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Appeared on: Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Corsair VX550 PSU


1. Intro - specs

Today's need for extra power supply energy keeps increasing. We all want to have a stable and at the same time efficient PSU that can handle with ease our energy hungry hardware setup. With so many products on the market, Corsair's proposal for 550 watts comes with many interesting features and very good performance.

- Corsair VX550W Power Supply

Extending Corsair’s legendary reputation in performance and quality, the new Corsair VX family of power supplies features the industry’s most efficient power management and ultra-quiet design for mainstream users. Unlike most power supplies in the market, the Corsair VX incorporates a single +12V power rail that delivers continuous power under heavy loads.

This conservative design ensures reliable operation in today’s most demanding system configurations and adds compatibility for future platforms. The unique combination of rock solid performance and incredible value puts the Corsair VX family of power supplies in a class of its own. Ideal for home theater PCs and Energy Star PCs, the VX line maximizes energy savings and minimum noise generation thanks to double-forward switching circuitry design. Each Corsair VX power supply is backed with an industry-leading 5-year warranty and 24/7 on-demand customer service.

Corsair's VX line (450W and 550W) is manufactured by Channel Well, one of the Corsair's ODMs.

The performance, according to Corsair is very good, although we will have more details about it later in our review:

- Features

- Specifications

Model VX550W
AC Input Rating 90 - 264VAC
Input Current 5 - 9A
Frequency 47Hz - 63Hz
DC Output Max Load Max Output
+3.3V 30A 140W
+5V 20A
+12V 41A 492W
-12V 0.8A 9.6W
+5VSB 3A 15W
Total Power 550W

2. The package

Corsair's VX550W Power Supply (CMPSU-550VX), costs around $96(+ shipping). The retail package follows the HX series design with different colours of course. The 5 years warranty logo on the package indicates Corsair's strong belief in this product:

Let's open the box:

Inside the white cloth bag, there is a layer of bubble wrap surrounding the PSU itself. This protects it during transportation. Everything is well packaged and organized. Here is what you will find inside the box:

We can say that the retail box is complete, nothing important is missing. Let's proceed to the PSU itself. The size is typical for this category (150 x 140 x 86mm) and it's certified for the ATX v2.2 standard. The black finish looks and feels great. There are no sharp edges, so you won't be cutting yourself while installing it.

The rear of the PSU has a honeycomb design. This helps in airflow and lowering the PSU's internal temperature.

On the side, we find Corsair's logo along with the product name:

On the bottom, there is a 12cm fan with a protective grill:

All cables are attached to the unit, there are no detachable cables here. But remember this is a "low" cost power supply. The connectors are:

Connectors Included VX550W

ATX 24 pin & 20 pin compatible
x1

EPS/ATX12V 8-4 pin
x1

PCI-E 6 pin
x1

PCI-E 6+2 pin
x1

SATA
x6

4 pin Peripheral
x6

Floppy


3. Benchmarks

We tested the PSU under real-life conditions, meaning we put our PC system under heavy load with extensive CPU 3D loading from 3D Mark 06 v1.0.2, as well as burn-in tests with Sisoft Sandra 2007. Our test PC setup is as follows:

All PSU ratings were monitored with Everest Ultimate Edition v3.0. The following table lists the industry wide specifications for DC Output Voltage Regulation.

 

After running 3D Mark 06, the monitored outputs showed us how much the power supply had deviated under load. A summary of the measured results is given below:

Minimum
Maximum
Average
CPU1
%
0
100
54,9
CPU2
%
0
100
39,2
CPU Core
V
1,34
1,34
1,34
+3.3 V
V
3,25
3,27
3,26
+5 V
V
4,88
4,93
4,91
+12 V
V
12,22
12,30

12,25

The results were very good. All readings are within range, and even at full load, the voltage only changes by 0.01~0.07V. The system can fully support a high performance PC with two VGA cards installed.


4. Summary

The VX series is designed to fulfill the need for a low budget power supply but at the same time powerful enough for today's loads. The VX series also includes energy saving and minimum noise generation due to double-forward switching circuitry design. You can add the five years warranty and 24/7 on-demand customer service and this looks like a winning combination.

The V550W can handle two PCI-E VGA cards in a high performance system, using either in SLI or Crossfire technology. More-over it includes two additional pins for those new 8pin compatible VGA cards. There are no modular sleeved cables, since this would increase costs.

We feel that Corsair's VX550 Watt power supply is a great product with a very good price. At the retail price of $96, you get a powerful and at the same time stable power supply with several futureproof features.

 

- The Good

- The Bad



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