NZXT HALE90 1000W Modular Power Supply

Print

Product: NZXT HALE90 1000W Modular PSU
Provided By: NZXT
Price: ~$199.99 Online at Time of Publication

Introduction:

It has been quite a while since we've looked at an NZXT power supply and today we are looking at the newly minted HALE90.  The HALE90 V2 series power supplies come in 850W, 1000W and 1200W flavors and appear to be shipping only in white.  There are a few differences between the HALE90 and the HALE90 V2, but the biggest physical difference is that the  HALE90 V2 is fully modular where the original HALE90 was mostly modular.  There are a few differences as well - and we'll get into those as we dive into the review.

PSU Box Front
PSU Box Front

PSU Box Rear
PSU Box Rear

 

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.

 

Our People: React, adapt and be fearless: we’re a group of young people who aspire to be better tomorrow than we are today. We are driven by the yearning to explore, create, change, and push boundaries. Our culture revolves around having a passion to walk off the well-beaten path, and turn away from the status quo.
Our Company: Avant-garde and unconventional: NZXT as created because we aspire to make a positive difference for people. We believe that there are companies that ship product, and then there are companies that ship innovation. We routinely re-invest in ourselves, and hope that we can drive a positive influence in the industry.
Our Products: Think like a beginner: because we grew up in the generation of the 25-cent arcade, the 16-bit home gaming console, and Star Wars Lego collections, the experience is what concerns us. Nothing excites us more than the blank canvas waiting for inspiration. We’re always pushing to learn and reinvent ourselves.

 

First Impressions:

The PSU comes in a very nice retail package that brags about the 80+ Gold rating.  This means that it should achieve no less that 85% efficiency and must achieve at least 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 800W of power from the wall, you 720W of actual power to your system as the PSU will eat about 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.

In The Box
In The Box

 

As soon as you crack open the box, NZXT will impress you with their layout and package.  Everything is really well packed - not just for looks but for durability during shipping and also to make things convenient for the end-user.  The cables come bundled up in a white bag, with the main power cable, zip ties, screws and a manual all separate for ease of access.

Bundle Bits
Bundle Bits

Cables In A Bag
Cables in a Bag

 

PSU First Look:

The NZXT HALE90 V2 1000W unit is pretty much a standard ATX sized power supply that should fit in almost every case that can handle a standard PSU.  It isn't extra-long and it has a very nice white finish.  This is a nice change from much of the competition and definitely will turn some heads.  As you can see in the images below, the HALE90 V2 is completely modular.

Profile

 

Fan Side Label Side

 

The front and back of the PSU are particularly interesting as the mesh on the rear is a bit tighter than we've seen on some power supplies and this has the potential to restrict airflow.  Also you'll notice on the rear that the power connector is a bit different than your standard PSU cables.  NZXT ensures that this cable can handle the load that can be put on the PSU.  Some cheap PSU cables are not up to the challenge and to prevent under-voltage to the PSU, they want to make sure you use their cable.

One the front side, you'll see all the modular connections and on the HALE90 V2, there are different plugs for the PCIe and the Molex/SATA cables.  One thing we love about the HALE90 was the modular design, but for some reason they strayed away from it on V2.

Rear Mesh
Rear Mesh

Modular
Modular

 

On the next page we'll cover the features and specifications of the HALE90 V2 1000W PSU before we carry on and tear into it.

 


Features and Specs:

The following features and specifications on this new PSU are pretty detailed and NZXT includes more that just the basics.  If you need all the details, please head on over to the NZXT product page over here.

 

  • 80 Plus Gold Certification ensures efficiency levels up to 90%
  • Completely modular design with labeled back plate for easy installation and clean look
  • NZXT design element infused on the exterior/interior power supply with world’s first Innovative white and black PCB design for better isolation and identification
  • Patented Multiple Intelligence Ability Controller:MIA ICTMis designed for ultimate performance, eco-friendly, and improving lAC-DC power conversion
  • IFCT:The intelligent fan control technology is designed for better thermal solution
  • Powerful +5Vsb that supports motherboards with fast USB charging that can also power USB devices while PC is on standby
  • High quality Japanese Capacitor to promote longer lifespan and better reliability surpassing 5 year warranty
  • Strong single +12V rail that provides stability and ease of use with the ability to deliver clean currents under a heavy load
  • SLI and CrossFire Ready
  • 135mm Dual ball-bearing fan for smooth, silent rotation, and optimal air intake
  • Auto Range:AC main is from 90V to 264V and no need in tiny select switch.
  • Active PFC
  • Full protections for over voltage, current, power, temperature, under voltage, and short circuit protection
  • Safety Approvals for:UL / cUL / CB / TUV / CE / FCC / CCC / GOST-R / C-tick
  • Backed by a 5 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
  • Standard:Comply ATX 12V V2.31 and EPS 12V V2.92

