NZXT HALE90 850w Review
Insides & Cables
No good PSU review is complete without the reviewer risking his life by pulling apart the unit and then attempting to put it back together again. Well, OK that's a bit of an over exaggeration, but in order to make the task of testing PSU's more exciting, thinking of them like ticking time bombs certainly helps keep the blood pumping. DON'T TOUCH THE YELLOW AND BLACK WIRES...NOOOOO *BOOM*.
Ahem, anyway...Lifting off the lid gives us a birds-eye view of the internals where we can see that NZXT has paid special attention to the layout of the unit. All components are spaciously positioned, all cables are tightly bunched and there's no big blobs of glue or excessively sized heatsinks to hinder airflow.
Speaking of which, the 140mm white fan used inside the Hale has been craftily re-labeled with an NZXT sticker preventing me from digging up any specifications for the fan online. All I can tell you is that it runs on 12v and consumes 0.4A - great!
The capacitors on both the primary and secondary side of the Hale are, as promised, Japanese. More specifically they are manufactured by very highly regarded Nippon Chemicon and are rated at 105ºC. Wipe up the slobber PSU geeks.
The main transformer sits slap bang in the middle of the unit and is solely responsible for stepping down the mains power to a more manageable 12v. From there the NZXT Hale employs DC-DC converters that step down the voltage into +3.3v and +5v for the other rails. However, while most manufacturers tend to have two separate VRM 'daughterboards' for dealing with these voltage step-downs, NZXT have managed to integrate both of VRM's on to one daughterboard (above-right).
Mains input filtering is handled by a small PCB attached to the back of the inlet. Closer inspection reveals that it contains one X and two Y capacitors along with a ferrite coil. More than enough to prevent interference from the unit escaping back out to your mains circuit and visa versa. Additionally while poking around this area I also noticed a model number LLC-M-090612 printed on the PCB. A quick Google shows that this number is also present on the Super Flower Golden Green Pro PSU. Whoops did I just Let the cat out of the bag?
The modular connector system is quite unique in that every single connector is the same 8-Pin 'PCI-E Style' design. This essentially means that you can plug any cable into any connector without having to match colours or pin counts. Whether or not this is a good idea or not I'm not sure, as this does potentially mean you could have a massive amount of current being drawn from several high power components all plugged in over one side of the modular backplane, and nothing over the other.
|NZXT 850w Connectors|
|ATX Connector||Wired||1x 20+4 Pin|
|EPS-12v / P4-12v Connector(s)||Wired||1x 4+4 Pin / 1x 8-Pin|
|Floppy Disk Connectors||Modular||2x|
|SATA Connectors||Wired / Modular||2x / 8x|
|PCI-E Connectors||Modular||3x 6+2 Pin / 3x 6-Pin|
After Corsair nicked the idea of flat ribbon-style modular cables from Ultra (who probably stole the idea from someone else), every other manufacturer has since jumped on the bandwagon and started doing the same thing. Therefore it's no surprise that the NZXT also has these style modular cables too. But don't get me wrong - this is a good thing, as they are without doubt the easiest cables to 'stealth' inside a PC case and even look good on full show.
Anyway, let's waste no more time in getting this PSU on the bench for some serious testing..