Reviews - NZXT Hale90 850W
Sample Provided by: NZXT (By OklahomaWolf on Mon, Sep-06-2010)

Page 1 -

Greetings once again friends, both real and imaginary. I've recently come back from an extended vacation, and am ready to provide you once more with some hot power supply on load tester action. Today, I'm looking into something new from NZXT, which is really fun to say as a word. NZXT's new line of units is called the Hale90 Power series, mostly because these units are 80 Plus Gold certified.

I'm tackling the 850W model in this new series today, which is the second most powerful in the line. Will we want to hail NZXT or just throw hail from a recent thunderstorm at NZXT? Let's get things moving, and we'll find out for sure.

"Introducing the HALE90 Power from NZXT, a completely new PSU designed from ground up for gamers and enthusiasts."

The back of the box certainly starts off with some promise, if the above line is any indication. But there's more to the marketing than just that one line. Here's the rest of it now:

  • 80+ Gold certified: The HALE 90 series from NZXT operates at ultra high efficiency, at 20%, 50%, and 100% loads, efficiencies are 87%, 90%, and 87% respectively.
    -We shall see how close this unit comes in meeting these efficiency goals... some units I test do better than others in this regard
  • A single large 140mm two ball bearing fan operates at low noise even at full load. 20dB for wattages between 550-750W and 30dB for 850W and above.
    -These SPL ratings seem oddly specific to me. Would that I had the ability to take SPL readings from the units I test. Sadly, there are so many other noise making devices in the same room as the load tester, such measurements are totally impossible.
  • Strong Single Rail Design: A single +12V rail provides stability and ease of use making the most out of your power supply. Offers stable & clean current delivery under heavy load.
    -Sigh... another one falls to the single 12V hoopla. While it is true that some old units did multi-rail overcurrent protection all wrong, for the most part we no longer need to worry about this. Unless you are Peter Peltier with the peck of powered pelts or Howie Hard-Drive with the hankering for hundreds of hexabytes, there simply is no advantage one way or the other to which design you choose. Unless you're looking at something with a single massive 100A 12V rail or something... then you're starting to run into a "maybe it will, maybe it won't shut down in time to save this computer on a partial short circuit" issue.
  • Hybrid LLC resonant Topology circuitry allows the HALE series to create highly efficient power supplies ranging from 550W to 1000W.
    -We've seen this before, most recently in the Seasonic X-750, Enermax Revolution 1020W, and the Kingwin Lazer Gold. It can be quite an efficient and well performing platform, when done right.
  • 100% Japanese Capacitors: High quality components for longer life time and better reliability.
  • Modular cable design: Modular cable design allows the user to pick and choose which cables they want to use, optimizing cable management and airflow inside the chassis. Flat cables allow for easier routing and bending inside the computer chassis during wire management.
    -Captain Grammar says, "pick and choose which cables he wants to use." Captain Grammar is one of my imaginary friends. I often like to drive him nuts real good like.
  • Latest CPU support for all the latest INTEL and AMD CPUs like Corei7, i5, AMD Phenom II X4, X3.
  • Latest GPU support, ideal for latest DX11 GPUs and comes with 8pin and 8(6+2) pin PCI-E connectors.
  • Large tower support: The Hale Series of power supplies have extended 8pin CPU connectors for wire management in large cases which have PSUs mounted at the bottom.
    -Wait, are the connectors extended, or the cables? The cables being extended would make more sense. I bet that's it. Captain Obvious thinks so too, if that's what he means by, "Well, duuuuuuh, Sherlock."
  • Compliance with ATX 12V v2.2, EPS 12V v2.91, and SSI EPS 12V v2.92 Specifications.
  • Environmentally Responsible: Consuming less than 1W during shut off status Complies with the newest EuP (Energy-using Products) requirements and USA Energy star standards.
    -Just a quick word to those getting all excited over this bullet point: abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz. Hush up, it is too a word. Some guy in a bird suit said so. But that's getting off track here. I just wanted to point out that one watt is exactly 0.2A at five volts, at the output side. You need a less than 0.2A 5VSB load to meet this requirement. Anything more than that plugged into the 5VSB rail, depending on efficiency, and you get more than 1 watt at the wall.
  • Continuous Power: The HALE 90 series listed wattage is the continuous operating wattage.
    -Uhhhh... ok? At what temperature would that be? Twenty degrees? A thousand? I'll just try for fifty or so and see what goes down.
  • Keeping it safe: The HALE series offers over voltage, current, power, under voltage, and short circuit protection. The power supply will automatically shutdown to prevent any damage to your system or misuse.
    -Captain Grammar got another chuckle out of this one. Will the unit prevent misuse, or damage to your misuse? I'm almost tempted to hit it with a bat once to see if it stops me.
  • Full rage Design from 100V-250V with Active PFC.

