NEW! Corsair VX450W (reviewed by SPCR)

Want to talk about one of the articles in SPCR? Here's the forum for you.
Das_Saunamies
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Post by Das_Saunamies » Wed Aug 15, 2007 4:00 am

Thank goodness I didn't fan-swap yet. I'm gonna sell my S12II and buy a VX if I can get the price 1:1. :D

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Post by line » Wed Aug 15, 2007 4:30 am

Your S12 II 430W and the VX series use the same fan model, a medium-speed Adda AD1212MB-A71GL. What makes you think a VX would be quieter?

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Post by Calculon » Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:34 am

Das_Saunamies wrote:Thank goodness I didn't fan-swap yet. I'm gonna sell my S12II and buy a VX if I can get the price 1:1. :D
I think you should go ahead with exchanging the PSU, as I'm interested in a direct comparison between the two. ;-)

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Post by Das_Saunamies » Wed Aug 15, 2007 4:19 pm

Same fan, so what? I didn't say I was expecting it to be quieter. I'm curious to see how a Corsair handles, and my S12II has hardly been the dream unit so far: mediocre fan combined with HDD boot troubles makes me want to swap right now. If I can get the same performance and reliability for less, I'll take it. If it's quieter, all the better, but I'm not betting on it; even with a better controller the fan has its characteristic rumble.

VX availability is poor right now, so this'll have to happen some time in the future.

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Post by NeilBlanchard » Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:53 pm

Hello,

According to the JonnyGuru review, the VX450 uses the low speed Adda.

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Post by winguy » Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:22 pm

NeilBlanchard wrote:Hello,

According to the JonnyGuru review, the VX450 uses the low speed Adda.
Its a medium speed.

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Post by Das_Saunamies » Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:36 am

So the HX actually use a HIGH speed fan?! :shock:

Maybe Corsair can tame the medium one too then, here's hoping!

PS. I would've swapped for a 380W in hopes of getting more reliable boots, but currently that model's not available through my sources.

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Post by NeilBlanchard » Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:57 am

Hello,

Right -- the VX uses a lower speed fan:
Adda AD1212MB-A71GL
vs the HX fan:
AD1212HB-A71GL
. So it is very likely that the VX is quieter than the HX models.

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Post by Das_Saunamies » Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:51 am

Yeah, as long as the noise character is kept in check somehow. It's not so much the volume as it is the roughness that chafes with the S12II's fan.

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Post by MikeC » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:55 am

In case you guys didn't notice, I've hijacked this thread and turned it into the discussion for SPCR's VX450W review. ;)

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Post by cansan » Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:31 pm

Very nice review as always.

It it interesting the way that the vx450 ramps up much sharper than the others. Does anyone else think that the airflow baffle thing limits its use as a heat extractor? It seems that the baffle will help move more air over the heatsinks but at the cost of air flow rate, thus hurting it in the high loads in the SPCR test rig?

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Post by jaganath » Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:55 pm

great review (and timely). Mike, any idea why Corsair didn't apply for 80Plus certification?

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Post by Aris » Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:47 pm

As far as it being non modular: modular is cool, but honestly who doesnt have excess space on either side of their PSU that has no other meaning in life other than to stuff unwanted PSU cables? Modular cables is just a marketing gimmek so they can charge more money.

That said, the fact that it isnt modular, to me anyhow, seems to sort of defeat the entire purpose. Why not just buy an S12? About the only thing i can see that stands it apart is its warrenty. 5years with 24/7 support is outstanding.

I like that they used some high quality components, some over rated by quite a bit above the average.

I'm still waiting to see a 300-400w PSU with an 80mm fan w/ modular cables from corsair. This to me would seem to be the "sweet spot" for silencing enthusiasts.

Also im glad to see SPCR getting back to what it does best. This is to date the first true SPCR hardware review in about 2 1/2 months. I dont count the LCD display as a review.

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Post by JazzJackRabbit » Thu Aug 16, 2007 4:02 pm

Factual error in the review: on the 5th page in the noise comparison table Seasonic S12 Energy + should have 26dBA noise rating at 300W, not 36.

