NZXT HALE90 750W Power Supply Review

paulktreg - 2010-11-11 13:16:40 in Power Supplies
Category: Power Supplies
Reviewed by: paulktreg   
Reviewed on: June 27, 2011
Price: $144.99

Introduction:

The 80 Plus performance specification requires certified power supplies to be at least 80% efficient or greater at 20%, 50% and 100% of their rated maximum output power whilst maintaining the power factor level above 0.9. The award scheme has been extended since the introduction of the basic 80 Plus accreditation with the addition of several more levels above and beyond what was originally required and now includes bronze, silver, gold and platinum levels with required efficiency levels as high as 94%. Platinum rated power supplies are rare but more and more manufacturers are now producing gold rated units with a maximum efficiency requirement of 90% at 50% loading.

The NZXT HALE90 750W power supply is such a unit. NZXT products are designed and engineered in the United States and manufactured overseas in China and Taiwan. Their product line, aimed at the PC enthusiast and gamer, includes enclosures, cooling fans, fan controllers, mice, power supplies and premium cables. Let’s have a closer look at the NZXT HALE90 750W power supply and see how well it performs.

Closer Look:

The NZXT HALE90 750W power supply packaging is predominately white with a little black, red and gold used to good effect. The front of the box contains a window through which the power supply fan and fan grill are visible along with the NZXT trademark, power supply wattage, model number and 5 year warranty logo. The front of the box also shows five features of the power supply, modular power, 100% Japanese capacitors, 12V single strong rail and 14 cm silent operation fan with a small picture to illustrate each with a 80 Plus Gold logo completing the set. The rear face of the box shows the specification table, connector types and quantities, photograph of the power supply cooling fan side and a comprehensive feature list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The top of the power supply box comes with a useful carry handle and on the bottom a shortened feature list is given in Chinese, Spanish, Russian, German, Japanese and French.

 

 

The side panels show the agency approval logos along with a couple of graphs to illustrate the power supply efficiency and fan noise levels.

 

 

Lift the lid; remove the user manual and the power supply with its captive cables securely tied sits next to the modular cable bag.

 

 

The power supply is contained in a plastic bag for added protection and the box contents which include a user manual, power cord, mounting screws and modular cable bag.

 

 

The NZXT HALE90 750W power supply is well packaged with a basic, but adequate set of accessories so let’s move on and have a closer look.

Closer Look:

The NXZT HALE90 750W power supply is the first white power supply I have seen and with the added contrast of the black fan grill looks great. I’m all for black power supplies personally, but here we have something different for the enthusiast that wants something out of the ordinary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The usual IEC mains input connector and mains on/off switch on the rear panel with a hexagonal holed exhaust grill utilizing all the remaining space. The captive cables are sleeved all the way into the power supply and exit the power supply through a grommet protected port to prevent damage to the cables from possible sharp metal edges; eight identical black modular cable connectors complete the picture on the front panel.

 

 

The specification label is mounted on one of the side panels whilst the only thing of note on the other is the NZXT logo stamped into the metal.

 

 

A small circular hologram sticker on the base of the power supply is something I’ve come across before and relates to a modular cable design patent held by Ultra Products. The large 140mm white cooling fan is covered with a black fan grill with the NZXT logo at its center.

 

 

The NZXT HALE90 750W power supply comes with two captive cables, a 20/24-pin motherboard connector and a 4+4-pin ATX12V/EPS12V connector, that at first glance appear to be longer than the norm. The modular connectors are labelled (except the 4-pin peripheral) and use flat ribbon type cables that are easier to work with when it comes to that all important cable management.

 

 

The 12V, 0.3A, 140mm white cooling fan is NZXT branded and I can’t see any information that would point to any particular manufacturer. The printed circuit board is neatly laid out and the build quality looks good. The heat sinks aren’t particularly large but this could be due to 80 Plus Gold efficiency in combination with a large 140mm fan.

 

 

The electrolytic capacitors are, as claimed, good quality Japanese components by Nippon Chemi-Con rated at the more welcome 105 °C working temperature.

 

 

The NZXT HALE90 750W power supply is a well packaged, well built unit, with a paint job that’s a little different - but how does it perform? Let’s move on and find out.

Specification:

 

Review Sample: NZXT HALE90 750W Power Supply, Part Number HALE90-750-M.

 

Ratings Table:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NZXT HALE90 750W (HALE90-750-M) Power Supply Specification Table
AC Input
115 - 240V     10A     50-60Hz
DC Output
+3.3V
+5.0V
+12V
-12V
+5VSB
Maximum Load
24A
24A
62A
0.5A
3A
Maximum Combined
Wattage
120 W
744 W
6 W
15W
750W

 

System Protection:

The only information given for system protection can be found in the feature list.

 

Safety & Agency Approvals:

FCC, TUV, C-Tick, CB & CE.

 

Power Supply Physical Characteristics:

 

NZXT HALE90 750W (HALE90-750-M) Power Supply Physical Characteristics
Weight
Length
Width
Height
4.95lbs/2.25kg
7.1in/180mm
5.9in/150mm
3.4in/87mm

 

Power Supply Connectors:

 

NZXT HALE90 750 W (HALE90-750-M) Power Supply Connectors
Connector Type
Qty
Motherboard 20/24-pin
1
EPS12V/ATX12V 4+4-pin
1
PCI-E 6-pin
2
PCI-E 6+2-pin
2
SATA Power 15-pin
8
Peripheral 4-pin
7
FDD 4-pin
1

 

Power Supply Cable Lengths:

 

NZXT HALE90 750 W (HALE90-750-M) Supply Cable Set
Cable Type
Cable Length/Connector Spacing’s
Qty
Captive
PSU > 22" > Motherboard 20/24-pin
1
Captive
PSU > 28" > EPS12V 8 Pin > 6 > ATX12V 4 pin
1
Modular
PSU > 22" > PCI-E 6-pin
2
Modular
PSU > 22" > PCI-E 6+2-pin
2
Modular
PSU > 22" > SATA > 6" > SATA > 6" > SATA > 6" > SATA
2
Modular
PSU > 22" > Peripheral > 6" > Peripheral > 6" > Peripheral > 6" > Peripheral
1
Modular
PSU > 22" > Peripheral > 6" > Peripheral > 6" > Peripheral > 6" > FDD
1

 

Features:

Exactly as printed in the user manual.

Testing:

For more information on how we test our power supplies, please browse our testing methodology.

Throughout the tables all passes will be highlighted with green text and failures in red.

 

Short Circuit Protection:

I short circuited the 3V3, 5V0 and the 12V rail(s) in turn. The power supply did shut down, and once the short was removed and the unit switched off for at least one second, resumed normal operation. Although listed here at the beginning of the testing section, I tend to leave this test until the very end, in case it doesn't quite go to plan.

 

DC Output Voltage Load Regulation:

In an ideal world the ATX power supply, or any other for that matter, should maintain its DC rails at a constant voltage but this is very difficult to achieve due to variations in the AC mains supply and changing DC load levels. The ATX12V V2.2 specification limits for this variation, expressed as a percentage, either side of the ideal voltage are given in the table below.
 
 
 
 

 

PSU Rail
Range
Minimum
Nominal
Maximum
+3V3
±5%
+3.14V
+3.30V
+3.47V
+5V
±5%
+4.75V
+5.00V
+5.25V
+12V
±5%*
+11.40V
+12.00V
+12.60V
-12V
±10%
-10.80V
-12.00V
-13.20V
+5VSB
±5%
+4.75V
+5.00V
+5.25V

 

*The +12V rail is permitted to go to ±10% at its rated maximum DC load.

There is no unit associated with voltage regulation, it is a simple ratio expressed as a percentage.

Voltage regulation VR= ([V no load – V full load] / V full load) x 100%

This equation is used to measure the voltage regulation of a simple single rail power supply but measuring the voltage regulation of the ATX power supply and the difference from the specified rail voltage will require a slightly different tack.

ATX Power Supply regulation = ([V measured - V specified] / V measured) x 100%

This will give the difference as a percentage from the specified rail voltage, +3.3V, +5V, +12V, etc.

There will be very few, if any, power supply failures in this section. The switched mode power supply is very good at maintaining its rail(s) at the correct voltage; they are constantly monitored and any changes are instantly fed back to the control circuitry and the necessary adjustments made to correct any error. So why test? The tighter the regulation the better, ±5% is acceptable, ±3% is very good and ±2% is excellent and the quality of the regulation is a useful indicator of the power supply’s overall quality.

