Corsair AX1200 1200W Power Supply Reviewpaulktreg - July 7, 2010
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The Corsair AX1200 power supply is finished off with a coat of very lightly textured matt black paint. This is the way a power supply should look in my opinion and it does a great job of hiding finger prints and provides a certain level of scratch resistance.
The rear of the power supply shows a fairly standard hexagonal-holed exhaust grill along with a standard 13A IEC mains input connector alongside the mains on/off switch. There is nothing worse than routing about at the back of your PC trying to find the switch - large rocker switches are much easier to find, don’t you think? The Corsair AX1200 power supply is fully modular and as you will see in the photograph it requires a lot of modular cable connectors. The circular silver sticker is interesting. The patent number referred to is the property of Ultra Products, who were the first to introduce the fully modular power supply.
The side panels carry the same label, although it is inverted on the opposite face, presumably so the label is the right way up depending on the power supply orientation/case mounting position.
The top of the power supply carries a comprehensive specification label and on the bottom face is the large 140mm cooling fan with the Corsair logo at its centre.
The modular cable set is large; it has to be to accommodate all the connectors available on this power supply. The motherboard, ATX12V/EPS12V and PCI-E cables are all braided and the peripheral, SATA and floppy disk adapter cables are of the usual Corsair flat black cable design.
The 140mm cooling fan is a Yate Loon model D14BH-12 rated at 12V 0.7A. What was immediately obvious when the lid was lifted, is that the Corsair AX1200 isn’t your run-of-the-mill power supply. The printed circuit board design, although obviously still a switched mode unit, is quite different from other power supplies I have looked at in the past. The AX1200 employs DC-DC convertors for the 3V3, 5V0 and unusually the +12V rail, no doubt in an effort to drive up the efficiency levels.
The first photograph shows the modular cable connector panel at the rear. Note the very heavy cables used for the 0V return - the lower the voltage drops the greater the efficiency. The board immediately in front of the 0V return cables is the DC-DC convertor for the +12V rail. Either end of that board are the 3V3 and 5V0 DC-DC convertors, all vertically mounted. The next photograph shows the primary side of the power supply, with the transient filtering stage, power factor correction, mains rectification, smoothing capacitors and heat sinks for amongst other things, the switching transistors.
The board mounted vertically down the right-hand side of the power supply in the first photograph provides the +5VSB supply and fan speed control. There is a board sandwiched between the +5VSB board and one of the DC-DC convertor boards and the white multiway connector on top, that I believe is responsible for rail protection, over voltage, over current, and so on.
The Corsair AX1200 power supply comes well packaged with excellent build quality and some novel design features, but how well will it perform? Let’s move on and find out.