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Post by MikeC » Thu Aug 16, 2007 4:14 pm

Aris wrote:Also im glad to see SPCR getting back to what it does best. This is to date the first true SPCR hardware review in about 2 1/2 months. I dont count the LCD display as a review.
Sheesh, enough already! Surely, everyone in these forums has already heard your opin many times! :roll:
JazzJackRabbit wrote:Factual error in the review: on the 5th page in the noise comparison table Seasonic S12 Energy + should have 26dBA noise rating at 300W, not 36.
Thanks, JJR, corrected.

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Post by dhanson865 » Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:37 pm

Thanks for the review. I always look forward to them. The Pics and data in a SPCR review are always worth waiting for.

Typo on page 4: Low VAC Test: Corsair HX620W @ 351W Output

I liked the comparison table :D, would have been nice to see the Earthwatts 430 in the table as so many people seem to be smitten with it. I haven't caught the bug but I've been at least reconsidering it. :)

I might just buy a new PSU this winter or next spring instead of bothering with the fan swap on my old S12.

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Post by MikeC » Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:43 pm

dhanson865 --

thanks for the comments and the typo snipe, which has been corrected. Data for the Earthwatts 430 is now in that comparison table btw. ;)

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Post by WR304 » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:47 am

On page 5 of the review your graph plot for the Seasonic S12-430w looks a bit odd.

Shouldn't it be like the data in the table above it?

Model_____ 90W - 150W - 200W - 250W - 300W - 400W - 450W
S12-430___ 20 - 22 - 25 - 29 - 32 - 37 - 37

Image

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Post by MikeC » Fri Aug 17, 2007 6:50 am

WR304 wrote:On page 5 of the review your graph plot for the Seasonic S12-430w looks a bit odd.

Shouldn't it be like the data in the table above it?

Model_____ 90W - 150W - 200W - 250W - 300W - 400W - 450W
S12-430___ 20 - 22 - 25 - 29 - 32 - 37 - 37
You're right, it's missing the last 37C / 450W data point.

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Post by Redbeard » Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:33 pm

jaganath wrote:great review (and timely). Mike, any idea why Corsair didn't apply for 80Plus certification?
We have applied, it is pending. It will certainly be certified as it meets all the requirements as far as our internal tests can show so far. Our intent is to produce a wide-range of products that are best-in-the-field for quality, and part of our requirements is high efficiency.

For those wondering why it's not modular, simply price point. With the HX520W being <$100 at some online stores and modular, and the added cost of modular would mean that the price difference between the VX450W and the HX520W would be nearly nothing.

We wanted to launch a basic, single-GPU, non-modular PSU that was highly efficient and very quiet, and that's what the VX450W is. The VX550W is similar but for those who want a slightly higher-wattage product for low-end SLI compatibility, but still don't want to pay the difference for modular.

Ideally, the price delta between a modular and non-modular product would be $10-15 or so, retail, provided the internals are identical. That being said, we also upgrade the internal components to 105C rated caps in order to extend the MTBF and guarantee better operation at its rated 50C temps.

But fear not, we have not forsaken modular products.

We have higher-wattage products in the pipeline that are both modular and fixed cable. While you might wonder why, we've found that the market is large enough that not everyone wants the modular cables and yet everyone wants a power supply they can trust.

Our goal is to be the #1 manufacturer of quality power supplies, with an entire lineup for all sorts of consumers.

Right now, we're only about a year into our PSU business and the HX was a home run for us (and many of our customers as well), so my goal, as the power supply applications specialist, is to make sure that the PSU products are absolutely bulletproof for generations to come.

And this forum, as well as JonnyGuru's forum and some other forums, as well as the fantastic feedback we get from guys like Mike here at SPCR, Kyle & Paul at HardOCP, Jonny Guru, and a few other guys always gives me the best ideas of what you guys want to buy.

I see it like this:
--You guys want a power supply that meets your needs.
--We'd love to sell you a power supply.
--We need to know what your needs and desires are for products.
--We can build those products if there's enough interest.

Sometimes I don't think you guys believe you have that much impact. But trust me, there are basically a small handful of guys here at Corsair that are in charge of which PSUs get made and what the next generation will be like. I'm one of them. So when you guys have comments or suggestions, the next-generation can be directly affected by them.

Like Mike pointed out at the end of his review, he wanted a lower-wattage product with similar efficiency and a lower price point, and we delivered.

