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The initial core business of OCZ is all about computer memory but their product lines have been expanded to wider range of products which covers power supply, solid state drive, USB flash device and other computer peripherals. Today we have a chance to review their highest end of PSU; OCZ ZX series which obtains 80 Plus Gold certified with greater energy efficiency.
OCZ Technology Group, a member of JEDEC, designs, develops, and manufactures ground-breaking, high performance memory and premium computer components. OCZ products are the first choice for users needing high-reliability, enthusiast-grade solutions. OCZ continually invests in R&D to push the limits of performance, speed, and value for consumers, system integrators, and OEM clients.
At OCZ we have one primary goal, and it is to make sure that every customer is 110% satisfied. Every employee at OCZ is dedicated to accomplishing this goal. Our engineers are constantly developing the fastest and best performing products.
• 850W Continuous power
• OCZ PowerWhisper Technology
• Ultra quiet 140mm ball-bearing fan
• SLI and CrossFire support
• Fully modular cable management system
• 5 year warranty backed by OCZ's exclusive PowerSwap replacement program. No more endless return-for-repair loops!
• 20+4 pin ATX
• Dual 4+4 pin CPU
• 4x PCIe 6+2 pin
• 12x SATA*
• 9x Molex*
• 1x Floppy
Package & Contents
OCZ ZX PSU series is the top-of-the-range among the other OCZ PSU series hence it is expected to see some good quality packaging here. The whole PSU is packed by a very sturdy and solid packaging with glossy and eye-catching design. A handle is provided on top of the packaging box for carrying it easily.
All the OCZ ZX 850W's accessories and modular cables are being kept nicely with additional box and bag. Additional bubble bag and forms are used to give additional protection on OCZ ZX 850W PSU since it is an expensive device. Besides the user manual, a 80 Plus Gold certificate is given as well.
OCZ ZX 850W is a pure modular PSU (including 20+4 ATX & 4+4 EPS cables) and all these cables are being kept inside a bag to ensure those unused modular cables will not be lost or misplaced accidentally. Couples of high quality Velcro cable straps are provided for better cable management.
A Closer Look on OCZ ZX 850W
OCZ has segregated their PSU products into three categories; mainstream performance (SteathXStream), high performance (ModXStream, Fatal1ty, GameXStream) and maximum performance (ZX, Z). All these six PSU series come with quality assurance as all of them are 80 Plus certified; either 80 Plus, 80 Plus Bronze, 80 Plus Silver or 80 Plus Gold.
OCZ ZX 850W is designed for enthusiast and gaming purpose as it can be used to power up any Nvidia SLI or ATI CrossFire system easily; up to triple GPU configurations. A interesting program is attached on all OCZ ZX PSU series where OCZ offers five year "PowerSwap" warranty for giving on-the-spot replacement without endless return-for-repair process.
Among all the OCZ ZX PSU series, 850W is the lowest available capacity follow by 1000W and 1250W. Regardless of the PSU capacity, all these OCZ ZX PSU are having identical features except the current rails. OCZ Z PSU series is another OCZ maximum performance PSU series where the modular cable and the voltage rails are the major differences between them.
80 Plus is one of the most recognized certifications among the others in PSU industry and there are five categories; standard 80 Plus, 80 Plus Bronze, 80 Plus Silver, 80 Plus Gold and 80 Plus Platinum. OCZ ZX 850W is certified with 80 Plus Gold which guarantees 88%, 92% and 88% energy efficiency during loading of 20%, 50% and 100%.
Besides the 80 Plus certified, OCZ ZX 850W is also equipped with Active PFC, ATX12V v2.2 and EPS 12V technologies; further detail can be found Wiki. The chassis dimension of OCZ ZX 850W is slightly longer than standard PSU at 150 x 175 x 86mm but there should be no issue to be installed in most of the chassis. The net weight of OCZ ZX 850W is about 2.05KG without any cabling.
Honey comb type of air vents is no longer unique as it has been widely used by most of the PSU vendors; same for OCZ. OCZ ZX 850W is an auto switching PSU (100~240V) where no manual voltage input selection is required and a switch is available there to shut down the PSU when it is not being used or during any hardware/cabling setup.
OCZ ZX 850W comes with a single +12V rail @ 70A and basically there is no much difference for getting a single +12V rail PSU or dual/quad +12V rails PSU as long as the PSU is made by quality components. Anyway a single +12V rail PSU is slightly more expensive than multiple +12V rails with same total Ampere due to the cost of the components.
80mm cooling fan is pretty hard to be found in most of the PSU except those "chapalang" brands. As a quality assurance, OCZ ZX 850W comes with an ultra quiet 140mm ball-bearing & temperature controlled fan to ensure irritating noise will not be generated while keeping the PSU as cool as possible. The fan model is Yate Loon D14BH-12 and comes with 2800RPM, 140CFM and 48.5dB.
