Nexus Value 430 PSU: Affordable Silence

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MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS

These recordings were made as 24-bit / 88 kHz WAV files with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own anechoic chamber (11 dBA ambient), then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

These recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the product sounds in actual use — one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware that very quiet subjects may not be audible — if we couldn't hear it from one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!

Each recording starts with 6~10 seconds of room ambient, followed by 10 seconds of the product's noise. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume setting again while comparing all the sound files.

Sound Recordings of PSU Comparatives in the Anechoic Chamber

CONCLUSIONS

The Nexus Value 430 makes a bold leap to the very top of our quiet PSU rankings. It is the quietest fan-cooled PSU we've yet tested, by a 2-3 decibel margin, the closest being the Enermax Modu 82+ 425W at around 13 dBA, the Seasonic M12D-850W at 14 dBA and the Antec Signature 650 at 15 dBA. At such vanishingly quiet levels, this is no mean feat. That it is achieved by a modest, unassuming product with a name like Value 430 is even more surprising, especially when you consider that the other top contenders are high end models from giants in the power supply field. It even begs the question of why you'd pay big bucks for a fanless PSU of similar power rating.

The maximum SPL of 19 dBA@1m is, again, amazingly quiet. It bests the very quietest competitors at ~400W load by a fairly big margin, something like 5~8 dBA. Despite the the relatively modest 15¬įC temperature rise thorugh the PSU, one can't help thinking that such low airflow must surely shorten its useful life. On the other hand, most system with which this PSU will be used will not draw anything near its rated power at any time. Keep the power draw to under 300W, and you'll probably be quite safe. With the pace of change in computer technology, it's likely the PC will be considered obsolete before the PSU fails.

Electrically, while the Value 430 is not exceptional (compared to the high-tech, pricier competition), it is no slouch. Our sample had no obvious weaknesses. Don't ask of it what it cannot deliver, and it should provide fine power delivery for most midrange systems.

For the card-carrying, faithful SPCR party member, this Nexus has to be something of an affirmation. Most PC enthusiasts do not run dual-video card behemoths that demand a kilowatt. Even with a high performance graphics card, a typical modern dual/quad core CPU system with lots of RAM and a couple of hard drives will not demand more power than the Value 430 can deliver. (See the idle and full load power demand of various systems profiled on page four of Power Supply Fundamentals.) For the noise, energy and value conscious power user, it's a perfect balance: Virtual silence, low enough energy use, adequate power, and a very friendly $80 price tag.

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Our thanks to End PC Noise for the Nexus Value 430 sample.


The Nexus Value 430 is Recommended by SPCR.

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SPCR Articles of Related Interest:
Power Supply Fundamentals
SPCR PSU Test Rig V.4
Seasonic S12 Energy Plus 550 and 660
Seasonic M12D-850
NX-8060 PSU improved: Nexus redux
Silverstone ST45NF: 450W Fanless Power Supply
SilverStone Decathlon DA700 power supply
Modu82+ 625 Power Supply: Enermax to the Forefront
Corsair HX520 & HX620

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