So for any PSU comments or questions, or more info on it, I'm the power guy, powerguy@corsairmemory.com and I'll answer any questions you guys have.

Wow, that sounded like a sales pitch. Sorry.

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Post by dhanson865 » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:37 pm

Some time back I posted this:
The obvious choices right now are S12-380 for cost and efficiency below 100 watts, the S12-550E+ for lowest noise below 200 watts and best efficiency in the mid range, or the Corsair HX520W for lower noise and better efficiency above 250 watts.

It's a good lineup. The only thing that would make it better is if they made a S12Energy+ 450

Code: Select all

Model       Output (W)  40      65      90      150     200     250     300
        Efficiency
1 PCIe
     S12-430              .?%   78.3%   80.5%   81.6%   81.8%   80.5%   79.6%   
2 PCIe
     HX520W             67.7%   72.5%   77.1%   81.0%   84.5%   85.2%   85.1%
     S12-550E+          68.8%   74.7%   78.6%   81.9%   84.8%   84.3%   84.1%

         Noise (dBA@1m)
S12-430                  *      20      20      22      25      29      32      
HX520W                  22      22      22      22      22      22      22
S12-550E+               20      20      20      20      20      21      25

As you can see on the tables above the Energy Plus/Corsair models have a huge advantage in noise and efficiency over the regular S12 models when you get above 150W. You should also be able to notice that the S12-430 has a large advantage in efficiency below 150W.

So if you want the ability to get above 90W and not have the fan ramp up and also want the better efficiency of the S12-430 when you are idling in the 45 to 90 watt range there isn't a best of both worlds choice currently.

What I'd like to see is a S12-450 Energy Plus model.

Give me 130W to 150W on the 3.3v + 5V spec if it lowers cost. I'm more concerned about +12v rails.
Give me 30A or more on the +12V rails.
Give me the same fan and fan controller as seen in the S12Energy+ 550.

Most importantly I'd like to see the new power supply beat the S12-430, HX520W, and S12-550E+ in efficiency in the 40W to 200W range and keep the noise profile of the S12-550E+.

The 80 PLUS® performance specification requires power supplies in computers to be 80% or greater energy efficient at 20%, 50% and 100% of rated load. The goals* are:

>70% at 40W
>79% at 65W
>82% at 90W
>83% at 150W
>85% at 200W
>84% at 250W
>82% at 300W
>82% at 400W
>81% at 450W

*all at the strict testing standards of SPCR on 120v AC. Presumably the marketing claim would be 88% peak efficiency under ideal conditions (low ambient temp on 240v AC).
For the most part this product hit the target. I'll take the VX450W fan curve and idle noise level as close enough to the S12-550E+.

Code: Select all

Model       Output (W)  40      65      90      150     200     250     300     400     450
Goal vs                  >70%    >79%    >82%    >83%    >85%    >84%    >82%    >82%    >81%
Actual                  72.8%   79.1%   80.1%   82.6%   84.8%   83.3%   83.0%   81.8%   80.1%
The efficiency curve didn't hit all my targets but it did beat a few (40w and 300w). It hit most of the rest right on the target with only 90w being disappointing vs my lofty goals.

Apparently Corsair or Seasonic have gotten more conservative on marketing claims of effeciency. In the past the marketing claim would be 2 to 3% higher than the SPCR data showed. Now the claim matches the SPCR data to within a quarter of a percent. Even if they used the 230v number it would only be 86% not the 88% I imagined.

After seeing this quote I wonder what else they have up their sleeves.
We have higher-wattage products in the pipeline that are both modular and fixed cable.

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Post by HueyCobra » Sat Aug 18, 2007 12:42 am

Small typo on page 5 of the review:
• In real use, at idle in most PCs in most environments, all the Corsair PSUs, the Seasonics and the Antec Trio 550 would have about the same subjective loudness. All would be percevied as very quiet.

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Post by Filias Cupio » Mon Aug 20, 2007 5:24 pm

Yay! Welcome back - SPCR has been slow since EPCR started.

A minor nitpick: above the graph on page 5, "extrapolated" should be "interpolated".

I'm still waiting for something like my old Silverstone 300W fanless PSU, except modular and 80+.

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Post by CA_Steve » Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:35 am

Mike and crew - thanks for the review!

