Viper Lair
Sponsor
Menu
Latest Stuff

 

OCZ Rally2 4GB
MSI P7N SLI
Gigabyte 8800 GT
AMD Phenom X3 8750 Triple Core
Hitachi Deskstar 500GB
Cooler Master CM690
MSI X48 Platinum
Patriot DDR3-15000 2GB Kit
MSI K9A2 Platinum 790FX
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11
Latest Stuff
Search for lowest prices:


for 


Price Search:    for    

Corsair CMPSU-620HX PSU Corsair CMPSU-620HX PSU: Corsair's latest isn't a new memory product, but it still takes aim at a key, albeit often neglected system component, the power supply.
Date: August 4, 2006
Provided By:
Written By: Hubert Wong
Price:

Anyone who is a regular reader of this site, or any other hardware review site for that matter, is probably very familiar with . Well known for their enthusiast memory, over the past few years, they've expanded their product line to cover various forms of flash based memory as well as water-cooling products.

While Corsair produces mainstream products, enthusiasts are their primary target market. Said enthusiasts are probably armed with some pretty decent PCs, which probably also have some hefty power requirements. One of their competitors obviously saw the market for this, so why not go for a piece of the pie? Today we'll be looking at their newest creation, the Corsair CMPSU-620HX. How will it stack up against some industry veterans? Read on to find out.

Corsair CMPSU-620HX

The Corsair CMPSU-620HX PSU arrived neatly packed within Corsair's black rectangular packaging. The box cover lists several marketing tag lines, but one of interest is the very nice 5 year warranty. Most others only supply 3 years, and surprisingly enough, some have no manufacturer warranty at all.

Inside, the PSU was wrapped tightly in protective wrap, surrounded by high density packaging foam. A manual is included that runs over the general features and installation, as well as a mysterious nylon bag tucked to the side.

The Corsair CMPSU-620HX measures 5.9in (W) x 3.4in (H) x 5.9in (D), about the same size as your typical ATX PSU, but smaller in some ways when you think about it due to the fact it is a modular system, which we will elaborate on later. The CMPSU-620HX is rated at 620W, featuring a 99% Active PFC which allows for clean and reliable power. The power supply is auto-switching between 90~264V which means no guessing where to flip the red switch found on some PSUs.

The CMPSU-620HX has a good amount of weight to it. While it's not a scientific way of gauging a PSU's quality, most of the time, the heavier it is the better. This generally means that the manufacturer used higher quality metals and materials in their product. The PSU supports ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 standards, as well as being backwards compatible with the very common ATX12V 2.01 standard. Other safety features include over current, voltage and power protection. There is also under voltage protection as well as short circuit protection. The internal capacitors are rated for 105°C, which increases reliability and the overall life span of the unit.

The PSU features three 12V rails which is extremely important these days with water cooling, and multiple video card setups being all the rage. The rails peak at a max load capacity of 18A for each rail, which is higher across the board than some of the PSUs we've recently looked at. The 520W model features a combined maximum output of 40A while our review model has a rating of 50A max (600W). For the +3.3v and +5v rails, we have a maximum output of 170W, and just under 10W for the negative rails. Corsair guarantees the ratings up to 50°C and an estimated 100 000 hour run time.

Through Double Forward Switching Circuit Technology, Corsair is able to achieve 84% power efficiency. In layman's terms, this means for every 10W of power drawn, 8.4W is converted into usable power for the PC. While this rating isn't as high as some of the "Green" power supplies we've seen, the 84% rating is higher than the Enermax Liberty 620W, which we will be using as the comparison unit in testing.

The CMPSU-620HX uses a larger 120mm fan as opposed to smaller 80mm fans, thus Corsair chose the "Honey Comb" structure for the rear of the unit. The perforations allows a fair amount of air to be exhausted (via the 120mm fan) and is less obstructive than traditional precut grill methods. The fan doesn't have any fancy LED lights, which does surprise us in some ways since it's something of a case modder's must have. In use, the unit is very quiet for a fan equipped PSU, even at load. The fan is rated at about 36dBA under full load, which is rarely achieved by most users. We expect most users will put the PSU at about 30 to 33dBA.

As mentioned earlier, the CMPSU-620HX is a modular power supply, and features 7 connections outside of the 24-pin main power, 4-pin +12V and 8-pin EPS12V connections. These connections are for the power cables packed into the nylon bag we referred to at the start of the review. The bag isn't as organized as the one the Enermax Liberty, as that one had compartments for each cable.

For the 620W unit, the product includes 7 cables total. Two cables measure 800mm and have three 4-pin Molex connections. Each of these connections feature quick release tabs to make upgrades easier. There are also 2 shorter cables that have two 4-pin connections. For your video needs, the CMPSU-620HX includes two PCI express cables that will work with either single cards, SLI or CrossFire. Eight SATA connections are offered, split across two cables with three connections and one cable with two connections. Wrapping things up are two more connections for floppy drives and a fan only connection.

