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Posted by Chris Scott Barr on Jan 16, 2012

Review – NZXT HALE82 850W Power Supply

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We’ve reviewed a number of products from NZXT over the last few years, most of which were PC cases. However, today we’re going to take a look at one of the companies latest power supplies. What’s interesting about this particular line is that the company partnered with Seasonic to produce it. If you’re a hardware enthusiast, you know that Seasonic is known for making some of the best power supplies around. So right off the bat, you know that the HALE82 series has potential. Today we’re taking a look at the 850W model.

Features

The HALE82 series features an 80+ Bronze certification, and specifically operates at 82% 85% and 82% efficiency at 20%, 50%, and 100% loads, respectively. It also contains 100% Japanese Capacitors, which are the standard for high-end power supplies, due to their long lifespan and very low failure rate. You’ll also find a single +12V rail

First Look

When you take the HALE82 out of the box, you’ll find a rather hefty black power supply, which is mostly modular. I say mostly, because they have chosen to make the 20+4-pin and 4+4-pin motherboard connectors and a pair of 4-pin PCI-E connectors permanently attached. While I like the idea of having a completely modular PSU (mostly to make installation a bit easier), these connectors are going to be used in nearly every build.

You’ll also find a pouch containing the rest of the power connectors. What I like about these is that rather than going with round braided cables (like the ones permanently attached have), they have chosen to use flat cabling. This is very welcome, as it make routing them behind the motherboard a much easier task. It would have been nice to see the rest of the cables done this way. Here’s a full list of the included connectors.

Inside the unit, you will find a single 120mm two-ball bearing fan. This should provide quiet operation, while still keeping the supply nice and cool. Just make sure that you have a case that allows for airflow from the bottom of the power supply.

Performance

Power supplies can be one of the most difficult pieces of hardware, since you can’t run a few benchmarks, compare them to a different model, and show the results. In order to truly do that, a good bit of specialized equipment is required. Rather than attempting this, we ran the power supply on our test system for a few weeks, during which time it was ran for long periods both under load and at idle. During this, there were no issues to report. Unfortunately, that’s the way power supplies tend to go. Either they work, or they don’t. For those interested in numbers, we used CPUID Hardware Monitor to check the voltages both at idle and under load (using the standard Prime95 load test). Our test hardware is as follows:

CPU: Intel Core i7 950
RAM: 12GB Corsair DDR2
Mobo: Gigabyte X58A-UD3R
SSD: Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB
GPU: Visiontek Radeon HD 5750
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium x64

 

Warranty

One thing to heavily consider when purchasing a power supply is the warranty offered by the manufacturer. After all, if your PSU dies in a year and they won’t replace it, then your money was not well-spent. NZXT seems to be aware of this, as their new “Less Than Three” program looks to be one of the best in the market. So what does this mean? If, within the five year warranty, your PSU should stop working properly, you can go to their website and get a pre-paid label to send off your power supply. That very same day, NZXT will drop a brand new PSU in the mail, ensuring that you have it in less than three business days. You’ll be hard-pressed to find that kind of service elsewhere.

Conclusion

There are a lot of competitors in the power supply market, which makes it hard for one to stand out from the crowd. Knowing that NZXT has partnered with Seasonic on the HALE82 line does give them a nice edge. However, what I think really makes these a great buy is the warranty service. When your system is down, there’s nothing worse than wondering how long it’s going to take for the company to process your RMA and get a new unit back to you. With the new “Less Than Three” program, you know that you won’t have to wait more than three business days. At $140, there are few other Bronze-certified 850W supplies on the market that are going to beat that price. Add in the value of the warranty, and you’ve got a winner.

The Good

  • Bronze-certified
  • Quiet
  • Three day turnaround on warranty service

The Bad

  • Not completely modular

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