Preview: Zalman ZM600-LX – dual forward power supply

We have a chance to overview another Zalman unit, the Zalman ZM600-LX. This piece does not come directly from Zalman, but from local Zalman distributor instead. The approached me to check the LX series as after the last debacle, I expect Zalman itself will not send me anything ever again. I warned the company that all the Zalman units I have seen to date ranged from bad to complete disaster and so they should not be surprised if this one continues to perform in the same manner. I got a green light so here it comes!

Zalman ZM600-LX

The Zalman ZM600-LX has been on the market for at least three years now. It used to be mainstream model, but the price has dropped over time. On Czech market it now costs just slightly over 1100 CZK (in Poland just about 42 Euros, Germany 45) which means it now falls to low-end category. That does not necessarily mean it will not be gutless wonder. I have previously seen other cheap Zalman units (namely the LE) which were in mainstream but terrible. The LX is covered by just the basic 2-year warranty which is no surprise for the price.


As we can see the Zalman ZM600-LE has single +12V rail capable of delivering 45 A. The +3.3 and +5 V rails are rated at 24 and 16 A, or 130 watts combined. It is good to see they are not both rated for the same current, that usually is unrealistic and ends with terrible voltage regulation. The stand-by rail is rather weak at just 2 A, the −12 V delivers the usual 0.3 A. The LE and LX both come from Hui Cheng Electronic Technology company. It is good to mention that this time the unit at least really has (active) power factor correction and also 14-pin secondary supervisor.


So unlike the LE it indeed has PFC and there is some chance the advertised protections (OPP and also OCP) will be working. I would not hold my breath though, but we at least have a chance so I am already curious myself. Like most of the units on PSU market (besides obsolete ultra-cheap platforms), also the Zalman ZM600-LX uses two-transistor forward topology. This situation was the same even back then in 2013.  Zalman made somewhat an obsession of pointing out the obvious fact so they not only state this fact in the specs, but also next to the model name on the box and label. That is also the reason I state this in the title, kinda pointing out this Zalman’s obsession is already getting close to “sick” category.

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