Page 2 - Physical Look - Outside
I have not reviewed many power supplies from NZXT in the past; the last being the HALE82 750W over six years ago -- but their models has always been quite understated in appearance, even the unique HALE90 with a white enclosure that came before it. The latest power supply in the NZXT lineup has a depth of only 15.0cm, and is one of the shortest power supplies we have reviewed here in APH Networks. It is a little longer than its platform mate, the Seasonic FOCUS Plus 850 Gold 850W, due to the additional components required to provide its digital monitoring support. Most modular power supplies are longer than non-modular units by a centimeter or two, as the extra length is needed to accommodate its connector board at the back. We will take a look inside the PSU on the next page. For most ATX or eATX chassis, length should not be much of a problem, if at all. However, if you have a mATX or mITX case that takes standard power supplies, the shorter length will definitely serve as an advantage, especially considering the fact the E850 is fully modular.
From our view above, you can see its unbranded fan grille with circular openings, which itself is a little offset to the side. The full branding is implemented on both sides, where you can spot NZXT's logo and E850 branding subtly placed. To make sure you will see the branding right side up at all times, the orientation of it is different on both sides, so whatever side facing the user after installation will always be correct. Its classical SECC construction comes with two creases on the side that curve inwards to give it some visual pizazz with a honeycomb circular mesh guarding the primary and only cooling fan installed. The 120mm fan generates airflow by drawing air from the bottom of the power supply over its internal components to keep the temperatures in check. Exhaust heat is allowed to leave at the back of the power supply through the large secondary honeycomb circular mesh opening. Meanwhile, twelve screws secure the power supply case together; where one screw has a warranty seal over it, so you cannot open the NZXT E850 850W without voiding its ten-year warranty.
Starting from the back part of the power supply, we have the honeycomb circular mesh design as aforementioned; what you will find here is a horizontally aligned male connector for power input on the western edge along with an on/off switch next to it. The low resistance mesh design is implemented to maximize airflow and minimize air resistance. This is done as heat needs to leave the power supply as easily and efficiently as possible, because the E850 850W incorporates only one 120mm fan at the bottom with no auxiliary fan. It is implemented in a very efficient manner, as the power input block takes up no more than the necessary amount of room physically required. As with all active PFC power supplies, the NZXT E850 850W has an automatic full range (100V-240V) AC line voltage selection, so the user does not have to worry about manually selecting input voltage.
Like many power supplies we cover here at APH Networks, the E850 850W is a fully modular power supply. This means all cables are completely detachable from the main unit. While it is somewhat questionable with regards to why this is necessary, since cables such as the ATX 24-pin and ATX 4-pin/EPS 8-pin have practically an 100% chance of being connected at all times, it may prove to be beneficial to an extent when building your computer initially.
The rear cable connection panel is done nicely. Similar connectors are grouped together and are laid out in a very logical manner. To ensure you know what is going on, they are all grouped and clearly labeled for minimal ambiguity. From the left to right and top to bottom, we have the motherboard 24-pin, two ATX/EPS 4+4 pin, three Molex/SATA, and three PCI Express headers. The motherboard section supports an ATX 24-pin connector by two separate blocks next to each other. A USB header on the very left connects to your motherboard via an internal USB 2.0 header to provide PSU operating information and statistics with NZXT's CAM monitoring software. Incompatible outputs will not physically fit into each other, so I think NZXT has done a great job in this regard. This is a reasonable array of outputs in correspondence amount of connectors on each modular cable, which should be sufficient for casual users and power enthusiasts alike.
The external build quality of NZXT's E850 850W power supply is excellent as always -- a good indication the company is serious about the product they are selling. We will take it apart in just a moment. Fit is done well with minimal panel gaps, and all edges are nicely finished off. The level of refinement with regards to the external build quality is right up there with all the other high-quality PSUs I have used in the past. As aforementioned, we will crack open the power supply to see what components are inside in the following section.
The voltage specification label is located on the top panel of the NZXT E850 850W. There are two main virtual rails. Up to 20A can be delivered via the +3.3V rail for a total of 66W; while the 20A on the +5V rail brings the output to 100W in this area. The total combined output for the +3.3V and +5V rail is 100W. In other words, your power allocation combination must fall within the limits of the listed specifications. Meanwhile, a single powerful +12V rail delivers up to 70A (840W) to reduce operating overhead compared to multiple +12V rails. Overall, the combined power output for the whole NZXT E850 850W is... well, 850W haha. Again, your power distribution in your system must fall within the limits provided -- it must not exceed 66W on the +3.3V rail, 100W on the +5V rail and 100W combined for both, 840W on the +12V rail, and 850W combined between the +12V and +3.3/+5V rails. It does sound a bit confusing to understand how this works at first, but generally speaking, this configuration allows very flexible power demands and should be sufficient to accommodate most users. I have seen higher power outputs in the +3.3V and 5V rails for lower output rated units, but the overall distribution is still reasonable for an 850W power supply.
The NZXT E850 850W is 80 Plus Gold certified, which means that it is certified to be at least 87%, 90%, 87% efficient at 20%, 50%, and 100% load, respectively. Higher certifications available for power supplies of this type include 80 Plus Platinum and 80 Plus Titanium at press time.
A total of ten modular power cables are included out of the box. The lower current modular cables are flat and easy to bend, making them extremely easy to work with. The higher current modular cables are sleeved, but are still easy to handle. All wires are 18 AWG except for the high current motherboard ATX 24-pin cable, where I found some 20 AWG cables on certain lower current wires. Usually, manufacturers will fatten the wires of ATX and PCIe cables up to 16 AWG, but NZXT opted out on that.
The following modular cables are included out of the box:
- 1x ATX 20+4 pin, 61.0cm
- 2x ATX/EPS 4+4 pin, 65.0cm
- 3x PCIe 6+2 pin, 2 connectors each, 67.5cm to first connector, 7.5cm spacing thereafter
- 2x SATA, 4 connectors each, 50.0cm to first connector, 10.0cm spacing thereafter
- 2x Molex, 3 connectors each, 50.0cm to first connector, 10.0cm spacing thereafter
- 1x Mini USB, 60.0cm
These are specified measurements from the manufacturer. Most users should have no problems with NZXT's E850 850W, even if your case has a bottom power supply mount. 50cm is the general standard, and this power supply met or exceeded this recommendation in all counts.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Minor Tests and Conclusion