OCZ ZX 850W is a single 12V rail PSU hence only a set of transformer and related components can be seen inside the PSU enclosure. All the components are being squeezed within the enclosure but thanks to the well PCB soldering process which keeps everything tidy. FYI OCZ ZX 850W is OEM by a Chinese manufacturer which has been producing high power quality PSUs for some of the PSU vendors.
Most of the modular PSU in the market are having semi modular cabling because the 20+4-pin ATX and 4+4-pin EPS cables are not modular cables. However OCZ ZX 850W is a real modular PSU as all of its cables are removable which enhances the flexibility during installation. PCI-E connector on the OCZ ZX 850W PSU comes with grey color for spotting them easily without mixing up with others.
All the modular cables are well sleeved and there are 14 modular cables in total; 1 x 20+4, ATX, 2 x 2+2 EPS, 4 x 4+2 PCI-E, 4 x SATA and 3 x Molex + FDD. There is no problem to support most of the possible desktop setup in the world with such sufficient connectors. Besides that the cable lengths are good enough to be used in any of the full ATX chassis.
Installation, Testing & Performance
PSU setup or installation is pretty straightforward except extra attention has to be given on cable management to ensure the internet airflow is not congested. For our setup, we have installed OCZ ZX 850W at the bottom of our MaelStorm chassis. Thanks to the modular cable as it simplifies the cable setup where unnecessary cables can be removed. The Velcro strap is a great helper to tie up all the cables so that the internet airflow can be free flow. Overall we did not encounter any specific compatible issue with OCZ ZX 850W; as good as other PSU.
For those doubt about the 80 Plus certification of OCZ ZX 850W, this certification can be verified at 80plus.org and it is clearly stated that all the maximum performance of OCZ PSU are certified with 80 Plus Gold. Currently 2821 PSUs are certified with 80 Plus; Standard (1177), Bronze (1052), Silver (240), Gold (322) and Platinum (20).
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8300 @ 2.83GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3/Gigabyte G31M-ES2L
Heatsink: Noctua NH-D14
Memory: Kingston HyperX 4GB DDR2 8500
Hard Drive: 250GB 7200RPM 8MB Seagate
Graphic Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX260+
PCIe: Aten IC320U USB 3.0
Casing: In Win Maelstorm
PSU: OCZ ZX 850W
Optical Drive: HLDS DVD RW +/-
Controller: Aerocool Touch 2000
Monitor: Dell 22" Wide Screen LCD
Speaker: Edifier R501
Mouse: SteelSeries Ikari Laser
Mouse Pad: SteelSeries QcK+
HeadSet: SteelSeries 3H
Router: TRENDnet TEW-639GR
Operating System: Window XP Pro SP2/Win 7 HP
Ambient Temperature: 27 Degree Celsius
We have done couple of tests in different loadings (20%, 50% and 100%) to find the stability and performance of OCZ ZX 850W although the energy efficiency tests that were conducted by 80plus group are more than enough to show its capability. The test was carried at a lab where specific loadings can be withdrawn and enegry efficiency can be calculated from there. As you can see OCZ ZX 850W is able to provide rock solid voltage rails throughout the different loadings and it meets criteria of the 80 Plus Gold requirements without any problem.
In real life environment the 140mm cooling fan of OCZ ZX 850W is working fine and quietly even in full load where the noise is just about 30dB and 40dB during idle and full loads which are quite unnoticeable unless you are sitting in a quiet room. Besides that OCZ ZX 850W is being cooled down very effectively by the cooling fan where the idle and full load temperatures are just about 30 and 50 degrees. We have been using OCZ ZX 850W for couple of weeks and we are very satisfied with its performance since it did not give us trouble at all.
Besides the memory and SSD, OCZ has proven their ability to deliver a quality high end PSU regardless whether it is OEM or in-house R&D product. 80 Plus gold certified could be considered as the highest energy efficiency standard in the consumer industry since it is not that logical to produce a 80 Plus Platinum certified PSU due to the high product cost. If you are non-LED/lightning junkie then OCZ ZX 850W will suit you the most with its robust quality, decent performance, fully modular cabling, support up to 4 x 6+2 PCI-E and etc. Last but not least the 5 year PowerSwap program is really interesting and convinces us to get it instead from other PSU vendors.
+ Fully modular cabling
+ 80 Plus Gold certified
+ Single +12V rail @ 70A
+ 4 x 6+2 PCI-E
+ Robust & reliable performance
+ Silent operation
+ 5 year PowerSwap
+ Couple of Velcro straps
Thanks to OCZ for providing this sample for us to review.
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