Date: November 30th, 2005
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Zalman
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH
In keeping with the rest of the case, the rear panel is quite plain. The finish on the PSU is matte or satin black. It's not shiny by any means, but it's not flat black either. Conspicuously absent is an input voltage selector switch. The ZM460 will accept input voltages of either 115VAC or 230VAC and adjust output accordingly. The power switch and cord connector are surrounded on three sides by honeycomb grillwork that provides ample exhaust area for the cooling fan.
Speaking of which, the 120mm fan is a dual ball-bearing unit and is controlled by a circuit within the PSU to turn only as fast as necessary to keep internal temperatures in check and fan noise to a minimum. In fact, Zalman claims that the fan will remain inaudible unless and until internal PSU temperatures exceed 50C. I would venture to guess that if this PSU gets up to 50C, you've more serious issues to deal with than a little noise! The individual cable bundles are sleeved with black mesh and exit the case through a black grommet to minimize any abrasion to the wires.
The cables are surprisingly flexible, so routing the wires should be relatively easy. The ZM460 is also very compact. Measuring less than six inches deep, it will fit in most any ATX case out there.
As you can see in the above diagram (from the Zalman website), the ZM460 has a lot of connectors and ample cable lengths. For the metrically challenged among us, the molex/fdd cables are about 33 inches long, while the remaining cables measure about 22 inches. The two native SATA power connectors can be increased to four with the included Y-adapter. Three cables provide a total of seven 4-pin and two FDD connectors. SLI capability must be achieved via the included adapter in conjunction with the single native PCI-Express power connector. Some enthusiasts may find this SLI arrangement less than ideal, but it should be perfectly fine for most users. (As of this writing, the ZM460 is not on Nvidia's certified PSU list for SLI use.)
The ZM460 has native support for both 20 and 24 pin motherboard connectors. This detachable 4-pin section is becoming more prevalent and makes much better sense than an adapter.
Similarly, Zalman has provided native support for both 4-pin and 8-pin auxiliary 12V motherboards via the Siamese connector arrangement pictured above.