PSU? Thermaltake SP-530PCWEU Review
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