Many users when building a gaming system first divide the budget between the processor and the graphics card and the motherboard. In the second place they are memory, storage or display. Of course, you need to think even for gaming peripherals, stylish body and even the fastest mouse pad. But the choice of power supply often goes to the last position in the list or simply bought housing with already preinstalled source. In any case, it is often very little planned budget. Therefore, some take the most powerful model for the available money, risking not to receive the declared characteristics, while others rely on the well-established brand.
Company ZALMAN already strongly associated with many users with the release of the optimal ratio of quality, functionality and price products. Especially popular in our market are its body and the cooling system. For several years she has actively and successfully develops the segment power supply.
Last fall, in its arsenal, a series ZALMAN ZM-TX, presented models ranging from 500 to 700 watts. Visually, they bribe the 140-mm fan with LED-backlit display and comfortable trains instead of the usual cables and realization of the circuit – using the DC-DC-converters in low-voltage parts. Introduction to this series suggest you start with the most affordable model – ZALMAN ZM500-TX 500W.
In the hands of the user power supply ZALMAN ZM500-TX 500W gets in a nice cardboard box with a thoughtful content and color printing. Packing well is protective and informative function: on the sides, you can find a brief description of the key benefits and technical specifications.
All the necessary components that may be needed during the operation are included in the package:
Despite the fact that the considered power supply can be attributed to the low-end category, the manufacturer did not save on the additional layer of paint. On the whole, the body is assembled well, with the usual arrangement of elements. So, the bottom panel mounted type grill grate, allowing the fan to capture cold air to cool internal components.
The top panel contains informative label with the list of key characteristics, and on one of the sidewalls hexagonal ventilation holes are accompanied by the conclusion of the heated air. The remaining solid panel.
All cables in the ZALMAN ZM500-TX 500W output directly from the body, and the hole itself uses additional plastic cover to prevent any damage to the cables during operation. Except for the main, the disposable 24-pin ATX, they are all made in the form of flat flexible cables with which to work with. Not often this implementation can be seen in the public power supply.
Number of implemented interfaces and their location on the cables also pleasantly pleased. ZALMAN ZM500-TX 500W will easily connect one or two video cards without the use of adapters, as well as to implement a fairly capacious disk subsystem with a number of peripheral devices.
The active element of the cooling system under test power supply performs a 140-mm fan Dong Guan Lang Ruch LR14025R12M2H power of 4.56 W (12 V at 0.38 A).
It can boast of a blue LED-backlit, which will give the device a bright and cheerful appearance, especially in buildings with overhead power supply.
In turn, the passive part of the cooling system is represented by two relatively thick aluminum radiators located in the high-voltage and low-voltage parts. Their massive crests inspire confidence in the effective removal of heat from critical power components.
Now let’s briefly go through the key nodes ZALMAN ZM500-TX 500W. At the entrance is traditionally EMI filter, which is responsible for smoothing the high-frequency noise emitted by the network power supply, as well as bears the lightning protection function. Some of its components (two Y- and one X-capacitor) are mounted just behind the power outlet, and the second part (two-coil and one X-capacitor) – PCB. I would like to see a varistor, which is responsible for protection against voltage surges, the more so under his left footprint on the PCB.
Diode assembly GBU806 8 A is used for the rectification of the input voltage. Since the input current value is relatively small, the manufacturer decided to save on the radiator to cool it.
Further components of the module are located active power factor correction (the APFC) and a storage capacitor of the high-voltage (220 uF x 420). Its manufacturer performs Taiwanese company SamXon, whose product quality is rated as good. The maximum operating temperature of the condenser is 85 ° C.
The ZALMAN ZM500-TX 500W uses the OEM-manufacturer platform Hui Cheng Electronic Technology. The main drive is built on a fairly simple and effective scheme of single-cycle overhead of a forward converter (Dual Forward Converter). For its correct operation meets IC Champion CM6800UBX, who is also a PWM controller APFC unit. The logic of the standby power supply + 5Vsb controls BH0270A chip.
Low-voltage part is based on the synchronous rectifier: at the entrance formed a dedicated line + 12V from which the ratings + 3.3V and + 5V using a DC-DC-converters. Accordingly, the voltage stabilization is separate character. Usually this option is found in more expensive power supplies. The quality of the element base of this part are also encouraged: mainly used in solid state and electrolytic capacitors Taiwanese CapXon, although it can be seen and even more high-quality Japanese capacitors company Nippon Chemi-Con.
According to the specifications, in the ZALMAN ZM500-TX 500W provides an almost complete list of the necessary protections:
Not only sufficient overheating protection (OTP), but this list is rarely to be found in low-end models.
Summarizing all the above, it can be said that the power supply ZALMAN ZM500-TX 500W is a very worthy representative in the line of the South Korean manufacturer. It fully reflects the company’s commitment ZALMAN produce high quality, functional and efficient devices with an acceptable price tag for customers.
This power supply will be an excellent basis for a game configuration, primary or secondary level. Available quantity grip cables to connect one or two video cards without the use of power adapters. Moreover, almost all the wires are made as flexible and easy to work loops. And the main 24-pin ATX cable though and uses traditional design, but it is placed in a nylon braid and pulled shrink, so with it will also be easy to work with.
In terms of circuitry, ZALMAN ZM500-TX 500W uses a very efficient design with single-cycle of a forward bridge converter and synchronous rectifier to the low-voltage part with DC-DC-converters and separate voltage stabilization. As a result, the efficiency of the device complies with 80 PLUS Bronze, but a narrow range of input voltages (200-240) did not allow him to get a well-deserved certificate. Under the conditions of the test on the laboratory bench and the actual configuration of the power supply has proved very good, especially with an eye to its price positioning. Moreover, he even showed an impressive 22% power reserve, while some of its competitors can not even give the declared characteristics.
Of course, in the process of creating a manufacturer has adopted a number of measures to reduce the cost of its cost. For example, refused a modular cabling system and the installation of the varistor in input EMI-filter. You can complain and to use mainly Taiwanese, rather than Japanese capacitors. However, for the budget segment it can be considered even as an advantage, because a number of competitors are often used lower quality Chinese counterparts. In general, all of simplification are not critical negative impact on the stability of the power supply.
In the market you can find more affordable ultrabudgetary model, but the quality of their element base often raise doubts, and declared characteristics may not be accurate. As a result, in our opinion, it is better to pay a little, for example, for the ZALMAN ZM500-TX 500W, but be sure of reliable power to all internal nodes and enjoy a fun LED-backlit his fan.