Corsair HX 620W Power Supply Review

Cases & PSU/Power Supplies by KeithSuppe @ 2006-11-14

Corsair has ventured even further away from their home range landing in the middle of Power Supply territory. Their initial offering´s are well constructed and feature one of the best modular cable systems seen to date. Today we have the opportunity to test their CMPSU-620HX modular PSU.

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Madshrimps (c)

The close-up above reveals we will be exmanining a power supply based on a multi-rail design. While this is not my favorite topic it's important we distiunguish between what is avialable and what certain guidelines dictate the manufacturer follow. For many years a 20-pin ATX power connector was all that was adequate to power any system, that is until the Pentium processors began demanding more current. Intel's solution was to introduce an additional 2x2-pin power adapter also known as the P4 power adpater. Next came PCIx bus and slot which required four additional pins transforming the 20-pin connector into a 24-pin connector supplying an additional 75W for the new bus and cards which ran off the PCIx slot. The evolution or mutation continued transforming the P4 to an 4x4-pin configuration to feed the voracious hunger of Intel's ever deepening pipelined beasts. The reasoning behind multi-rail designs are wrought with contradictions. However we cannot fault the manfacturrer for following guidelines and so we introduce what is certainly one of the finer executions of that design.

Corsair micro is widely known as the world's leader in desktop performance memory. While there are a multitude of other companies, many of which provide high quality products, Corsair has been very consistent in their role as a supplier of the worlds very best high performance memory. Products released over the years such as the TwinX, XMS, XMS Pro, Xpert and now Dominator Series of memory, all innovative, contributed a great deal to the industry while providing consumers with several options at the fastest speeds. Memory has certainly been Corsair's forte', however; they've also released several water-cooling systems which have been well accepted and perform on par with companies specializing in that field. Corsair's most recent divergence from the memory market has produced two new power supplies, the CMPSU-520HX, CMPSU-620HX both are modular, ergonomic and available internationally. As in the photo above, we test the HX620 which arrived in typical Corsair fashion, secure packaging.

Madshrimps (c)

Corsair has never suffered in the presentation department and they go to great length to ensure their products look as good as they perform. This they make evident on the box, since it is the first thing you see and for those whom dismiss "packaging" per se as superfluous, it's most likely because the company did their job correctly. It's usually not until you receive a damaged product you begin to ponder how securely it might, or should be boxed. PSU's are heavy and most arrive in thin bubble wrap and a tight fitted albeit thin cardboard box, which is fine if “double boxed” correctly. Corsair uses a thick form-fitted foam enclosure to secure the unit in place for travel. It costs more to do this, but it's less costly then an unhappy customer. In the photo below the top portion of the foam has been removed.

Madshrimps (c)

In the box is an 18AWG power cord which is adequate for maximum current draw. Cables are neatly tucked away in a sturdy pouch with Velcro fastening. It's a bit much for me but given the type of cables included, this is a nice storage place.

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Cables provided are svelte in appearance and relatively flat, although not necessarily the type which would impede airflow through the case. While I'm not an advocate of modular cables these are the most ergonomic I've seen.

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The cables connectors are especially unique accommodating their "flat" design. Much less cumbersome then any others I've used. And for those of you whom have tried to connect or disconnect modular cables inside your case, you know how difficult that can be.

Madshrimps (c)

I am not an advocate of modular cable designs as they introduce unnecessary points of resistance where oxidation can occur and repeated use of the plastic connectors leaves them prone to failure. Many Reviewers would disagree claiming the level of resistance is so minimal as to be inconsequential. I won't debate the subject here except to say; above 700W I wouldn't want designs featuring modular cables. Where the HX620 is concerned I am impressed with the cable system Corsair chose. It's unique, svelte, unobtrusive and most definitely User-friendly.

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Specifications -->

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Comment from SuAside @ 2006/11/15
compared to the competition (in the same pricerange), it does have rather small sinks, doesn't it?
Comment from jmke @ 2006/11/16
I've been going through the review again, especially the noise section; from the different readings, a max. difference between idle/load of ~3dBA is hardly a noticeable increase.

thus I've altered the final conclusion, stating that the unit indeed, quiet thanks to the use of a larger 120mm fan.
Comment from Carni4 @ 2006/11/16
I bought this PSU about a month ago together with a Antec P180B and it's great. The corsair fits the antec like a glove.
I don't have the latest hardware, so i don't get it to load fully. I just love the fact that it only blows cold air out

It also come with that cool bag for your modular cables. The bag is great for your toothbrush and stuff when you go to a LAN
Comment from EsaT @ 2006/11/16
Originally posted by SuAside
compared to the competition (in the same pricerange), it does have rather small sinks, doesn't it?
Compared to plain aluminum plates in FSP (Fortron) Epsilon 600W/700W (same design also in OCZ GameXstream) heatsinks used by Seasonic are big.
Remember that efficiency is factor determining what amount of cooling capacity (=size of heatsinks and/or amount of airflow) is required.

And despite of three (virtual) 12V rails in sticker there's two of them at most on PCB and there aren't any current limiting devices in those meaning it works as single 12V line PSU.
Markings for two 12V lines on PCB are there because originally Seasonic's aim was design with current limited rails (/or came from design of original S12 serie) but they took notice of possible problems with power hungry components and left current limiting out but so that it could be added to PSU if customer wants.

Same Seasonic's design is used also in PC P&C Silencer 750W. Determining this similarity should be easy to do by comparing innards where only bigger difference is heatsinks optimized for different airflow: 10 11

As for noise these tests aren't enough for fully determining that, even that second test rig peaks under 400W and that's just where fan speed would start to increase more, at least that Silencer might start getting towards noisy end of scale at higher loads because 80mm fans can't move so much air without lot of RPMs which makes higher pitched more disturbing noise than 12cm fans.

Torture test (emphasis on torture) of same design in Seasonic's own brand PSU can be found here:
Comment from Sidney @ 2006/11/16
I wish I had a load tester.
Comment from jmke @ 2006/11/16
apparently, they are quite costly

his setup