NOX Apex Power Supply Review
Time to another first here on Verdis Reviews; in this case, it’s the first power supply review and it comes from a relatively new company from which we recently reviewed the Coolbay HX – NOX. The power supply comes from their Apex modular series. I give you the NOX Apex 700W…
Company Information – NOX
‘NOX was established by a young team of experienced professionals in the IT industry. Our goal is to deliver unique solutions that precisely meet and exceed customer expectations for features, performance, and quality. Therefore NOX products are specifically conceived to offer great performance, very attractive designs at unbeatable price levels.’
- Modular cable management
- Supports dual graphic card technology (SLI/CrossFire X)
- Active PFC
- 140mm smart fan with automatic speed
- Green Power efficiency > 72%
- 4 separate 12V lines
- SATA connectors
|Form Size||ATX/BTX Standard V2.91|
|Input Power||115/230 Vac
|Output Power||+3.3: 24A
|Ouput Connections||1 x 20/24pin BM
1 x 12V 8pin CPU
1 x 12V 4pin CPU
4 x SATA
8 x 4pin peripherals
2 x 6pin PCIe
2 x 6+2pin PCIe
1 x FDD
|Cooling||140mm smart fan with automatic speed|
|Noise Level||< 21dBA|
|Protections||Over voltage; under voltage;; overload; short circuit|
|Dimensions||85 (H) x 150 (L) x 163 (D) mm|
Contents & Packaging
The front packaging is very visually attractive and depicts the 700W power supply on a black background with an orange splash on the side. It bold white letters the product name is found with a smaller NOX logo in the corner. Seven orange outlined boxes complete the front each displaying a different feature.
With the back of the box containing absolutely nothing, the information is found on the sides. One has images of all the available connectors and translations into several languages below.
The other sees the full table of specifications with room left over for another flamboyant orange logo!
Accessories wise you get the obligatory instruction manual which is used for the other PSUs in the Apex Series.
Of course there is a power cable but it has a European plug adapter therefore make sure you have a cable with the right plug (if you’re using it in the UK). Moreover, there are 4 screws which are needed to secure the power supply to a case.
The Product – NOX Apex 700W
The unit is the standard size for ATX cases and has a very bright, lively logo on the side. It has an efficiency of greater than 72% which has been labelled green.
One side of the unit is dedicated to a huge orange and black logo with a rugged line dividing the two colours. The wattage is printed too. It’s not the most stylish logo I’ve seen but at least it’s bright and colourful.
The opposite side has a honeycomb grill allowing a little look at the PCB and components contained inside. The standard socket for the power cable and power switch is situated on this side too alongside a ‘230V only’ sticker.
The bottom is home to the same table of specifications as the packaging with a row of symbols included those for recycling etc.
The top sees a nine-bladed back NOX fan protected underneath a grill. The fan is 140mm in diameter and is supposedly a ‘smart’ fan – effectively it adjusts the speed automatically. The noise levels are rated at a maximum of 21dBA which seems pretty impressive indeed so hopefully it’s very quiet.
The final side is where all the cables protrude from. Although, with the Apex 700W power supply being modular, only a few cables are fixed and thus irremovable. All the rest are some bundled up in twine and can be installed by simply plugging in the 8-pin adapters in the sockets. There are little notches at the top to stop the cables coming loose once they are installed.
Of the cables that can’t be removed, the most notable are the 4-pin and 8-pin 12V connectors that plug into the motherboard near the CPU. The fact that both options are included makes the unit much more versatile as it can support with both old and newer motherboards.
The main motherboard connector is a 20+4 pin cable which again makes for greater versatility as it can support both the 20 and 24 pin sockets.
The cable bundles that can be added as the user wishes comprise of four different types. All of the cables have a black and gold sleeving which keeps everything neat and tidy; tight rubber is wrapped around the ends of the sleeving.
There are two molex bundles and each one has 4 molex connectors but only one has a FDD connector.
There are two SATA bundles that have two connectors needed to power your drives (HDD and ODD). Therefore, overall a total of 4 can be used. If this isn’t sufficient for the user’s needs, they can of course use molex to SATA adapters as there are plenty of molex headers (the adapters are not included though).
Finally, the last two cables are for PCI-express purposes: 1 x 6-pin PCI-e and 1 x 6+2-pon PCI-e. Only one connector is one each cable.
Inserting these extra cables is very easy as they just click in and are very secure. The great thing about modular power supplies is that you need only have the cables specifically required by you; thus fewer cables flowing everywhere that prove to become an issue in terms of cable management.
The Test Setup:
|Processor||Intel C2Q Q9450 Quad Core 2.66GHz|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte S-Series GA-73PVM-S2H|
|Graphics Card||XFX 8600GT|
|Memory||Corsair XMS2 PC6400 (2x 1GB)|
|Hard Drive||Hitachi HDT7250 (250GB)|
|OS||Windows XP Pro 32bit|
No real need for an explanation here; simply screw it in and make sure all the cables are correctly plugged into each device.
The power supply testing process is one that is much simpler than that required for other components.
The first part of the process is to test the stability of three fixed rails: 3.3V, 5V and 12V. This is done at both idle and load states. The former is done by leaving the computer for which the power supply unit is powering for 30 minutes without running any programs. Then, using a multi-meter, the readings for each of the rails are taken from the ATX connector. For idle testing, the PC is put under as much strain as possible using 4 processes of CPU Burn-In to load all four cores as well as 3Dmark06 to load the GPU. This combination results is maximum power consumption and so is ideal to load up PSU units. The readings are again taken manually with a multi-meter.
The next part of the testing looks at efficiency by taking a PF rating as well as readings for the wattage used at standby, idle and load states.
We also briefly touch upon noise although we can’t be very scientific due to not having any high tech sound testing equipment.
For comparison purposes, we will be testing the Tuniq Potency 650W unit too – not quite the same wattage but pretty close.
From the graph above, the NOX power supply is clearly very stable at the three rails. It manages to beat the Tuniq Potency 650W unit in almost every rail at idle and load. The 12V rails are a little further out that I would have liked to see, but they are still very impressive – overall, a very good job here.
|PF Standby||PF Idle||PF Load|
|NOX Apex 700W||0.17||0.86||0.92|
|Tuniq Potency 650W||0.19||0.90||0.95|
The higher the PF rating, the better in this test; therefore, the Tuniq Potency comes out on top here with its 80+ efficiency rating compared to the 72% of the Apex.
|Standby (W)||Idle (W)||Load (W)|
|NOX Apex 700W||6||314||576|
|Tuniq Potency 650W||3||277||501|
For the wattage testing, the Apex 700W should be slightly higher anyway due to having 50W extra of power. However, as you can see the Apex 700 is clearly a high power consumer using 75 more Watts of power at load than the Tuniq unit. This is quite a big difference and demonstrates that the efficiency is not that great for the NOX power supply.
One of the great things about this power supply is the noise outputs it gives out. They are very low and only really audible up very close – a good choice for users cooling to build up a very low noise pr silent rig.
The Nox Apex 700W Modular Power Supply comes in at 89.90 Euros which equates to roughly £83 with current conversion rates which is a little extra than other 700W units.
The NOX Apex 700W is a product of two halves to put it plainly. The rail stability is very impressive and would certainly rival many of the top performers on the market. However, despite having a reasonable PF rating at all three states, the unit is let down a little bit by the power consumption as it’s quite high in comparison to the Tuniq.
But, if you’re just looking at performance, it’s a great contender – a clear 90% for this product.
- Stable Rails
- Very Quiet
- High Power Consumption
- Quite high price point
Thanks go to NOX for providing the Power Supply for review.