Corsair HX1000W Review

paulktreg - 2008-09-12 12:31:11 in Power Supplies
Category: Power Supplies
Reviewed by: paulktreg   
Reviewed on: November 14, 2008
Price: $249.99

Introduction:

A 1000W computer power supply is now available from most of the major power supply manufacturers. Do we really need them? Six months ago I would have probably said no but with the advent of the GTX 280 and 4870X2 in dual and triple configurations, and with power requirements exceeding 500W, I feel they can now be justified. You may very well think a 1000W unit is overkill but if you have enough funds to buy a power supply of a higher rating than you actually need then I say go for it. Most power supplies operated at, or about their half power rating will run at their maximum efficiency, produce less heat and consequently run quieter with lower fan speeds.

Corsair have been a leader in the manufacture of high speed memory modules for mission critical servers and high end workststions since 1994. In more recent years they have used this expertise to produce a range of high technology products for the more mainstream computer enthusiast. Corsair, probably best known for their high quality memory modules also produce a range of quality computer power supplies, liquid cooling solutions, and flash memory. Let's have a look at what could be considered their flagship power supply the HX1000W.

"The HX1000W joins the family of well received HX series enthusiast grade power supplies known for their rock solid stability, enhanced modular cable design, and high efficiency. The Corsair HX1000W power supply sets a new standard by which all other high wattage power supplies will be judged.

The Corsair HX1000W features six PCI-E connectors, both 6 pin and 8 pin compatible, to power multiple high-end graphics cards and two EPS12V connectors for dual CPU configurations. The truly independent dual transformer, dual rail design allows for optimum load balancing resulting in greater performance and stabilty. Industrial grade 105°C primary, secondary, and solid state capacitors provide up to four times the lifespan of traditional components.

The HX1000W not only delivers one thousand watts of clean power for the highest performance enthusiast systems, it does so at greater than 80% efficiency thanks to the double-forward switching design and multiple rail DC to DC convertor. Due to its best-in-class efficiency the HX1000W is able to run cool and quiet with only a single 140mm thermally controlled fan."

 

Closer Look:

The artwork on the Corsair HX1000W packaging very much follows the theme and layout used throughout their power supply range. The HX1000W packaging uses a blue and black colour theme to good effect. The top cover gives us the model number and an arty photograph of the power supply. It also has logos telling us the unit has a five year warranty, is SLI certified, and complies with the 80 Plus specification. The underside provides us with a wealth of information including special features in five different languages, the output specification label, and an audible noise against output power graph. Down in the bottom left hand corner we have logos of the various test house and agency approvals.

 

 

 

 

 

A list of features in five different languages on one side and photographs and quantities of all the available connectors on the other.

 

 

Large model number logo on one end panel and a short introduction to the power supply, again in five different languages, on the other.

 

 

Lift the lid and the power supply is neatly encased in a foam envelope for maximum protection against transit damage. Remove the top foam lid and we have the power supply further protected within a plastic bag. Tucked neatly down the side we have the bag containing all the modular cables.

 

 

The Corsair HX1000W, as you can probably see in the photograph, is a little longer than your average power supply and this extra length needs to be taken into consideration when planning an installation. The modular cable case shown along with the power chord, case screws and a quantity of cable ties to help with your cable management. The black paint finish of the HX1000W is a slightly textured finish and is complimented with a black fan grill with the Corsair logo at its center. An instruction manual was not included with my review sample and I can only presume this was an oversight.

 

 

Good quality packaging containing a wealth of printed information along with everything you are likely to need when installing the HX1000W.

 

Closer Look (The Power Supply):

The rear of the power supply showing the air exhaust grill, large on/off switch which should be easy to find when you attempt to switch off when sat in front of your PC and the IEC main input connector. The front of the power supply showing the modular cable connectors, exit port, and grommet for the hard wired cables. The modular connectors are all labeled so that you know which 12V rail you are using. The black connectors are reserved for the peripherals/SATA power cables and the blue for PCI-E graphic card auxillary power cables. Don't misinterpret the 12V rails as being associated to one colour because they aren't and in combination with the internal connection of the hard wired cables Corsair has attempted to distribute the load evenly between the two 12V rails.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Identical HX1000W labels on both sides of the power supply enclosure.

