IntroductionFor many years the name Corsair has probably made you think of memory. Their high performance modules aimed at the enthusiast community is practically legendary. Many folks do not realize that they do manufacture other components, one of which is the power supply. I'm sure it won't come as much of a surprise that this component is also aimed at the enthusiast.We had the chance a while back to review the Corsair HX series 620 watt power supply and it managed to be one of the most stable we have yet to come across. The power levels were incredibly clean and showed no stability issues at all. While this was a sure winner in our labs, past performance won't help out in today's testing.So kick back for a bit and relax as we take a look at the latest performance PSU to come from the Corsair folks. We will take note of the feature list then put it to the test to see if it can live up to the hype of past products.
In The Box
In The Box
Once we get into the dark box with the orange lettering, we see that we have everything we need to get down to business. There is even a cloth bag to make certain everything stays nice and neat. While not a modular design, all cabling harnesses are wrapped in a plastic mesh material so cable management should not be too difficult. The cabling coming from the housing is also protected by a plastic grommet to ensure a safe exit with no chance for the metal grinding away at the plastic coating of the wires and causing a short.This power supply is rated at 750 watts of continuous power draw, so should be more than enough to handle anything you want to throw at it. The 3.3v rail is rated at 24A and the 5v rail is rated at 28A. Many current power supplies are moving to a multiple 12v rail setup, but the TX series from Corsair gets back to basics and has a single 12v rail that is rated at an impressive 60A. This is ideal for those pushing hardcore cooling (peltier) solutions, have a bunch of powerful fans and a more than normal amount of peripherals installed. You will not have to worry about a rail not being able to handle the draw since there is only one rail to concern yourself with. And folks, if you can pull more than 60 amps of juice, you are probably the type who has a backup generator sitting outside your window to handle the power requirements.The features included on this TX series model include many that are finally becoming common. These include support for ATX12V v2.2, 80%+ power efficiency ratings, Active PFC and all Japanese made capacitors for reliability and longer life. Add to this an above average 5-year warranty and we have the makings of a very nice product here.
The exterior surface area is pretty barren, but this is becoming a standard practice anymore since it enhances the amount of exhaust to allow for better airflow. On this panel you will see a port for the power cable and a toggle switch that allows you to turn off the power supply. Everything else is internal, including the switch that sets the voltage from 120v to 240v.
With all that real estate on the exterior panel for exhaust, it stands to reason that Corsair would maximize that and use a large fan. The 140mm unit installed on the bottom of this PSU has the ability to push a lot of air at need. During our testing, the noise level of this fan was always lower than other system fans being used. At idle it is silent, while at higher speeds it makes little noise. The fan is controlled internally by a thermal probe, so it only speeds up when the temperatures inside the housing climb to higher levels.
As noted earlier, this model does not feature a modular cable design. While this is a nice thing, it isn't a necessity. You are also assured of having a lot of flexibility with this product since it has plenty of connections for pretty much anything you need.The primary power coupler is a 20+4 pin design so you can use this PSU with older motherboards or modern ones. Auxiliary power is provided with a 4+4 pin coupler to handle either the 4-pin or 8-pin motherboards. As far as connectors for peripherals you get eight Molex, eight SATA, four PCI-E and two FDD connectors. Also of note is that all four of the PCI-E connectors can be utilized as either 6-pin or 8-pin couplers so you will be set regardless of the video card you happen to be using. It is also nice knowing that you are going to be future proof when it comes time for your next graphics upgrade.
TestingWhen it comes to testing a power supply, there are two courses to travel. One takes you down a path using a device to stress out the PSU and provide data regarding the power levels across all three rails. The second, and the one I make use of, utilizes an actual test system to give a more real-world account of what the power supply is capable of. While both methods have their merits, I prefer to use an actual computer to more closely resemble the manner of use that you, the potential customer, will put the product through.That said, let's take a quick look at the test system. At the request of readers, I have beefed up the system to put a more realistic strain on the power supply.Gigabyte 965P-DS4 motherboard (Supplied by Gigabyte)Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 processor2x 1024MB Corsair XMS2-8500-C5 memory (Supplied by Corsair)GeCube X1900XTX graphics (Supplied by GeCube)Sapphire X1900XT graphics (Supplied by Sapphire)Western Digital 250GB SATA hard drive2x Western Digital 160GB SATA hard drivesWestern Digital 80GB hard driveSony 52x CD-ROM optical driveSamsung 16x DVD-R optical drive1x 200mm fan2x 120mm fans4x 80mm fansWhile this isn't a Quad-GPU setup, we are certainly in the realm of having a system that is going to put a significant power drain on any power supply. Testing will consist of checking the power levels across all three rails at idle and again while the system is under stress. This should give us a good look at the capabilities of the power supply being tested.Results
When I first received this power supply, I had high hopes for its performance. After the dust has settled and the testing has been completed, it has done a good job of living up to the reputation Corsair has been making with their line of power supplies. Voltage levels across all three primary rails were above rated values and were still incredibly consistent. When a system is running it is common to see slight fluctuations on the voltage meter. Granted, these fluctuations are small and do not have any effect on system performance or stability, but they are generally there regardless.This TX series PSU from Corsair had practically none. I say "practically" because I was able to note a flicker of 1/1000v on the 3.3v rail during testing, but this was all. Everything else is rock solid and totally stable. This is a very nice concept when you are building a power system that is going to be sucking the life out of a normal power supply.
Final ThoughtsWhen it comes to power supplies, the days of picking up whatever happens to be on the shelf are long gone. With the advent of more powerful processors, graphics and cooling solutions, power is just too important to take shortcuts with. Both the quantity and quality of that power needs to be maintained at a high level, especially for those who tend to be categorized as "power users" or "enthusiasts". Low-end power supplies often lead to stability issues and system failures.The TX series we tested from Corsair does an exceptional job in providing plenty of quality power to your system. Rated at 750 watts of continuous draw, you will be hard pressed to maintain this level even under load, so odds are good that it will suit your needs. The 60A 12v rail means that a peltier cooler being run directly from the system power supply can be a reality. The primary power coupler also makes sure that you will be set whether you use a new or old motherboard, so you can always be set up with excellent power on whatever system you choose to run.As far as price is concerned, you can expect to shell out about $180US for the TX750W. This price points sits right in the middle of the range for similar power supplies with the same features. It is also a lot less expensive than those Kilowatt rated beasts that are becoming popular. Besides, not everyone really needs 1000 watts or more of power, and besides, this one will still give some of those players a run for their money.Overall, the Corsair TX750W is another very good power supply that gives a bit of a boost to the older 620 watt models. While not modular, they still provide above exceptional power to all of your power hungry components and will leave your system ready to tackle the tasks of today and tomorrow.
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