80+ Gold Full Modular Power Supply
NZXT HALE Series power supplies delivers clean currents, refreshing design, and rock steady performance with eccentric design. We developed the HALE90 V2 with high attention-to-detail from the exterior to the interior PCB board. This is our first completely modular power supply with a patented process of multiple intelligence ability controller engineered for pure performance, eco-friendly, and improving IAC-DC power conversion that will ensure high efficiency levels up to 90% with the 80Plus Gold Certification.

 

Specifications:

Although this particular PSU claims that it can handle 1000W of power, NZXT is adamant that this is continuous load - not merely peak load like many other companies have rated their PSUs in the past.  If you do the math on this PSU you'll see that the 3.3v and 5v lines actually total 199.2W - not the mere 150W that they are rated.  Also the +12v line is very large at 83A which totals 996W 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 1216.2W.  NZXT is being pretty conservative with their 1000W rating.

Specs

 


Cables:

While the cables of a normal PSU aren't that exciting, the cables included with the NZXT HALE90 V2 1000W are pretty nice.  They are a flat-style cable that has 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 high-end system easily.

Cable Chart

Cable Bundle

That's a lot of cables

 

As mentioned previously, NZXT moved away from the PSU with a single-style of modular connector to the dual-type we find here.  All of the Molex and SATA cables have one style, whereas all the other connects for PCIe, CPU-Power and such all have the same connector.

Cables - Main Power
Cables - Main Power

Cables - PCIe
Cables - PCIe

   

Cables - Molex
Cables - Molex

Cables - SATA
Cables - SATA

 

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.

Inside - Profile
Inside - Profile

Inside - Other Profile
Inside - Other Profile

Heatsinks
Heatsinks

   

Inside - Coils
Inside - Coils

Inside - Rear PCB
Inside - Rear PCB

 

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.  As you can see, the fan covers pretty much the entire panel on the unit and this provides good cooling with low noise.

Inside Close-Up:

PCB Info
PCB Info

Trim Pots
Trim Pots

 

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 $1000 graphics card or $1000 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 1000W PSU on the next page.

 


Testing - 3W, 276W and 988W:

-12v Scope
-12v Scope

3.3v Scope
3.3v Scope

   

5v Scope
5v Scope

+12v Scope
+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 5.25mV ripple & noise measurement on the 3.3v rail, 12mV on the 5v rail and 28mV 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 V2 PSU stayed well within specifications on the rails.  The 5v line never strayed above 15mV while the 3.3v line stayed in the single digits in terms of ripple.  The +/- 12v lines stayed pretty clean, but the -12v line did wander a bit and topped out at 90mV - still well within specification.  This is a very solid result - even with a 988W load.

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

Average Voltage

Average Ripple

 

The voltage is very solid with the NZXT HALE90 V2 1000W PSU, and while most rails tend to be a bit on the high side, the biggest drop in voltage when a load is applied to any of the rails is 0.03v.  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 0.03v - again, incredible.  The +12v rail and -12v rails don't change a bit.  The only thing that I noticed amiss was the 3.3v rail which falls just short of 3.3v at 3.26v.  This is a difference of 0.04v - and certainly nothing to get excited about.

Conclusion:

The NZXT HALE90 V2 1000W PSU is in the middle of the road when it comes to NZXT's new V2 line of HALE90 PSUs as they range from 850W to a full 1200W, and are geared toward consumers with high-end PCs with two or more video cards.  Our test system included some pretty hefty hardware as well as an extra 12v load 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 very cool.  The hottest internal component reached 44°C when testing in our office with an ambient of 25°C.  It handled everything we threw at it without any issues at all.

Pros:

  • Low electrical noise
  • Rated at 1000W Continuous
  • Lots of peripheral and SATA connectors
  • Very stable with a very heavy load
  • 14cm fan is very quiet and cools well
  • Standard size should work in almost every system
  • Nice attractive finish
  • 5 Year Warranty

 

Cons:

  • -12v line is a little noisy

 

BCCRating

Gold

NZXT has a rock-solid PSU on their hands with the 1000W HALE90 V2 series PSU and it easily earns a "Gold" award here at BCCHardware for performance, quality and low noise.

If you have any questions, comments or general feedback - please post it in the forum at the link below.