 

 

Specification label on the top and the large 140mm black cooling fan on the underside.

 

 

The first photograph shows the HX1000W hard wired cables which include the motherboard 24 pin connector, two 6+2 pin PCI-E auxillary power connectors, and a 4+4 pin EPS12V motherboard connector each with a cable length of approximately 60cm (24"). The second photograph shows the large selection of modular cables supplied with the HX1000W. It is worth noting that not all these cables can be used at the same time but do still offer, when selected to suit the intended system, a wide variety of options with plenty of connectors. The modular 6 and 8 pin PCI-E connectors are the same length as the hard wired cables with a single connector on each of the 4 pin molex, SATA power, and FDD power connector cables start with a length of 35cm (14") to the first connector and intermediate connector spacing of 10cm (4").

 

 

The 140mm ball bearing cooling fan (Model D14BH-12) is by Yate Loon Electronics Co. Ltd. The fan is 12VDC at 0.7A and rated for 2800RPM, 140CFM and with a 48.5dB noise level. I will be very surprised to see it running at this speed but we will find out later. The first thing I noticed when I opened up the HX1000W was two main Nippon Chemicon 420VDC 330uF smoothing capacitors. The HX1000W is two separate switched mode power supplies (0V lines connected together of course!) producing two independent 12V rails with the 3V3 rail derived from one and the 5V0 rail from the other via DC to DC convertors. This would explain why the specification for this unit is different from others I have already tested. Instead of the more usual combined 3V3 and 5V0 maximum power (W) and combined 12V maximum power (W) the specification for the HX1000W gives a combined maximum power of 500W each for the combined 12V1+5V0 and 12V2+3V3.

 

 

Photographs showing side views of the power supplies with the insulating plastic sheet folded out of the way.

 

 

Everything inside the Corsair HX1000W is very tidy as you can see in the view of the back panel modular cable connector panel. Everything is sleeved where possible and silicon rubber compound as been applied to capacitors, coils, and transformers were possible in an attempt to stop vibration and oscillation noise. All the capacitors I could see are  of Japanese manufacture and rated at 105°C as stated in the literature, far better than the commonly fitted 85°C rated variety.

 

 

Overall a very well put together power supply using quality components.

 

Specification:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ratings Table:

 

Model
CMPSU-1000HX
AC Input

100-240VAC     13A     50/60Hz

DC Output
+12V1
+3V3
+12V2
+5V0
-12V
+5VSB
Maximum Current
40A
30A
40A
30A
0.8A
3.5A
Maximum Combined Wattage
500W
500W
9.6W
17.5W
1000W

 

System Protection:

 

No specific figures given for system protection but the HX1000W does have the usual over current/voltage/power protection, under voltage protection and short circuit protection.

 

Safety & Agency Approvals:

 

Ul, CUL, TUV, CE, FCC, CCC, CB & C-Tick

 

Power Supply Weight:

 

Power Supply Weight
Manufacturer/Model
Weight
Corsair HX1000W
3.0kg
6.6lbs

 

Power Supply Connectors:

 

Corsair HX1000W Connectors
20+4 Pin Motherboard
Hard Wired
1
4+4 P4 ATX12V or EPS12V
Hard Wired
1
PCI-E 6+2 Pin
Hard Wired
2
4+4 P4 ATX12V or EPS12V
Modular
1
PCI-E 6+2 Pin
Modular
4
4 Pin Molex
Modular
12
SATA Power
Modular
12
FDD
Modular
2

 

Features:

 

Exactly as printed on the box.

 

 

...and a few additional features listed on the box.

 

Flat Modular Cables

Customised, flat black, modular cable design allows for greater customisation and superior airflow.

 

140mm Thermally Controlled Fan

Ultra quiet dual ball bearing fan intelligently throttles airflow based on temperature.

 

Truly Independent Dual Transformers

Allow for optimal load balancing resulting in greater performance and compatibility.

