Corsair AX860i PSU review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 11/09/2012 07:44 AM [ 10 comment(s) ]
Corsair Professional Series AX860i PSU - Digital Powah ! ...
When Corsair released the new Platinum certified AX1200i we where a little flabberghasted really. What a dream power supply (!), but 1200 Watts, man hardly anybody buys that unless you are planning serious overclocking and multiple GPUs. So that places the product out of the comfort zone from a lot of you guys. Well I'm happy to report that Corsair now launches multiple lower Wattage SKUs as well.
See Corsair launched four new AX series 80 PLUS Platinum rated modular power supply units (PSUs), that would be the AX860i and AX760i digital PSUs, and the AX860 and AX760 analog PSUs.
The Corsair Professional Series AX PSUs are the top of the line power supplies, aimed and tagged as professional series. The new AX860i and AX760i models bring the DSP-based innovations of the award-winning AX1200i digital ATX PSU to PC gamers and enthusiasts that require a PSU in the range of 760 and 860 watts. The digitally-controlled power circuitry of the PSUs provide incredibly stable voltages, and exceptionally low ripple and noise. The digital design also contributes to the 80 PLUS Platinum certification and high energy-efficiency of up to 92%.
The high efficiency also results in reduced heat, allowing the AX860i and AX760i to operate in a silent zero-RPM mode until the PSU load reaches 30% of the maximum power rating.
So yeah, the AX series are all about being quiet and very efficient. The PSU as tested today carries a Platinum certification. Bronze, Silver but really Gold or Platinum is what you want, however the upper stack in hardware is of course expensive.
The AX860i as tested today this is Platinum certified, that means it's 92% efficient at 50% load. Efficiency matters; years ago PSUs were as low as 70% efficient, meaning that 30% of the used power simply vanishes somewhere in that electric circuitry, whilst you are paying for it on that electricity bill. Aloow me to explain a little mroe simple, if your components consume 500W directly from the PSU then with that 70% efficient product you'd actually use and draw 650W from your wall power socket. With a Platinum PSU you'd be using 540W. It's that simple.
The AX860i PSU is 100% modular, for most of you with a side panel window in their chassis a must really as you'll want modular cables. Even the ATX power connector for the motherboard can be removed. The new PSU also improved on the audibility front, if your PC is in idle and pretty much doing nothing, the rather silent fan will actually disable itself until it reaches roughly 30% load, which is 258 Watt. So when you are not gaming yet are using your processor for say transcoding, the PSU won't even have an active fan -- noiseless as that thermally-controlled fan spins up very gradually. But even during gaming it remains silent really.
The AX 860i PSU is massive in performance, the one massive 72A 12-volts says it all really. Excellent for multi-GPU solutions and hardcore overclockers.
Corsair didn't skimp on features either, the 1200i got it, and the 860i also gets their LINK technology embedded into the PSU. That means you can monitor the PSU with the help of software, things like PSU efficiency, power usage or simply to adjust the fan RPM. We'll show you that in the review though.
All in all we have plenty to show you and test. Mind you that being the Professional range you'll get an added benefit as well, Corsair Professional Series PSUs are backed by an excellent 7-year warranty.
But have a peek at the product and then let's head onwards into the review.
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