THERMALTAKE Smart 500W Power Supply Review

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It occurred to me how things have changed for desktops after I recently purchased a 1000W PSU to make sure I have enough power to run a new GPU and, hopefully, an improved CPU and motherboard. A 1000W PSU was once considered overkill for machines not attempting to run multiple GPUs, however, this is no longer the case with modern hardware.

Nevertheless, there are still many excellent low-power components available, so for those setups, keep an eye out for PSUs around 500W. That is why checking out THERMALTAKE Smart 500W Power Supply, especially at $50, is an excellent idea. As you can see, it doesn’t rank highly for effectiveness or overall performance, but it does for the sound generated, so bear that in mind when you’re purchasing.

Testing high-end PSUs is simple—everything goes as planned, so my highly expensive equipment, especially my priceless power analyzers, are likely to survive the test without a scratch. However, the majority of customers choose far less expensive models than expensive PSUs. The THERMALTAKE Smart 500W Power Supply, which has 600 W and 700 W siblings, is one of the most well-liked power supply units. There are two versions of the Smart line—one for countries that only accept 230 V and one for the US that accepts 115 V. I am unable to comment on the hardware-specific differences between the two since I do not own the 115 V version.

Why this PSU is so reasonably priced is instantly clear because of the double-forward topology on the primary side and passive rectification and group regulation on the secondary side. Given that the Corsair CX450 and CX550 PSUs both utilize contemporary platforms, they cannot be compared.

The THERMALTAKE Smart 500W Power Supply’s other features don’t appear to be that noteworthy either. Other than the power cord, of course, it doesn’t have any modular cables. It only receives the base certification (80 PLUS Vanilla, ETA-Standard, and LAMBDA-Standard+) on the 80 PLUS and Cybenetics scales. The 40°C temperature rating for continuous maximum load delivery, the five-year warranty—quite a lengthy one for this platform—and the affordable pricing are this PSU’s assets.

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THERMALTAKE Smart 500W Power Supply Specs & Performance 

The single +12V rail in this Thermaltake Smart RGB power supply produces 420w through one rail.

All of the wires come pre-attached to the power supply and cannot be uninstalled because it is a non-modular power supply. Despite this, you are given a good selection that ought to work with most systems. Of course, it is always recommended to double-check to make sure you will have enough for your build.

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TYPEIntel ATX 12V 2.3
COOLING SYSTEM120mm Fan: 1800 R.P.M. ± 10%
EFFICIENCY82-86% efficiency @ 20-100% load
MTBF100,000 hrs minimum
PFC (Power Factor Correction)Active PFC
HOLD UP TIME16msec (minimum) within 60% load
OPERATING HUMIDITY20% – 85%, non-condensing
DIMENSIONS (W x H x D)150 x 85 x 140 mm
WEIGHT1.41 kg (3.11 lb)
Price at Time of Release£53 (UK), €55 (EU), $55 (USA)


ATX connector 20+4 pin (530 mm)1
4+4 pin EPS12V (620 mm)1
6+2 pin PCIe (530 mm+150 mm)2
SATA (520 mm+150 mm) / 4-pin Molex (+150 mm)2 / 1
4-pin Molex (520 mm) / SATA (+150 mm+150 mm)1 / 2
SATA (520 mm) / 4-pin Molex (+150 mm+150 mm) / FDD (+150 mm)1 / 2 / 1
AC Power Cord (1400 mm), C13 coupler1

The five-year guarantee, Kaby Lake support—meaning it should function properly with imbalanced loads on its rails—and the incredibly quiet fan with a sleeve bearing are all mentioned on the box.

The AC power cord and the mounting bolts for mounting the PSU to the chassis are the only components of the package that are useful.

Even though there are no modular cables, the cable-exit hole at least has a grommet around it.

Given that this PSU is not modular, the primary ATX cable ought to be a little bit longer, at least 550 mm. Since two EPS connectors would be unnecessary on a device with such restricted capabilities, there is just one, as expected. There are sufficient more connectors, and 150 mm between them is the ideal distance. Although switching from the FDD connector to a 4-pin Molex would be preferable, many system integrators prefer the Berg connector, which is why low-end PSUs sometimes come with one.

