In The Box
Once we make it through the Velcro snaps on the outer shell of the packaging, we are able to get into the box and note that most of the items are exactly what we would expect to see. It is good to note that the folks at Xigmatek realize that we care about our components as they have included a fiber bag that protects the exterior surface of the power supply when it is not in use and stored away.
Beyond this we see a bag of modular cables, a nylon case to store them in (yes, you will have to do this yourself), a small manual and a box with a cord and mounting screws. Nothing fancy here, but everything we need to get down to business.
The primary housing is a little different in appearance in that it does not have a shiny coating like is very common. Instead, it is primarily a flat black in color and should have no problems in fitting in with pretty much any interior case design.
The power supply is mostly modular in design with only the primary and 4-pin supplemental power cable harnesses as well as a two PCI-E6+2 cables being native to the unit. All other connectivity will be attached with modular cables that allow you to use only what you need for your own system. This is always a pleasant addition since it makes cable management, and also airflow, much easier to address.
As far as power is concerned, the NRP-MC651 has four 12v rails, each of which is rated at 18A of draw with a maximum draw from the 12v subsystem rated at 52A or 524 watts. With the vast majority of modern systems being 12v intensive, this allows most of the power to be drawn from that rail system without having an adverse effect on the other rails, or for that matter your other components. The 5v rail is rated at 28A and the 3.3v rail is rated at 30A, so there is still going to be enough beef here to handle older systems that still need a strong 5v rail. It should also be noted that the 650 watt power rating is the sustained power draw for this product and not a peak level. This means that if you begin to get close to the maximum threshold, you won't have to worry about frying your system components just because you were in the ball park.
Looking deeper into the manufacture of this power supply shows it's OEM creator to be Channel Well Technology, a company that is designated by most sources as a Tier 3 manufacturer. CWT has a reputation of creating quality components that are generally up to the task of handling a load for years on end. While we are off to a good start, past reputations will have no real meaning since we will stress out this PSU ourselves to see if it can handle the load.
The external panel is very minimalistic, which has become almost the standard. There is a power port, a toggle switch to manually turn off the power supply, and a lot of mesh material that allows for ample airflow to keep all those internal capacitors nice and cool.
To provide the airflow through that external mesh panel, the NRP-MC651 uses a large 140mm fan to produce more than enough airflow to get the job done. When running at idle conditions, you will not hear this fan. Even under stress, the noise levels were hardly heard even when set away from the main noise producing fans in the system itself. While not silent, there is very little fan rumble coming from this unit.
From this angle you also get to see the side panel of the power supply. The little placard has the appearance of leather and advertises the No Rules Power theme of the product line. It should also be noted that the fan in this product makes use of a blue colored LED lighting scheme. While this may not be a factor in your buying decisions, it is best to be informed beforehand in case you are using another color inside your current build.
As noted earlier, this is a modular power supply. For those who have never played with this variety of component before, be advised right up front to prepare yourself for a lot less time needed for cable management. Since you only use the cabling required for your specific system, you don't need a lot of extra zip ties for snugging those wasted cables away from your airflow pathway. This means that you get more air moving properly through your enclosure, so you will keep everything as cool as possible.
Cables included in the modular package include connectors for 2x PCI-E devices, 6x SATA devices, 1x FDD device and 7 Molex powered devices. Additionally, there is a 4+4 pin auxiliary power connection for motherboards that require this type port. Though not mentioned above, the primary power coupling is of the 20+4 pin variety, so you will be set regardless whether you are running a newer or older system board.
With everything included, you will end up with a lot of flexibility when building your new toy. Power supplies of the past had to have a lot of connectivity to be successful, but that has gone away with the advent of modern motherboards that have so much to offer. It is good to see, however, that Xigmatek has decided to maintain that high level of quality and leave the decisions of power to us, the builder.