Honestly It is hard to find the difference in-between the AX1200i we recently tested and this AX860i model other then Maximum Wattage. Corsair did it right though, they did not strip away the AX1200i features. And that makes the AX860i versatile and a very powerful PSU. So admittedly with our testing methods this review is a little subjective, however we do have a Chroma test report of the PSU available right here, should you want to dive into load testing. But high-end PSU reviews on Guru3D should be considerd a lovely product overview with additional subjective tests.
What's the downside of this PSU you might wonder ? Well, obviously the price will not be suited for everybody. But you can certainly see it as a wise investment. The innards are impressive oozing quality, the voltage rails are drop dead gorgeous stable, you get the one massive 12V rail, a wide variety of connectors with up-to six PCIe Express graphics connectors. Then there's that all modular design with nice all black cabling and connectors. The product hardly makes a sound and is in the tier 1 level of efficiency.
The Basic Experience
We obviously had no issues whatsoever with what we threw at it, then again we reached just over 725 Watt which is under the maximum capacity. While passing 700 Watt load we do can confirm that the power efficiency is most definitely excellent as it performed smack down where it needs to be with other Platinum tested models.
Stability wise we have very little to complain about but again, we couldn't load up-to 860 Watt -- at 700+ watts voltages remained drop dead synchronised. But we'll trust that some other reviews will show some ripple tests yet have no doubt the product will come out totally clean. Lovely is obviously the massive single +12V rail, it has just so much power to handle multiple heavy duty graphics cards. I mean 76 AMPs .. considering that one graphics card uses 15A on average these days you do the math.
At a price of 229.99 USD the product pricing is not cheap though, but realistically you do get what you pay for, an intricate nearly demonic PSU with very high efficiency levels, great looks, great connectivity and of course LINK. The true aficionado and overclocker will likely be all excited about this product. Is that worth an MSRP of $229.99 ? Well we do think so, especially when you get 7 years of warranty alongisde of it. Mind you that etail prices always will be a hint lower.
For those that wonder, it seems that Flextronics remains the OEM behind the product.
Aesthetics then, the new AX860i looks great with its dark and orange logo design. The beefy PSU will fit almost any chassis as well with its 16 CM length, but always make sure you have the right chassis for that.
The cables are done right in a dark black coating. Good to see is that the connectors themselves are all black as well. The added benefit obviously is very clean looking wiring for that ultimate finish.
Modular designs are the way to go. You use what you need in terms of wiring, keeping the innards clean and tidy, plain and simple. And overall it is a great looking PSU, slightly longer than your typical ATX sized PSU though.
Now combined with the Platinum factor -- the certified model at 92% efficiency at 50% load -- the PSU seems to be a winner. Our tests show that the PSU positions itself where it needs to be be and it was testimony of a grand PSU.
But lets wrap things up. The PSU is very efficient, has good looks, is modular, is stable, comes with all dark cabling and connectors and yeah, we have to acknowledge it's drop dead silent as well. So it's all good really. The one thing that could hold you back is the pricing. But keep in mind that this is all about quality and features. The 7 year warranty that you receive with this product should lift that burden a little. It's a premium product with a premium price, as simple as that. Other then that there is little else to say other then confirming that the AX860i is a very very impressive power supply. When you purchase the 'i' series PSU you'll get to play around with that geeky LINK functionality as well. We do love it but realistically would hardly use it, but that's just me of course. You can save yourself a few buck by opting the 'regular' AX860 without link.
Just when you think that PSU reviews can't get more dull, Corsair releases the AX series. It's exciting stuff for any enthusiast PC aficionado alright. It is all about innovation and pushing the envelope to advance in quality and that makes PSU evolve into the super efficient you see these days. The new AX series PSUs stand out from many competitors by a good margin.But admittedly it's a crowded market with quality and efficiency levels being bumped up with each year that passes. But yeah, highly efficient, it has a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) to provide digitally-controlled power and an interface to Corsairs Corsair Link software for real-time monitoring and control. This AX860i PSU is mighty impressive and definitely deserves our best hardware award once again. Nice job Corsair!
Download Chroma load test report of the PSU available right here
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