Our load tests utilize a couple of FAST ATE active load testers and a variety of other equipment such as an oscilloscope, power conditioner, temperature probe and a power consumption meter. You can read more about our standard testing approach here.
The tests being performed are based around six conceivable setups that are out there and progressively load down the PSU up to the power supply's limits or 1000W, whichever comes first. Since our test equipment's limits are higher than the NZXT HALE90 850W PSU, we can test it to the maximum.
The sample that we received for testing passed all of our tests and achieved the efficiency as stated. In fact, it performed quite well as all the voltage readings stayed well within ATX specifications. It is easy to see that the 3.3V and 5V rails are the weak points of the PSU as their outputs start decreasing towards the end of testing. However, the 12V rails hang in very strong all the way to the end.
TweakTown currently doesn't have a specific test nor the equipment for analyzing sound generated by the PSU. I still feel that it is worth noting that the HALE90 850W was nearly silent throughout the entire test procedure. The PSU wasn't audible until the last two tests when things started warming up inside power supply.
The NZXT HALE90 850W power supply is very solid. It holds up to all of their claims and performs perfectly within specifications. The variety of protections that it offer help protect your computer and the Active PFC makes the PSU very efficient which should help your pocket recoup some of the cost over time.
The single rail design makes it simple to install, even for those with higher end systems as you don't have to concern yourself with load distribution. High quality Japanese capacitors are utilized to ensure that the power supply will survive throughout the years and NZXT backs it with a 5 year warranty. NZXT has packaged all of this in a beautiful black and white design that is simple yet sophisticated and will look good and stay quiet in just about any rig you throw it in.
My only complaint about the HALE90 850W is the price. At $179.99 MSRP, it is a tad on the high side. But with that said, the initial cost of the PSU should be offset by the reduction in energy consumption, especially if you utilize your machine at moderate to high loads frequently.