Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W Power Supply Review
By Gabriel Torres on May 21, 2010


Introduction

Certain power supply series from Huntkey (like V-Power and Green Star) are labeled with their peak wattage instead of their continuous wattage. So far in our reviews only Titan 650 W (sold in the US as the first version of Best Buy’s Rocketfish 700 W) and Jumper 550 didn’t explode during our tests. We’ve already reviewed the 450 W version from Balance King series, which also exploded in a very unusual way. Let’s see if the 500 W model will survive our tests.

Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W power supply
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Figure 1: Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W power supply.

Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W power supply
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Figure 2: Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W power supply.

Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W is 5 ½” (140 mm) deep, using a 120 mm fan on its bottom.

It is very important to note that Balance King 5000 uses a different internal project from Balance King 4500: it comes with active PFC circuit, feature not available on the 450 W model. It, however, still uses the obsolete half-bridge topology, just like it happens with the 450 W model.

No modular cabling system is available and only the main motherboard cable has a nylon protection, that doesn’t come from inside the unit. The main motherboard cable and the ATX12V/EPS12V cable use 18 AWG wires, but all other wires (including the ones from the video card cables) are 20 AWG, i.e., thinner than the recommended. The cables included are:

The number of connectors is satisfactory for a 500 W product and this model has as an advantage over the 450 W model that the two video card power connectors are located on individual cables.

Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W power supply
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Figure 3: Cables.

Now let’s take an in-depth look inside this power supply.

A Look Inside The Huntkey Balance King 5000

We decided to disassemble this power supply to see what it looks like inside, how it is designed, and what components are used. Please read our Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies tutorial to understand how a power supply works and to compare this power supply to others.

This page will be an overview, and then in the following pages we will discuss in detail the quality and ratings of the components used. As explained, Balance King 5000 uses a design that is different from the one used on the 450 W model.

Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W power supply
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Figure 4: Overall look.

Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W power supply
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Figure 5: Overall look.

Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W power supply
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Figure 6: Overall look.

Transient Filtering Stage

As we have mentioned in other articles and reviews, the first place we look when opening a power supply for a hint about its quality, is its filtering stage. The recommended components for this stage are two ferrite coils, two ceramic capacitors (Y capacitors, usually blue), one metalized polyester capacitor (X capacitor), and one MOV (Metal-Oxide Varistor). Very low-end power supplies use fewer components, usually removing the MOV and the first coil. 

This power supply is flawless on this stage, providing all the required components, including the MOV’s, plus two additional Y capacitors and one additional X capacitor, plus another X capacitor after the rectifying bridge.

Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W power supply
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Figure 7: Transient filtering stage (part 1).

Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W power supply
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Figure 8: Transient filtering stage (part 2).

In the next page we will have a more detailed discussion about the components used in the Huntkey Balance King 5000.

Primary Analysis

On this page we will take an in-depth look at the primary stage of Huntkey Balance King 5000. For a better understanding, please read our Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies tutorial.

This power supply uses one T15XB80 rectifying bridge, which supports up to 15 A at 100° C if a heatsink is used – which is the case – but only 3.2 A at 25° C if a heatsink isn’t used. Here we saw a great advantage of Balance King 5000 over other units from Huntkey: most power supplies from this manufacturer we’ve reviewed use the same bridge, but without having a heatsink attached (including Balance King 4500). On Balance King 5000 the manufacturer fixed this problem. Curiously the models from this brand that we’ve tested and didn’t explode – Jumper 550 and Titan 650 W – are the only ones that have this component attached to a heatsink… Hum…

At 115 V this unit would be able to pull up to 1,725 W from the power grid; assuming 80% efficiency, the bridge would allow this unit to deliver up to 1,380 W without burning itself out. Of course we are only talking about this component and the real limit will depend on all other components from the power supply.

Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W power supply
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Figure 9: Rectifying bridge.

The two electrolytic capacitors of the voltage doubler circuit are from CapXon and rated at 85° C.

As mentioned, Balance King 5000 has an active PFC circuit. This circuit uses two 2SK2837 power MOSFETs, each one providing a maximum current of 20 A at 25° C in continuous mode, or up to 80 A at 25° C in pulse mode (unfortunately the manufacturer doesn’t say the maximum current at 100° C). These transistors present a typical resistance of 210 mΩ, which is a good number. The lower this number is, the better, meaning higher efficiency.

The active PFC circuit is controlled by an ICE2PCS01 PFC controller.

Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W power supply
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Figure 10: PFC controller.

