NorthQ Black Magic Flex 850W PSU

Posted on September 7, 2008
Author: Sean Potter
Pages: 1 2 3 4


I'll be utilizing OCCT to measure the voltages of the various connections. I'll also verify these results with lm_sensors in Linux. Ideally, I'd like to monitor the voltages in Linux, but there isn't yet an application for Linux that will stress test the system and graph the results.

Although NorthQ's Black Magic 850W power supply does promise 80% efficiency or greater, I won't be looking at this. For the review, I'd like to look at the unit's performance in a workstation setting. With a workstation, I believe it's customary for the machine to draw large amounts of power regardless of how efficient a power supply may be. Of course, the other reason I could be neglecting this section is because of my trusty Kill-a-Watt fried during a storm and no longer measures amperage for me!

Let's look at how the Black Magic performed over the course of an hour with the CPU being run close to 100%. First, the CPU's VCore:

Follow this with the 3v line:

Next, I have the 5v line:

Lastly, the 12v line.

Final Thoughts & Conclusion

I can't say I'm not impressed with NorthQ's 850 watt Black Magic power supply. From it's relative compact size, to quiet 135mm exhause fan, the power supplied looks great. I'm still undecided on whether I like their cable style or not, but I'm leaning towards the feeling that I like sleeved cables more than the Black Magic's flat cables.

Performance-wise, the Black Magic was excellent and barely fluctuated. Under full load, the 3v line only dropped to 3.28v, the 5v stayed more or less where it was supposed to be, and the 12v changed the least, but also was slightly higher than the other two.

Overall, NorthQ has a fantastic product when it comes to the 850w Black Magic. Plenty of power, relatively compact, and great performance. Unfortunately, it's not yet available state-side, but hopefully it will be soon.


  • Strong Voltage Regulation
  • Long, Flat modular cables make for easy cable management
  • Modular
  • Plenty of connections
  • Small size compared to some high-wattage units
  • 135mm fan runs reasonably silent


  • Non-sleeved cables are a little unattrative
  • Can't be found in North America yet!



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