NZXT HALE90 750W PSU

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Product: NZXT HALE90 750W Power Supply
Provided By:
NZXT
Price:

 

Introduction:

Although we've looked at quite a few PSUs from Ultra Products, Zalman, Thermaltake and FSP, today is only the second time we've had an NZXT PSU on the bench.  NZXT has been making PSUs for a while now and we are following up our review of the Performance Power 800W PSU from November 2008 with the all-new 80+ Gold certified PSU today.  It will be interesting to see what they bring to the table in regards to this high-performance, high-efficiency PSU that we've got today.  This PSU is part of their new HALE90 series and it comes in 550W, 650W, 750W, 850W and 1000W flavors.  We've got a look at the mainstream 750W unit and are going to see how it stacks up on our PSU testing platform.  Keep on reading as we take a look at and tear this unit apart.

PSU Box
PSU Box

 

About NZXT:

NXZT has made quite a name for themselves lately, but if you're not familiar with this company, please take a look at their company profile below.

NZXT, a company built upon gamer's dreams, hopes to create products that put consumers first. Our objective is to provide every gamer with a case that they can identify with. Combining unique design and case performance, consumers will finally be able to find a quality case that will represent their own style and personality.

In the future, NZXT wishes all gamers who desire a personalized case to find it at NZXT. With the unveiling of every product, NZXT improves upon on weaknesses and strives for excellence. Achieving perfection is not an easy task, however, NZXT is determined to meet and surpass consumer expectations.

Our dedicated sales and customer service team will also work diligently to earn your trust and loyalty. All our products are built with high quality material and engineered in the best conditions.

NZXT products are designed and engineered in the United States and manufactured overseas in China and Taiwan.

NZXT was established in 2004 in Los Angeles, California.

 

Like many other companies, ideas are designed and honed here in North America, but cost of production here forces many companies to get their products built overseas.

 

First Impressions:

The PSU comes in a very nice retail package.  The package proudly proclaims the 80+ Gold rating which means that it should achieve no less than 85% efficiency and must achieve over 90% efficiency at some point.  As we'll find out on the following pages, NZXT nails this down and does a good job obtaining these numbers.  Please note that if you are drawing 700W from the wall, you'll be actually applying over 630W of actual power to your system as the PSU will eat 10% of the power - unlike the 20% that many other PSUs burn off as waste heat.  In the end, this should keep your system cooler, quieter and hopefully more stable.

  Bundle
Bundle


 

PSU First Look:

The NZXT HALE90 Series are pretty much standard ATX PSUs that should fit in almost every case that can handle an ATX PSU.  It isn't extra-long and it has a nice overall white finish.  This is a nice change and definitely turns some heads as it is different than the standard black PSU we're so used to seeing.  As you can see above, and in the image below, the HALE90 Series are mostly modular but have the 24-pin and 4/8-pin cables attached to the PSU as they will be used in every ATX system.

Fan Side
Fan Side
Modular Connectors
Modular Connectors
   
Side Profile
Side Profile
Cable Bundle
Cable Bundle

 

If you're sharp, you'll notice that the modular connectors are all identical.  This is quite interesting as we have a bundle of cables that include Molex, SATA and PCIe cables that use different voltages, but they all plug into the same connectors.  This is an interesting twist.

 

Features & Specs:

The following features and specifications on this new PSU aren't quite as detailed as many other companies.  Still, they include the basics and even a bit more as you'll see below.  If you need all the details, please head on over the NZXT product page over here.

  • 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.
  • Single 140mm two ball-bearing fan operates with minimal noise even at full load. Maximum decibel levels are 20db for wattages between 550-750W and 30db for 850W and above.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hybrid LLC resonant Topology circuitry allows the HALE series to create highly efficient power supplies ranging from 550W-> 1000W.
  • Full range Design from 100V – 250V with Active PFC.
  • 100% Japanese Capacitors: High quality components for longer life time and better reliability.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Continuous Power: The HALE 90 series listed wattage is the continuous operating wattage.
  • 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.
  • Warranty: 5 Years

 

80+ Gold Enthusiast Modular PSU
NZXT introduces the 80+ gold certified HALE90 series built from the ground up specifically customized for gamers and enthusiasts and offers incredibly efficient operation that will meet the needs of even the most power hungry enthusiasts.

 

Specifications:

 

Specs

 

 

Althought the NZXT HALE90 Series PSU claims that it can handle 750W of power, NZXT is adamant that this is continuous load - not merely peak load like many other companies post.  If you do the math on this PSU you'll see that the 3.3v and 5v lines actually total 189.2W - not the mere 120W that they are rated.  Also the +12v line is very large at 62A which totals 744W alone - almost the rated wattage of the entire PSU.  The -12v and +5Vsb ratings are bang on.  If you add all of these up, you get 954.2W - so the 750W rating is pretty generous.

 Efficiency 750W

 

 750db

 


 

Cables:

While the cables of a normal PSU aren't that exciting, the cables included with the NZXT HALE 750W are pretty nice.  They are a flat-style cable that has been sold as part of the Premium Cable set from NZXT.  This adds great flexibility, good looks, great cable management and excellent airflow in your case.  As you can see in the chart below, there are quite a few cables and this should power any mid-range system easily.

  Connectors

 

As mentioned previously, the coolest thing with these modular cables is that you can plug them into any socket on the PSU that you like and they just work.  NZXT has designed the 8-pin connector to provide different voltages to the lines and bypasses some when they are not required for certain applications.  This is really not a complicated idea, but it hasn't been done before - at least to my knowledge.  In the end, it works well.