Balance King 5000 uses two 2SC3320 power NPN transistors on its switching section using the obsolete half-bridge design, each one supporting up to 15 A at 25° C (unfortunately the manufacturer from these transistors do not say how much they can deliver at higher temperatures). These are the same transistors used on Balance King 4500, Green Star 550 W, V-Power 550 W and Titan 650 W (Rocketfish 700 W) from Huntkey. These transistors are more “powerful” than the ones used on the 350 W, 400 W and 450 W versions from Green Star power supplies.

Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W power supply
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Figure 11: Switching transistors, active PFC diode and one of the active PFC transistors.

The primary is controlled by an AZ7500 PWM controller, which is physically installed on the secondary.

Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W power supply
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Figure 12: PWM controller.

Now let’s take a look at the secondary of this power supply.

Secondary Analysis

Huntkey Balance King 5000 has six Schottky rectifiers attached to its secondary heatsink.

Since this power supply uses a half-bridge configuration to calculate the maximum theoretical current each output can deliver is easy: all we need to do is to add the maximum current supported by all diodes.

The +12 V output is produced by three of the available rectifiers. Two STPS30H100CT Schottky rectifiers are connected in parallel, each one supporting up to 30 A (15 A per internal diode at 155° C, 0.93 V maximum voltage drop). This gives a maximum theoretical current of 60 A or 720 W for the +12 V output (Balance King 4500 has two 20 A rectifiers here). The third Schottky rectifier, an STPS4045CW, has its two diodes connected as “freewheeling” diodes, a rather unusual configuration for a half-bridge power supply.

The +5 V output is produced by two STPS2045CT Schottky rectifiers connected in parallel, each one capable of delivering up to 20 A (10 A per internal diode at 155° C, 0.84 V maximum voltage drop), giving us a maximum theoretical current of 40 A or 200 W for the +5 V output. Here it is interesting to note that the 450 W model uses two 30 A rectifiers here, i.e., it has a higher maximum theoretical current/power.

The +3.3 V output is produced by one STPS4045CW, which can handle up to 40 A (20 A per internal diode at 130° C, maximum voltage drop of 0.94 V), which translates in a maximum theoretical power of 132 W. The 450 W model uses two 30 A rectifiers here, providing a maximum theoretical current/power.

All these numbers are theoretical. The real amount of current/power each output can deliver is limited by other components, especially by the coils used on each output.

Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W power supply
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Figure 13: +3.3 V rectifier, one of the +5 V rectifiers and the two +12 V rectifiers.

Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W power supply
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Figure 14: +12 V freewheeling rectifier and the other +5 V rectifier.

The monitoring circuit is built using three LM339 integrated circuits (each one has four voltage comparators inside).

Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W power supply
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Figure 15: Monitoring circuit.

The capacitors on the secondary are from Teapo and Fcon.

Power Distribution

In Figure 16, you can see the power supply label containing all the power specs.

Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W power supply
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Figure 16: Power supply label.

If you pay attention on this label, Huntkey is saying that this unit is labeled at 25° C and presents a de-rating factor of 1.2 W per Celsius degree, which translates to 470 W at 50° C. Finally Huntkey is doing something to end up with their dishonest labeling methods.

This power supply has four +12 V virtual rails. The monitoring circuit seems to support over current protection (OCP), as we could clearly see four “shunts” (current sensors) on the printed circuit board (Figure 17), a clear indication that this feature was present.

Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W power supply
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Figure 17: Current sensors for the four +12 V rails.

The rails are distributed like this:

Notice that the two video card power cables use wires with the same color but are installed on different rails.

This distribution is perfect, as it put the CPU and the video cards on separated rails.

Now let’s see if this power supply can really deliver 500 W.

Load Tests

We conducted several tests with this power supply, as described in the article Hardware Secrets Power Supply Test Methodology.  

First we tested this power supply with five different load patterns, trying to pull around 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100% of its labeled maximum capacity (actual percentage used listed under “% Max Load”), watching how the reviewed unit behaved under each load. In the table below we list the load patterns we used and the results for each load.

If you add all the power listed for each test, you may find a different value than what is posted under “Total” below. Since each output can vary slightly (e.g., the +5 V output working at +5.10 V), the actual total amount of power being delivered is slightly different than the calculated value. On the “Total” row we are using the real amount of power being delivered, as measured by our load tester.

The +12VA and +12VB inputs listed below are the two +12 V independent inputs from our load tester. During this test the +12VA input were connected to the power supply +12V1 and +12V3 rails, while the +12VB input was connected to the power supply +12V2 rail.

