NZXT E850 850W Gold Digital Power Supply Review

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NZXT E850 850W Power Supply Review
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NZXT is no stranger to Play3r with their bold and clean-cut PC cases being a regular feature here, but today we’re taking a look at their latest power supply, the NZXT E850 850W power supply which features an 80PLUS Gold efficiency rating. Also featured are digital temperature and voltage monitoring for real-time streaming across the CAM software which provides information vital to the operation of a system.

Let’s take a look and see if NZXT can be the style innovator that they’re already established as, and if the new E-Series E850 has enough features to make it worthy of the $149.99 price tag!

NZXT E850 Power Supply Specifications & Features

NZXT E850 850W Power Supply Internal Image

Dimensions 150 x 150 x 86 mm
Material(s) Steel, PCB and plastic
Compliance Standard ATX12V v2.4 / EPS12V v2.92
PF Correction [email protected]
AC Input Rating 100-240Vac, 12-6A, 50-60Hz
DC Output Rating
Fan Specs Dimensions: 120 x 120 x 25mm
Speed: 0-1,800 + 180 RPM
Airflow: 73.9 CFM
Noise: 32.3 dBA
Bearing: FDB (Fluid Dynamic Bearing)
Hazardous Materials RoHS & China RoHS
Energy Efficiency 80 Plus Gold 20% loading: 87%, 50% loading: 90%, 100% loading: 87% @115Vac
Operation Temperature 0 to 50°C
Regulations & Certifications (EMC & Safety) CB / CE / FCC / TUV / cTUV-SUDus / China CCC / Taiwan BSMI / Australia RCM / EAC
MTBF 100,000 hours
Output Connector(s) 1 x 24-pin ATX power
2 x 4+4-pin CPU power
6 x PCIe (6+2 pin)
8 x SATA
6 x Peripherals
1 x Mini-USB
Included Cables 1 x 24-pin ATX power (length: 610 mm, Nylon sleeving)
2 x 4+4-pin CPU power (length: 650 mm, Nylon sleeving)
3 x PCIe (6+2 pin) (length: 675 +75 mm, Nylon sleeving)
2 x SATA (length: 500 + 100 +100 +100 mm)
2 x Peripherals (length: 500 + 100 +100 mm)
1 x Mini-USB (length: 600mm)
Warranty 10 years
Model Number NP-1PM-E850A
EAN 5060301693733
UPC 815671013415
  • Power indicators monitored and tracked through CAM software
  • Delivers precise & stable voltage while ensuring optimal efficiency under load
  • Silent operation with 0 RPM fan when operating under 100 watts
  • All the essentials delivered by a modern PSU: complete protection and fully modular design

NZXT E850 Power Supply Closer Look

The NZXT E850 power supply has an all-black design with both the NZXT and the E850 branding subtly embossed onto the sides of the power supply.

NZXT E850 850W Power Supply Side 1

On the side panels, there is a groove near the centre going across horizontally which gives the E850 a unique look. I can’t quite work out if I like this indentation or not, but one thing I do like is how clean the power supply looks without over excessive and over the top branding.

NZXT E850 850W Power Supply Side 2

The top and power input side of the power supply has ventilation to allow the single 120mm fan enough room to do its job. The fan is designed to provide 73.9 CFM of airflow with a maximum speed of 2200rpm. The NZXT E850 has a semi-passive design and when the power supply is running under 100W, the fan doesn’t spin which provides a silent experience.

NZXT E850 850W Power Supply Top and back

A specifications sticker is located on the bottom panel and gives you information regarding the power supply which includes the model number, AC input rating and DC output ratings. The NZXT E850 has a single rail design and the OEM of choice is Seasonic who are one of the best in the business.

NZXT E850 850W Power Supply Sticker

The E850 is fully-modular meaning the 12V CPU power connector and motherboard power connector isn’t hard-wired into the power supply. All of the supplied cables and accessories come in a stunning purple zip bag which is a nice touch. The cables included in the package are the following:

1 x 24-pin ATX power (length: 610 mm, Nylon sleeving)
2 x 4+4-pin CPU power (length: 650 mm, Nylon sleeving)
3 x PCIe (6+2 pin) (length: 675 +75 mm, Nylon sleeving)
2 x SATA (length: 500 + 100 +100 +100 mm)
2 x Peripherals (length: 500 + 100 +100 mm)
1 x Mini-USB (length: 600mm

NZXT E850 850W Power Supply Cables

NZXT E850 CAM Software Overview

The NZXT CAM software has garnered attention over the last couple of years due to its intuitive and interactive layout allowing you to monitor and control certain aspects of your NZXT components, as well as other features such as overclocking.

Gavbon did a video last year on the Play3r TV YouTube channel that shows the NZXT CAM software in operation from his time with the NZXT Kraken CPU coolers:

In regards to the E850 power supply, the monitoring extends to power, current voltages, total power output and temperature. Until a load of over 100W is placed on the E850, the fan doesn’t spin giving near silent operation, although when the fan does eventually ramp up under load, it can be quite aggressive.

NZXT E850 850W Power Supply CAM Monitoring

The advanced mode offers more detail monitoring including different voltages and amperage on the lines of the power supply. A combined wattage is also shown on the different outputs including the 3.3V and 5V, as well as separating the 12V for the motherboard, CPU and GPUs. The software allows enabling of multi-rail OCP protection with all five outputs monitored separately and over-current protection on each of the 12-volt outputs which should protect your other components in the case of a power catastrophe.

NZXT E850 850W Power Supply CAM Monitoring 2

The CAM software works well and the monitoring feature is a very nice addition and allows you to monitor temperatures, voltages, amperage and wattage. The E850 itself looks very crisp, clean and is backed by the quality that Seasonic OEM units generally receive, but it’s time to see how it performs on our test bench.

NZXT E850 Performance

Since we don’t currently have access to an ATE load tester, a multimeter is used to show each of the power supplies performance on the 3.3v, 5v, and 12v rails. Although we can’t do full load tests, we can provide relative information regarding variance and fluctuation of current and ripple on the rails which is integral and indicative of quality in a power supply.

To perform the above tests, the components and methodology will be as follows:

Intel Core i7-7820X @ Stock
ASUS X299 TUF Mark 1
ZOTAC GTX 1060 – Power limit set to the maximum
Crucial (2x8gb) 32GB DDR4 Ballistix Elite 3000MHz
1 x 525GB Crucial MX300 SSDs

Voltages will be monitored via a multi-meter and the AC power draw will be monitored via a power monitor when drawn from the wall. For the idle test, the system will be simply booted up and let to run into windows and after 5 minutes when the power draw has levelled out, the readings will be taken.

To load and apply power to the power supply, a combination of IBT and Furmark will be run to put as much strain on the power supply as possible. After 10 minutes the readings will be taken and to ensure maximum strain, the CPU will be overclocked to 4.8GHz. Depending on the power of the power supply, multiple graphics cards could be used in line with how comfortable I feel that the power supply will cope with such a load. In the case of this unit, the GTX 1060 doesn’t support SLI. We will endeavour to improve our testing methods over 2018 though!

ATX themselves specify that a fluctuation and variable of 5% is acceptable so to number crunch it means that:

3.3V = 3.135V-3.465V is acceptable
5V = 4.75V-5.25V is acceptable
12V = 11.4V – 12.6V is acceptable.

Any readings outside of these figures will be an automatic fail.

Idle
3.3V = 3.28v
5V = 5.13v 
12V = 12.13v

 

Load
3.3V = 3.35v
5V = 5.16v
12V = 12.15v

 

The given results are good from our point of view and our limited testing shows that the E850 runs well. The 5V line at full load seemed to fluctuate a little, but nothing to cause concern and the 12V line under a full load of our test system is one of the closest to 12V results we have managed to get.

One day we might be able to make enough money as a publication to afford our own ATE ATX PSU tester, but until then, our method has actually wheedled out a few bad units in the past and we will continue to use this method going forward in the new era of Play3r without Gavbon around or running the show.

The NZXT E850 Power Supply Review: The Verdict

Even though the E850 power supply might not be as aggressive looking as some people might expect from NZXT, what’s on offer is pretty considerable and the digital temperature monitoring, as well as the power monitoring features, aim to make this subtle unit stand out from the rest of the crowd. So what’s hot and what’s not? Let’s see!

What’s hot:

  • Solid Seasonic OEM, good quality and good performance
  • Backed by an industry leading 10-year warranty
  • Subtle and clean all-black look
  • Semi-passive below 100W
  • CAM software and digital temperature/power monitoring can be very useful

What’s not:

  • $150 is still pretty expensive for an 850W power supply, even one this good

The NZXT E850 850W power supply isn’t just an elegant looking power supply, but its all-black subtle design makes it a ‘sleeper’ of sorts. The cool and collected design combined with a top quality 80PLUS Gold efficiency rating doesn’t just make the new E-series good, but the Seasonic OEM and industry leading 10-year consumer warranty make this one of the most attractive 850W power supplies on the market.

While the semi-passive design is welcomed, any reasonable amount of load from any application spins the 120cm fan, which upon system booting can be a little noisy. Don’t worry though, this noise is temporary and the E850 is quite quiet on the whole. The semi-digital design adds an element of class with the temperature and power monitoring capabilities combined with the CAM software, but an 850W power supply at $150 isn’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination.

If you’re a fan of the subtle design, want an 80PLUS Gold efficiency rating and quite like the thought of being able to monitor temperature and power consumption in real-time, then the NZXT E850 is a solid power supply from a top-quality OEM in Seasonic. One could imagine that if this power supply was priced a little bit more competitively or featured a fully digital composition, it would be an even more attractive option. Even that being said, the E850 is more than worthy of our Gold award and is highly recommended for those with an adequate budget to splurge on a new PSU.

awards-gold

Play3r Recommended Award

Thanks to NZXT for sending a sample of the E850 power supply in for review.

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*Editor’s Note: A previous version of this review incorrectly stated that OCP protection did not feature on the E850. NZXT have confirmed that it does, and offered this explanation of the feature,”One of the very best features of our E Series PSUs is that while it is a single rail design on the input side, each of the outputs (3.3, 5V, 12V1, 12V2, and 12V3) is monitored separately for voltage and current. This allows the TI DSP to provide true over-current protection (OCP) for each 12V rail–a feature available only on more expensive multi-rail PSUs. OCP provides much better protection for expensive components (motherboard, CPU, GPU) than the over-power protection (OPP) circuit used on other single-rail PSUs.

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