 

Molex Cables
Molex Cables
SATA Cables
SATA Cables
PCIe Cables
PCIe Cables

 

On the next page we'll pull the PSU apart before we jump into testing on the last page.

 

Inside the PSU:

As we open this unit, please keep in mind that opening a Power Supply will completely void the warranty.  Not only that, but because of the large capacitors, you can suffer a serious electrical shock if you touch the wrong thing.  Please do not open your PSU to compare what the insides look like.  I'm a "trained" professional, meaning that I've got shocked a time or two and know where not to touch, and with that in mind and the smell of burning flesh in the air, click on the images below for a closer look.

  Opened Up
Opened Up

 

 Open Profile
Open Profile
Big Caps
Big Caps
   
Transformer
Transformer
Cooling & VRMs
Cooling & VRMs

 

The PSU is a bit roomy inside and should allow the same case and internal PCB design to be used on larger-rated HALE90 series PSUs.  There is enough space to put in slightly larger components for the bigger models.  The cooling looks more than adequate for a 90+ rated PSU and we'll touch on running temperature when we jump into testing on the last page.  As you can see above, the main bulk of wires hits the rear modular backplane in a tidy bunch and the entire PSU is laid out very clean.

 

 

Test Setup & Info:

In the past, we've prided ourselves on real-world testing.  For graphics cards, CPUs and memory, what matters is what takes place in real applications and games.  We also held that philosophy for PSU testing, but after a while, we realized that there is more to a PSU that being able to run a machine stable over a few weeks or months.  In reality, if there is a lot of ripple, this can damage sensitive traces on your $700 graphics card or $1300 CPU.  A multi-meter alone is not good enough to check PSU voltage stability.  It's for this reason that we've updated our PSU testbed, and will continue to improve the detail and quality of our PSU reviews.  That being said, we will still be testing the PSU in a system and will be including stress tests from real components in the real world.

We have purchased a Tektronics TDS2002 60MHz Dual Channel scope and it has already become invaluable around the shop here at BCCHardware headquarters.  I've used it to troubleshoot everything from PSU's to Radars, and we are using it today to check the stability of the NZXT 750W PSU on the next page.


 

Testing - 4W, 257W & 661W: 

We initially plugged the PSU into an EZ PSU Tester 3 in order to power it on for our "idle" measurements.  As noticed below, the voltage rails were fairly stable with no load, but these aren't necessarily indicative of overall load performance.  According to our Kill-a-Watt, the power draw was 4W.  We thought these results would be interesting to include and compare with other power supplies to see how they manage a non-load situation, and how much power the PSU itself will draw.

-12v
-12v Scope
3.3v
+3.3v Scope
   
5v
+5v Scope
12v
+12v Scope

 

 

As I expected with I was given the opportunity to look at this high-end PSU, no matter what type of load I put on it, the voltage rails stayed clean, and had very little noise.  As you can see by clicking the images above, we captured a small 9.18mv ripple & noise measurement on the 3.3v rail, 18mv on the 5v rail and 36mv on the 12v line.  This is nice and clean power as ATX specifications state 50mv is allowable on the 3.3v and 5.0v rails while 120mv is acceptable on the 12v rails.  Even with a heavy load the NZXT HALE90 PSU stayed well within specifications on the rails.  The 5v line never strayed above 20mV while the 3.3v line stayed in the single digits in terms of ripple.  The +/- 12v lines stayed at less than half of their allowable ripple and noise.  This is a very solid result - even with a 661W load


Instead of taking a ton of pictures of each voltage line under different load, we've graphed the results below.

Average Voltage
Average Voltage

 Ripple & Noise
Ripple & Noise

 

The voltage is very solid with the NZXT HALE90 750W PSU, and while it tends to be a bit on the high side, the biggest drop in voltage when a load is applied to any of the rails is 0.1v.  On the 3.3v line we see a drop of a mere 0.02v - almost perfect, and on the 5v rail we see a drop of 0.04v - again, incredible.  The +12v rail and -12v rail each drop 0.1v, but they are allowed to fluctuate an incredible 1.2v and still stay within ATX specifications.  Thankfully, they are all rock solid.

 

Conclusion:

The NZXT HALE90 750W PSU is in the middle of the road when it comes to NZXT's new line of PSU as they range from 550W to a full 1000W, and is geared toward consumers with mid-range to high-end PCs with one or two video cards.  Our test system included a hefty Radeon 5870, an AMD 1050T 6-Core Phenom Processor, several hard drives and more and it handled it easily.  It pushes out a lot of watts through the single +12v line and proves to be solid, stable and it runs quite cool.  The hottest internal component reached 42°C when testing in our office with an ambient of 25°C.  It handled everything we threw at it without stumbling, stuttering or any undue concern.

There really isn't much of a downside to this PSU.  It is nice and quiet.  Although it can reach a maximum efficiency of almost 92%, NZXT states that typical load will still stay above 90%.  This is a very nice PSU that certainly deserves a second look.

Pros:

  • Low electrical noise
  • Rated at 750W Continuous
  • Lots of peripheral and SATA connectors
  • Very stable with a fairly heavy load 
  • 14cm fan is very quiet and cools well
  • Standard size should work in almost every system.
  • Unique modular cables plug into any PSU port


Cons:

  • Nothing major

 

BCCRating
Gold

 

NZXT has a rock-solid PSU on their hands with the 750W HALE90 series PSU and it easily earns a "Gold" award here at BCCHardware for performance, quality and low noise. 

If you have any questions or comments, please post them in the forum at the "Comments" link below.