We've taken a look at several of the new Corsair AX and AXi series power supplies and they have proven to be some of the best darn units available right now. The AX1200i is arguably the best unit in the world at the moment and the lower wattage units with digital capabilities are just as potent as we've seen with the AX860i. We've also taken a look at the Corsair AX760 without the digital capabilities, and were quite pleased with it, except for the price.
What we haven't taken a look at to this point is the AX860 power supply. Its features are identical to that of the AX760, but it offers an additional 100W of power. It still offers the same Platinum efficiency and modularity. It even has the same wattage minor rails which means that all of extra power comes from the 12V rail. Making things even more interesting is that prices have changed a bit since these units hit the market and not only is the price difference between the AX760 and AX860 units much closer, but you can also currently get the AX760i for the same price as the AX860.
Let's tear this thing apart and find out if the extra 100W is worth the price increase or if you are better of going for the digital capabilities offered by the AXi unit if your budget is at this level.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
The Corsair AX860 boasts a single 12V rail rated for 71A or 852W of power. Both the 3.3V and 5V rails are rated for 25A each with a combined maximum output of 125W. The 5VSB rail is rated for 3A of 15W. Maximum combined output for the Corsair AX860 is 860W.
The AX860 is an enthusiast grade power supply and its features mimic just what you would expect out of such a unit. It features a full suite of protections including SCP, OVP, OCP, OPP and OTP. The power supply is fully modular and all of the cables are fully sleeved. Corsair rates the AX860 for 100% continuous output at 50C and the unit is also rated for 80 PLUS Platinum efficiency.
Corsair has an MSRP of $199.99 on the AX860 power supply. A quick bit of searching will yield a slightly cheaper price of $189.99 from Newegg at the time of writing. This may not be the cheapest price for a unit of this wattage on the market, but it is competitively priced against the competition. The AX860 comes with a seven year warranty to back it up.