 

Solid State 105°C Capacitors

Upgraded 105°C solid state capacitors offer years of uncompromised performance and reliability.

 

DC to DC Convertor

Full DC to DC conversion on all voltage rails for best in class efficiency.

 

Testing:

For more information on how we test our power supplies, please browse our testing methodology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electrical Safety:

 

Electrical Safety Test Class 1
Manufacturer/Model
Pass/Fail
Corsair HX1000W
Pass

 

Short Circuit Protection:

I short circuited the 3V3, 5V0 and all two 12V lines in turn. The power supply did shut down, and once the short was removed and the unit switched off for at least one second, resumed normal operation. Although listed here at the beginning of the testing section, I tend to leave this test until the very end, in case it doesn't quite go to plan.

 

DC Output Voltage Load Regulation:

 

Testing @ 110VAC

 

 

110VAC - Total Load at 213W which is 21% of Rated Maximum Output Power.

PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.34
8.18
27.32
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.05
9.39
47.42
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.08
5.12
61.85
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.02
5.16
62.02
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
11.91
0.34
4.05
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
4.99
2.18
10.88
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
 Total Power Supply Loading
213W
 

 

110VAC - Total Load at 562W which is 56% of Rated Maximum Output Power.

PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.34
8.12
27.12
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.05
9.34
47.17
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.07
19.79
238.86
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.01
19.47
233.83
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
12.07
0.34
4.10
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
4.99
2.18
10.88
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
 Total Power Supply Loading
562W
 

 

110VAC - Total Load at 986W which is 99% of Rated Maximum Output Power.

PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.33
12.72
42.36
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.05
14.00
70.70
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.07
35.75
431.50
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.02
35.49
426.59
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
12.21
0.35
4.27
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
4.99
2.18
10.88
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
 Total Power Supply Loading
986W
 

 

Testing @ 230VAC

 

 

230VAC - Total Load at 213W which is 21% of Rated Maximum Output Power.

PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.33
8.17
27.21
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.05
9.38
47.37
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.01
5.11
61.37
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.02
5.13
61.66
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
11.90
0.34
4.05
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
4.98
2.18
10.86
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
 Total Power Supply Loading
213W
 

 

230VAC - Total Load at 563W which is 56% of Rated Maximum Output Power.

PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.33
8.08
26.91
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.05
9.46
47.77
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.08
19.80
239.18
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.02
19.48
234.15
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
12.07
0.34
4.10
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
4.99
2.18
10.88
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
 Total Power Supply Loading
563W
 

 

230VAC - Total Load at 988W which is 99% of Rated Maximum Output Power.

PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.33
12.63
42.06
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.05
13.99
70.65
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.08
35.86
433.12
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.01
35.59
427.44
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
12.20
0.35
4.27
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
4.99
2.18
10.88
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
 Total Power Supply Loading
988W
 

 

The DC output load regulation of the HX1000W is excellent and I have to say almost perfect. That says it all really!

 

Testing (Continued):

Efficiency and Power Factor:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Output & Efficiency at 110VAC

DC Load (W)
AC Load (W)
PF
Efficiency (%)
Pass/Fail
0
8
0.50
N/A
N/A
213
267
0.99
80
Pass
562
666
1.00
84
Pass
986
1187
0.98
83
Pass

 

Output & Efficiency at 230VAC

DC Load (W)
AC Load (W)
PF
Efficiency (%)
Pass/Fail
0
10
0.23
N/A
N/A
213
265
0.93
80
Pass
563
658
0.96
85
Pass
988
1173
0.96
84
Pass

 

The efficiency and power factor levels for the Corsair HX1000W are excellent and loaded at approximately half its rated maximum, which would be a realistic load for overclocked high end gaming rigs, it gives a very credible 85% efficiency. Power factor levels although not quite reaching the 0.99 mark claimed at 230VAC are however maintained at 110VAC and easily exceed the 80 Plus minimum level of 0.90.