 

Mains Input Voltage 110VAC

 

 

NZXT HALE90 750 W (HALE90-750-M) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 116VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
0
3.38V
±5%
+2.4%
+5V
0
5.14V
±5%
+2.7%
+12V
0
12.38V
±5%
+3.1%
-12V
0
11.99V
±10%
-0.1%
+5VSB
0
5.13V
±5%
+2.5%
Total PSU DC Loading = 0W (0% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

NZXT HALE90 750 W (HALE90-750-M) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 114VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
10.72W
3.37V
±5%
+2.1%
+5V
24.43W
5.11V
±5%
+2.1%
+12V
128.56W
12.35V
±5%
+2.8%
-12V
4.23W
11.76V
±10%
-2.0%
+5VSB
10.40W
5.00V
±5%
0
Total PSU DC Loading = 178W (24% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

NZXT HALE90 750 W (HALE90-750-M) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 113VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
10.72W
3.37V
±5%
+2.1%
+5V
24.37W
5.11V
±5%
+2.1%
+12V
331.08W
12.34V
±5%
+2.7%
-12V
4.24W
11.77V
±10%
-1.9%
+5VSB
10.42W
5.01V
±5%
+0.2%
Total PSU DC Loading = 381W (51% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

NZXT HALE90 750 W (HALE90-750-M) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 112VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
41.15W
3.30V
±5%
0
+5V
70.57W
4.98V
±5%
-0.4%
+12V
610.53W
12.24V
±5%
+2.0%
-12V
4.27W
11.86V
±10%
-1.2%
+5VSB
10.06W
4.91V
±5%
-1.8%
Total PSU DC Loading = 737W (98% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Mains Input Voltage 230VAC

 

 

NZXT HALE90 750 W (HALE90-750-M) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 244VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
0
3.38
±5%
+2.4%
+5V
0
5.14
±5%
+2.7%
+12V
0
12.38
±5%
+3.1%
-12V
0
12.00
±10%
0
+5VSB
0
5.13
±5%
+2.5%
Total PSU DC Loading = 0W (0% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

NZXT HALE90 750 W (HALE90-750-M) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 242VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
10.65W
3.37V
±5%
+2.1%
+5V
24.32W
5.11V
±5%
+2.1%
+12V
128.32W
12.35V
±5%
+2.8%
-12V
4.24W
11.77V
±10%
-1.9%
+5VSB
10.40W
5.00V
±5%
0
Total PSU DC Loading = 178W (24% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

NZXT HALE90 750 W (HALE90-750-M) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 239VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
10.68W
3.37V
±5%
+2.1%
+5V
24.27W
5.11V
±5%
+2.1%
+12V
330.49W
12.35V
±5%
+2.8%
-12V
4.24W
11.77V
±10%
-1.9%
+5VSB
10.42W
5.01V
±5%
+0.2%
Total PSU DC Loading = 380W (51% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

NZXT HALE90 750 W (HALE90-750-M) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 239VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
40.59W
3.30V
±5%
0
+5V
69.82W
4.98V
±5%
-0.4%
+12V
606.73W
12.23V
±5%
+1.9%
-12V
4.26W
11.86V
±10%
-1.2%
+5VSB
10.08W
4.92V
±5%
-1.6%
Total PSU DC Loading = 731W (97% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

The NZXT HALE90 750W power supply maintained it's DC rails well within the limits set down by the ATX12V V2.2 specification at all times. No problems here so let's move on.

Testing:

Efficiency and Power Factor:

Efficiency is a measure of the ATX power supplies ability to minimize losses during the conversion of the AC mains voltage into multiple DC rails. It is a simple ratio of output power measured in watts over input power measured in watts expressed as a percentage. It has no affect whatsoever on the power supply’s ability to power a PC but with higher efficiency comes less heat and lower utility bills; it’s also “green” and friendlier to the environment which is the driving force behind the 80 Plus certification program.

Power factor is a strange beast that’s difficult to fully explain without the use of complex AC theory, so let’s keep it simple. Power factor doesn’t have a unit of measurement - it’s a simple number from 0 to 1 that is concerned with the way various loads consume power and the nearer to unity the better. It is closely linked to 80 Plus certification because low power factors imply wasted energy that the normal domestic consumer does not get charged for but the utility companies still have to generate.

Supply at 110VAC:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NZXT HALE90 750W (HALE90-750-M) Efficiency & Power Factor
Supply = 110VAC/50Hz
DC Load (W)
0
178
381
737
DC Load As A Percent Of Max (%)
N/A
24
51
98
Efficiency (%)
N/A
87
89
84
Power Factor (PF)
0.74
0.98
0.99
0.99

 

Whilst not quite hitting the 90% mark following the OCC power supply testing methodology, the NZXT HALE90 750W power supply still produced a creditable 89% efficiency at 51% DC loading. The efficiency of 84% at or near full load is a little under the specified level of 87% but the power factor levels are maintained well above the 0.9 level required by 80 Plus. A pretty good set of results that compare well with other power supplies in this class.

