Xigmatek NRP-PC502 500W Power Supply Review

paulktreg - 2009-06-21 16:27:09 in Power Supplies
Category: Power Supplies
Reviewed by: paulktreg   
Reviewed on: July 21, 2009
Price: EST.$85.00 USD

Introduction:

A quick look around at some of the more popular online retailers shows power supplies around the 500W mark to be the most popular, at least by the quantities offered in that particular wattage bracket. Not everybody needs a 1500W nuclear power station inside their PC, and a good quality 500W unit will run most single graphic card gaming PCs with a standard set of components:  motherboard, processor, RAM, single hard drive, single optical drive,  and a cooling fan or two. Personally, if anybody asks for advice on which power supply to use then I probably wouldn't recommend anything lower than a 500W power supply, whatever the system, because the price difference between a good quality 380W unit and a 500W unit is now so low. It's down to personal choice at the end of the day, and if a there's a good looking power supply that's within your budget and able to provide the power you need, be it 500W or 1500W, then don't let anybody put you out of buying it. Let's face it, if everybody bought the power supply they needed rather than wanted, the market for high wattage power supplies would be severely limited.

Xigmatek are perhaps better known for their quality processor coolers, but they also offer a range of enclosures, cooling fans and power supplies. I have already had a look at the Xigmatek NRP-PC402 400W power supply, and this time around I'm having a look at its big brother, the Xigmatek NRP-PC502 500W unit.

According to the Xigmatek website, the company philosophy is "Impressive, Creative and Essential", or ICE, for short.  Will the Xigmatek NRP-PC502 impress me? Let's put it through its paces and find out.

 

Closer Look:

Basic packaging with recycled materials is used and not a full color glossy photograph in sight. The box top shows a photograph of the power supply with a forest growing inside it ,along with an 80 Plus Bronze logo and icons to illustrate the power supply safety and product features. On the underside of the box is an explanation of how much energy can be saved using the Xigmatek NRP-502 against a similar power supply of only 75% efficiency. A pictorial illustration gives the types of connectors available on the power supply with cable lengths. The only difference you will see between the Xigmatek 400W and 500W variants is the glossy sticker, showing wattage, in the bottom right hand corner of the top face.

 

 

Feature list and fan noise against loading graphs for the 400W and 500W versions are shown on the front and rear of the box.

 

 

Specification table for both the 400W and 500W variants is on one side, and on the opposite face a small orange sticker to indicate that this is a Xigmatek NRP-PC502 500W unit.

 

 

Lift the lid and you'll see the power supply in a carrying bag with the accessories to the side.

 

 

The power supply comes in a black drawstring bag.The accessories included are a power cable, mounting screws, a manual, and a letter from Xigmatek.

 

 

Pretty basic unit and packaging, but everything you should need.

 

Closer Look:

The Xigmatek NRP-502 power supply with its grey metallic finish and cables neatly held with a Velcro strap:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honeycombed exhaust grill, mains on/off switch and IEC mains input on the rear and extra exhaust ports on the front face along with cable exit port are shown below. There is no grommet fitted to the cable exit port, but the edges are folded over so there is no chance of any cable damage. I would like to point out once again that the mesh cable sleeving goes all the way into the unit.

 

 

The only difference between the Xigmatek NRP-502 500W unit and its smaller 400W brother is the specification label.

 

 

On the bottom of the NRP-PC502 is a large cooling fan, sure to do its part in keeping the internal components cool, as well as helping exhaust warm air from the chassis. The top side does not feature any venting to help with removing the heated air inside the PSU.

 

 

This power supply is a non modular design. As such, all of the cables are hardwired to the printed circuit board inside the PSU. An added bonus is the fact that all of the cables are sleeved, not just the 24-pin and 8-pin connections.

 

The large cooling fan is manufactured by Young Lin Tech and is 135mm in diameter. An internal photograph of the tidy, well laid out printed circuit boardis below. The printed circuit board looks identical to the one fitted in the 400W variant, but without closer inspection involving component removal it's hard to say whether any changes have been made.

 

 

Once again this Xigmatek unit is well made, so lets move on and have a look at the specification and features.

 

Specification:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ratings Table:

 

Electrical Specification
AC Input
100V~240V     8A/5A    47Hz~63Hz
DC Output
+3.3V
+5V
+12V1
+12V2
-12V
+5VSB
Max Output Current
24A
15A
20A
20A
0.3A
2.5A
Max Combined Wattage
120W
444W(37A)
3.6W
12.5W
500W

 

System Protection:

 

Over Current Protection
Not over 240VA for every output voltage
Over Voltage Protection
DC Rail
Trigger Point
+3V3
4.5V Max
+5V
7.0V Max
+12V
15.6V Max
Short Circuit Protection
All output to ground

 

Safety & Agency Approvals:

 

CE, FCC, TUV, UL and RoHS compliant.

