Conclusion

NZXT designed the C650 to land in the sweet spot of price and performance – offering excellent performance while remaining competitively priced – with an eye towards enticing enthusiasts who want to purchase an advanced PSU without breaking the bank. It's a great spot for buyers, but for manufacturers it can be a difficult one to compete in, especially with the prices of more advanced PSUs dropping with each passing day.

With its all-black chassis and cables, the NZXT C650 is an aesthetically neutral product, designed to subtly match the interior of any modern PC system. It features no lighting, which is a good thing for users that want to actually prevent the PSU from becoming the center of attention. Although NZXT is a company that enjoys making visually extravagant products, it seems that they preferred to keep the attitude - and cost - down on this one.

Quality is the strongest selling point of the NZXT C650. It is a unit based on a platform from Seasonic, arguably the most reputable PC PSU OEM, and it also happens to be a platform that was originally developed with long-term reliability in mind. The platform is designed so as to be efficient with the least possible stress on its parts, while the parts are all top quality products supplied by highly reputable manufacturers. It is no wonder why NZXT backs this unit up with a 10-year warranty – it is a product that, above all else, is designed to last.

The performance of the NZXT C650 is very good overall, with the designer clearly focusing on the power quality of the 12V line given the excellent figures we measured from the 12V rail. Readings from the 3.3V and 5V rails were not quite as good, though this isn't unique to NZXT, as most manufacturers tend to neglect the secondary voltage lines just a bit in favor of the major 12V line. The C650's thermal performance and acoustics were also well-balanced, creating a PSU that is quiet when expected and cool enough that it's not struggling to maintain that quiet nature.

As a result, the NZXT C650 is a great PSU overall, with NZXT making the right choice to focus on quality and longevity. The $110 price tag on the PSU is a little bold for an 80Plus Gold unit, and its current availability is rather limited – presumably due to COVID-released shipping backups – which is challenging the market potential of the product. Nonetheless, we feel that the very high quality and estimated longevity of the C650 will entice a significant portion of advanced users and enthusiasts, who enjoy purchasing products that will last them for many years to come.

 
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  • YB1064 - Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - link

    It would be interesting and minimal effort on your part to post a PSD (power spectral density) plot. You can use the ~$300 Red Pitaya (STEMLAB) as a spectrum analyzer (DC-60MHz+). This is useful additional information for those concerned about switching noise.

    If you are not familiar with the Re Pitaya, here it is:
    https://www.redpitaya.com/f135/spectrum-analyzer
    Reply
  • E.Fyll - Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - link

    Perhaps PSD measurements would be academically interesting but do not affect anything that would actually concern the end-user of a PSU, with maybe the exception of identifying excessive phase noise that would be easily identifiable in the time domain and I would see it anyway. It also is excessively difficult to take a proper PSD measurement off a device with a switching power circuit, especially of non-discrete signals, and would mean nothing in the end because it would be impossible to identify what is actually causing any given noise. The only stage that taking PSD measurements of a PSU is during its development stage, to test for EMC compliance and to empirically tweak the platform (if necessary). Other than that, PSD is very useful in communications but not in power electronics. Reply
  • YB1064 - Wednesday, August 12, 2020 - link

    Thank you for the clarification. Reply
  • rocketman122 - Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - link

    nothing is durable and lasts here in the middle east. dust will break down anything and everything. horrible climate. Reply
  • hehatemeXX - Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - link

    If they make a complete passive PSU, that does not get crazy hot, and has a rather large heatsink... maybe ;) Reply
  • npz - Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - link

    well that would only be viable in a closed air conditioned environment, which makes the point moot. For a computer in a POS setting in a market, outdoor signage, etc you need that active cooling in an already hot environment Reply
  • Showtime - Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - link

    Noctua, and other companies have fans that are sealed. Good ones should be able to deal to deal with dust, and heat just fine with some cleaning. Idk if it's your radiators that go bad, but I'd run a tower cooler since the fins are easy to clean. Go with the bigger coolers on your graphics card. The rest of it is dusting when needed. It's not as bad here in California, but we get those 100c days, but my Noctua cooler, and triple fan GPU handle it fine. Reply
  • GreenReaper - Wednesday, August 12, 2020 - link

    100C days? Man, global warming is worse than I thought! :-D
    We're getting 34C here and it's bad enough; but we lack A/C in UKia.
    Reply
  • MrVibrato - Monday, August 17, 2020 - link

    Days with 100C? Press F to pay thermic respects... Reply
  • Samus - Wednesday, August 12, 2020 - link

    I used to live in San Diego and the salt in the air (I was a block from the ocean) would corrode the inside of PC's like acid. The solution was to go passive cooled on the secondary components and liquid cooled on the primary. I still had a fan inside the otherwise sealed case to distribute air and help the water blocks absorb ambient heat, and the case was always very warm (around 110F-120F under load, down to 80F at idle at a 70-75F ambient)

    The radiator 'tower' was external to the entire case, and since it was all aluminum and the fan bearings were sealed, never had a problem.

    All of this was NOT cheap but it was cheaper than replacing every piece of steel or soldered component inside the case every few years.
    Reply

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