Corsair TX850W Power Supply

Apr 18th, 2009 | By

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Corsair TX850W Power Supply


Date
: 04/18/09 – 05:25:43 AM

Author
:

Category
: Power Supplies


Page 1 : Introduction

Corsair power supplies have long since been a favorite among computer enthusiasts, overclockers and casual users alike, and have built quite the reputation for being affordable, yet top-tier performing power supplies. Last summer, we looked at Corsair's TX750W power supply, and today we are going to follow that up with Corair's TX850W.

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Corsair has been in the industry for quite some time now and they certainly have brought with them a long list of credentials. Since 1994, Corsair has been producing performance memory modules targeting specifically demanding computing applications such as servers, work stations, and gaming computer systems. Since then, Corsair has expanded their reach to include power supplies, cooling products and flash memory modules.

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Corsairs TX line of power supplies is aimed directly at the value market, bringing to the table features and specifications found more commonly in much more expensive units. The TX series offers a single dedicated 12V rail, 80 Plus efficiency, a 140mm cooling fan for quiet operation and a price tag which rivals budget power supplies.

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When we tested the TX750W last summer, we were incredibly pleased with the results. Only a small handful of products earn our Editor's Choice award, and the TX750W walked home with one. The TX750W offered performance matching some of the best units on the market for an absolutely stunning price. We have high expectations for today's unit.


Page 2 : Features and Specifications

Here is what Corsair has to say about the TX850W:

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And taking a look at specifications:

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Like its sibling, the TX 850W is a single rail 80%+ efficiency certified power supply.

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The unit is rated for a total of 850W. The 12V rail alone accounts for 840W, impressive.


Page 3 : Package and Content

The TX850W comes in a fairly typical cardboard box. It is similarly styled as its 750W counterpart, only this time colored in yellow.

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On the sides and back, we have a run down of key features, specifications and various product images.

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Removing the unit from the package, Corsair has included along with the power supply, cables, screws, a manual and a power cord.

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The TX850W is finished in basic, yet classic matte black accented with a matching matte black fan grill, black sleeving, topped off with black heat shrink and contrasted with yellow product identification stickers.

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The large 140mm fan on the bottom of the unit should do an excellent job acting as an exhaust for the computer system, and cooling the power supply by drawing air from the case into the power supply and then through the perforated black end.

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Corsair is never one to cut back on connectors, and like the TX750W the TX850W comes with a generous amount.

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Among the snake nest of wires are four 6 pin PCI-Express connectors all with detachable 2 pin connectors allowing compatibility for conventional 6 pin PCI-Express cards and newer 8 pin PCI-Express cards.

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For all your storage needs, we have eight SATA power connectors.

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Eight standard 4 pin peripheral connectors are included along with two floppy drive connectors.

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Finally for motherboard connectivity we have a 20+4 pin ATX connector along with a EPS/ATX12V 8/4 pin connector.

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Finally, let's open the unit up and have a look around!

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The unit is built by Channel Well, or more commonly CWT like the TX750W.

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Cooling the power supply, we have the same Yate Loon fan, model number D14BH-12 which spins at a maximum speed of 2800RPM producing 140 CFM and 48.5 dB of noise.

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The wiring and soldering job is incredibly neat, as typical of Corsair. Wide heatsinks are used throughout the unit to take advantage of the single large 140mm fan design.

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Throughout the primary and secondary sides, we have an assortment of Japanese made Nippon Chemi-con capacitors. Good stuff!


Page 4 : Testing Setup

Quite unlike any other PC component, properly evaluating a power supply involves much, much more than running a battery of tests or sitting down in front of a shooter for a few hours armed with a pen and a pad of paper. Although, we have the utmost appreciation for a few headshots coupled with explosions, power supply reviews call for much more. The general mantra for testing power supplies tends to fall somewhere in the ranges of loading the power supply up to the top, and letting it suffer. We here at Overclockers Online are inclined to agree. Accordingly, our testing methods have evolved to allow for more sophisticated and accurate testing.