 

Power Supply Weight:

 

Power Supply Weight
Manufacturer/Model
Weight
Xigmatek NRP-PC502
2.0kg
4.4lbs

 

Power Supply Connectors:

 

Power Supply Connectors

20+4 Pin Motherboard
Hard Wired
1
4+4 Pin ATX12V/EPS 12V
Hard Wired
1
4 Pin Peripheral
Hard Wired
6
SATA Power
Hard Wired
4
FDD 4 Pin
Hard Wired
2
PCI-E 6 Pin
Hard Wired
1
PCI-E 6+2 Pin
Hard Wired
1

 

Power Supply Cable Lengths:

 

Power Supply Cable Lengths
Hard Wired
PSU > 18” > 20+4 Pin Motherboard
1
Hard Wired
PSU > 18” > 4+4 Pin ATX12V/EPS 12V
1
Hard Wired
PSU > 18” > Peripheral > 6” > Peripheral > 6” > Peripheral > 6” > FDD
2
Hard Wired
PSU > 18” > SATA > 6” > SATA > 6” > SATA > 6” > SATA
1
Hard Wired
PSU > 18” > PCI-E 6 Pin
1
Hard Wired
PSU > 18” > PCI-E 6+2 Pin
1

 

Features:

 

Exactly as printed on the box.

 

 

Testing:

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

Electrical Safety:

 

Electrical Safety Test Class 1
Manufacturer/Model
Pass/Fail
Xigmatek NRP-PC502
Pass

 

Short Circuit Protection:

I short circuited the 3V3, 5V0 and both 12V lines in turn. The power supply did shut down, and once the short was removed and the unit switched off for at least one second, it 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:

 

Mains Input Voltage 110VAC

 

 

DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
AC Supply = 110V / DC Load = 0W
PSU DC Rail
Measured Voltage(V)
3V3
3.36
5V0
5.02
12V1
12.18
12V2
12.18
-12V
11.71
5VSB
5.07

 

DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
AC Supply = 110V / DC Load = 110W (22% of Rated Maximum Output Power)
PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.37
3.06
10.31
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
4.98
4.44
22.11
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.30
2.60
31.98
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.29
2.59
31.83
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
11.34
0.34
3.86
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
5.0
2.02
10.10
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
TOTAL POWER SUPPLY DC LOAD =
110W
 

 

DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
AC Supply = 110V / DC Load = 259W (52% of Rated Maximum Output Power)
PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.35
7.66
25.66
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.01
4.45
22.29
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.16
8.04
97.77
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.19
8.15
99.35
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
11.42
0.34
3.88
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
5.00
2.02
10.10
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
TOTAL POWER SUPPLY DC LOAD =
259W
 

 

DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
AC Supply = 110V / DC Load = 471W (94% of Rated Maximum Output Power)
PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.35
11.19
37.49
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
4.91
14.56
71.49
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.48
14.07
175.59
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.44
13.85
172.29
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
11.72
0.36
4.23
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
5.00
2.02
10.10
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
TOTAL POWER SUPPLY DC LOAD =
471W
 

 

Mains Input Voltage 230VAC

 

 

DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
AC Supply = 230V / DC Load = 0W
PSU DC Rail
Measured Voltage(V)
3V3
3.36
5V0
5.02
12V1
12.17
12V2
12.17
-12V
11.71
5VSB
5.07

 

DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
AC Supply = 230V / DC Load = 110W (22% of Rated Maximum Output Power)
PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.37
3.05
10.28
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
4.98
4.46
22.21
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.30
2.61
32.10
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.29
2.59
31.83
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
11.34
0.34
3.85
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
5.00
2.02
10.10
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
TOTAL POWER SUPPLY DC LOAD =
110W
 

 

DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
AC Supply = 230V / DC Load = 259W (52% of Rated Maximum Output Power)
PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.36
7.68
25.80
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.00
4.45
22.25
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.18
8.03
97.80
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.18
8.12
98.90
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
11.42
0.34
3.88
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
5.00
2.02
10.10
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
TOTAL POWER SUPPLY DC LOAD =
259W
 

 

DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
AC Supply = 110V / DC Load = 471W (94% of Rated Maximum Output Power)
PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.35
11.25
37.69
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
4.92
14.55
71.59
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.49
14.13
176.48
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.45
13.76
171.31
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
11.71
0.34
3.98
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
5.00
2.02
10.10
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
TOTAL POWER SUPPLY DC LOAD =
471W
 

 

The DC voltage load regulation of the Xigmatek NRP-PC502 was acceptable and all rails remained within the limits set out in the ATX12V V2.2 specification up to a 471W load. The performance could be better however, with the -12V rail a little on the low side at light loading, and the +12V rails approaching the maximum limit when loaded at 471W.

