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Corsair TX850 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)



+12V Ripple (PCI-E Connector)


Considering the TX850 has a single rail, I am sure that many of you were almost certain that the ripple would be the same when going from one connector to the next. Well, due to a number of factors such as solder quality, trace length, load parameters, etc. there will always be differences even if they are minor.

Performance-wise, the +12V ripple never strayed more than a third above the ATX specified maximum so we would consider this a win for the Corsair camp.


+3.3V Ripple



+5V Ripple


As expected, due to the relatively low load on both these rails there really isn’t much to report here even though the +3.3V rail did get a bit jittery when pushed.
 

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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Temperatures & Acoustical Properties

Temperatures & Acoustical Properties



Temperatures


Even though the TX850 is reasonably efficient it seems to produce a lot of heat, especially at higher loads. Things started off very well with this Corsair unit being slightly warmer that the two higher end units in the chart but by the end of the Max Load test, things started to get toasty. However, even with this large delta the TX850 didn’t exhibit any issues with wandering voltages or excess ripple.



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.

Corsair units are known worldwide for their near-silent operation and the TX850 is no different…until you get into its upper operating ranges. As you approach the point where the unit pulls about 700W from the wall, the fan speed increases to the point where it is slightly above a muted “whoosh”. However, with GPU fans the way they are these days, the 140mm on the Corsair will be easily drowned out. When you push things a bit further, the TX850 makes its presence felt but not in an annoying way. Rather, the whoosh becomes a slight hum while that gargantuan fan pushes torrents of hot air out the back exhaust opening.
 

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,857
Location
Montreal
Conclusion

Conclusion


With such a wide selection of power supplies on the market, finding the right unit is often a daunting task for both newcomers and enthusiasts alike. By default, many consumers gravitate towards Corsair’s units due to the fact that they have a reputation of building some of the best products around while offering them for a fair price. If anything, this review has shown us that Corsair’s reputation in this field is well earned.

The TX850 is one of those power supplies that make us wish that more companies would follow Corsair’s lead and put some effort into their products’ development. It is a typical off-the-shelf CWT build with a bit of Corsair engineering thrown in for good measure but the performance this unit showed belies its price tag. A mere six months ago finding a product of the TX850’s caliber in the sub-$200 price range let alone the $150 bracket it now sits in was next to impossible. With this consideration, we really have to applaud Corsair for gradually reducing this unit’s price to the point where it is accessible to such a broad market.

Performance-wise there really isn’t much to fault the TX850 with since it performed extremely well in all of our tests and in some benchmarks it even stood toe to toe with products costing nearly double its price. Efficiency wasn’t quite up to what we had hoped while the amount of heat and noise it produced didn’t live up to our expectations of a Corsair product but those were minor annoyances. To be honest with you, the noise produced by the 140mm fan wouldn’t be an issue unless you are running a mostly passive system and we all know how rare that will be if you are sporting an 850W power supply loaded at nearly 100%.

From cable lengths to its 5-year warranty, there is much more to the Corsair TX850 than just some great performance figures. We have been talking a lot about price in this conclusion but that’s only because the TX850 is an amazing value for those of you in the market for a power supply. Granted, the fact that it doesn’t have modular cables may turn some of you off but the question that begs answering is simple: what kind of price premium are you willing to shell out for the convenience of modular cables?


Pros:

- Good performance
- Long, sleeved cables
- 5-year warranty
- Durable finish
- Relatively quiet
- Great build quality


Cons:

- Efficiency could be better
- Cables not sleeved all the way into PSU housing
- Gets quite hot at higher loads


 
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