Introduction, Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Corsair wanted to take another stab at our PSU testing methodology. With their recent track record, we were happy to give them another shot to see what they had to offer. They happily sent over their new TX550M, the latest power supply in the TX series complete with modular support.
The TX series of power supplies has been revamped quite a bit lately and they seem to have listened to their customers. They've changed up the connector availability, added modular cables and made sure the unit was still of great build quality.
Let's take a deeper look into the brand new TX550M and see what all it has to offer.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Corsair's TX550M comes with less total power output than the TX750M that we looked at last month. While that is to be expected, the important thing to look at is where the cuts in outputs were made.
In the case of the TX550M, the power supply took a hit on all three of the rails. Both the 3.3V and 5V rails are only capable of 25A a piece with a total combined output of 140W. Corsair also lowered the output of the single 12V rail to 45A. This 12V rail is capable of providing 100% of the power supply's total output of 550W.
Just as the TX750M did, the Corsair TX550M fills our chart for features. This is a great list of features to find in such a low wattage power supply and we will find a few things that you wouldn't expect. Most notable are the 50C power rating and over temperature protection. These features are typically reserved for units of higher output and usually incur a little bit more of an impact on the wallet too.
While we are on the subject of price, we might as well tell you that Corsair has an MSRP of $109 for the TX550M. This is an already a good deal on a 550W power supply with a full list of enthusiast features, but it gets even better. Newegg currently has the power supply available for $99.99 with a 10% off code, dropping the price down to $90.00 with free shipping. Corsair backs your purchase with a 5-year warranty as well.
Corsair hasn't changed the packaging for the TX550M at all. It is the same yellow and black packaging that we've seen on all the other TX series power supplies we have taken a look at.
More of our usual information here with the list of features, I/O specification, a few charts for efficiency and noise and a little bit more.
The top of the box gives us a little bit of information in multiple languages.
The bottom does the same with only slightly different information.
Both sides are the same and lack any information other than make and model.
Inside the Box
The same packaging is used for the TX550M and it does a very good job of protecting the power supply. You simply couldn't ask for much more.
Corsair has located the I/O specification label on the top of the TX550M.
On both sides are the TX series logos.
A glance at the back shows us the AC input, on/off rocker switch and honeycomb grill for ventilation.
Moving to the front, we find the four modular connectors which are new to the TX series.
The bottom contains the large 140mm fan and grill that keeps the TX550M cool.
Also included in the box are the modular cables, user manual, warranty card, AC power cord, black mounting screws and some zip ties.
Cabling Arrangement & A Look Inside
For a 550W power supply, Corsair manages to get in a pretty decent list of cables and connectors to make sure that you are able to make full use of the 550 watts that are available. The obligatory 20+4 and ATX 4+4 pin connectors are present as you would expect. Both PCI-E cables features 6+2 pin connectors, are modular, and are of ample length.
There is one Molex and one SATA cable natively wired to the power supply and then one more of each. This gives you a total of six SATA and six Molex connectors. Furthermore, Corsair includes two Molex to FDD connectors for those still requiring the connector.
Rail distribution is kept simple with a single 12V rail.
A Look Inside
Opening up the TX550M, we see a unit that is almost identical to what we saw in that of the TX750M. It is very obvious that the cooling isn't the most spectacular that we've ever seen, but so long as it gets the job done and the unit doesn't fail under full load, we won't complain.
The single primary capacitor is manufactured by Panasonic.
Over on the secondary side, Corsair utilizes the Japanese made Nippon Chemi-con capacitors.
The very popular Yate Loon D14BH-12 is back yet again, providing the cooling for the TX550M.
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 higher than that of the Corsair TX550M, we can test it to the maximum.
Corsair's TX550M performs almost identical to that of the TX750M that we took a look at last month, which is quite expected considering the unit is from the same line of power supplies and just outputting a few hundred less watts. Voltage regulation was once again within 2% across the board with the 3.3V rail being extremely stable.
DC Output quality was excellent for the unit, too. The unit started out showing only 10mV of ripple on the oscilloscope during Test 1. When we increased the loads and moved to Test 2, the ripple increased just a bit to 17mV peak to peak. Under the full load test of Test 3, we saw a maximum of 23mV of noise on the 12V rail.
Rounding out our results are those for the efficiency of the TX550M. Being an 80Plus Bronze rated power supply, the unit must be 82%/85%/82% efficient at 20%/50%/100% loads respectively. While our first test is well above the 20% mark, the test does show that the unit is well above the 82% mark already. The unit also achieves over 85% efficiency during Test 2 and manages to hang in there during the full load test with 83.1% efficiency.
Those looking for a new power supply in the 500-600W segment will most certainly want to take a look at the Corsair TX550M. The unit is packed full of features that are normally reserved for higher end, higher wattage power supplies such at being rated for 100% continuous output at 50C and a full complement of circuit protections. Add in the sub $100 price tag to the equation and you've got yourself one heck of a power supply on paper.
When you start taking a look at performance, things only get better as the results we saw backed up what we saw on paper. The voltage regulation was excellent, never worse than 2% across the board with a 3.3V rail that barely showed a change. DC output quality was great as well and there are some that would kill for noise this low on their high wattage power supplies.
The TX550M even passes in the efficiency department as it manages to achieve its 80Plus Bronze rating. Top all this off with the 5 year warranty that Corsair offers on the unit and this power supply becomes excellent value.
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