Corsair Gold: AX850 Power Supply

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Corsair power supplies have been winning praise from web tech reviewers since day one. The AX850 is certainly no exception. It is a winning power supply in every way — electrical performance is tops, efficiency is high enough for 80 Plus Gold, the build quality is fantastic, the completely detachable cables are a breeze to work with, the 7-year warranty is the industry's longest, and the noise level is vanishingly low at almost every power level. That it gets even quieter in an advanced case with independent cooling intake for the PSU is an added bonus silent PC enthusiasts will love.

A little caution should be included in Corsair's package: "The PSU fan will probably not turn on when the computer is booted, and you won't notice when the fan does start spinning. That's the way it should be."

Almost all of the positive things we wrote about the Seasonic X-650 can be repeated here, because the Corsair AX850 is largely a higher power version — with a voltage control fan rather than a PWM fan. It also has the benefit of a year's refinement of the X-series production line. 80 Plus Gold certified models are premier PSUs, so the near-$200 price tag is no surprise.

Naturally, with its high power rating, the Corsair AX850 is ideal for a new cateory of PC enthusiast that has emerged in the last couple of years: Silent Gamers. Yes, strange as it sounds, gamers who like to play those typically violent games with all kinds of percussive noise effects from the speakers — but without any interfering noise from the PC. With CPU and GPU power in such profusion, and overclocking now a routine feature in almost every performance motherboard, simply building a hot rod gaming PC is not the challenge it once used to be. Building a hot rod that's also silent — a sleeper, if you will — now, that's still a challenge, and the Corsair AX850 is a great component for such a build.

Corsair AX850 Balance Sheet

* Silent at lower power
* Very quiet in typical use
* Even quieter in advanced case
* Very high efficiency
* High quality parts & build
* Totally modular cables
* Excellent electrical performance
* 7-year warranty

* Sample did not quite reach 90% efficiency at mid-power load

Much thanks to Corsair for the review sample.

Corsair AX850 receives the SPCR Editor's Choice Award

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SPCR Articles of Related Interest:
Power Supply Fundamentals
Recommended Power Supplies
SPCR PSU Test Rig V.4
Seasonic X-400 Fanless
Seasonic X-650: Seasonic Hits Gold
Enermax Modu/Pro87+ 500W
Antec TruePower TP-750

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