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Corsair CMPSU-620HX 620W PSU
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Date: Aug 15, 2006
Section:Misc
Author: Sean Pelletier
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Introduction

Avid readers of HotHardware will certainly recognize the brand Corsair as one of the most respected and reputable companies within the industry. Since 1994, the company has made a name for themselves by offering some of the most stable and overclocker-friendly memory on the market. Backed with exceptional reliability and stellar support, the company has become renowned in the industry as one of the top names in memory.

Over the course of the last few years, Corsair has expanded their product line to address additional markets beyond memory modules. Here, the industry has also seen water-cooling units under the COOL brand as well as flash memory drives launched under the Flash Voyager USB brand name. Today, we find Corsair venturing into yet another enthusiast market segment with the launch of the company's first ever series of power supplies.

For many, the act of overclocking a system appears to be a black art in which luck plays a major role in the overall success of the efforts. To a degree this is true, as it is difficult to obtain components from a particular batch or yield. However, there are some very concrete factors which can significantly improve the chances for a successful overclocking experience. In the most basic form, a few critical keys to overclocking come by way of high quality memory, adequate cooling, and a robust power supply. With this is mind, it is no wonder Corsair has chosen to enter this market. Slowly but surely, the company is providing consumers with the necessary tools for building a rock-solid foundation for an enthusiast platform.

Although overclocking is a highly-publicized topic of discussion, the vast majority of the industry will never venture beyond stock speeds. However, the need for ample power is more important than ever these days as the popularity of dual-GPU configurations is growing. Corsair's new HX series of power supplies are targeted at any enthusiast or professional system where power is of the utmost importance. To those who might doubt the PSU's abilities, Corsair guarantee's flawless operation with dual GPU configurations and is currently in the process of officially securing both SLI and CrossFire certifications.

Corsair CMPSU-620HX 620W PSU
Specifications & Features
TECHNICAL SPECS
150 x 150 x 86mm
ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V v2.91 Compliant
Corsair Modular Connector Design
      1 x 20/24-Pin ATX Main Power Connector
      1 x 4-pin ATX 12V Connector
      1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Connector
      2 x PCI-E 6-pin Modular Connectors
      10 x 4-pin Modular Peripheral Connectors
      8 x Modular SATA Connectors
      2 x Modular Floppy Connectors
      2 x Modular -4pin Fan-Only Connectors
High efficiency
      80%+ Under Wide Load Ranges
Overvoltage/Overcurrent/Short-Circuit protection
Active PFC
MTBF:100,000 hours
100~240Vac 10-5A 50/60Hz
+3.3V(24A), +5V(30A), +12V1(18A), +12V2(18A), +12V3(18A) Maximum ratings are shown.

FEATURES
520W and 620W Configurations
Triple 12V Rails with Adaptive Power Sharing
Multi-GPU ready
Internal 120mm double ball-bearing fan
Industry Leading 5yr warranty

One glance at the unit's specifications and it is easy to see why they would be so confident. With up to 620W and three 12V rails at your disposal, it would be difficult to tax this PSU to the point of failure. To that end, Corsair goes one step further and also offers an impressive 5 year warranty on the product. Overall, this unit certainly boasts some impressive specifications.

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Exterior & Interior Impressions

  

Keeping with the tradition of using high quality packaging for all their components, Corsair has seen fit to ship the CMPPSU-620HX in a solid and aesthetically pleasing cardboard container. The package contains a surprising amount of information including the appropriate technical specs boasting of the unit's abilities.

 

Opening the package reveals a clean and orderly orientation of hardware and packing materials. Here, the unit itself rests in a protective foam covering which will keep the PSU safe in transit. Rounding out the additional materials in the box are a standard power cable, necessary screws, and a vinyl bag containing a wealth of modular power cables of varying shapes and sizes.

 

The exterior of the unit comes in a somewhat industrial yet stealthy black matte finish. As one can clearly see in the image above, the rear of the unit consists of a very well ventilated honeycomb grille to further aid in cooling.

  

One of the most unique aspects of the Corsair PSU compared with traditional designs is the presence of a modular cable design. Here, the standard power connectors retain the usual hard-wired connection to the power supply itself. However, all other power cables feature a modular connector to allow the user to pick and choose which cables will be necessary and avoid the clutter of having an endless collection of cables which aren't being used. As we see in the images above, Corsair bundles more than enough cables than anyone could ever wish to use in a single system.

 

At the base of the power supply we find an increasingly-standard 120mm fan. Fortunately, Corsair has not blindly specified a generic 120mm fan. Rather, the company has opted to choose the ADDA AD1212HB-A71GL model which features a dual ball-bearing design and pushes an impressive amount of air while maintaining extremely low noise levels. To further ensure noise is kept at a minimum, Corsair also utilizes four rubber grommets where the fan connects to the unit to remove any unwelcome noise due to vibrations.

 

Opening the lid to the XMPSU-HX620 we find a surprisingly clean layout to the PCB and components. Here, there are two rather robust black finned aluminum heatsinks spanning the entire length of the unit. Combined with the 120mm fan, temperatures should remain well under dangerous levels for most power supplies. However, Corsair has gone one step further and specifically chosen industrial grade components including the large blue 470uF capacitor which is rated up to 105oC. At every angle, the position and spacing between components never fails to impress showing a considerable amount of time went into the design and layout of this model. Looking at the units rated specifications, we see the efforts of Corsair's engineers were not made in vain.

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Testing

For testing the Corsair CMPSU-620HX PSU, we opted to build up a system based on the power hungry Pentium 4 560 which runs at 3.6GHz and we chose to overclock the system to 4GHz. From there, ATI's current 512MB flagship Radeon X1900 XTX graphics card was used in conjunction with a BFG physics card based upon Ageia's own PPU. Rounding out the system, we have 2GB of Corsair DDR2 memory and a 500GB SATA drive from Western Digital. In an effort to stress test the system, we looped 3DMark06 while concurrently running SiSoft Sandra's 2005 burn-in tests.

HotHardware Test System
Intel Pentium 4 560 3.6GHz running at 4GHz

Processor -

Motherboard -


Video Card -

Memory -


Audio -


Physics Processor -

Hard Drive -

 

Hardware Used:
Intel Pentium 4 560 3.6GHz running at 4GHz

Intel D975X Reference Motherboard
Intel 975 chipset

ASUS Radeon X1900XTX 512MB

2048MB Corsair XMS2 6400 DDR2 RAM
CAS 4

Creative Labs X-Fi XtremeMusic

BFG Ageia Physics PPU

Western Digital WD5000KS
500GB - 7,200RPM - SATA 3Gb/s



 

We let the test system run idle for 30 minutes and then recorded the voltages. Then we stressed the PSU and recorded the voltages about 30 minutes into the stress testing. You can see the resulting voltages below. Also recall that this PSU was used in a test machine for over two weeks, during which time we experienced no stability problems.

Test Results
Great Memory, But What About PSU's?


620W Corsair CMPSU-HX620

Idle & Load Voltages

 

+12V +5V +3.3V

Idle

12.38

5.12

3.35

Load

12.36

5.12

3.34

Even though our test system was overclocked and loaded with power hungry components, we failed to make the new Corsair power supply even break a sweat. Even under full load, the highest variance in voltage we witnessed was only 0.02V. Even minus this tiny amount, the overall voltage remained well above the required amount and illustrated that the Corsair PSU had amplepower at its disposal. Overall, we could not be happier with the results from this unit as stable voltage and ample headroom are two keystones to a stable system and a successful overclock.

It should be noted that throughout testing, the unit never managed to introduce any significant noise to the system. Combining a very well-ventilated design with an ADDA fan which is specifically designed to output the hgihest CFM with a minimal amount of noise, the Corsair PSU would be well suited to nearly any application including a home media server as the noise output is minimal.

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Conclusion

Performance Summary: Anytime a company with a reputation such as Corsair gives a 5 year warranty on a product, you suspect that the hardware will perform admirably and without issue. Fortunately, we were not disappointed with Corsair's first entry in the power supply market. The CMPSU-620HX proved to be as solid as a rock despite our best attempts to crack it and let the magic smoke out. In testing, we witnessed voltages that remain nearly perfectly stable regardless of the load we threw at the unit. Although we initially had wished that Corsair had provided potentiometers to adjust voltages, the stellar performance of the unit seems to make that feature largely unnecessary. And more impressively than the performance was the lack of noise coming from the unit. Here, the specific ADDA 120mm fan which Corsair has chosen is certainly doing an excellent job of keeping components cool without adding any noise pollution to the environment. When you're trying to find a high performance system to place in the living room as a media server, these are minor details which cannot be overlooked.

In nearly every respect, Corsair has done an excellent job with the CMPSU-620HX power supply. The unit features three 12V rails, a unique modular cable design, industrial grade components, it boasts an 80%+ efficiency rating, and is exceptionally quiet. One look at the specifications or into the innards of the unit itself and it is quickly evident that a considerable amount of time and thought went into the design of this hardware. Small details such as the rubber grommets for mounting the ADDA fan to the chassis and the 105oC rated capacitors show that this was not a model which was thrown together by Corsair for the sake of releasing a power supply. In hindsight, it is hard to believe that this series represents the company's first entry into the power supply market. However, looking at Corsair's track record of products over the course of the last several years it should be no surprise to see we are dealing with a high-quality piece of hardware. Based upon the performance, low noise, $169 price tag, and impressive 5 year warranty we are awarding the Corsair CMPSU-620HX a 9.5 on the Heat Meter and giving it a rare Editor's Choice Award.

.  Stable and powerful
.  Fair street price
.  Active PFC & High efficiency
.  Quiet 120mm fan
.  Modular Cable Design
.  5-year warranty
.  Voltage Adjustment Pots would have been nice
.  "Only" 620W

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