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Corsair Professional Series HX850 850-watt Power Supply Review - Test Results and Final Thoughts

Corsair gives the HX850 PSU an overhaul and sets a new benchmark for DC output quality in the process.

| Other PSUs in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Jan 1, 1970 12:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 93%      Manufacturer: Corsair

Test Results

 

Our load tests utilize a couple of FAST ATE active load testers and a variety of other equipment such as an oscilloscope, power conditioner, temperature probe and a power consumption meter. You can read more about our standard testing approach here.

 

The tests performed are based around six conceivable setups that are out there and progressively load down the PSU up to the power supply's limits or 1000W, whichever comes first. Since our test equipment's limits are greater than that of the Corsair HX850 850W, we can test it to the maximum.

 

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Let's start by taking a look at the voltages to see how well this unit did during testing. Starting with the 12V rail, we see 2% regulation from start to finish. The 12V rail showed a total drop of .16V from start to finish. The 5V rail did just better as it managed to stay within 1% of specification with a total drop of .05V from start to finish. Moving towards the 3.3V rail, we see that regulation was still within 1% with a total voltage drop of .05V.

 

DC output quality is incredible and much higher than we expected out of this model. We started off seeing 5mV of ripple on the 12V rail during Test 1. As we increased the loads, the ripple had increased to 11mV at a little over half load. By the time we had the maximum load of 850W we were seeing 15mV of noise.

 

The Corsair HX850 is rated for 80Plus Gold efficiency. This means that the power supply must perform at 87%/90%/87% efficiency at 20%/50%/100% loads respectively. As you can see, the Corsair HX850 passed on our bench wasn't close to failing at any point.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Normally, when a manufacturer does a product refresh, it is for one of two reasons. Either they have found a way to manufacturer the unit at the same level of performance of substantially lower costs or they have brought improvements to the unit that makes it more competitive with the current market. The new HX850 from Corsair is most certainly in the latter category. The results above show that it performs very well all the way around. The bump from 80Plus Silver to Gold was very nice to see and the unit does a great job showing the increased efficiency.

 

It is getting very hard to distinguish the bad, the good and the great units simply from voltage regulation as could have been done in the past. As we've seen from almost all the power supplies in the last few years, voltage regulation has been improved by just about everyone and almost all units are within 3% of ATX specifications. About 20% of the units we have tested seem to have found the sweet spot of 1%-2% regulation and the Corsair HX1050 is right in that sweet spot. It manages to stay within 2% on the 12V rail while keeping the minor rails within 1%. You can't really ask for much more considering the market this power supply is aimed at.

 

DC output quality is a whole different ball game and where we are seeing differences between the good and the great power supplies. We re-ran the tests on this unit and pulled out another power supply just to confirm that our scope was still working correctly as this level of DC output quality is just amazing. The noise seen on the 12V rail was a measly 5mV during Test 1 and maxed out at 15mV during Test 5. Under max load, the Corsair HX850 has better DC output quality than most power supplies do at minimal loads.

 

Add in the top notch build quality of the unit and the fantastic seven year warranty and Corsair has an almost flawless unit with the HX850. The only flaw that we can find in the unit is the price as you can pick up units with similar build quality and either Platinum efficiency or full-modular design for the same price or less. Even this doesn't take much away from the unit due to the incredible performance which warrants a few extra pennies out of your pocket.

 

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