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Corsair Professional HX850 850W Power Supply Review

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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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Output Quality (Ripple)

Output Quality (Ripple)



+12V Ripple (CPU Connector)

HX850-46.jpg


+12V Ripple (PCI-E Connector)

HX850-45.jpg

Just like we saw with the voltage regulation and efficiency testing, the HX850 is a dominating force when it comes to providing a clean output on the +12V rail. Granted, there is a slight difference from one connector to the next due to trace quality, cable length and other factors but this power supply proves itself again to be one of the best we have tested to date.


+3.3V Ripple

HX850-44.jpg


+5V Ripple

HX850-43.jpg

As expected, due to the relatively low load on both these rails there really isn’t much to report here as the HX850 isn’t even within sight of the ATX specified maximum.
 

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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Temperatures & Acoustical Properties

Temperatures & Acoustical Properties



Temperatures

HX850-42.jpg

To be honest with you, the temperatures exhibited by the HX850 amazed us. Even when operating close to its stated maximum output, it was still able to keep temperatures under strict control. This in itself shows another benefit of high efficiency: reduced heat production.


Acoustical Properties

Considering the hellish, ear-drum shaking amount of noise that comes from our test system’s two HD 4870X2 cards and the dual Panaflo monster fans on the CoolIT Boreas, it is a miracle I haven’t gone deaf. As you can imagine, this setup isn’t the best for proper acoustical testing but by placing my ear next to the unit, I was able to get a pretty good approximation of the noise it produces.

As we mentioned above, this power supply is able to keep itself cool through increased efficiency rather than making use of a fan that spins its ass off. From what I could hear, the HX850 stays dead silent throughout its output range units we began the Max Load test. Even then the increase in fan RPMs was literally imperceptible.
 

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,841
Location
Montreal
Conclusion

Conclusion


Considering just a few short years ago Corsair was a newcomer to the power supply market, it is truly amazing to see how far they have come. When you look on any forum across this great expanse we call the internet, you will see their units being recommended again and again. This trend led to several retailers admitted to us that Corsair’s power supplies routinely outsell their closest competition by a factor of three to one. Make no mistake about it; that’s a hell of an accomplishment and the HX850 is poised to continue this legacy.

When it comes to the HX850, it seems that Corsair has brought a bazooka to a gun fight. It is simply head and shoulders above every other power supply we have tested and routinely beat the pants off of 1000W units that cost double its asking price. Incredible voltage regulation, ungodly ripple suppression and high efficiency have all been rolled into one appealing package. The HX850 is also extremely quiet as is befitting of a high efficiency power supply and has a durable exterior finish that holds up well to some serious abuse. There really isn’t much more one can ask of a power supply in this price range.

If you take a step back and look at the market today you will see that countless power supplies are available but what makes Corsair’s approach unique? We think the main difference with Corsair is that they study their OEM’s designs and improve upon them in subtle ways while other manufacturers take the cookie cutter approach by using off-the-shelf products. It is these little things that count and that make the HX850 the beastly performer that it is.

Outside of brute performance, there are other aspects of a power supply’s design that factor into our buying decisions and in our opinion evaluating a power supply based solely on performance is idiotic. One of these aspects is the state of the cables and connectors since without proper cable lengths; you’d be left with an oversized paperweight. Corsair comes out shining here as well but our applause is interspersed with some old-fashioned swearing at the modular PCI-E cables. We feel that even though flat cables seem to be all the rage these days, using two separate cables per PCI-E connector is ridiculous. PCI-E cables with standard sleeving would have done a perfectly good job without necessitating the end user uses zip-ties to bind the two cables per connector together.

Earlier in this conclusion we spoke about price and it should be brought up again. Even though the Corsair HX850 is about $40 more expensive than the TX850, we would gladly pay the premium for the HX850. Since we haven’t tested them ourselves yet we can’t tell you how this power supply performs against other modular 850W units but price-wise, it lands within spitting distance of the competition. When you add Corsair’s 7-year warrant to this equation, there really shouldn’t be anything standing between you and the HX850.

Corsair obviously has a great team behind their power supply development as they have yet to miss a step in the uphill walk towards market domination. The HX850 is yet another Corsair product that we would not hesitate to recommend to anyone looking for a new power supply.


Pros:

- Class-leading voltage regulation + ripple suppression
- Great efficiency
- Generous cable selection & lengths
- Quiet
- 7- year warranty
- Price

Cons:

- PCI-E cable train wreck


 
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