Introduction, Specifications, Availability and Pricing
As almost every computer enthusiast has learned throughout the years, working exclusively with enthusiast level hardware is impossible. Most of the time it won't even be for yourself, but will be for friends and family asking you to come to their aid. Occasionally you will even come across a project of your own that simply requires something less substantial. When you start considering that you'll have to power something with lower requirements, Corsair's Builder series of power supplies comes into the picture.
The Builder series is certainly far from the most efficient, feature rich power supplies on the market, but that doesn't mean they should be overlooked. Today we are taking a look at Corsairs CX430V2, a 430W power supply in the Builder series. It doesn't boast a ton of cables and connectors, lacks the wattage to power a small village, and even carries the lowest 80Plus certification that a power supply can get. What it does boast is one heck of a cheap price tag and the ability to provide enough power for almost every non-enthusiast level home or office computer.
Let's take a look at this budget power supply to see what all it has to offer.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
While the CX430V2 is only capable of 430W of power, it is more than enough for the average desktop that doesn't have anything more than an integrated or low end GPU and a single hard drive. The single 12V rail serves up 28A of power and should be enough to get you by, even with a low end GPU. Even the 3.3V and 5V rails offer up plenty of power. We've seen numerous power supplies in the 700W-850W range hardly have stronger minor rails.
Features are pretty much what you would expect from a budget power supply. There are plenty of protections here and the over-temperature protection is something that shouldn't come into play with a budget system, nor is the 50C power rating. It would still be fantastic to see them, but it certainly isn't a deal breaker when considering the uses for a power supply of this nature. All of the cables are natively wired so there is no modular support here, but at least all of them are sleeved. As there are only a handful of cables, it isn't hard to make them disappear.
The Corsair CX430V2 can be found just about anywhere. Most places list the power supply for $50, but at the time of writing, Newegg had the power supply marked down to $44.99 with a $20 mail-in rebate and small shipping charge. It's hard to argue with a $27 power supply. Corsair offers a three year warranty on the CX430V2.
The packaging for the CX430V2 doesn't get much simpler than this. The box is plain cardboard with only black ink for everything. On the front we find the wattage, 80Plus Logo and warranty information.
The back has a tiny bit of marketing information, but is mostly filled with useful information. Here you'll find the I/O specs for the CX430V2 and the connector availability.
On the bottom we find some compatibility information mostly stating that it conforms to ATX and EPS12V specifications. It is a little interesting that it also lists the auto-switching capabilities of the power supply to work from 90V-264V, but on the I/O specification label it shows only 100V-240V.
The top also lets us know that it is a standard ATX power supply.
Inside the Box
Pulling the CX430V2 out of the box reveals rather simplistic but effective packaging. The box is just the right size for everything to fit snugly inside and the power supply itself is protected by a bubble wrap bag.
Taking the power supply out of the bag, we find our I/O specification label and see that the power supply is finished in a rough black.
Corsair's logo and the model number are displayed on both sides of the power supply.
The front is a blank slate with the exception of the native cables that exit the power supply.
It is nice to see an on/off switch included on a budget power supply. The standard honeycomb mesh grill allows for plenty of airflow.
Cooling the CX430V2 is a 120mm fan with wire grill on the bottom.
While you're usually lucky to even get mounting screws with budget power supplies, Corsair makes sure you're taken care of with that and more. We also find plenty of cable ties, a case badge, the user manual and AC power cable.
Cabling Arrangement & A Look Inside
While there isn't a lengthy list of cables here for the CX430V2, it isn't short on what you'll need by any means. Of course, we find the 20+4 pin Main and ATX 4+4 connectors. The single PCI-E cable has only one connector and is of the 6+2 variety. Peripheral connections are handled via three cables. Two of the cables have dual SATA connectors on them while the third has three Molex connectors and a single floppy connector.
As you'd expect, the CX430V2 uses a single 12V rail. Moving on.
A Look Inside
Opening up the power supply, we find what should be ample cooling for a low end power supply.
The primary capacitor is a single Samxon cap rated for 85C. It would be nice to see at least Taiwanese capacitors here instead of Chinese.
Taking a look at the secondary capacitors, we find a mix of more Samxon caps with a few Teapo capacitors. At least all of these are rated for 105C.
Keeping everything nice and cool is the 120mm Yate Loon fan, model D12SH-12.
Test Results & Final Thoughts
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 CX430V2 430W PSU, we can test it to the maximum.
Taking a look at the voltage regulation tests, we see that the power supply is far from perfect. That's quite ok in this case and it simply isn't meant to power an enthusiast rig where the extra voltage regulation will give you an extra 150 MHz overclock. Instead, the CX430V2 produces solid numbers from start to finish. Both the 12V and 5V rails manage to stay within 2% regulation. The 3.3V rail doesn't quite do as well, but still stays within 4%. At no time did the CX430V2 even come close to being out of specification.
DC output quality was overall quite well for the CX430V2. Test 1 showed a rather low reading of 9mV peak to peak and this increased as the load increased. Under full load we saw a maximum of 24mV of ripple on the scope. You simply couldn't ask for anything better from the CX430V2.
Perhaps the one area that the CX430V2 struggles a bit is in the efficiency category. The power supply is 80Plus certified and that is it, not even a Bronze rating here. That means that the power supply just has to stay at or above 80% efficiency through all of the tests. While the power supply did so, it would have been nice to see more efficiency out of the unit.
Sometimes it is refreshing to sit back and take a look at non-enthusiast grade hardware. It is simplistic, does exactly what it is meant to do, and is cheap. The CX430V2 is does just that and nothing more. It provides plenty of power, within specifications, for low end systems. It does it without a ton of cables getting in the way or extra connectors that you'll never use. Best of all, it does it at a great price. At $40, the CX430 is a solid buy and well worth considering for any low end system. If you can snag it while there is still a rebate and get it for $27 US, it is a phenomenal buy and you should consider buying four or five of them to have on stock for the next power supply related fixes and low end systems that you're called upon for.
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