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The dilemma here is: how to test a power supply without a computer system, but emulate a computer system? It is important to not forget that as much as we try to part from throwing a power supply into a computer system and watching how it performs, ultimately, what we are distancing ourselves from is precisely what we are trying to replicate. Simply, the ideal testing platform would be indistinguishable from a computer system, but graced with the accuracies of an adjustable load. However, since we do not have access to state of the art testing equipment, or the funds to purchase such equipment, we have built a custom load tester. While it does not offer adjustments in the thousandths of a decimal place, it does offer enough flexibility to test current day power supplies and beyond.

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Using thick high quality 16AWG wires throughout and equally high quality connectors and switches, we have sought to minimize resistance in the lines while maintaining flexibility. All it takes is a flip of a switch to turn a desired resistor on or off.

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A proper electronic load is a start, but we are going to be a bit more ambitious. A keystone piece of our testing mythology is the heat box. A system drawing 800W from a power supply produces quite a bit of heat, and to be testing such a power supply in an ambient environment is not only inconsistent with in-system applications but unrealistic and misleading. Our hotbox consists of nothing more than a case graciously donated to us from Silverstone. Recycling heat produced from the load tester using a series of controlled fans and a duct, we can control operational temperatures and push a power supply to its limits, or over.

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Using the heat and load, we will run a battery of five tests: three cold and two hot tests. The three cold tests consist of 50% load, 80% load and finally full load. Naturally, we will escalate the strain on the unit by adding heat in the hot tests. The final two tests are 80% load and full load at approximately 50°C or more.

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While the purpose and effects of 'burn in' are debated, doing so causes no harm. Prior to any testing, all units are run for a maximum period of one week without load. At best, this will stabilize the unit; at worst it takes a few hours off the unit's total life span.

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In our tests, we will do our best to adhere to ATX specifications including cross loading and criteria for testing. The presentations of our results are designed for ease of interpretation and conciseness.

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So, without any further delay, let us get started!


Page 5 : Testing

The aim of the cold test is to reflect ideal operational conditions where heat from the computer system is independent from the power supply. Still though, the term cold test would be misleading as things do get quite hot!

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Our cold tests went by fairly painlessly for the TX850W. The results so far are actually quite impressive- all rails are spot on. Let's try some heat now.

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Now, it has been a while since we have seen numbers like this. Through all five tests, the TX850W performed remarkably.

Comparing the TX 850W at full load, we can see how heat affects performance.

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Both the TX750W and TX850W are built off the same platform, but it looks like Corsair has done a bit of tweaking. Compared to its sibling, the TX850W held its rails even better.


Page 6 : Conclusion

When it comes to the absolute best when balancing price and performance, a few units come to mind, among them Corsair's TX750W was definitely among those at the front of the pack. Today we add Corsair's TX850W to that list. The 850W priced in the lower $100 dollar range and only slightly more expensive than the TX750W falls in a sweet spot. For those needing just a little bit more power than the TX750W offers, but not a full 1000W, the TX850W answers the call. Even those who don't necessarily need 850W of power should consider the TX850W. There are only a small number of units which match Corsair's TX line offerings in terms of performance and especially at its asking price point.

Over the years, a number of units have passed through our hands and few have managed to achieve what Corsair's TX offering does. Despite its rock- bottom price tag, the TX series units manage to match up eye- to- eye with the best units out there.

More than performance however, the TX850W unit is absolutely silent, it comes fully sleeved with matching black molex connectors, and is finished in a matte black. For the performance, and for the price Corsair's TX850W is simply an awesome unit.

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Advantages

  • Excellent performance

  • Value, value, value
  • Fully sleeved
  • Quiet
  • Beautiful paintjob

Disadvantages

  • None

Overclockers Online would like to thank Corsair for providing a review sample of the TX850W. Overclockers Online would also like to thank SilverStone Technologies for providing the chassis for use in our load tester.

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