 

AC Ripple On DC Outputs:

 

Firstly I apologize for the poor quality photographs. My USB oscilloscope has gone to the "Electrical Items Only Skip" in the sky. The photographs below are from my trusty old CRT oscilloscope. It carries a valid calibration certificate but the triggering and focus could be better which is why the tracing appears blurred, it just refused to lock onto the high frequency signal. It does however illustrate the amplitude of the signal, which to be honest, is all I am interested in. I made ripple measurements at 230VAC and 110VAC but they are very similar and the photographs below show 230VAC ripple only.

 

AC Ripple On 3V3 Rail at 230VAC

(Amplitude: 10mV/div | Timebase: 10uS/div)

 

AC Ripple On 5V0 Rail at 230VAC

(Amplitude: 5mV/div | Timebase: 10uS/div)

 

AC Ripple On 12V Rail at 230VAC

(Amplitude: 20mV/div | Timebase: 10uS/div)

 

Corsair HX1000W AC Ripple/Noise Measurements

DC Output
+3V3
+5V0
+12V1
+12V2
-12V0
+5VSB
Ripple (mV p-p)
20
10
60
60
60
30
Pass/Fail
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass

 

The Corsair HX1000W noise/ripple levels, although not exceptional, are still excellent and fall well within the levels set down by the ATX12V specification. Don't forget that these levels were measured with the power supply delivering almost one kilowatt of DC power!

 

Testing(Continued):

Temperature, Noise Levels and Fan Speeds:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am not going to give a pass or fail in this section, as the ATX12V V2.2 specification does not really have any references on which to base a decision.

Temperatures are purely for information only, as there are too many variables involved when installed in a case, which, by the way, it wasn't. Ambient temperature, processor cooling efficiency, and case cooling fans all play their part on the temperature of the air entering the power supply, and consequently the temperature of the air leaving it. No valid conclusions can be made from this test.

 

DC Load (W)
Temp In (°C)
Temp Out (°C)
Δ Temp (°C)
Fan Speed (RPM)
0
N/A
N/A
N/A
953
213
21.2
26.3
5.1
951
562
21.9
34.2
12.3
948
986
22.0
36.4
14.4
2070

 

The temperatures do seem quite reasonable but just bear in mind that the temperature of the air going in will be higher when installed in a case. Literature provided to me with the Corsair HX1000W shows a constant fan speed up to approximately 500W (which has been demonstrated during testing), giving a noise level of 24dBA, at which point it slowly ramps up to give a noise level of 44dBA at 1000W loading. If you don't expect to load the HX1000W much above 600W then you will have a very quiet power supply but at 1000W, with a fan speed of 2000RPM, the fan noise increases noticeabily but is not excessively noisy.

 

Conclusion:

Environmental Factors:

A pretty heavy power supply so lost points for shipping and fuel usage, but to be fair, until technology moves on a peg or two, there isn't a lot Corsair can do to change the situation. Points lost once again for the use of foam. What this power supply does have to offer however is very good efficiency and power factor values, so a few points restored.

 

Price Per the Watt:

Power Supply Corsair HX1000W at $249.99 = $0.25/Watt (November 2008)

 

The Corsair HX1000W is so far one of the best power supplies I have tested and the only area I could find fault with is power factor at 230VAC. The feature list for the HX1000W, at least the way I read it, claims a power factor of 0.99 at all times. When supplied from 230VAC the power factor is never better than 0.96. This is really only a minor failure and will have no impact on the way the power supply performs in the real world. What the vast majority of PC users want are clean, stable DC rails and the HX1000W provides both even at 1000W.  The DC voltage load regulation and efficiency are excellent and AC ripple levels well within the ATX12V specification.

If you plan on using only one graphics card then it would be really difficult to justify using this power supply but I won't say you can't! This power supply is Nvidia SLI certified for three 9800GTX graphic cards but I feel sure it will easily power all SLI/Crossfire dual card configurations (including GX2) and most, if not all, three card configurations presently available.

The HX1000W comes with an excellent selection of cables and connectors to suit all configurations and with careful planning balancing the 12V1 and 12V2 rails should not be a problem. If you need a power supply capable of delivering 1000W of clean power then look no further. I highly recommend the Corsair HX1000W and I have no hesitation in awarding the power supply the OCC Editors Choice award.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: