OCZ ZS series 650W power supply review -
Stability Testing the PSU - Sound levels (dBA)
Stability Testing the PSU
So during our tests we also monitor the voltage fluctuations as shown below in both IDLE and LOAD states of the PC. We write down the lowest and highest value we see within a certain PC state. The difference is the fluctuation. If a PSU is unstable we'd see a lot of fluctuation, differences and discrepancies which can result in system instability.
Once we gathered all results we can place them in an easy to understand chart. Look at the chart, the two lines show both the Idle and Load state of a specific voltage rail, the dark blue one the lowest voltage dip measured, the red one the highest fluctuation. That's your baseline.
So then, ATX specification requires that the PSU needs to stay within a 5% fluctuation; for example, each +12 Volt rail should remain between 11.4 - 12.6 Volts.
As you can see, the PSU when utilized stays consistent as you can hardly even see the blue line, meaning that the PSU is functioning within ATX specified limits. During the load test, I checked several times to see if the PSU was warm, it was cold to lukewarm at best.
Good to know is that the fan RPM will remain relatively low, and as such so will the airflow noise level coming from it.
Sound levels (dBA)
As usual we grabbed our dBA meter. The human hearing system has different sensitivities at different frequencies. This means that the perception of noise is not at all equal at every frequency. Noise with significant measured levels (in dB) at high or low frequencies will not be as annoying as it would be when its energy is concentrated in the middle frequencies. In other words, the measured noise levels in dB will not reflect the actual human perception of the loudness of the noise. That's why we measure the dBA level. A specific circuit is added to the sound level meter to correct its reading in regard to this concept. This reading is the noise level in dBA. The letter A is added to indicate the correction that was made in the measurement.
As always we measure 75 CM away from the product (usually the distance between you and a desktop computer), and yes... this test is always a tad subjective yet we measured 32~33 dBA and that's including surrounding noise levels, that's just perfect. Under full PC stress we can hardly measure the dBA level as all other components (fans/VGA/CPU/Chipset cooler) that make noise subjectively influence the results. The PSU is more silent than them.
But sure, in a normal PC, you will not be able to hear this PSU. All in all, very silent and thus highly recommended to any of the audiophiles that like silence (yours truly included). The RPM delta is pretty much very similar to the revolution series.
OCZ releases the ZS model in a three fold of models, a 550W model priced at 55 EUR, a 650 model priced at 65 EUR and a 750W model priced at 75 EUR (USD conversion is similar at the moment).The big question with it remain reasonably efficient and most of alls stable ? Today we'll grab a couple of other power supplies and see how efficient the PSU is and how well it behaves under load.