For the first time since 2012, we’re looking at a brand new unit from NZXT – the E series at 850 watts. They’re back, and they’re looking to make an impact with a unit that features software integration as one of its many perks. Shall we find out how it stacks up against some strong competition? Of course we shall.
SUPPLIED BY: NZXT
PRODUCT: NZXT E850 850W
PROD LINK: E850 Product Page
PRICE: $149.99 @ NewEgg
Price is at time of testing!
Folks, let’s welcome NZXT back to the power supply party. This is a company I haven’t heard from in quite some time, with the last review done all the way back in 2012. Back then, NZXT got that we needed good stuff to power our computers with, so they partnered up with the likes of Seasonic and Super Flower to make that happen. You may recognize those two names from the literal mudhole they’ve been stomping into the competition ever since, but back then things like 80 Plus Titanium and mythic level regulation were new to both us and those companies.
Now, NZXT wants to come back to the game and make a big splash with these new E series units. Fronted by Bruce Springsteen, this group claims to make us rock out long and hard, and… dangit, I’ve gotten off track already. Come on, Wolf, stay focused. And stay out of Darlington County.
The biggest deal about this new E series is the fact that they are still known to be Seasonic produced. But what’s an even bigger deal to me is the software connectivity. This is, to my knowledge, the first time a Seasonic platform has ever gotten the software treatment. Quite frankly, it’s been a long time coming. But knowing Seasonic, they don’t do things like this without careful consideration first. It’s why they still don’t have anything bigger than 1250 watts. If any factory can do this right, it’s this one. But I’m still not going to sit here and tell you this move probably couldn’t have been done a lot sooner.
Regardless, NZXT is the first to really capitalize on this newfound functionality. They’ve integrated these units with their CAM software, giving us at least some degree of control over the unit plus monitoring capability. We’ll see how much control there is by and by.
Of course, there’s more marketing here than just the software, but it’s all pretty standard fare. According to the box, this 850 watt unit is QUIET, SMART, and RELIABLE. It had better be, if that ten year warranty isn’t going to wind up bankrupting the company. But there’s something that puzzles me a little bit… why only 80 Plus Gold? Isn’t this a flagship product? Most of those units are Platinum or Titanium, and because we know who the OEM is already, it’s not like Titanium should be off the table. However, there likely is a good reason for this. I don’t know what it is, but it could well be anything from supply issues to contracts with other companies to design issues. Seasonic is a very careful OEM, remember… if they don’t think they can offer software in the Prime platform and hold up to our standards, they just won’t do it.
Moving elsewhere on this good looking box, we find a few more marketing points. I would argue that fanless mode should operate a bit north of 100 watts, but this might be changeable through the software. And why wouldn’t you use the software if you bought this thing?
OKAY, OKAY, I’LL BUILD THE EXTRAORDINARY! Gah! You boxes are so “in your face” sometimes, aren’t you? I’m sure there must be some stuff inside this box, so I’ll just unpack now before the purple rain starts. Might make me delirious.
Wait, I was doing Springsteen, not Prince. Brain, don’t make me Q-Tip you like that time you made me leave my wallet in El Segundo. Sigh… damnit. You asked for this, brain. Hey, burning toast!
Inside the box, I found not a lot thus far. A decent user guide, a power supply in a blankie, and a bag of stuff.
Within the bag of stuff, I found cables, a power cord, and screws. That’s it? No more accessories, NZXT? Seems a mite light for something like this. But perhaps this isn’t the flagship line yet, perhaps this is just their way of getting their foot back in the door before the real high end stuff comes out.