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

4 A (48 W)

7.5 A (90 W)

11 A (132 W)

14 A (168 W)

17.5 A (210 W)

+12VB

3 A (36 W)

7 A (84 W)

10.5 A (126 W)

14 A (168 W)

17.5 A (210 W)

+5V

1 A (5 W)

2 A (10 W)

4 A (20 W)

6 A (30 W)

8 A (40 W)

+3.3 V

1 A (5 W)

2 A (6.6 W)

4 A (13.2 W)

6 A (19.8 W)

8 A (26.4 W)

+5VSB

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

1.5 A (7.5 W)

2 A (10 W)

2.5 A (12.5 W)

-12 V

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

Total

104.8 W

203.2 W

305.0 W

399.5 W

500.1 W

% Max Load

21.0%

40.6%

61.0%

79.9%

100.0%

Room Temp.

44.5° C

44.6° C

45.8° C

48.4° C

46.0° C

PSU Temp.

50.7° C

50.8° C

51.9° C

54.5° C

48.7° C

Voltage Regulation

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Ripple and Noise

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

AC Power

136.2 W

253.2 W

379.3 W

503.5 W

645.0 W

Efficiency

76.9%

80.3%

80.4%

79.3%

77.5%

AC Voltage

114.0 V

112.8 V

111.3 V

110.3 V

108.4 V

Power Factor

0.993

0.997

0.998

0.998

0.998

Final Result

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Huntkey Balance King 5000 could really deliver its labeled wattage at high temperatures (and even more than that, as we will talk about in the next page).

The only problem with this power supply was efficiency, which was above 80% only when we pulled between 40% and 60% from its labeled wattage (i.e., between 200 W and 300 W).

Voltage regulation was outstanding, with all voltages within 3% from their nominal values (except -12 V output during test one) – i.e., values closer to their “face value” than required, as the ATX12V specification allows voltages to be within 5% from their nominal values (10% for -12 V).

Noise and ripple levels were always very low. Below you can see the results for test five. The maximum allowed is 120 mV on +12 V and 50 mV on +5 V and +3.3 V. All these numbers are peak-to-peak figures.

Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W power supply
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Figure 18: +12VA input from load tester at 500.1 W (36.2 mV).

Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W power supply
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Figure 19: +12VB input from load tester at 500.1 W (35.8 mV).

Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W power supply
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Figure 20: +5 V rail with power supply delivering 500.1 W (11.4 mV).

Huntkey Balance King 5000 500 W power supply
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Figure 21: +3.3 V rail with power supply delivering 500.1 W (9.2 mV).

Now let’s see if this unit can deliver more than 500 W.

Overload Tests

Below you can see the maximum we could pull from Huntkey Balance King 5000. If we tried to pull more than that they unit would shut down, showing a protection kicking in – which is excellent. If you pay attention you will see that we lowered the current/power at +5 V and +3.3 V compared to test number five shown in the previous page. This was done because by lowering the current on these two outputs we could increase the current at the +12 V outputs and therefore achieve a higher total wattage.

Input

Overload Test

+12V1

23 A (276 W)

+12V2

23 A (276 W)

+5V

4 A (20 W)

+3.3 V

4 A (13.2 W)

+5VSB

1 A (12 W)

-12 V

0.5 A (6 W)

Total

588.0 W

% Max Load

120.64%

Room Temp.

45.8° C

PSU Temp.

49.0° C

AC Power

782.0 W

Efficiency

75.2%

AC Voltage

106.0 V

Power Factor

0.998

 

Main Specifications

Huntkey Balance King 5000 power supply specs include:

Conclusions

Differently from its 450 W sister, Huntkey Balance King 5000 could deliver its labeled wattage without exploding. In fact we could pull up to 588 W from it. Nice.

This happened because it uses a different internal project. Interesting enough the rectifiers used on the +5 V and +3.3 V outputs of the reviewed unit are “weaker” than the ones used on the 450 W model, but on the other hand the +12 V rectifiers are “stronger.” This change in our opinion was beneficial, as it better reflects the usage of a modern PC, where we pull more power/current from the +12 V outputs (since the CPU and the video cards are fed with +12 V).

Another thing Huntkey improved was the addition of the power supply real wattage on the power supply label, saying that this unit was labeled at 25° C and presenting the de-rating factor (1.2 W per Celsius degree). It should put this information on the box and on their website as well.

Voltage regulation was outstanding, with all voltages within 3% from their nominal values (except -12 V output during test one) – i.e., values closer to their “face value” than required, as the ATX12V specification allows voltages to be within 5% from their nominal values (10% for -12 V).

Noise and ripple levels were always very low.

The problem with this unit? Efficiency. It could achieve efficiency above 80% only while we pulled between 200 W and 300 W from it and therefore we can’t recommend it. But at least this model doesn’t offer any risk of use: if you bought one you don’t need to be afraid of this power supply being overloading components.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Huntkey-Balance-King-5000-500-W-Power-Supply-Review/1004


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