NZXT HALE82 N 650 W Power Supply Review
By Gabriel Torres on June 5, 2012


Introduction

NZXT is releasing today a new power supply series, the HALE82 N, comprised of three models: 550 W, 650 W, and 750 W – all with the 80 Plus Bronze certification. The main external difference between the “N” and the regular HALE82 series is that the “N” line-up doesn’t have a modular cabling system. Internally, the original HALE82 uses a DC-DC design in its secondary, while the “N” version uses a regular design with Schottky rectifiers, which result in it costing less than the original HALE82.

NZXT HALE82 N 650 W power supply
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Figure 1: NZXT HALE82 N 650 W power supply

NZXT HALE82 N 650 W power supply
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Figure 2: NZXT HALE82 N 650 W power supply

The NZXT HALE82 N 650 W is 5.5” (140 mm) deep, using a 120 mm ball bearing fan on its bottom (Yate Loon D12BH-12).

The reviewed power supply doesn’t have a modular cabling system. All cables are protected with nylon sleeves that come from inside the unit. This power supply comes with the following cables:

All wires are 18 AWG, which is the minimum recommended gauge. We think that the use of eight-pin connectors on the video card power cables is a drawback, as you won’t be able to install two video cards that require two six-pin connectors each. The short distance between the SATA and peripheral power connectors may also be a problem.

NZXT HALE82 N 650 W power supply
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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 N 650 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 N 650 W power supply
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Figure 4: Top view

NZXT HALE82 N 650 W power supply
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Figure 5: Front quarter view

NZXT HALE82 N 650 W power supply
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Figure 6: Rear quarter view

NZXT HALE82 N 650 W power supply
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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. 

Even though this power supply has one X capacitor and two Y capacitors more than the minimum required, it doesn’t have an MOV, which is the component in charge of absorbing spikes coming from the power grid.

NZXT HALE82 N 650 W power supply
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Figure 8: Transient filtering stage (part 1)

NZXT HALE82 N 650 W power supply
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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 N 650 W.

Primary Analysis

On this page we will take an in-depth look at the primary stage of the NZXT HALE82 N 650 W. For a better understanding, please read our “Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies” tutorial.

This power supply uses two GBU806 rectifying bridges connected in parallel, which are 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 N 650 W power supply
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Figure 10: Rectifying bridges

The active PFC circuit uses two IPA6R190C6 MOSFETs, each supporting up to 20.2 A at 25° C or 12.8 A at 100° C in continuous mode (see the difference temperature makes) or 59 A at 25° C in pulse mode. These transistors typically present a 170 mΩ resistance when turned on, a characteristic called RDS(on). The lower the number the better, meaning that the transistor will waste less power, and the power supply will have a higher efficiency.

NZXT HALE82 N 650 W power supply
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Figure 11: Active PFC transistors and diode

The output of the active PFC circuit is filtered by one 390 µF x 420 V Japanese electrolytic capacitor from Chemi-Con, labeled at 105° C.

In the switching section, another two IPA6R190C6 MOSFETs are employed using the traditional two-transistor forward configuration. The specifications for these transistors were previously discussed above.

NZXT HALE82 N 650 W power supply
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Figure 12: Switching transistors

The primary is managed by the famous CM6800 active PFC/PWM combo controller.

NZXT HALE82 N 650 W power supply
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Figure 13: Active PFC/PWM combo controller

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

Secondary Analysis

The NZXT HALE82 N 650 W uses a regular design in its secondary, with Schottky rectifiers.

The maximum theoretical current each line can deliver is given by the formula I / (1 - D) where D is the duty cycle used and I is the maximum current supported by the rectifying diode. As an exercise, we can assume a duty cycle of 30 percent.

The +12 V output uses four MBR30L60CT Schottky rectifiers (30 A, 15 A per internal diode at 120° C, 0.75 V maximum voltage drop). This gives us a maximum theoretical current of 86 A or 1,029 W for the +12 V output.

The +5 V output uses two MBR30L45CT Schottky rectifiers (30 A, 15 A per internal diode at 120° C, 0.74 V maximum voltage drop). This gives us a maximum theoretical current of 43 A or 214 W for the +5 V output.

The +3.3 V output uses another two MBR30L45CT Schottky rectifiers, giving us a maximum theoretical current of 43 A or 141 W for the +3.3 V output.

NZXT HALE82 N 650 W power supply
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Figure 14: The +5 V, +12 V, and +3.3 V rectifiers

This power supply uses a WT7527 monitoring integrated circuit, which supports over voltage (OVP), under voltage (UVP), and over current (OCP) protections. Even though this chip provides two +12 V over current channels, the manufacturer decided to configure this unit as a single-channel model.

NZXT HALE82 N 650 W power supply
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Figure 15: Monitoring circuit

The electrolytic capacitors that filter the outputs are from CapXon and labeled at 105° C, as usual.

Power Distribution

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

NZXT HALE82 N 650 W power supply
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Figure 16: Power supply label

As you can see, this unit 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, both inputs were connected to the power supply’s single +12 V rail. (The power supply’s EPS12V connector was installed on the +12VB input of the load tester.)

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

5 A (60 W)

10 A (120 W)

14.5 A (174 W)

19 A (228 W)

24.5 A (294 W)

+12VB

5 A (60 W)

10 A (120 W)

14 A (168 W)

19 A (228 W)

24 A (288 W)

+5 V

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 (3.3 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)

1.5 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

137.8 W

266.5 W

385.3 W

519.4 W

652.4 W

% Max Load

21.2%

41.0%

59.3%

79.9%

100.4%

Room Temp.