 

Supply at 230VAC:

 

 

NZXT HALE90 750W (HALE90-750-M) & Power Factor
Supply = 230VAC/50Hz
DC Load (W)
0
178
380
731
DC Load As A Percent Of Max (%)
N/A
24
51
97
Efficiency (%)
N/A
88
91
85
Power Factor (PF)
0.35
0.92
0.97
0.98

 

Nothing out of the ordinary here yet again with improved efficiency, an excellent 91% at 51% DC loading, and slightly lower power factor levels when powered from 230VAC.

 

AC Ripple On DC Outputs:

 

I have consistently found the AC ripple levels on the DC rails to be more or less equal with an 110VAC or 230VAC mains supply. The results given below are for 230VAC only but I will continue to check the levels at 110VAC during testing and publish them below if there are any significant differences.

 

AC ripple/noise on the +3V3 rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 2mv/div, Timebase = 20uS/div

 

AC ripple/noise on the +5V0 rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 2mv/div, Timebase = 20uS/div

 

AC ripple/noise on the +12V rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 2mv/div, Timebase = 20uS/div

 

AC ripple/noise on the -12V rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 2mv/div, Timebase = 20uS/div

 

AC ripple/noise on the +5VSB rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 2mv/div, Timebase = 20uS/div

 

NZXT HALE90 750W (HALE90-750-M) Efficiency AC Ripple/Noise
Supply = 230VAC/50Hz DC Loading = 731W
DC Rail
+3V3
+5V0
+12V
-12V0
+5VSB
ATX12 Max (mV p-p)
50
50
120
120
50
Ripple (mV p-p)
9
10
12
7
7
Pass/Fail
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass

The NZXT HALE90 750W power supply performed very well in this section with low levels of AC ripple/noise on all its rails.

Testing:

Temperature, Noise Levels and Fan Speeds:

I am not going to give a pass or fail in this section, as the ATX12V V2.2 does not really have any references on which to base a decision.

Temperatures are purely for information only, as there are too many variables involved when installed in a case, which, by the way, it wasn't. Ambient temperature, processor cooling efficiency and case cooling fans all play their part on the temperature of the air entering the power supply, and consequently the temperature of the air leaving it. No valid conclusions can be made from this test.

 

NZXT HALE90 750W (HALE90-750-M) Temperature & Fan Speeds
Supply = 110VAC/230VAC
DC Loading(W)
Temp In (°C)
Temp Out (°C)
Δ Temp (°C)
Fan Speed (RPM)
0
N/A
N/A
N/A
674/670
178/178
20.9/21.2
28.1/28.1
7.2/6.9
674/677
381/380
21.0/21.6
33.8/32.2
12.8/10.6
679/678
737/731
22.5/22.0
46.1/42.7
23.6/20.7
680/702

The NZXT HALE90 750W power supply was quiet throughout testing thanks in no small part to a fan that remained at 670~700RPM from zero to full load which produced temperatures across the power supply that are on the high side. More about this later.

Conclusion:

 

Price Per the Watt:

Power Supply NZXT HALE90 750W at $144.99 = $0.19/Watt (06-2011)

 

The NZXT HALE90 750W power supply produced good quality DC rails with very little AC ripple/noise. The efficiency wasn't quite up the level required by the 80 Plus Gold standard following the OCC power supply testing methodology, but most power supplies seem to fall a little short in this department. (I can't exactly replicate the rail loading levels used during 80 Plus testing so it's probably the methodology rather than the power supplies). The NZXT HALE90 750W power supply did reach 91% efficiency (230VAC) which is still up there with other power supplies in its class claiming 80 Plus Gold efficiency.

The NZXT HALE90 750W power supply got a little warm during testing thanks to a cooling fan that remained at or around 700 RPM at all times. I've come across this same behaviour very recently and on investigation the Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W and the NZXT HALE90 750W are based on the same Super Flower design. The introduction of a little warm air into the NZXT HALE90 750W power supply, like the Sentey, caused the cooling fan speed to ramp up to 1400 RPM.

The NZXT HALE90 750W power supply produced good quality DC across all the rails with high efficiency. The build quality is good and I'm sure the white finish won't be to everyone's taste, but it's certainly different and I have no hesitation in awarding it a OCC Gold award.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: