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Today we are going to review a PSU from NorthQ; 4775-850-FLEX (Black Magic) which is a 850W PSU with modular cable. The modular cables of NorthQ Black Magic are quite unique compare with other modular PSUs as Black Magic already comes with very good quality flat cables which does not requires any additional cable sleeving.
NorthQ is a Denmark company that produces computer peripheral products like air cooling cooler, watercooling, power supply, casing and so on. Some of NorthQ famous products like Siberian Tiger I/II water cooling system, Green Line PSU which approved by Elsparefonden.
- High Power ATX2.2 850Watt PSU
- Active PFC
- 80+ Efficiency
- 4 x +12v power rails
- 135mm low noise fan installed
- Fixed ATX & Extension cable
- Semi modular system with flex cables
- 9 * S-ATA connectors, 6 * Molex connectors (modular)
- 4 * 75Watt PCI-E lines for Quad SLi & Cross Fire (modular)
- Black coated case and black fan with black fan grill
- Lifetime: 100,000 hours at 25°
- Dimension: 150*86*160mm (W*H*L)
- Ultra silent (12-20db) 135mm fan
- Compact semi modular chassis
- Over Power/Voltage/Current/Temperature Protection
- Short Circuit Protection
- 1 x 24/20pin ATX cable
- 1 x 8pin motherboard extension cable - with 8pin / 4pin adapter
- 2 x 6pin + 2 x 6/8pin PCI-E cables
- 9 x S-ATA plug on 3 cables
- 6 x Molex plug on 2 cables
- 2 x Floppy plug on 2 cables
Package & Contents
The NorthQ Black Magic 850W is packed with a pretty slim rectangular box and we would prefer NorthQ to use a packaging with more attractive for the color, wording and etc to get attention from the customers especially those still haven't decided which PSU to get. NorthQ listed down all the features of Black Magic 850W on packaging box such as 4 x 25A +12V rails, modular cable ,ultra silent fan, active PFC and etc; these are some of the great features that most of the users are looking for.
The packaging box of NorthQ Black Magic 850W is required to be opened in vertical way which is quite rarely seen and it is our first time to see such PSU packaging box. Frankly to say we don't quite like this type of packaging box as it is hard to take out the PSU and if the user is not careful then it may drop the PSU as it is hard to judge which side is the top and which side is the bottom. Anyway this PSU is well protected by the foams.
Besides the PSU itself of NorthQ Black Magic 850W, there isn't anything else comes with this PSU like user's manual, installation screws, and even a power cord as well. All these are not important for a computer enthusiasts but it may be very useful for a newbie so it is still better to have such items included especially the power cord where you need to pay at least few dollars in order to get a new one at computer shop.
NorthQ Black Magic Flex 850W
NorthQ has few couple series of PSU where they segregate them by fan size; Pacific (fanless), Black Magic (135mm) and Giant Series (140mm) and etc. For NorthQ Black Magic Flex, there are two model available; 650W and 850W. Besides the power wattage among these two models, the difference is 850W has quad +12V rails (25A each) while 650W only has dual +12V rails (20A each). Most of the time quad rails PSU will be better than dual rails as more rails can share the loads and system will be more reliable provided both of the PSU quality are almost the same. For the rest of voltage rails of NorthQ Black Magic 850W, there are 30A each voltage rails of 5V and 3.3V.
Although NorthQ Black Magic Flex 850W is a high power PSU but it still comes with a standard PSU casing where it can be fitted in most of the ATX cases. For PC modders, they may disappoint with NorthQ Black Magic Flex 850W because the whole PSU is in solo color where it is coated with black case, black fan, black fan grill and as well the black cables. However NorthQ Black Magic Flex 850W still looks very cool for us and shouldn't be a gating item for users to get it.
For most of the modular cable PSU, the modular cables will be packed separately but NorthQ has preinstalled all these cables but we will prefer NorthQ packs them separately. As we mentioned before NorthQ Black Magic Flex has very unique modular cables where the cables are made by flat cable which doesn't require any additional cable sleeving. Mos of the benefits for having such flat cable is easy for hiding especially for small case. However if these flat cables are not well maintained then it could end up splitting all these flat cables horribly.
