Introduction, Specifications, Availability and Pricing
NZXT was created in 2004 as a company that built products for gamers and enthusiasts. They are most known for their quality cases and power supplies and always strive to put the customer and their needs above all. They are based in the USA where all of their engineering and design is done while they have production done overseas in China and Taiwan.
NZXT's latest and greatest is the HALE90 series of PSU's. These PSU's are based off of the Super Flower Golden Green design and customized by changing the capacitors, cables, and more. Today we are taking a look at the HALE90 850W and running it through our gauntlet of tests to see how it performs.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
The NZXT HALE90 850W PSU retails for $179.99. Several places have it listed for below MSRP and if you do your shopping you can pick one up for around $160. This puts the HALE90 850W towards the upper end of pricing for the 800W-900W market, but the price difference may be worth your hard earned cash if it produces quality power and stays silent throughout operation.
NZXT tries to make sure that your hard earned money doesn't go to waste with the HALE90 850W. It is packed full of features such as Active PFC, over voltage and under voltage protection (OVP/UVP), and short-circuit protection (SCP). Ensuring that your investment doesn't go to waste should there be a failure, NZXT backs the HALE90 by a 5 year warranty.
To keep everything cool inside the PSU, NZXT has fitted a 140mm two-ball bearing fan on the underside. The 140mm fan is rated at 30db under full PSU load which should provide near silent operation. The back of the HALE90 utilizes a honeycomb design to ensure the minimum amount of restriction to airflow.
The HALE90 series of PSU's are the first from NZXT to receive any rating from 80plus.org. NZXT shoots straight to the top of their awards and receives a gold rating on the entire HALE90 lineup. The 850W model that we have on the bench today is rated at 88.7%, 90.97%, and 88.74% efficiency at 20%, 50%, and 100% loads respectively.
NZXT does a great job of packaging the HALE90 850W PSU. The exterior of the packaging shows off the highlights of the PSU without overwhelming the consumer. The front offers a peak of the PSU through the window.
On the back are more detailed specifications of the PSU such as power output and connector availability.
The side panels have graphs of efficiency and sound as well as labels for various compliances.
The bottom of the box essentially restates some of the information available on the front, back, and sides, but lists it in several different languages for those around the world.
Inside the Box
Once you open the box you are greeted by foam padding that surrounds and protects the PSU.
Pulling that foam piece out will reveal the PSU itself, protected by plastic. Surrounding the PSU is a nylon bag for all the modular cables, the permanently attach cables, and a power cable. Upon removing the PSU and cables, we find the manual and a bag of four thumb screws to install the NXZT HALE90 850W.
For those who are concerned with aesthetics, the HALE90 series comes painted in a plain white and has a minimalistic design containing only black accents for the plug-ins and fan grill. For the wires that are attached permanently to the PSU, NZXT has sleeved them in black which should allow for a sleek and tidy look inside the case.
Cabling Arrangement & A Look Inside
NXZT gives you a plethora of cables to choose from that should ensure compatibility for just about any system. Attached directly to the PSU are a few cables necessary for just about every PC. The heart of this is the 20/24 pin connector. This is the only wire that has 16 AWG wire running from the PSU. All others (including the modular cables) utilize 18 AWG wire. Also attached direct are 2 ATX12V connectors that form an EPS12V connector, another EPS12V connector, one 6 pin PCI-E connector, and one 6/8 pin PCI-E connector.
The HALE90 850W comes with and has room for up to 8 modular cables to be attached to the PSU. There are two more 6-pin PCI-E and two more 6/8 pin PCI-E connectors included which will let you fully power up to three GPU's. The remaining four modular cables are a mix of 4-pin molex, SATA, and a single FDD connector which enable to you connect only what you need for a clean and tidy look inside the case. If you are looking to hide cables, you will be pleased to find that all of the modular cables are black, flat, and molded into a single cable.
All of the cables lead to a single rail for power distribution which doesn't leave much to talk about concerning this. Those with higher end systems don't need to worry about where to plug in what components as it simply doesn't matter with the HALE90.
Popping the bottom off the HALE90 gives us a view of the 105c capacitors that are in use. NZXT has chosen Nippon Chemi-con caps throughout the PSU.
Here we can see two solid rows of heatsinks that allow for continuous airflow from front to back. Things are kept very neat and streamlined in order for fresh air to flow to all areas of the PSU.
Test Results and Final Thoughts
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.