Installation is pretty straightforward, just plug in the cables you need and you're all set. We like the flat cables Corsair uses as it makes routing them a little easier. We didn't really plan out the path that well, so you can see it's not the cleanest wiring job, but since these are smaller than your typical modular cable, it doesn't really matter all that much.

Testing

MSI P4N Diamond: Intel Pentium 4 560, 2GB Corsair DDR2 8000UL, 2 x Seagate 400GB, Seagate 120GB, 2 x MSI 7800GTX, MSI 16X DL, AOpen CDRW 52X, Koolance PC3-720SL.

To load up the system, we run Prime95 run for 60 minutes, with Folding @ Home running in the background, as well as ripping a War of the Worlds DVD to the Seagate RAID setup. We also ran a continuous loop of VirusScan and a looping demo of 3DMark05. Voltages were monitored with ABRA DM-9700 multimeter. The comparison PSUs are the Enermax EG701AX, Enermax Liberty EL620AWT and Cooler Master's iGreen 600W. The P4 560 will be clocked at 18x215 for all testing. All the power supplies were plugged into a Belkin UPS (separately for each test) for the first set of tests.

Temperatures

Most PSUs have an ideal operating temperature of about 40°C, so we turned up the thermostat to 30°C (max in our house), disabled the case fans and set the Koolance liquid cooler to a low enough fan setting to keep the system stable at 3.87GHz. According to MBM, the internal case temperature got to about ~50°C, and a thermal probe attached a heatsink inside the PSUs read 48°C for the Enermax EG701AX, 47°C for the Liberty EL620AWT, 41°C on the Cooler Master iGreen and 44°C for the CMPSU-620HX. None of the PSUs are hitting 50°C, which is showing that all are pretty good at keeping cool and efficiently regulating their power.

Idle

+3.3v
+5v
+12v
Corsair CMPSU-620HX
3.29
5.02
12.08
Enermax EL620
3.30
5.11
12.06
Enermax EG701AX
3.30
5.08
12.07
CM iGreen Power
3.28
5.02
12.09

Load

+3.3v
+5v
+12v
Corsair CMPSU-620HX
3.27
5.00
12.02
Enermax EL620
3.29
5.05
12.02
Enermax EG701AX
3.27
5.02
11.98
CM iGreen Power
3.27
5.00
12.03

While the Belkin regulated the power drawn from the wall outlet, you'll still need a decent PSU to provide clean and reliable power to your PC. The CMPSU-620HX doesn't lose too much power under load proving itself to be highly efficient.

Wall Socket Test

Living in a new home, most of our wires are in pretty good shape. I did want to see how the PSUs would react plugged into a wall socket though (no power bar or UPS) and the other socket with a second PC equipped with a 21" CRT drawing power from a power bar. I managed to pack two additional 17" monitors to the power bar, as well as a 4.1 Logitech speaker set. I turned on a second 19" monitor plugged into another socket which shares the wiring circuit and ended with these results.

Load

+3.3v
+5v
+12v
Corsair CMPSU-620HX
3.24
5.01
12.00
Enermax EL620
3.25
5.02
12.00
Enermax EG701AX
3.24
5.01
11.94
CM iGreen Power
3.23
4.99
11.97

All the PSUs lost a bit of power, but not enough to cause any problems at all. The Enermax Liberty and Corsair CMPSU-620HX finish very closely with one another, with both of them on top for the +12V test.

Final Words

Considering this is Corsair's first stab at the power supply market, we'd have to say they did a great job for their first dive. Certainly, the engineers took a good look at what makes a good power supply and made sure all those features were present. They did not skimp out on any parts and the CMPSU-620HX certainly has the look and feel of a quality unit.

There is nothing glaringly wrong with the power supply, and the couple issues we have really fall under the fluff category. While it's nice Corsair stuck with their corporate colours for the power supply, we do think it can use a bit of sprucing up. Perhaps a metallic black look or an LED fan for those who are into the eye candy. Something a little more functional we would have liked is some labeling on the PSU itself where the wires go. Truth be told, it's plainly obvious to experienced DIY'ers, but some markings would probably be a good idea for the future.

Those of you with hefty power requirements will be pleased with the CMPSU-620HX's power ratings and expected reliability ratings. Since the unit is still very new, and we've had less than 2 weeks using it, it's difficult to gauge it's long term reliability, but with the 5-year warranty Corsair offers, that should put some minds at ease.

In terms of in-use reliability, the CMPSU-620HX did not waver at all under testing, and maintained highly efficient numbers throughout. We put it up against some of the best PSUs we've tested and it did not embarrass itself. Compared to the Enermax Liberty, its numbers were more or less on par. Where we feel the Corsair has a clear advantage is the warranty and the cabling. The efficiency rating on Corsair is also a little higher at 84%, which will matter if you tend to leave your PC powered on 24/7.

Of course, another key to the puzzle is availability, which is something we do not have at the moment. We do expect this to change in the coming weeks since the product launch only happened on Tuesday of this week.

Hit us up in the forums if you have any questions.

HOME

Copyright 2001-2006 Viper Lair. All Rights Reserved.

AMD CPU'S
Intel CPU'S
ATI Video Cards
NVIDIA Cards
Memory