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OCP+12 V: 51.2 A (146.29%), 11.148 V+5 V: 24.8 A (165.33%), 4.750 V+3.3 V: 28.6 A (143%), 3.273 V5VSB: 4.8 A (192%), 5.011 V
OPP579.85 W (115.97%)
OTPYes (138 °C @ +12V heat sink)
SCP+12 V: Yes+5 V: Yes+3.3 V: Yes5VSB: Yes-12 V: Yes
PWR_OKAccurate but lower than 16 ms
SIPSurge: MOVInrush: NTC

At high operating temperatures, the fan-speed profile is aggressively modified in an effort to control the thermal load.

Fan speed is high even at normal temperatures. If you have noise sensitivity, THERMATAKE Smart 500W Power Supply will be challenging to handle because it typically sits in the 40-45 dBA zone at loads above 300 W.


Given its low cost, THERMALTAKE Smart 500W Power Supply appears to be a winning formula because it is extremely well-liked in all markets. Nevertheless, everything has a price. Expect reduced noise production, better efficiency, and good performance in this instance since you get what you pay for. On the other hand, this product comes in first for noise output but comes in last for total performance and average efficiency. Similar in platform, the Corsair VS450 exceeds the Smart 500 across the board in terms of overall performance, average efficiency, and average noise output.

I applaud HKC’s efforts to create a very cost-effective platform, which is something we shouldn’t overlook, but the end product is poor. The usage of a more modern platform as opposed to a dated one with a double forward topology and group regulation would have been much better.

The five-year warranty, which is only as long as it is because its platform won’t be put through as much with 230 V input instead of 115 V input, is a positive aspect of THERMALTAKE Smart 500W Power Supply. It also passed all of my tests, including the evaluation of its protection features, which is where many PSUs, even high-end ones, fail. Additionally, the quantity of connectors offered is acceptable, and it is wonderful to see that the peripheral connectors are spaced sufficiently apart. However, in large setups, somewhat longer ATX and EPS cords would assist prevent compatibility concerns.

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I’ll grant it our Budget prize, but I can only suggest it for entry-level systems with low energy requirements. You would be better off choosing a Corsair CX or CXM PSU or a Cooler Master MWE if you need something more sophisticated for a mid-range system and money is your top concern. It is high time Thermaltake updated this series, at the very least adding DC-DC converters.

Is Thermaltake Smart 500W Power Supply enough for Ryzen CPU?

As previously stated, psu selection is influenced by a variety of factors; you can use a psu calculator on Google to determine how much power your system will draw at idle and under load. Of course 500W wont be able for example for threadripper ryzen CPU, but most gaming CPU’s will be able to run on this PSU, without overclocking. Of course, 500W will not be enough for a Threadripper Ryzen CPU, but most gaming CPUs will be able to run without overclocking on this PSU. 

Take, for example, a gaming Ryzen build.

A Ryzen 5 5600X uses up to 75W of power at stock settings, while an RX 580 has a TDP of 185W. Adding about 30W for RAM, SSDs, fans, and other components, the maximum power usage is 295W, but it is usually much lower – probably around 250W under heavy load. Undervolting the GPU and overclocking the CPU could improve performance while consuming the same amount of power.

PSUs are typically most efficient at 50-60% of their rated power, putting a PC equipped with a Ryzen 5 5600X and RX 580 in the ideal efficiency range for a 500W PSU.

If you plan to upgrade your graphics card in the future, a PSU with a higher power rating is recommended, but 500W is sufficient for these components.

Choose a model with an 80 PLUS rating (ideally 80 PLUS Gold – the higher efficiency is likely to save you money in the long run) from a brand known for producing high-quality power supplies.

Don’t buy from major “gaming” brands that don’t have a reputation for producing high-quality power supplies, such as Gigabyte (their motherboards and graphics cards are fine, but their PSUs should be avoided like the plague). MSI and ASUS power supplies are adequate, but almost always overpriced.

So, in conclusion, we can say that the Thermaltake Smart 500W Power Supply is enough for a medium gaming build that does not require an RTX 3090 but can use any Ryzen gaming CPU.

Is Thermaltake Smart 500W Power Supply enough for an Intel CPU?

The same is true for Intel as it was previously stated for Ryzen CPUs. You can run the latest i7 or i9 with a lower power hungry GPU, or you can run the latest i3 with a higher power hungry card. It is entirely up to you.

To be safe, you should have at least 550-600w. This is not to say that 500w will not work. It’s always nice to have some extra power on hand in case your system requires it.

