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Zalman ZM600-HP 600W Heatpipe Cooled Modular Power Supply Review

Zalman ZM600-HP 600W Heatpipe Cooled Modular Power Supply Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: At 600W, the Zalman ZM600-HP power supply is good for all types of systems, from a quiet entertainment HTPC to a high end gaming system with two videocards.
 81% Rating:   
Filed under: Power Supply Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Zalman Jan 29 2007   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Power Supply > Zalman ZM600-HP

Testing Zalman's ZM600-HP Power Supply

The price of energy is increasing world wide, so any reduction in the amount of power a computer draws is a welcome change in our books. Power supplies which employ Power Factor Correction (PFC, or A-PFC) help ensure efficient conversion of AC to DC voltage, and reduce the amount of energy wasted as heat.

The following power supply tests were all conducted with an Extech Model 380803 Power Analyzer located between the mains 120AC supply and the power supply, and with a 120W dummy load. Power jitter is measured with a Mastech MS8230B Multimeter at the device power connectors. The test apparatus and power meters are shown below.

Here is a picture of the test set up which we will use to evaluate the Zalman ZM600-HP power supply. The device here that resembles a power supply is actually a 120W dummy load.

Power Jitter Observations - Motherboard

Voltage jitter is read by accessing the power options displayed in the motherboard BIOS, with the system obviously in an unloaded state. *All voltages were read from the BIOS of an Asus A8N-SLI Premium motherboard.

Power Jitter Observations - Motherboard

Listed Voltages

Lower Voltage

Upper Voltage

Jitter

+3.3V

3.29V

3.36V

0.07V

+5.0V

4.95V

4.99V

0.04V

+12V

11.3V

12V

0.7V

-12V

11.99V

11.99V

0V

-5.0V

5.00V

5.00V

0V

+5.0Vsb

5.00V

5.00V

0V

We were very surprised by the amount of jitter that the motherboard read. Let's check out what the multimeter says.

Power Jitter Observations - Multi-meter

Voltage jitter was read by a Mastech MS8230B Multimeter with the system in an unloaded state. During testing the power supply is was still connected to a full computer and voltage values.

Power Jitter Observations - Multi-Meter

Listed Voltages

Lower Voltage

Upper Voltage

Jitter

+3.3V

3.3V

3.3V

0V

+5.0V

4.9V

5.0V

0.1V

+12V

11.98V

11.98V

0V

Results using the multimeter look a lot more stable, the Zalman ZM600-HP power supply puts on a better show here.

Seasonic Load Tests Source: Seasonic

When looking at the Seasonic Power Supply test results we see two values, wattage and volt-amps. Since it might not be clear what they measure, here's a brief overview.

The volt-amp (VA) value is how much real power is being consumed by the power supply being tested to provide the wattage (W) value. The higher the VA value is, the more electricity is being used by the power supply. Because no electrical device is 100% efficient, there will always be some loss when converting AC to DC. The closer the volt-amps and wattage figures are to each other, the more efficient a power supply is. This is called the Power Factor: wattage / volt-amps = PF.

Since we're testing with a 120W dummy load, the load on the power supply (wattage) should be as close to this figure as possible. Anything above this load in apparent power describes the overhead and wasted energy (given off as heat) for the particular power supply being tested. For the unloaded tests, the wattage and volt-amp figures should be as close as possible to one another. The lower the figures are, the less power is being wasted.

Measurements were taken with an Extech 380803 Power Analyzer.

Seasonic Power Load Tests
Power Supply Model Wattage Test Type Loaded Unloaded
Seasonic SuperTornado 400 W
(A-PFC)
Active Power 177 W 6 W
Apparent Power 182 VA 7 VA
Vantec iON2 350 W Active Power 192 W 10 W
Apparent Power 277 VA 21 VA
Antec TruePower 330 330 W Active Power 195 W 22 W
Apparent Power 289 VA 38 VA
Ultra X-Connect Green UV 500W 500 W Active Power 193W 22 W
Apparent Power 307 VA 40 VA
AOpen Silent Power AO400-12AHN 400 W Active Power 179W 9 W
Apparent Power 275 VA 18 VA
Seasonic S12-430 430 W
(A-PFC)
Active Power 179W 6W
Apparent Power 180VA 9VA
PC Power and Cooling Turbo-Cool 510 Express/SLI

510 W
(A-PFC)

Active Power

200 W

29 W
Apparent Power 202 VA 32 VA
HEC Ace Power 580UB

580 W

Active Power

183 W

12 W
Apparent Power 272 VA 26 VA
HEC Win 550UB 550 W Active Power 184W 10W
Apparent Power 263VA 22VA
Akasa PowerPlus AK-P550FF 550 W
(A-PFC)
Active Power 194W 38W
Apparent Power 197VA 40VA
AOpen Prima Power AO700-12ALN 700 W
(A-PFC)
Active Power 172W 3W
Apparent Power 181VA 9VA
PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 1KW 1000 W
(A-PFC)
Active Power 205W 25W
Apparent Power 207VA 32VA
Seasonic S12 600 600 W
(A-PFC)
Active Power 164W 7W
Apparent Power 173VA 9VA
Mushkin Enhanced XP-650 650 W Active Power 192W 22W
Apparent Power 279VA 43VA
Seasonic S12 Energy Plus SS-650HT 650 W
(A-PFC)
Active Power 150W 7W
Apparent Power 150VA 10VA
Seasonic M12 700W 700 W
(A-PFC)
Active Power 161W 8W
Apparent Power 165VA 11VA
Corsair HX620W 620 W
(A-PFC)
Active Power 171W 8W
Apparent Power 173VA 12VA
Zalman ZM600-HP 600 W
(A-PFC)
Active Power 173W 5W
Apparent Power 175VA 9VA

The Zalman ZM600-HP power supply uses up to 173W of power, that's an efficiency of about 69% for the 120W load we tested with. It's nice to see that the recent generation power supplies are all generally becoming more power efficient.

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Contents of Article: Zalman ZM600-HP
 Pg 1.  Zalman ZM600-HP 600W Heatpipe Cooled Modular Power Supply Review
 Pg 2.  Exterior of the Zalman ZM600-HP
 Pg 3.  Heatpipes inside the Zalman power supply
 Pg 4.  — Testing Zalman's ZM600-HP Power Supply
 Pg 5.  Conclusions on the Zalman ZM600-HP

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