Nexus Value 430 PSU: Affordable Silence

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TEST RESULTS

Ambient conditions during testing were 20°C and 10 dBA. AC input was 121V, 60Hz.

OUTPUT & EFFICIENCY: Nexus Value
DC Output Voltage (V) + Current (A)
Total DC Output
AC Input
Calculated Efficiency
+12V1
+12V2
+5V
+3.3V
-12V
+5VSB
12.23
0.97
12.23
-
5.00
0.96
3.43
0.97
0.1
0.1
21.7
35
62.0%
12.20
0.97
12.20
1.72
5.00
0.96
3.43
0.93
0.1
0.2
43.0
60
71.7%
12.18
1.87
12.18
1.72
5.14
1.94
3.41
2.68
0.1
0.4
65.8
86
76.5%
12.18
3.68
12.18
1.72
5.08
2.85
3.38
1.83
0.2
0.5
91.2
113
80.7%
12.17
3.69
12.17
4.94
5.08
4.46
3.37
4.58
0.3
0.8
150.2
183
82.1%
12.13
6.42
12.13
4.94
5.01
6.07
3.35
5.88
0.5
1.1
199.2
238
83.7%
12.12
7.55
12.12
6.59
4.92
7.93
3.33
7.22
0.5
1.5
248.4
300
82.8%
12.09
8.56
12.09
9.46
4.81
8.79
3.32
7.89
0.6
1.7
303.5
367
82.7%
12.08
11.06
12.08
12.20
4.78
12.03
3.27
11.77
0.6
2.3
397.5
499
79.7%
12.08
12.76
12.08
12.60
4.81
12.54
3.27
12.15
0.8
2.5
429.9
540
79.6%
Crossload Test
11.80
12.16
11.80
12.72
5.15
0.97
3.40
0.96
0.1
0.1
303.5
365
83.2%
+12V Ripple: 58mV max @ 430W
+5V Ripple: 22mV max @ 430W
+3.3V Ripple: 27mV max @ 430W
NOTE: The current and voltage for -12V and +5VSB lines is not measured but based on switch settings of the DBS-2100 PS Loader. It is a tiny portion of the total, and potential errors arising from inaccuracies on these lines is <1W.

OTHER DATA: Nexus Value 430
DC Output (W)
22
43
66
91
150
199
248
303
398
430
Intake (°C)
20
22
24
25
30
32
32
34
39
40
Exhaust (°C)
23
25
28
30
34
36
37
44
53
55
Temp Rise (°C)
3
3
4
5
4
4
5
10
14
15
Fan* (RPM)
370
370
370
370
370
670
740
740
760
760
SPL (dBA@1m)
11
11
11
11
11
16
18
18
19
19
Power Factor
0.63
0.78
0.90
0.95
0.96
0.96
0.96
0.97
0.97
0.97
AC Power in Standby: 0.4W
AC Power with mininum load (1A on 3.3V, 0.1A on 5VSB): 12.5W / 0.62 PF
* No fan voltage could be measured because the controller in this PSU apparently uses PWM control, which means the output is always 12V. The RPM was monitored using a calibrated strobe. How PWM is implemented with a 2-wire fan is not clear; all WPM fans we've seen thus far are equipped with 4 wires.
NOTE:
The ambient room temperature during testing can vary a few degrees from review to review. Please take this into account when comparing PSU test data.


ANALYSIS

1. EFFICIENCY This is a measure of AC-to-DC conversion efficiency. The ATX12V v2.2 Power Supply Design Guide recommends 80% efficiency or better at all output power loads. 80% efficiency means that to deliver 80W DC output, a PSU draws 100W AC input, and 20W is lost as heat within the PSU. Higher efficiency is preferred for reduced energy consumption and cooler operation. It allows reduced cooling airflow, which translates to lower noise.

Efficiency was as specified, over 80% from >20% of rated power, despite the lack of 80 Plus certification. Below 90W, it fell as expected, but no more than normal. The broad peak of >82% was reached at 150~300W, with a maximum of 83.7% at 200W. This is a good peak point for a 430W PSU. Surprisingly, the efficiency held up quite well even to full output, straying just a bit under 80%. This is significant because the operating environment temperature was quite high, and the internal temperature of the PSU would have been considerably higher yet. More on that later.

2. VOLTAGE REGULATION refers to how stable the output voltages are under various load conditions. The ATX12V Power Supply Design Guide calls for the +12, +5V and +3.3V lines to be maintain within ±5%. All the voltage lines were quite stable, especially the 12V line, which started a touch high and never dropped below 12V even at full load.

3. AC RIPPLE refers to unwanted "noise" artifacts in the DC output of a switching power supply. It's usually very high in frequency (in the order of 100s of kHz). The peak-to-peak value is measured. The ATX12V Guide allows up to 120mV (peak-to-peak) of AC ripple on the +12V line and 50mV on the +5V and +3.3V lines. The results here will not win contests but they were perfectly modest, well within requirements.

4. POWER FACTOR is ideal when it measures 1.0. In the most practical sense, PF is a measure of how "difficult" it is for the electric utility to deliver the AC power into your power supply. High PF reduces the AC current draw, which reduces stress on the electric wiring in your home (and elsewhere up the line). It also means you can do with a smaller, cheaper UPS backup; they are priced according to their VA (volt-ampere) rating.

PF was relatively low at low loads, and it did not reach the >0.95 typical of Active PFC power supplies until 90W load. It never went above 0.97. For all practical purposes, unless you're running a very low power system, the difference between this and higher PF power supplies will be extremely difficult to assess.

5. LOW LOAD PERFORMANCE is significant mainly to minimize energy waste and with system that demand very low power; the latter can cause some PSUs not to start. Standby performance good with just 0.4W draw. The unit does not start with no load. The minimum load needed to start was 1A on 3.3V, and 0.1A on 5VSB. At this low load, there was a bit of hissing and hum from the PSU, both of which dissiappeared when the 5VSB load was increased to 0.3A and some load on the 12V line was applied. In actual use, the PSU will never see such a low load.

6. CROSSLOAD TEST - Basically the load on the 12V line was maximized while the load on all the other lines was minimized. The effect was a 0.2V drop on the 12V line and slightly raised voltages on the 5V and 3.3V lines. There were no other changes.

7. LOW & 240 VAC INPUT

The power supply was set to 300W load with 120VAC through the hefty variac in the lab. The variac was then dialed 10V lower every 5 minutes. This is to check the stability of the PSU under brownout conditions where the AC line voltage drops from the 110~120V norm. The Value 430 is rated for operation 100VAC ~ 240VAC 50/60 Hz Most power supplies achieve higher efficiency with higher AC input voltage. SPCR's lab is equipped with a 240VAC line, which was used to check power supply efficiency for the benefit of those who live in 240VAC mains regions.

Various VAC Inputs: Value 430 @ 300W Output
VAC
AC Power
Efficiency
244V
352W
85.2%
120V
363W
82.6%
110V
368W
81.5%
100V
372W
80.6%

Efficiency improved by 2.6% with 244VAC input at this load. The sample passed the 100VAC minimum input without any issues. Neither voltage regulation nor ripple changed appreciably during the test.



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