There are total nine modular connectors on the NorthQ Black Magic Flex 850W; four for graphic cards and the rest are Molex, FDD and SATA cable for peripherals. There isn't any label indication to show the exact +12V rail of this PSU and besides that there isn't any connector lib to cover those unused connectors. Both of these features maybe not important for certain of people but it is no harm to have it especially the exact rail indication so that users can share the loads evenly.
For all the modular cable PSU, they will come with native and modular cables and this is same for NorthQ Black Magic Flex 850W. The native cables of NorthQ Black Magic Flex 850W are 24/20-pin ATX cable and 8-pin EPS. The 8-pin EPS cable comes with an extension for splitting up the 8-pin connector to two 4-pin connectors for those are still using 4-pin EPS connector. These two cables are having normal sleeving and NorthQ did a good job here where these two cables are sleeved completely till the inner of the PSU casing where most of the PSU manufacturers will ingore this.
For the modular cables of NorthQ Black Magic Flex 850W, there are total five peripheral cables; three SATA cables with nine SATA connectors and two Molex cables with six Molex plus two FDD connectors. For the graphic card PCI-E cables, NorthQ included four cables where two of them are 6-pin cables and two more 6+2-pin cables.
Here are the inner views of NorthQ Black Magic Flex 850W. Everything looks simple and quite spacious compare with other 850W power supply. NorthQ chooses UUCap 680uF capacitor from China for Black Magic Flex 850W and the aluminum heatsinks are pretty small as well. With all these, we believe NorthQ would like to keep the cost of this PSU as low as possible for budget users without impacting the PSU performance.
NorthQ Black Magic Flex 850W is equipped with a 135mm low noise fan which is from Shenzhen Ever Grand Electronics. This fan is drawing 0.6A which is much higher compare with other PSU silent fan but NorthQ claims that this fan will only have around 12-20dB; we will verify this in testing section.
Installation, Testing & Performance
Since NorthQ Black Magic Flex 850W is having the standard PSU dimension so there shouldn't any issue to install this PSU in any ATX case. However for certain small case, it may requires user to remove the CPU cooler or motherboard if they are blocking the PSU to be installed. Anyway there isn't any specific issue with this NorthQ Black Magic Flex 850W for the installation. For the testing, we only added three more cables to power up our rig; PCI-E, Molex and SATA cables.
Processor : Intel Core 2 Duo E8300 @ 2.83GHz
Motherboard : Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3
Heatsink : Gelid Solution Silent Spirit
Memory : 4GB 800MHz DDR2 Memory
Hard Drive : 250GB 7200RPM 8MB Seagate
Graphic Card : OEM Nvidia GeForce 8800GT 512MB
PSU : NorthQ 4775-850-Flex
Optical Drive : DVD RW HLDS
Operating System : Microsoft XP Pro SP2
Benchmark Software : Prime 95
Ambient Temperature : 28 Degree Celsius
Here are the testing results of NorthQ Black Magic Flex 850W. The voltage rails are quite stable throughout the testing although there are some voltage variances between idle/full load and the +12V rail is higher than other PSUs as well but as long as these rails are still fall under the tolerance range and without any stability issue then it should be any problem for getting this PSU.
For the heat and noise, we don't really hear any load noise of NorthQ Black Magic Flex 850W especially close up the case side panel but during full load you may hear a little bit of noise but it is still acceptable for us as this is common for other PSUs as well. Black Magic Flex 850W doesn't generate lot of heat as the PSU is just bit warm after couple days of testing although this PSU is just using a small piece of heatsink.
With of 160USD, we would consider value product for NorthQ Black Magic Flex 850W which is not only comes with latest and great features but also perform quite well during out testing. We quite like the flat cable which is extremely good for cable management where you can hide it behind the motherboard plate, optical drive cage and etc. Quad +12V rails are good for sharing the loads to ensure the system is not overload and causing instability issue. If you are looking for a budget and high power PSU then NorthQ Black Magic Flex 850W is one of your good choices.
* Good & stable performance
* Quad +12V rails
* Flat cables
* 135mm silent fan
* Lack of exact +12V rails indication
* No power cord
Thanks to NorthQ for providing this sample for us to review.
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