45.0° C

44.5° C

45.7° C

48.5° C

47.7° C

PSU Temp.

48.0° C

48.2° C

49.1° C

51.5° C

51.6° C

Voltage Regulation

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Failed on +3.3 V

Ripple and Noise

Pass

Pass

Failed on +3.3 V

Failed on +5 V and +3.3 V

Failed on +5 V and +3.3 V

AC Power

159.5 W

305.5 W

447.9 W

609.1 W

798.0 W

Efficiency

86.4%

87.2%

86.0%

85.3%

81.8%

AC Voltage

117.1 V

116.4 V

114.6 V

112.7 V

110.6 V

Power Factor

0.981

0.985

0.991

0.994

0.996

Final Result

Pass

Pass

Failed

Failed

Failed

Unfortunately, the NZXT HALE82 N 650 W failed our tests. It has a design flaw that we will explore in more detail on the next page.

Efficiency was between 81.8% and 87.2%, virtually matching the 80 Plus Bronze certification, which promises a minimum efficiency of 82% at light (i.e., 20%) and full loads, and 85% at typical (i.e., 50%) load.

Voltages were closer to their nominal values most of the time (i.e., 3% regulation), except the -12 V output during tests one and two, the +5VSB output during test five, and the +3.3 V output during tests four and five. Unfortunately, the +3.3 V output was below the minimum allowed during test five. 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. You can see the results in the table below. We marked in red the value that was outside the proper range.

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

+12VB

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

+5 V

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

+3.3 V

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

+3.18 V

+3.06 V

+5VSB

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

+4.81 V

-12 V

-11.46 V

-11.57 V

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

≤ 3%

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 N 650 W provided ripple and noise levels outside the specifications, which can cause problems on your computer. See the results in the table below. We marked in red the values that were outside the allowed range. Investigating this problem further, we discovered that when the power supply was “cold,” values were inside the proper range. But as the power supply heated up, noise and ripple levels started increasing very fast. This problem started occurring when the ambient temperature surpassed 35° C. Since we test power supplies between 45° C and 50° C, we have to consider this unit as having failed our tests. We requested a second sample from NZXT, and the results were absolutely the same, meaning that this problem is definitely a design flaw. NZXT told us that they only guarantee the correct functioning of this power supply up to 35° C, which matches our findings.

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

21.0 mV

25.4 mV

35.8 mV

44.4 mV

79.6 mV

+12VB

20.8 mV

23.6 mV

34.2 mV

41.6 mV

82.4 mV

+5 V

19.8 mV

24.6 mV

38.6 mV

52.4 mV

71.8 mV

+3.3 V

16.4 mV

16.6 mV

215.0 mV

342.4 mV

494.6 mV

+5VSB

10.8 mV

14.8 mV

18.2 mV

25.8 mV

26.0 mV

-12 V

36.6 mV

45.6 mV

55.4 mV

68.4 mV

82.4 mV

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

NZXT HALE82 N 650 W power supply
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Figure 17: +12VA input from load tester during test five at 652.4 W (79.6 mV)

NZXT HALE82 N 650 W power supply
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Figure 18: +12VB input from load tester during test five at 652.4 W (82.4 mV)

NZXT HALE82 N 650 W power supply
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Figure 19: +5V rail during test five at 652.4 W (71.8 mV)

NZXT HALE82 N 650 W power supply
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Figure 20: +3.3 V rail during test five at 652.4 W (494.6 mV)

Overload Tests

Below you can see the maximum we could pull from this power supply. The objective of this test is to see if the power supply has its protection circuits working properly. This unit passed this test, as it shut down if we tried to pull more than listed below. Noise and ripple levels increased even more, to 78.8 mV at +5 V and to 568.8 mV at +3.3 V. The +3.3 V output dropped to +3.02 V.

Input

Overload Test

+12VA

27 A (324 W)

+12VB

27 A (324 W)

+5 V

10 A (50 W)

+3.3 V

10 A (33 W)

+5VSB

3 A (15 W)

-12 V

0.5 A (6 W)

Total

734.4 W

% Max Load

113.0%

Room Temp.

42.8° C

PSU Temp.

44.6° C

AC Power

910.0 W

Efficiency

80.7%

AC Voltage

109.3 V

Power Factor

0.997

Main Specifications

The main specifications for the NZXT HALE82 N 650 W power supply include:

Conclusions

Acording to our testing methodology, the NZXT HALE82 N 650 W is a flawed product. Noise and ripple levels go through the roof as temperature increases, which can make your computer crash randomly. The +3.3 V output presents voltage below the minimum allowed at full load. We tested two different samples with the same results, indicating that this is a design flaw. NZXT told us that this unit is rated at 35° C and that above this temperature they cannot guarantee that the unit will work correctly.

Even though this power supply has its ripple and noise levels within specifications under “normal” temperatures, we find it hard to recommend it. The NZXT HALE82 N 650 W power supply is too expensive for what it is, as competing products that also have the 80 Plus Bronze certification cost less. Another problem, in our opinion, is the use of eight-pin connectors on the video card power cables. You won’t be able to install two video cards that require two six-pin connectors each.

And, finally, we have the typo on the product box saying that this unit has “Japanese capacitors” (plural), while there is only one Japanese capacitor present.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/NZXT-HALE82-N-650-W-Power-Supply-Review/1565


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