Zalman ZM1000-HP: Quiet KiloWatt PSU

Power
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May 13, 2008 by Mike Chin

Product
Zalman ZM1000-HP
ATX12V v2.2 power supply
Manufacturer
Zalman
Market Price
US$250~$325

Zalman has been offering quiet PC components since this market sector first emerged. It's a real pioneer. After starting with innovative quiet heatsink/fans, Zalman moved quickly to offer quiet power supplies, which have been a part of its lineup of offerings ever since. They've never been the quietest PSUs, but competently occupied the noise-reduced middle ground between typical (read: noisy) mianstream models and the super quiet champs. The unit under review is a thousand watt model introduced late last year. It is Zalman's most ambitious power supply to date.

We've reviewed other kilowatt PSUs, the Enermax Galaxy for one, even though we question their utility. No one has ever shown conclusively that a kilowatt PSU is necessary for any DIY PC for personal use. Still, the gaming masses seem to clamor for them, and the entire establishment of tech web sites keep up the hype while manufacturers churn out ever bigger PSUs.

Our lab has seen a few other excessively powerful PSU samples which didn't make our 30 dBA@1m maximum SPL cutoff and were thus dropped from our review roster without further ado. The ZM1000-HP didn't suffer such a fate. In fact, it was so quiet at first turn-on that malfunction was suspected. No surprise that it stayed on the review roster.


Yes, it's a huge box, about double the norm: 14"x7"x7".

Inside, there are two cartons, one with the PSU in bubble-wrap, another with all the cables. A user's manual, screws, plastic cable straps, handy 12V to 5V adapter for fans, and AC cable completed the sample package.

ZM1000-HP FEATURE HIGHLIGHTS (from the Zalman web site)
FEATURE & BRIEF Our comment
Dual Heatpipes for Maximum Cooling Performance and Ultra-Quiet Operation - Dual heatpipes on the main heat sources enable high load operation at low fan RPM for a dramatic reduction in noise levels..
Unusual, used in previous Zalman ZM600 we reviewed. It could be quite useful for very high power operation.
Modular Sleeved Cables provide organized cable management and improved air circulation inside the computer case.
Fairly common for high end retail PSUs.
Ultra Quiet 140mm Fan maximizes the airflow and minimizes the noise level enabling a noiseless computing environment with optimized cooling.
It's bigger than the more common 120mm but seen in other PSUs before.
5V Standby Noise Filter Switch eliminates high frequency noise in standby mode. *The Standby Noise Filter Switch is NOT a power switch. The AC Power Cord MUST be unplugged in order to turn the power supply OFF. Fascinating. Does it work?
Six Independent +12VDC Outputs supply power independently to the CPU, VGA, motherboard, and peripheral components for the highest level of stability and performance.
Independent means that these lines have separate current limiters. See relevant discussion on this page of Power Supply Fundamentals.
Four PCI Express VGA Power 6-Pin & 6+2 Pin Connectors for Nvidia Quad SLI. If you got it, flaunt it, right?
Active PFC for Improved Power Factor & Reduced Harmonics
Common for retail PSUs.
80 PLUS Certified High Efficiency Design capable of reaching a maximum of 86% efficiency (230VAC)
Good, and fairly common, but perhaps not for kW PSUs.
Protection: Over-Voltage, Over-Current, Short-Circuit, Under-Voltage, Over-Temperature. About par for the high end course.
WEEE & RoHS: Compliance w/ EU
environmental directives: Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment and (Restriction of Hazardous Substances
Both mandatory for sale in the EU
Safety Approvals: UL, CSA, CE, CB, FCC Class B, MIC. The more the merrier.
Three year replacement warranty Very nice.

SPECIFICATIONS


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