Redbeard - Welcome to SPCR. Glad to see another vendor on board. Here's hoping your OEM relationship with Seasonic is fruitful over the long haul.

IMHO, this product hits the sweetspot for the average single video card build...I seldom see >200W while gaming with an overclocked e4300 and 8800gts. Heck, Corsair could bring out a VX300...but, the odd market misconceptions around actual power use would probably cause it to fail in the market. :D

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Post by stapper » Tue Aug 21, 2007 11:30 am

Hi everybody,

Although I am an absolute noob on PSU's, I am learning o so fast here! But regarding this specific PSU I still have one question. I am currently in the process of assembling a new Game PC. Not an out-of-your-mind killer machine, but just a good solid system to suit my needs for the next few years. Among the main parts will be a Pentium Core2 Quad Q6600 processor and a NVidia Geforce 8800 GTS 320MB video card, all put together nicely on a Gigabyte P35-DS4 mainboard.

So for my question: will the Corsair VX450W suffice for this build?

Thanks in advance for your responses.
Stapper

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Post by CA_Steve » Tue Aug 21, 2007 12:55 pm

yes

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Post by Filias Cupio » Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:22 pm

Welcome, stapper.

See the sticky "How much will a 300w power supply run?" discussion in the PSU forum.

Here's an example quote:

"Regardless, this is a beautiful machine, and now we know that a 300W single-fan PSU can power a rig with an nVidia GeForce 8800GTS, Intel E6600 CPU, Seagate 7200.10 HDD, Plextor SATA DVD Burner, Creative X-fi sound card, 4 fans, and 2 gigs of Mushkin PC-5300. Pretty slick."

450W would fall a bit short for a really kick-posterior games machine (hungry CPU, two very hungry GPUs) but suffice for anything less (e.g. dual nearly-top-of-the-range GPU.)

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Post by Aris » Wed Aug 22, 2007 3:40 pm

Redbeard wrote:
jaganath wrote:great review (and timely). Mike, any idea why Corsair didn't apply for 80Plus certification?
We have higher-wattage products in the pipeline that are both modular and fixed cable.
I would challenge you to prove that any system built on current technology would ever demand a power output above your current PSU lineup. With the current trend of power/watt, and power profiles comming down, larger PSU capacities seem to be opposite of current and future needs. Even with SLI setups (which btw have basically been proven to provide no real benefit and only seem to exist to sell aditional units to the wealthy), power requirements are still under 500-600w.

Dont forget about the average user, who's load is typically around 150-200w. A 300w psu would be more than adaquit for the majority of users out there.

Also id suggest you read MikeC's article on PSU thermal seperation to keep PSU fans from ramping up with increased system load. Such a setup favors an 80mm (front to back) airflow configuration over the current (popular) 120mm fan setups.

Though for lower noise, id prefer to have the 80mm fan on the opposite side it typically is now, pushing air over the PSU components and out the back, so theres less direct noise pathways from the fan to the user. This is really the only benefit 120mm currently have because their not located against the outside of the enlcosure.

==============================================

On a side note, i asked another company rep on this forum a few months ago for this, which i would consider the SPCR holy grail of power supplies.

An external passivly cooled 300w PSU brick with single output 12v rail, coupled with a custom made DC/DC converter to be used inside the system similar to a Pico-PSU.

If you think you hit a home run with your HX series, i guarentee a product like this would shadow that home run considerably.

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Post by klankymen » Wed Aug 22, 2007 4:55 pm

Aris wrote: Though for lower noise, id prefer to have the 80mm fan on the opposite side it typically is now, pushing air over the PSU components and out the back, so theres less direct noise pathways from the fan to the user. This is really the only benefit 120mm currently have because their not located against the outside of the enlcosure.
I definitely agree with you on that one, I've been saying that for years.

And the whole not-so-pico-PSU might also be an interesting concept, but I'm not sure what the electronics behind it would be.

I'd just like to have a very cool running 250W PSU (twice the power my gaming rig draws) with high efficiencys even at "low" (100W) loads, that can nicely run passively.

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Post by jaganath » Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:56 am

An external passivly cooled 300w PSU brick
a passive 300W brick? that's gonna have to be pretty efficient not to need a fan.

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