Categories: Power Supplies

Corsair AX850 Titanium Modular Power Supply Review

A Closer Look

Without meaning to sound too gushing, I have always loved the way in which Corsair presents a product. There is always a nice clear image of what you’re buying, plenty of features and good quality information presented in a well thought out manner. In this regard, the Corsair AX850 is no exception.

Everything you would need to know at a glance is clearly evident on the front of the box. It’s modular, it has 850w of power, it’s titanium efficiency rated and it has a 10-year guarantee.

Whatever the front of the packaging lacks in the detail, the back certainly makes up for it. Here you are provided with much more detail on some of the key features. You are also given the PSU specifications, power output chart, dimensions and even the fan/efficiency ratings charts. Admittedly the accommodation of 6 languages in total has led to cramping in some areas, but on the whole, the presentation is excellent.

Whats In The Box?

Out of the box, you will initially notice that everything has been exceptionally well presented. The product manual (as well as 3 separate decals for your system) are provided in a neat plastic folder. In addition, you are also have branded cable tidies as well as a number of standard zip ties.

The power supply cables are all kept within a canvas bag which looks nice by itself. It does, however, have a little secret that I daresay will impress a number of you. Well, it impressed me at least.

The cable bag opens to reveal a design that would look more akin to a builders belt. All cables have their own compartment and each is clearly labelled. It’s a really minor touch for the product as a whole, but this is, without a doubt, one of the best cable presentations I’ve ever seen. It’s not necessary, but it’s a great little touch of class.

The cables themselves have a nice strong protective sheathing. While this does provide a little resistance to bending, it is still more than easy to work with and every cable length is absolutely perfect for most system designs. This cabling isn’t just durable, it’s practically bullet-proof.

Finally, as one last little surprise, you are provided with a Corsair branded USB stick. As you can note from the picture below though, this isn’t just a standard stick. This is a stick with password protection. In other words, you can set up a code on the stick and the data cannot be accessed. Out of the box, all that’s actually on the stick is the product specification. It is, however, a fantastic little addition that gets the thumbs up from me!

The Power Supply

The power supply itself is kept within a nice branded cloth bag. We should note that even inside this, the power supply is wrapped in plastic. It is, however, another nice little touch to really emphasise that this isn’t just a standard power supply. This is something rather special.

Aesthetics

The Corsair AX850 carries the branding you would expect from them. In other words, it’s a sleek black design with silver highlights. In terms of the design though, Corsair has put a little effort into the design to try and add an aesthetic touch to it. Despite this, however, the AX850 speaks of being ‘all business’.

The key aesthetic of the design, however, lies in the branding. Where it is found, however, it is both subtle and suitable to the overall ethos of the product.

The inputs for the modular power supply cables are labelled to help you make sure that the right cable goes in the right place. While some of these are placed in a ‘mirrored’ design, the top bank of cables are not. This does make their removal and insertion a little cramped and tricky at times. The cables do, however, connect with a satisfying level of security.

The rear of the power supply has a large bank of vents to promote (as best as possible) passive air flow. This is, of course, a factor in Corsair’s design of this power supply to have the cooling fan only running when necessary. You will note that the rear has 2 switches, one is the power switch while the other switches on the ‘zero RPM’ fan mode. This is a more ‘boosted’ version of the standard operation which looks to minimise the fan usage regardless.

The fan design is rather nice with the aesthetic design to the case really accentuating the horizontal gaps for the air intake. It is, again, a little touch that adds just that little bit of sparkle to the design.

As above, aesthetically, there isn’t much, but what is there is excellent. The Corsair AX850, however, does look highly professional. Unlike many of their products, you will find no RGB here. This power supply is all business!

Interior

Usually, at this point in a review, we would open up the power supply to have a look at the quality of the internal design. We would also use this opportunity to verify factors such as the 100% Japanese capacitors this model claims to have. Sadly, however, we were unable to break into this power supply. Yes, despite undoing all of the seemingly necessary screws (which, incidentally were star bit fixtures) we simply couldn’t get in. Not, at least without the risk of damaging the product.

The main priority of the review is, of course, the performance. As such, on this occasion, we admitted defeat to prevent the risk of any damage affecting our testing. It is frustrating, but it does sometimes happen!

Overall Thoughts

We said earlier in the review that on the surface the Corsair AX850 ticked all of the right boxes in terms of what you want to see from a power supply. At least in terms of the presentation and what’s on offer, that continues to be the case. With this being a Titanium Efficiency rated power supply, however, the real quality will lie in just how well this stands the scrutiny of our rigorous testing!

 

Important – Please Read

To understand the results on the new few pages, please take the time to read our detailed testing methodology page. The next page of this review will help you understand what the results of our testing mean, and educate you on the various qualities we look for in a good PSU.

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Mike Sanders

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