Corsair is a name that we're always happy to see come across our test bench. Many of their products are second to none, and at the same time, they are also industry firsts. This includes their AXi series power supplies, which were the first all-digital units available to consumers, with the ability to be monitored and controlled via software. It's been more than a year and a half since the AX1200i hit the market, and there's only been one other manufacturer to offer software that corresponds with their power supplies.
But, it isn't always about the high-end, bleeding edge technology that we see. There are a very large number of people that simply cannot afford to indulge in such equipment. Others have no desire to buy into the latest and greatest, and only desire what is necessary to get the job done. Finally, you have the ones who want something that is right in the middle of it all. This is right where the CS Modular series from Corsair comes into play.
Today, we are looking at the CS650M, but there are several other wattages available, ranging from 450W to 750W. The CS650M is a semi-modular unit that performs relatively well, but also has a reasonable price. Simply put, it is meant to be a bang-for-your-buck unit. Judging by the questions that I receive on a frequent basis, this seems to be what the majority wants. This doesn't come as much of a surprise though, as most want to make sure they don't waste their money. The best way to do that is to start tearing into the unit, and that is just what we're going to do.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Corsair uses a single 12V rail for the CS650M. The 12V rail is rated for 51A, or 612W. Both the 3.3V and 5V rails are rated for 25A each, with a combined maximum output at 130W. The 5VSB rail is rated for 3A, or 15W. Maximum combined output for the CS650M is 650W.
Corsair makes sure that you're not left out to dry when it comes to features for the CS650M. The unit features all of the protections that you want, including SCP, OVP, OCP, OPP, and OTP. The power supply features both native and modular cabling. All cables are of the flat ribbon type, with the exception of the 24 pin main, which is fully sleeved. The CS650M features an 80 PLUS Gold efficiency rating, but it is not rated for 100% continuous output at 50C. Instead, Corsair does rate it for 100% continuous output at 40C.
Corsair has an MSRP of $109.99 on the CS650M. At the time of writing, we weren't able to find it cheaper than that, but we were able to find it at MSRP at Newegg. Unfortunately, it comes across as a bit on the expensive side when compared to the competition. That doesn't make this unit a bust, but it does mean that it will have to perform very strongly during our tests to stand out. Corsair backs the CS650M with a three-year warranty.