Let’s take one example of Intel build. 

Will a 500W power supply support a 12600k and a 1660 Super?

Yes, it will be able to, but not in the way you expect.

Most of the time, your CPU and graphics card will function normally. That is typical work and light gaming.

However, problems arise when the GPU requests (even if only for a short period of time) 200 Watts while the CPU is at 240 Watts, as it will do when in short term power mode 1 or long term power mode 2, and you can even set these values yourself in the BIOS/UEFI or in the board’s utility in Windows.

When combined with the other devices in the system, such as fans, chipsets, USB, SSD/NVME, the power supply will either shut down immediately if it is more than 10% overloaded, or it will shut down gradually if it is more than 10% overloaded (and it is a decent supply which can actually even handle the watts it is supposed to).

Or, even worse, the GPU detects an undervoltage condition and drops to base clock levels until you reset the system, but your software is unaware of this and displays false values.

This happened several times with my customers, who complained that after a few minutes of gaming, the performance drops sharply and only recovers after a complete reboot.

The second issue is the actual power required. Your power supply generates a total of 500 watts. That is combined across all voltages, as indicated on the PSU’s label. Most likely, you will not use all lines to their full potential, but rather 99% on the 12V rail and almost nothing on the 3.3v and 5v rails.

As previously stated, the Thermaltake Smart 500W Power Supply is enough for medium power hungry Intel builds, allowing you to combine either a stronger GPU and a lower power hungry CPU, or vice versa.

Can you do overclocking with Thermaltake Smart 500W Power Supply?

It is dependent on the quality of the power supply. A “slightly overclocked” GTX 1080 could use as little as 230W of power, or even less if undervolted. Under full load, a Ryzen 7 3700X consumes approximately 90W. Other system components (LEDs, hard drives, fans, etc.) and VRM inefficiency losses could account for around 30W.

This means that under full load, you can expect a total power draw of around 300-350W, depending on how slight the overclock is and whether the card is undervolted. Most good 500W PSUs can handle this as a sustained load, but weaker ones cannot, and even good 500W PSUs will be outside of their optimum efficiency range, may degrade over time, and may cause system crashes due to OCP triggering (over-current protection)

If the power supply is a good model from a reputable brand, it will be enough to power your PC but may not be ideal for efficiency or reliability, and if the power supply is a cheap model that only delivers 350W on its 12V rail, it most likely will not. In any case, you should probably get something a little better. A 600-650W PSU (as suggested by others) would be a good choice.

Given that Thermaltake Smart 500W Power Supply is a good brand and a good 500W power supply, we can say that overclocking is possible, but it depends on the parts. It will not be able to run some of the newer, more power-hungry RTX cards, but it will suffice for a medium-end build.

Thermaltake Smart 500W Power Supply rating

The smart series, which incorporates various high-quality components and has models rated from 500W to 700W, saves energy through its high efficiency of up to 86% and can accommodate any mainstream build with the most demanding requirements. An embedded intelligent cooling fan provides excellent airflow while producing extremely low noise. Furthermore, the single +12V rail design allows for continuous use with stable and reliable performance. 

The Smart Series’ 120mm cooling fan provides excellent airflow while being exceptionally quiet. Smart Series saves energy with up to 86% energy efficiency and is 80 PLUS standard certified. High-quality components allow for continuous operation with stable and reliable performance; no more capacitor explosions or leakage. One +12V output. Thermaltake Smart 500W Power Supply is rated as WHITE.

What connectors are on THERMALTAKE Smart 500W Power Supply?

THERMALTAKE Smart 500W Power Supply connectors are:

  • ATX connector 20+4 pin (530 mm) – 1 cable/1 connector
  • 4+4 pin EPS12V (620 mm) – 1 cable/1 connector
  • 6+2 pin PCIe (530 mm+150 mm) – 1 cable/2 connectors
  • SATA (520 mm+150 mm) / 4-pin Molex (+150 mm) – 1 cable/2 connectors
  • 4-pin Molex (520 mm) / SATA (+150 mm+150 mm) – 1 cable/1 connector
  • SATA (520 mm) / 4-pin Molex (+150 mm+150 mm) / FDD (+150 mm) – 1 cable/2 connectors
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THERMALTAKE Smart 500W Power Supply
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