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Old 12-19-2008, 12:32 PM   #1
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Default Zalman ZM460B-APS 460 W Power Supply Review

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Title: Zalman ZM460B-APS 460 W Power Supply Review
URL: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/673

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"APS is the entry-level power supply series from Zalman, targeted to users that want a good power supply at an affordable price, featuring active PFC, 120-mm fan but no modular cabling system as other ..."

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Old 12-19-2008, 02:17 PM   #2
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Nice review as always though isn't it time to start listing or at least mentioning the length of the power cables??? Once power gets into the 450 to 550 watt range that is enough for most builds for medium to full size cases.

Shouldn't this infomation be provided in good quality reviews rather relying on dubious sources???

The difference in ripple between the 12 volt rails is extreme. Did you check the connectors or a quick visual review for easily spotted quality control mistakes??? Who would want to buy a product with this defect especially us nerds who read PSU reviews???
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Old 12-19-2008, 10:23 PM   #3
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Can you add some scope shots under 2~10us time divider?
Is that huge difference between 12V rails due to loose pin on P4 connector?
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Old 12-20-2008, 01:40 AM   #4
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Regarding Zalman's "downrating" of this 500W PSU, doesn't this lower rating provide a better representation of the 12V capacity (when picking a PSU for your gaming computer)?
It can deliver lots of current on the lower voltages, and that's where the "extra" 40W are to be found.

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Old 12-20-2008, 07:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merman View Post
Nice review as always though isn't it time to start listing or at least mentioning the length of the power cables??? Once power gets into the 450 to 550 watt range that is enough for most builds for medium to full size cases.

Shouldn't this infomation be provided in good quality reviews rather relying on dubious sources???
Thanks for the suggestion, I will try to add this on future reviews.

Quote:
The difference in ripple between the 12 volt rails is extreme. Did you check the connectors or a quick visual review for easily spotted quality control mistakes??? Who would want to buy a product with this defect especially us nerds who read PSU reviews???
My best guess is a bad contact.

Cheers,
Gabriel.
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Old 12-20-2008, 07:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olle P View Post
Regarding Zalman's "downrating" of this 500W PSU, doesn't this lower rating provide a better representation of the 12V capacity (when picking a PSU for your gaming computer)?
It can deliver lots of current on the lower voltages, and that's where the "extra" 40W are to be found.

Cheers
Olle
Hello,

It seems more a question of efficiency to me. At 460 W efficiency dropped to 80.5%, from 84-85%. So maybe Zalman was affraid this product would present efficiency at 79%-80% at 500 W.

Traditionally Zalman label their power supplies with a lower value.

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Old 12-20-2008, 07:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis View Post
Can you add some scope shots under 2~10us time divider?
Is that huge difference between 12V rails due to loose pin on P4 connector?
That is my best guess. I will have to take a look on this.

Gabriel.
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Old 12-20-2008, 02:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabriel Torres View Post
It seems more a question of efficiency to me. At 460 W efficiency dropped to 80.5%, from 84-85%. So maybe Zalman was affraid this product would present efficiency at 79%-80% at 500 W.
SPCR just completed a review of the new Seasonic MD-850W and I found this comment about efficiency testing interesting. Now I do have to read the 80 Plus specs. Note the 80 Plus in blue is a link.

Quote:
1. EFFICIENCY ...

At 20W load, efficiency was quite good at 62%. 20W load it's a harsh efficiency test for a PSU rated at 850W . Efficiency rose quickly as the load was increased. 80% efficiency was reached around the 80W mark, and it kept climbing to a plateau about 87% starting just below 200W to 400W, where the peak of 87.9% was reached. Efficiency began sliding above this point, dropping below 85% at 650W and down gradually to 81.3% at full power.

These are excellent results, expected of a PSU that's certified Silver by 80 Plus. In our test, the sample did not make 85% efficiency at full load, but this is hardly a miss because of the thermal severity of our test. The 80 Plus testing is done at typical room temperature (18~28°C) while our test conditions feed the heat of the PSU output back into its operating ambient. There is an ideal working temperature for electronics to reach maximum efficiency, but exceed this range even by a bit and efficiency drops off rapidly; like so many other things, it is a bell curve with steep slopes on either side. For a PSU to reach 81.3% efficiency at 850W output with an intake air temperature of 47°C is excellent. Note that this measurement is in keeping with Seasonic's scrupulous disclosure about full power output at 40°C.

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Old 12-20-2008, 02:35 PM   #9
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Well according to the latest specs, as of 10/22/08, the 80 Plus efficiency tests are conducted at room temperature.


Quote:
5.6 Test Room

As is specified in IEC 62301, the tests shall be carried out in a room that has an air speed close to the UUT of ≤ 0.5 m/s, and the ambient temperature shall be maintained at 23°C ± 5°C throughout the test. There shall be no intentional cooling of the UUT by use of separately powered fans, air conditioners, or heat sinks. The UUT shall be tested on a thermally non-conductive surface.

5.7 Warm-up Time

Internal temperature of the components in a power supply could impact the efficiency of the unit. As a general recommendation before testing, each UUT shall be loaded up to the test load for a period of at least 15 minutes or for a period sufficient that the total input power reading over two consecutive five-minute intervals does not change by more than ± 0.2%.


http://efficientpowersupplies.epri.c...col_R6.4.2.pdf

Edit:

This link may interest too:

http://www.efficientpowersupplies.org/methods.asp

Last edited by Merman; 12-20-2008 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 12-21-2008, 07:29 PM   #10
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Nice review.

I recently bought a Fortron 400W PSU and lo and behold - it is the same PCB as this here Zalman 460W. The only difference is, besides perhaps lower rated transistors and diodes,the 230V only inlet although it still has active PFC, CapXon condensers and general looks of the reviewed Zalman. No MOV included.
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