Performance (40% of the final score) - there is just about nothing negative I can say about this unit here. Not only did the Hale 850W meet its Gold certification relatively easily, it somehow managed to do so in the hot box. And all this while outperforming itself for voltage stability in the hot box. Add to that some very nice looking scope shots and a ghostly silent fan, and you have yourself one fantastic power supply. I can't quite do a perfect score here, as there are units out there that can outperform it for ripple suppression, but I can come close. 9.5.
Functionality (20% of the final score) - this is where I have to be a little hard on the unit. But not too hard. This power supply has enough connectors to do pretty much any job an 850W unit can be expected to do. But I do have to take issue with the number of hardwired cables, especially since the modular cables were provided in ribbon cable, which I find easier to manage. Like I said earlier - the five hardwired non-ribbon cables make the unit seem crowded. 9.5.
Value (30% of the final score) - I can currently find this unit up at Directron for $179.88. This competes within a five dollar bill of the OCZ Z Series 850W, and within eleven cents of the Corsair AX850. The 850W version of the Kingwin Lazer Gold, also based on this platform, is a full ten smackers cheaper. That makes it a pretty good value indeed, but I'm not sure it's the best of the bunch. As such, I'll only do an 8 here.
Aesthetics (10% of the final score) - matte white contrasted with the black connectors and cabling makes for a nice change from black, black, black, and... oh, by the way here's another black one for ya. I'm going to go with a nice juicy 10 here. I just like this unit's looks.
NZXT has gone fishing in the pond of power supplies and caught themselves a winner here today. The Hale90 850 watt unit is a very stable, very efficient, and very powerful example of power supply engineering, and there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't run out and buy one posthaste. It certainly doesn't hurt that it looks good, either. It looks different, and different is good today.
the black on white color scheme works for me
efficient, even in the hot box
low ripple and noise
very stable when the heat comes on
too many hardwired cables for my current tastes
Captain Confusion made me... uh... I uh... forgot what I was gonna say. San Dimas High School football rules!
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