Moving on, here's the side of the box, where we get to see a couple of graphs detailing the efficiency and noise level curves.

This is the only remaining interesting side of the box, which is otherwise refreshingly clean of marketing clutter on most panels. This is basically a retread of all those bullet points we already saw, except in languages other than english. Once - just once - I'd like to see a set of marketing points in pig-latin. That would be sweet.

The contents of the box were eager to pose for you, so I let them do so. You get a power supply, power cord, bag of modular cables, manual, and a bag of screws.

The manual is about average for a power supply. There's some pertinent information in there, but not a lot of it.

I reckon that somewhere, sitting in front of his monitor, a dude named Matt Black is probably sick and tired of hearing me utter his name every other week. Well, today you get a break, sir, because this unit is done up in matte white. The finish is sort of a rough and rugged matte white affair, not as easy to scratch as some of the simpler smooth painted finishes I've seen, and... hello? Folks, Matt White is on the phone. He's not happy. Here's another picture while I deal with this call.

Yes indeedy... while I do like my matte black, this is quite a refreshing change. Hard to photograph well, but refreshing all the same. This will help NZXT stand out from the crowd. And with the cable sleeving and modular cables done in black, there's really nothing about this unit's appearance to complain about.

Active PFC, says the exhaust grille.

Looking at the unit from above, we can see that even the warranty sticker contrasts tastefully with the white exterior of the unit. I really like the way this unit looks, thus far.

This unit features a hefty 70A 12V rail, which adds up to 840W on an 850W unit. A 12V rail so close to the total capacity of the unit usually means that we're dealing with DC to DC regulation for the lesser 3.3V and 5V rails. This is one way many OEMs are getting Gold efficiency from power supplies these days.

NZXT Hale90 850W

+3.3V +5V
-12V +5VSB
24A 24A 70A 0.5A 3A
Max Power 120W 840W 6W 15W

Here are the modular cable connectors up close. The manual is careful to point out that all of these connectors interchange. You can plug any of the unit's modular cables into any connector you want without worrying about whether or not you're getting things wrong.

But sadly, the modular cable scheme could use work on this unit. We have too many hardwired cables, methinks. Granted, we're going to need a few of these anyway, but NZXT could have moved at least one of the CPU connectors off the hardwired cables, and I would have been happy. And that hardwired SATA cable? That puppy has four SATA connectors on it. Honestly, I would have preferred this cable being moved to the modular side as well.

Three hardwired cables is manageable. Five is a crowd.

Here are the modular cables for your examination. These are done up in black ribbon cables, something that must drive workers at the factory nuts when it comes to assembling them, what with no color coding and all, but something that also makes cable management a little bit easier for us end users.

One of these cables combines both SATA and Molex connectors. I've listed it separately in the table below. That could come in handy for some of us.

Type of connector: NZXT Hale90 850W
ATX connector (570mm) 20+4 pin
4+4 pin EPS12V/ATX12V connector (720mm) 1
8 pin EPS12V (720mm) 1
6 pin PCIe (570mm) 1
6+2 pin PCIe (+145mm) 1
SATA (580mm+150mm+150mm+150mm) 4
Modular Cables
5.25" Drive (550mm+150mm+150mm) 7
3.5" Drive (+150mm) 1
SATA (560mm+150mm+150mm+150mm) 4
SATA (550mm+150mm) 2
5.25" Drive (+150mm+150mm) 2
6 pin PCIe (550mm) 2
6+2 pin PCIe (550mm) 2
Unit Dimensions (L x W x H)
180mm x 150mm x 86mm


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