Introduction, Specifications, Availability and Pricing
When NZXT reached out to me about their latest power supply coming to market, I was quite pleased to hear from them. I was told the new power supply was to be dubbed the HALE90 V2 and it immediately caught my attention, as the original HALE90 850W was the first power supply I reviewed for TweakTown back in 2010. Since its release, it has been a popular power supply and has been one that flies out of stock, just as fast as it would come in stock.
This time around, NZXT has done a few things to better an already outstanding unit. Of the many things that have changed, the most notable one is certainly that the unit is now 100% modular. Previously it featured several natively wired cables including a pair of EPS12V connectors, which were just left hanging in most systems.
NZXT's press release stated that they wanted "to deliver a PSU suitable for high up-time server environments, but in a package for enthusiasts." We'll keep that in mind as we start tearing into the package and see what the new HALE90 V2 1000W power supply has to offer.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Looking at the I/O specifications for the HALE90V2 1000W power supply, we find a single 12V rail that provides most of the power for the unit. Both the 3.3V and 5V rails are rated for 30A each with a combined maximum output of 150W. The 5VSB rail is rated for a very strong 4A or 20W. Maximum combined output for the power supply is 1000W.
There were two things with the original HALE90 that we most certainly didn't like and that was the lack of Over Temperature Protection and that the unit wasn't rated for 100% continuous output. It seems that NZXT has addressed those issues as the HALE90 V2 1000W has both. Beyond that, it has everything else that we've come to expect from a top tier power supply including OVP, OCP, OPP and SCP. The power supply is rated for 80 PLUS Gold efficiency, and while we had expected it to be a Platinum rated power supply, the difference is mostly negligible and few people will ever notice the difference between the two. The HALE90 V2 also features a fully modular cable setup, all of which are fully sleeved or of the flat ribbon type.
NZXT lists the HALE90 V2 1000W power supply with an MSRP of $229. The cheapest we could find it for was at Newegg along with a $5.99 shipping fee, bumping the total to $235.98. This places the HALE90 V2 towards the more expensive end of Gold rated power supplies, and as such, we expect to see that the addition cost warrants some better performance. Warranty for the HALE90 V2 series is five years.
The front of the packaging gives us a quick list of features and a small teaser of the white power supply inside.
Turning things around toward the back, we find that the top half provides us with the I/O specifications, and a pictorial view of the internal components.
There is a bit more on the bottom of the back side in text form including a list of protections and more.
This side of the box gives us connector availability along with two charts for noise and efficiency, while the other side doesn't contain any useful information.
The top of the box is pure white while the bottom reiterates some of the information around the other sides in multiple languages.
Inside the Box
Pure white is the theme here. As you can see, things are well packed and the unit should arrive undamaged even if abused a bit in shipping.
The I/O specification label is present on the top of the power supply. Even the label is white, for the most part, to reduce visibility as much as possible, in the event that the label is visible within the case.
This side of the power supply has a plastic piece that wraps around the back to add some contrast and flair to the HALE90 V2. The other side is pure white.[img]13[/img]
Around the back we find two things that we aren't used to seeing. The first is the C19 style power connector that is typically seen only in high wattage units with an output greater than 1200W. The second is the lack of ventilation. It should be plenty to keep things cool, but it is apparent that the aesthetic design does hinder the ability for addition ventilation.
The front of the unit is clearly labeled for all of the modular connectors.
Even the fan is white with the HALE90 V2 power supply with the black screws and wire fan grill providing a touch of accentuation.
Plenty of cables are available to take care of whatever your needs may require.
Also included with the unit are the mounting screws, zip-ties, user manual, AC input cord and inspection paper.
Cabling Arrangement and A Look Inside
It is nice to see the move to fully modular cabling with the HALE90 V2 series. Even so, I can't help but feel that the list of cables and connectors is a bit dated.
Most of this stems from having 14 Molex connectors and two FDD connectors in this day and age of SATA. One more cable with four SATA connectors on it over a Molex + FDD cable would make it feel a lot more appropriate as a modern day power supply.
Rail distribution is as simple as it gets with a single 12V rail. There is no need to worry about load balancing here.
A Look Inside
Opening things up, we see that NZXT has continued the white theme here as well. On top of that, they have also managed to reduce and shrink components. If I didn't know better, I'd swear this was a much lower wattage unit by its appearance. The potentiometers that you see aren't for adjusting voltage, but more likely for adjusting the trip points for protections.
Nippon Chemi-Con capacitors sit on the primary side of the power supply.
More Nippon Chemi-Con caps are all over the secondary side of the power supply, too.
Protechnic provides the active cooling for the NZXT HALE90 V2 1000W power supply with the MGA13512YB-O25 135mm fan.
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 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 equal to that of the NZXT HALE90 V2 1000W power supply, we can test it to the maximum.
The above tests represent typical loads that we have measured from various systems and are meant to give a rough idea of where your computer might fall in line with our tests. Please keep in mind that each system is different and actual loads can vary greatly even with similar hardware.
Let's start by taking a look at the voltages to see how well this unit did during testing. Starting with the 12V rail, we see 2% regulation from start to finish with a total drop of .17V. The 5V rail managed to stay within 1% of specification with a total drop of .06V from start to finish. Moving towards the 3.3V rail, we see that regulation was within 2% of specification with a total voltage drop of .08V.
DC Output quality for the HALE90 V2 1000W was spectacular. During Test 1, we saw 7mV of noise on our scope. When we increased the loads in Test 3, the ripple climbed to 13mV at around half load. During Test 6 under a load of 1000W, the oscilloscope showed a maximum of 21mV on noise on the 12V rail.
The NZXT HALE90 V2 1000W is rated for 80 PLUS Gold efficiency. This means that the power supply must perform at 87%/90%/87% efficiency at 20%/50%/100% loads respectively. As you can see, the HALE90 V2 1000W passed on our bench, and wasn't close to failing at any point.
Right from the start, we expected quite a bit out of the HALE90 V2 1000W power supply. NZXT set the bar high years ago with the original HALE90 and the hype from their press release made us even more sure that this would be a top notch power supply. If the performance alone was what we judged upon, the HALE90 V2 would score incredibly well, as it did great.
While we may have seen better voltage regulation in the past, it wasn't by too much. Staying with 1%-2% of your specified voltage is great, but that isn't where this unit shines. Noise suppression is where the money is at on this unit, with a maximum of 21mV on the 12V rail at full load. Few units on the market can do this and we're glad to see another on the list. Efficiency for the unit is also spectacular as we see numbers that are almost at 80 PLUS Platinum levels, yet the unit is only Gold rated. I checked the results multiple times just to confirm and they are both correct and in line with what the unit presented when undergoing the official 80 PLUS tests.
The drawback to the HALE90 V2 comes not in performance this time around, but cost. The steep price of the unit is just a hindrance when there are both 80 PLUS Gold and Platinum rated units on the market that perform just as well, have all the same features, and cost less. Add in the excessive Molex connector availability and the use of the C19 power connector on a 1000W unit and things just stop falling in place and make less and less sense. Once the initial value wears off and it drops in price, the NZXT HALE90 V2 is going to be a great investment. Until then, spend your money wisely.