 

Testing (Continued):

Efficiency and Power Factor:

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Output & Efficiency @ 110VAC
DC Load (W)
AC Load (W)
PF
Efficiency (%)
Pass/Fail
0
6
0.40
N/A
N/A
110
133
0.99
83
Pass
259
303
0.99
85
Pass
471
589
0.99
80
Pass

 

Output & Efficiency @ 230VAC
DC Load (W)
AC Load (W)
PF
Efficiency (%)
Pass/Fail
0
7
0.21
N/A
N/A
110
129
0.88
85
Pass
259
298
0.93
87
Pass
471
562
0.96
84
Pass

 

In order to meet the requirements of the 80 Plus Bronze standard, the power supply must run with a power factor of 0.9 at 50% loading and an efficiency of 82% at 20%, 85% at 50% and 82% at 100% loading. All 80 Plus testing is done at 115VAC and 60Hz, probably due to the fact that it is a USA-based organization and all power supplies I have tested at 115VAC/60Hz will usually result in a pass at 230VAC/50Hz.

The Xigmatek doesn't quite make the mark following the OCC testing methodology, but it's close, missing the 80 Plus Bronze requirements by two percent at 471W loading at 110VAC. I would expect most good quality power supplies to maintain their power factor at or above 0.9 for any load above 20% of their rated maximum. It's disappointing to see a power factor of 0.88 at 110W loading on 230VAC, but it meets the ATX12V V2.2, so technically speaking it's still a pass. Putting its claimed 80 Plus Bronze certification aside, these results are still very good.

 

AC Ripple On DC Outputs:

 

I have consistently found the AC ripple levels on the DC rails to be more or less equal with a 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 they differ in any way.

 

AC Ripple On 3V3 Rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 50mv/div, Timebase = 10uS/div

 

AC Ripple On 5V0 Rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude =50mv/div, Timebase = 10uS/div

 

AC Ripple On 12V1 Rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 100mv/div, Timebase = 10uS/div

 

AC Ripple/Noise
DC Rail
+3V3
+5V0
+12V
-12V0
+5VSB
Ripple (mV p-p)
200
150
150
200
80

 

The DC quality of the Xigmatek NRP-PC502 could be better, as it had far higher than permitted levels on all the rails according to the ATX12V V2.2 specification (3V3=50mV, 5V0=50mV, +12V=120mV, -12V=120mV and +5VSB=50mV).

 

Testing(Continued):

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.

 

 

 

Temperature & Fan Speeds
DC Loading
Temp In (°C)
Temp Out (°C)
Δ Temp (°C)
Fan Speed (RPM)
0W
Not Tested
Not Tested
N/A
992
110W
23.0
27.4
4.4
1069
259W
23.1
29.6
6.5
1178
471W
23.6
35.2
11.6
1344

 

 

The Xigmatek NRP-PC502 remained cool and quiet throughout testing, but it wasn't installed in a case, so please take this into account. I have included the graph on the side of the box for reference. It's 1700RPM at 100% loading is probably a more realistic figure, but even at this speed, it will be quieter than most power supplies in this class, helped no doubt by the high efficiency, large cooling fan and low wattage.

 

Conclusion:

Environmental Factors:

The Xigmatek NRP-PC502 goes out of its way to push its green credentials. Its relatively plain packaging using recycled materials and the high efficiency of the unit itself go some way to saving the planet, and the manufacturer explains why on the underside of the box. The NRP-PC502 at 250W loading will require 294W of input power and hence waste 44W as heat. A typical 75% efficient power supply, it goes on to explain, will require 333W of input power for the same 250W output and waste 83W as heat. Furthermore, if you use the NRP-PC502 instead of a typical 75% efficient power supply for two hours per day, you will save 23360W in a year, reduce 14.6kg C02 release, and save 1.26 forty year old trees. The same claim is made for the 400W and 500W versions. Many other high end power supplies could make the same claims, but at least Xigmatek are trying to bring it to our attention, which is commendable. However, environmentally unfriendly foam inserts to protect the power supply are used once again; why has nobody come up with a viable green alternative? And is the drawstring bag really necessary?

 

Price Per Watt:

Power Supply: Xigmatek NRP-PC502 500W at $85.00 = $0.17/Watt (July 2009)
(At the time of writing this review, I could not find a price for the Xigmatek NRP-PC502 in the USA, so the price given above is a conversion based on £49.00GBP and $113.00AUS).

I could only find this power supply available in Europe and Australia with no USA suppliers. The performance of the Xigmatek NRP-PC502 was average, it easily maintained the rails at the required voltage up to 471W loading and the efficiency was excellent (although, following the OCC testing methodology, it fell short of the 80 Plus Bronze mark). The ripple/noise levels are very disappointing and are at a level that is really unacceptable.

The Xigmatek NRP-PC502 power supply will probably be OK in an office/internet PC but not in a gaming or overclocking rig. There are far better 500W units available in this price bracket.

I am not going to say anymore about the Xigmatek NRP-PC502 500W but I can't help thinking, could it be identical to the NRP-PC402 400W version with a little too much asked of it?

 

Pros:

 

Cons: