Nexus NX-9003 350W Hybrid PSU

Power
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March 18, 2006 by Devon Cooke

Product
Nexus NX-9003 SFB
350W ATX12V 2.01 "Hybrid" Power Supply
Manufacturer
Nexus
Sample Supplier
End PC Noise
Market Price US$90

Nexus, whose "Real Silent" fans have the right combination of low noise and wide distribution to make them a favorite among SPCR enthusiasts, has released a "hybrid" power supply called the NX-9003 SFB. The PSU's cooling fan is designed to stay off most of the time, kicking in only when absolutely needed to cool things down to safe levels.

Hybrid power supplies are a bit of an oddity. They are a cross between silent, expensive fanless designs and high power, noisy fanned designs. But really, the only difference a fanned and a fanless power supply is the cooling system.

In spite of the highly visible presence of 500W and 600W power supplies on the market, most computer systems do not require more than 150~200W. Yes, there is the occasional 500 pound gorilla that draws 500 watts from the wall, but most of us are smart enough to avoid (or can't afford) the biggest, meanest, fastest — and most power hungry — components out there.

Power supplies that are truly capable of sustaining high output must deal with higher operating temperatures, since all that power eventually ends up as heat in the system. This means that high capacity power supplies tend to be built with better quality components that can stand up under tough thermal conditions. In a system that doesn't demand much power, the engineering and expense that went into making the high capacity power supply heat-tolerant ends up being wasted — or does it?

As long as the internal temperature never goes above a certain threshold, it doesn't really matter whether the heat tolerance is used to increase capacity or reduce the amount of airflow needed to cool the power supply safely. With a good enough design, the power supply could run without a cooling fan at lower loads. This is the principle that hybrid power supplies are based on.


The retail package is an oddly shaped cubic box.

The 9003-NX comes tightly packed in a cube-shaped cardboard box. No doubt Nexus like this design because it makes the package stand out against the competition, but we like it for a different reason: It requires less packaging than a conventional box. It's a simple mathematical fact the ratio of package volume to surface area is highest when all dimensions of the package are similar.

FEATURE HIGHLIGHTS

Feature Highlights of the Nexus NX-9003 (from Nexus' web site)

FEATURE & BRIEF COMMENT

Utterly Silent!

This needs a big, bold * to be taken seriously. Utterly silent it may be — but only when the fan is not spinning.
Real silent large 12 cm orange fan
A very good sign — if it's the same as the retail model we've come to know and love.

Black Mesh sleeving on all cables

Bling bling.

Excellent air flow

This also needs a * — airflow won't be excellent unless the fan is spinning.

100% burn-in under high ambient temperature (50°C)

This is good. 50°C is indeed a high ambient temperature. If your system temperature reaches 50°C, you need to rethink your system.

OUTPUT SPECIFICATIONS

OUTPUT SPECIFICATIONS: Nexus NX-9003 (from Nexus' web site)

AC Input

115 / 220~240 VAC — 60 / 50Hz

AC Input Current

8A @ 115VAC / 4A @ 230VAC

DC Output

+3.3V

+5V

+12V1

+12V2

-12V

+5VSB

Maximum Output Current

22.0A

21.0A

10.0A

15.0A

0.3A

2.0A

Maximum Combined

130W
300W
3.6W
10W

350W

As expected of a relatively low capacity unit, the individual rail ratings are all fairly low, but this 350W model should provide adequate power for most systems. As expected of an ATX12V v2.xx model, most of the power is available from the +12V lines.



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