Reviews - NorthQ Black Magic Flex 650W PSU
Sample Provided by: NorthQ (By OklahomaWolf on Sun, Oct-26-2008)

Page 1 -

It's been a little while since I took a look at something from NorthQ, but at last the spell is broken and I have another Black Magic model for you all to look at - the Black Magic Flex 650W. As the little brother of the 850W I looked at a while back that performed so wonderfully, I must admit I have some high expectations for this one. I mean, every NorthQ unit I've tested so far has been awesome.

But, we're dealing with that same unknown OEM again today, Kingnod Technology. This is a company I still don't know a lot about, and am still nervous about; considering the off brand capacitors I found in that 850W. But, with this here 650W unit, we'll finally get some more information on this mystery OEM today when I torture it alive on the load tester.

Usually I start off with a box shot or three, but this time I'm not doing that. Both of my Black Magic 650W samples arrived without one. Why two samples? I'll get into that a bit later. So, this time I'm starting off with pictures of the unit itself.

On the NorthQ website, this model is marketed pretty much the same way as big brother 850W. It's modular, it has those same fancy black flat cables, it's supposed to be over 80% efficient, and it has an "ultra silent" 135mm fan. I must admit to being skeptical of that fan - the 850W model in reality turned out to have the loudest 135mm fan I've ever heard. We'll see if this unit is any different.

The front of the unit looks pretty much identical to the 850W model, with the exception of two missing 8 pin modular cable connectors. You will recall that this modular panel combined two 12V rails on the larger model, and it is likely that this unit is much the same, getting one of two 12V rails all to itself.

Speaking of rails, there they are and I'm worried. Why? Because once again we have no combined 3.3V/5V rating. Also because the two 12V rails only add up to 40A. That's only 480W on a 650W power supply. The UL file number (e181356) once more traces to Shenzhen Chi Yuan, or Huntkey.

You know, I get kind of a bad feeling about this one. Low-ish 12V ratings, and no combined 3.3/5 rating does that to me. You know what makes that bad feeling worse? Going over to Kingnod's website and not being able to find a single 650W model there with only two 12V rails. They're all triple 12V there. I really get the feeling someone somewhere is playing number games on this unit. But, as always, the load testing will sort things out for us. Here's a load table for you.

NorthQ Black Magic
Flex 650W
+3.3V +5V +12V1 +12V2 -12V +5VSB
30A 30A 20A 20A 0.8A 2.5A
Max Power 630W 20W

A good old tentacle shot shows us that the two hardwired cables are rather lengthy, which could be a good thing for those of you with certain "PSU at the bottom" cases. Why, that EPS12V cable goes to 660mm if you count the included adapter/extension cable that goes on the end.

The modular cables are the flat easy to hide kind, much like the ones Ultra has been using. I was pleased to see that the extra two pin connector that enables 8 pin PCI-E connections gets its own cable all the way back to the modular connector, meaning that you can hide that section somewhere far away from your video card if it doesn't need an 8 pin connector.

Here's that adapter/extension cable I mentioned earlier. If you need a 4 pin ATX12V connector, it would seem you're stuck with that extra 8 pin EPS12V connector hanging around your mainboard, unless you chop it off.

Type of connector: NorthQ BM-650
ATX connector (590mm) 20+4 pin 12V1
8-pin Xeon/EPS connector (580mm) 1 12V2
2 x 2 ATX12V connectors (60mm) 1*

Modular Cables

5.25" Drive connectors (500mm+150mm) 4 12V1
3.5" Drive connectors (+150mm) 2
SATA (500mm+150mm+150mm) 8
2 x 4 PCIe (500mm) 2**

Unit Dimensions(L x W x H)

160mm x 150mm x 85mm

*EPS12V to EPS12V+ATX12V adaptor
**connectors are 6+2 pin modular type

Sure enough, the modular connector panel gets a rail almost entirely to itself. The only place one can find 12V2 is the EPS12V cable. This means that both PCI-E connectors share 12V1 with the rest of the connectors. Despite the two 6+2 pin PCI-E connectors, you're not going to get away with more than one high power video card here, I'm afraid.

Let's go to the next page and start the testing. I want to see what this unit is really capable of.


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