NZXT HALE90 850w Review
So, here we are. It's time to sum up everything we've seen over the past few pages and try to draw some kind of bottom line conclusion on whether the NZXT Hale 850w is a wolf in sheeps clothing, or just a sheep abused by its farmer.
Starting with the obvious - it's painted white. The finish is certainly good and the colour is crisp and clean rather than the 'smokers ceiling' kind of white that I was expecting. However, given that the PSU is often one of the most hot and dusty parts of a PC system I'll be very interested to see just how the unit looks after a few years of service.
Then there's the performance. The efficiency is certainly up at the top of the scale with over 90% being recorded across all of the standard tests. The only thing that really lets the unit down is the performance of the +3.3v and +5v rails in both the voltage and ripple tests. Yes they're well within ATX specifications, but here at OC3D we're always on the lookout for the 'best', and unfortunately the NZXT Hale delivers little more than mediocrity. The +12v rail however is very strong and paved the way for us to push the unit up to a whopping 1088w in the max load test.
This is where I owe NZXT an official OC3D apology. Due to a mis-calculation with the load levels during the PSU testing, the HALE90 was stressed well above its rated output on the +3.3v and +5v rails. This caused a massive increase in the ripple results for the said rails, and a rather negative conclusion to the review from me. HOWEVER, after the issue was pointed out by a member of our forums, the PSU was re-rested on 3/10 and the results 2nd time round are MUCH better.
Efficiency levels increased to 93% at medium load levels, the +5v and +3.3v rails became much more stable and the ripple results from all rails was among the best for any PSU we've tested on OC3D to date. Add this to the fact that the NZXT is capable of holding a massive 1088w load and we have one extremely strong PSU regardless of its colour. At £152 over at Scan, it may be on the expensive side, but if you're after a PSU for your white PC case that doesn't compromise on performance. The HALE90 850w is right up your street.
The bottom line I guess, is that the NZXT Hale 850w is a great choice for those of you looking for a white PSU to match up with your modified PC. It gets the job done, it's not going to declare war on your PC components and it can deliver plenty more juice than its rated output if you ever happen to upgrade your rig. However, if you can make do with a black PSU, then the £152 that Scan are asking for the 850w Hale could potentially be better spent elsewhere.
- Crisp white finish.
- 12v Output is pretty stable.
- Can deliver up to 1088w!
- Over 90% efficiency at all loads.
- Plenty of modular cables.
- Excellent ripple suppression on all rails.
- +3.3v could be a tad more stable.