NZXT HALE82 850 W Power Supply Review
By Gabriel Torres on November 29, 2011


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

The HALE82 is the latest power supply series from NZXT, available in 650 W, 750 W, and 850 W versions. These power supplies feature a modular cabling system, 80 Plus Bronze certification, and DC-DC design. Let’s see if you should consider the 850 W model.

The HALE82 units are manufactured by Seasonic, and are rebranded Seasonic M12II Bronze units. Keep in mind that the HALE90 units from NZXT are manufactured by a different company, Super Flower.

NZXT HALE82 850W
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Figure 1: NZXT HALE82 850 W power supply

NZXT HALE82 850W
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Figure 2: NZXT HALE82 850 W power supply

The NZXT HALE82 850 W is 6.3” (160 mm) deep, using a 120 mm ball bearing fan on its bottom (ADDA AD1212HB-A70GL).

As mentioned, this unit has a modular cabling system with six connectors, two for video cards or ATX12V/EPS12V power cables and four for peripheral and SATA power cables. Four cables are permanently attached to the power supply. This power supply comes with the following cables:

All wires are 18 AWG, which is the minimum recommended gauge.

The cable configuration is good for an 850 W power supply, with six video card power connectors (allowing the installation of three high-end video cards), two EPS12V connectors, and eight SATA power connectors. It would be a little better if the third SATA cable had three connectors instead of only two.

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Figure 3: Cables

Let’s now take an in-depth look inside this power supply.

A Look Inside the NZXT HALE82 850 W

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. 

On this page we will have an overall look, and then in the following pages we will discuss in detail the quality and ratings of the components used.

NZXT HALE82 850W
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Figure 4: Top view

NZXT HALE82 850W
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Figure 5: Front quarter view

NZXT HALE82 850W
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Figure 6: Rear quarter view

NZXT HALE82 850W
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Figure 7: The printed circuit board

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. 

In this stage, the NZXT HALE82 850 W power supply is impeccable, with two Y capacitors, one X capacitor, and one ferrite coil more than the minimum required.

NZXT HALE82 850W
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Figure 8: Transient filtering stage (part 1)

NZXT HALE82 850W
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Figure 9: Transient filtering stage (part 2)

On the next page, we will have a more detailed discussion about the components used in the NZXT HALE82 850 W.

Primary Analysis

On this page we will take an in-depth look at the primary stage of the NZXT HALE82 850 W. For a better understanding, please read our “Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies” tutorial.

This power supply uses two GBU806 rectifying bridges, attached to an individual heatsink. Each bridge supports up to 8 A at 100° C, so in theory, you would be able to pull up to 1,840 W from a 115 V power grid. Assuming 80% efficiency, the bridges would allow this unit to deliver up to 1,472 W without burning themselves out. Of course, we are only talking about this particular component. The real limit will depend on all the components combined in this power supply.

NZXT HALE82 850W
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Figure 10: Rectifying bridges

The active PFC circuit uses three FDP18N50 MOSFETs, each one supporting up to 18 A at 25° C or 10.8 A at 100° C in continuous mode (note the difference temperature makes), or 72 A at 25° C in pulse mode. These transistors present a 265 mΩ resistance when turned on, a characteristic called RDS(on). The lower the number is, the better, meaning that the transistor will waste less power, and the power supply will have a higher efficiency.

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Figure 11: The active PFC transistors

The output of the active PFC circuit is filtered by two 330 µF x 400 V Japanese electrolytic capacitors from Chemi-Con, labeled at 105° C. Since they are connected in parallel, they are equivalent to one 660 µF x 400 V capacitor.

In the switching section, two SPP24N60C3 MOSFETs are employed using the traditional two-transistor forward configuration. Each transistor supports up to 24.3 A at 25° C or 15.4 A at 100° C in continuous mode or 72.9 A at 25° C in pulse mode, with an RDS(on) of 160 mΩ.

NZXT HALE82 850W
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Figure 12: One of the switching transistors and the active PFC diode

The primary is controlled by a CM6802 PWM/active PFC combo controller.

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Figure 13: Active PFC/PWM controller

Let’s now take a look at the secondary of this power supply.

Secondary Analysis

The NZXT HALE82 850 W uses a DC-DC design on its secondary. This means that this unit is basically a +12 V power supply, with the +5 V and +3.3 V outputs generated by two small DC-DC converters installed on the main +12 V rail.

The +12 V output uses six SBR30A50CT Schottky rectifiers (30 A, 15 A per internal diode at 110° C, 0.55 V maximum voltage drop), which gives us a maximum theoretical current of 129 A or 1,543 W for this output, if all current/power were pulled from this output.

NZXT HALE82 850W
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Figure 14: The +12 V rectifiers

The +5 V and +3.3 V converters are located on a single daughterboard attached to the main printed circuit board. See Figures 15 and 16.

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Figure 15: The DC-DC converter

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Figure 16: The DC-DC converter

The DC-DC converter is managed by an APW7159 PWM controller and uses seven IPD060N03L G MOSFETs, each one supporting up to 50 A at 100° C in continuous mode or 350 A at 25° C in pulse mode, with an RDS(on) of 6 mΩ.

This power supply uses a PS223 monitoring integrated circuit, which supports over voltage (OVP), under voltage (UVP), and over current (OCP) protections. Even though this circuit features two +12 V OCP channels, the manufacturer decided to use only one of them, resulting in this unit having a single +12 V rail configuration.

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Figure 17: Monitoring circuit

The electrolytic capacitors that filter the outputs are also Japanese, from Chemi-Con, and are labeled at 105° C, as usual.

Power Distribution

Figure 18 shows the power supply label containing all the power specs.

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Figure 18: Power supply label

This power supply has a single +12 V rail, so there is not much to talk about here.

How much power can this unit really deliver? Let’s find out.

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 the behavior of the reviewed unit 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 powers listed for each test, you may find a different value than what is posted under “Total” below. Since each output can have a slight variation (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. In 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 and +12VB inputs were connected to the power supply’s single +12 V rail.

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

6 A (72 W)

13 A (156 W)

18.5 A (222 W)

25 A (300 W)

31 A (372 W)

+12VB

6 A (72 W)

12 A (144 W)

18.5 A (222 W)

25 A (300 W)

31 A (372 W)

+5 V

2 A (10 W)

4 A (20 W)

6 A (30 W)

8 A (40 W)

10 A (50 W)

+3.3 V

2 A (6.6 W)

4 A (13.2 W)

6 A (19.8 W)

8 A (26.4 W)

10 A (33 W)

+5VSB

1 A (5 W)

1.5 A (7.5 W)

2 A (10 W)

2.5 A (12.5 W)

3 A (15 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

172.6 W

347.5 W

509.1 W

681.3 W

850.1 W

% Max Load

20.3%

40.9%

59.9%

80.2%

100.0%

Room Temp.

46.4° C

45.5° C

45.8° C

46.8° C

46.8° C

PSU Temp.

44.3° C

45.8° C

46.8° C

48.2° C

51.8° C

Voltage Regulation

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Ripple and Noise

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

AC Power

202.6 W

401.6 W

593.3 W

808.0 W

1037.0 W

Efficiency

85.2%

86.5%

85.8%

84.3%

82.0%

AC Voltage

117.2 V

114.6 V

112.4 V

109.8 V

106.7 V

Power Factor

0.981

0.989

0.994

0.995

0.997

Final Result

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

The NZXT HALE82 850 W can really deliver its labeled wattage at high temperatures.

Efficiency was between 82.0% and 86.5%, matching 80 Plus Bronze efficiency at high temperatures. As you know by now, there are several power supplies with the 80 Plus Bronze certification out there that can’t present 82% efficiency at full load under high temperatures. This happens because the 80 Plus tests are conducted at 23° C. We test power supplies at a temperature of at least 45° C, and efficiency drops with temperature.

Voltage regulation was excellent, with all voltages closer to their nominal values than necessary (three percent regulation), except during test five, where the +3.3 V output dropped to +3.19 V, but still inside the allowed range. The ATX12V specification states that positive voltages must be within 5% of their nominal values, and negative voltages must be within 10% of their nominal values.

Let’s discuss the ripple and noise levels on the next page.

Ripple and Noise Tests

Voltages at the power supply outputs must be as “clean” as possible, with no noise or oscillation (also known as “ripple”). The maximum ripple and noise levels allowed are 120 mV for +12 V and -12 V outputs, and 50 mV for +5 V, +3.3 V and +5VSB outputs. All values are peak-to-peak figures. We consider a power supply as being top-notch if it can produce half or less of the maximum allowed ripple and noise levels.

The NZXT HALE82 850 W provided extremely low ripple and noise levels during all tests, as you can see in the table below.

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

7.8 mV

10.2 mV

12.0 mV

17.6 mV

28.8 mV

+12VB

8.4 mV

9.8 mV

11.6 mV

17.2 mV

32.2 mV

+5 V

5.4 mV

6.8 mV

6.6 mV

7.2 mV

9.6 mV

+3.3 V

6.8 mV

8.6 mV

8.6 mV

10.2 mV

11.0 mV

+5VSB

8.8 mV

11.8 mV

14.0 mV

14.8 mV

14.4 mV

-12 V

11.8 mV

14.8 mV

17.2 mV

22.2 mV

28.8 mV

Below you can see the waveforms of the outputs during test five.

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Figure 19: +12VA input from load tester during test five at 850.1 W (28.8 mV)

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Figure 20: +12VB input from load tester during test five at 850.1 W (32.2 mV)

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Figure 21: +5V rail during test five at 850.1 W (9.6 mV)

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Figure 22: +3.3 V rail during test five at 850.1 W (11.0 mV)

Let’s see if we can pull more than 850 W from this unit.

Overload Tests

Below you can see the maximum we could pull from this power supply. Pulling more than 31 A from each +12 V input from our load tester (i.e., more than 62 A) caused the unit to shut down. Since this was the configuration we used during our 850 W test, we could only increase current on the +5 V and +3.3 V rails. If we tried to pull more than what is described in the table below, the power supply shut down, showing that protections were in place. During this test, ripple and noise levels were still extremely low; however, the +5 V, +3.3 V, and +5VSB outputs were outside the tighter three percent regulation, at +4.84 V, +3.10 V, and +4.84 V, respectively. Under this extreme test, the +3.3 V output was below the minimum allowed (+3.135 V).

Input

Overload Test

+12VA

31 A (372 W)

+12VB

31 A (372 W)

+5 V

25 A (125 W)

+3.3 V

20 A (66 W)

+5VSB

3 A (15 W)

-12 V

0.5 A (6 W)

Total

951.4 W

% Max Load

111.9%

Room Temp.

45.8° C

PSU Temp.

52.4° C

AC Power

1,222 W

Efficiency

77.9%

AC Voltage

105.3 V

Power Factor

0.998

Main Specifications

The main specifications for the NZXT HALE82 850 W power supply include:

Conclusions

The new NZXT HALE82 850 W is a very good unit, with efficiency between 82% and 86.5%, voltages closer to their nominal values than necessary (three percent voltage regulation, except the +3.3 V output at full load), and extremely low noise and ripple levels. The cable configuration is good for an 850 W unit.

As already explained, the reviewed unit is a rebranded Seasonic M12II Bronze 850 W, and comes with a suggested price of USD 140, which is the same price of the original model from Seasonic. This is not a bad price tag, as usually online stores sell power supplies for less than its suggested price. Its main competitors include the XFX PRO 850 W XXX Edition, which is sold today for USD 155, and the Corsair TX850M, which has a suggested price of USD 150 and is sold at Newegg.com for USD 130.

NZXT is coming up with an advantage over the competitors, though: its “less than three” warranty service, where the brand promises to send you a replacement unit within three business days, with all shipping fees paid by them. If you provide your credit card number, they even ship the replacement unit right away, before they receive the defective unit back.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/NZXT-HALE82-850-W-Power-Supply-Review/1439


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