Corsair TX750W Review

ccokeman - 2008-04-01 18:59:38 in Power Supplies
Category: Power Supplies
Reviewed by: ccokeman   
Reviewed on: June 2, 2008
Price: $129.99

Introduction:

Power, current, electricity, whatever you want to call it, it is the chief ingredient in enjoying that magic box right beside you. Without it there is nothing but a black screen and no chance of a frag fest with that new FPS game you just spent a nice chunk of change on. Just slapping in a budget power supply will be fine for the average e-mail and web surfing system, but what about the higher end of the scale? Not just any old bargain basement power supply will do when it comes to high performance. Multiple video cards, multi core processors, multiple hard drives and water cooling all make for a higher than normal load. After spending thousands of dollars on that high end hardware, are you just going to use a $40 500 watt power supply? Many times the power supply is the last item looked at when the dollar allocation is put together, so you end up with whatever is left, which usually isn't much! While a budget power supply may work initially, it will give you fits further down the road with hard to diagnose hardware problems, made worse by the multiple BSODs. At this point, the frustration sets in and you finally find the problem when you get the acrid smell of burnt wiring coming from your pride and joy.

So how could this have been prevented? Allocate a larger portion of your build price to a quality (not just high wattage) power supply. The Corsair TX750W is a non modular power supply that features a single 60 amp 12 volt rail, sleeved wire harnesses, four PCI-E 6(8)-pin connections and meets the current ATX 12V v2.2 standard, as well as being backwards compatible with the v2.01 standard. In addition to the single 12v rail, the TX750W features over/under voltage protection, high quality Japanese capacitors, a five year warranty, universal input and active PFC. With these features, will the TX750W distance itself from the crowd?

Closer Look:

Packaged in black and orange, the the front panel of the retail packaging lists the attributes in three different languages, points out the fact that the TX750W meets the 80+ certification criteria, as well as shows that it is SLI ready. The rear panel lists in detail the core features as well as showing graphs that chart the noise level, efficiency and the rating on each power "rail." Each of the package's sides show a macro view of one part of the TX750W.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening the box, you are greeted with a users manual and a large foam block, the wiring is bundled into the top section of the box. Pulling bacl the foam block that protects the power supply during shipping reveals the power supply in a velvet bag with the Corsair logo front and center.

 

 

The items shipped in the box include the TX750W, the users manual, power cord and a bag of wire ties to help with the cable management.

 

 

Now let's see what lies inside the velvet bag.

 

Closer Look:

The TX750W is a non modular power supply. As such, all of the connections are hardwired back to the power supply with no breaks in the connection. Some people prefer this method over the modular design because any break in the circuit can potentially lead to a voltage drop or create increased resistance and heat generation at the modular connection point. The merits of a modular power supply are well known, so no further discussion is needed. Instead of a flashy exterior, the TX750W has a rough matte black finish. This finish just says, "I am all business. No need for flash." Kind of like that old Dodge you see prowling the streets late at night. Spray can primer black coloring and a set of understated big and littles, the thing that stands out is the exhaust note, rough and ready for action. Kind of like this power supply.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The top features the specifications of the TX750W listed in the typical format. The bottom of the unit houses the 140mm, yes I said 140mm, cooling fan. Plenty enough to keep the internals cool. The rear face is almost entirely mesh to keep the air moving. The power switch is located here, as well as the universal input for the power supply cord. The sides are labeled with the model number and the Corsair logo, so when you have that side window showing off your wire management skills, the power you are packing shows.

 

 

 

The number of connections available on the TX750W are pretty standard; ATX 24-pin, ATX 8-pin auxillary 12v, four 8-pin PCIe, eight SATA, eight 4-pin Molex and two floppy connections. The cables are all sleeved back just before they enter the power supply housing. This power supply is SLI ready.

 

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One thing you do not want to do is open your power supply. For one thing, if warranty is a concern, opening the unit will effectively void the warranty. The other reason is a little closer to the heart, and that is safety. The capacitors can keep a charge long after you power down the unit, making for a hair raising experience if you touch one that has not been discharged. For those reasons, I suggest again that you leave this to people that have experience in such things.

 

Carefully opening the power supply and lifting the top reveals the 140mm Yate Loon fan. This fan is rated at 2800 RPM, 140 CFM and 48.5dBA at 12 volts. An awful lot of airflow and high noise penalty as well. The upside to this fan is that it is temperature controlled and should be quite silent when not spooled up. Included on this fan is a clear plastic deflector toward the rear of the case. This presumably is to force more air through the power supply to provide adequate cooling rather than allow the rear airflow to just blow out the back of the power supply with no cooling benefit.

 

 

Inside the power supply you can see the primary capacitor and PFC coil just to the left of the capacitor. The primary cap is made by Matshushita while the secondary caps are manufactured by Nippon Chemi-con. The secondary side has all of the wiring streaming into the housing and soldered onto the main PCB.

 

 

Let's see how the TX750W performs.

Specifications:

Corsair TX750W Specifications:   Model CMPSU-750TX

AC INPUT

90-264V ~ 10A 50/60Hz

DC OUTPUT

+3.3V
+5V
+12V
-12V
+5Vsb

MAX LOAD

24A
28A
60A
0.8A
3A

MAX COMBINED WATTAGE

180W
720W
9.6W
15W
 
TOTAL POWER: 750W

 

Connectors Included                        TX750W

ATX 24 pin & 20 pin compatible

x1

EPS/ATX12V 8-4 pin

X1

PCI-E 8 pin

X4
SATA
X8

4 pin Peripheral

X8
Floppy
X2

 

Features:

Testing:

How will I know if this power supply delivers the watts? I need to test how it performs under load, verifying the voltages and airflow. With that being said, we can finally start testing the unit. To put this power supply through its paces, I will run a series of tests to load the Corsair TX750W to simulate heavy gaming usage. The testing procedure will include running Prime 95 version 25.5 to load all four CPU cores and to stress the memory, HDtune to load the hard drives, and 3DMark Vantage to stress the video card. The test system includes five high CFM Silverstone fans to add additional load to the 12 volt line. Additionally, I will check the airflow at both idle and load conditions to verify any increase in airflow through the rear of the power supply. Voltage measurements will be taken with my trusty voltmeter, while airflow will be tested using my Kestral 4100 pocket airflow tracker.

 

Testing Tools:

Testing Setup:

Comparison Power Supplies:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under load, the readings did not change on any of the voltages, showing a measure of stability in the rails. The fan was never load enough to be able to hear it. In fact, for once I was able to hear the D5 pump used in the water cooling loop.

 

Conclusion:

The Corsair TX750W performed well in the testing. The rails were solid and really did not fluctuate more than .02 volts on the 12v, 3.3v, and 5.0v lines. Usually you see some fluctuation. The fan used to cool the TX750W does what it is supposed to do, keep the power supply components cool, and do it silently. Even when under load, I never heard it get loud. With a rating of 48.5dBA at 2800 RPM, I thought I would at least hear it when put under load. That's a good thing considering some of the power supplies I have can be heard in the next room. The temperature of the air coming out of the TX750W peaked at 35.1 Celsius under load testing with an ambient temperature of 22 Celsius. Not too large of an increase for the amount of airflow measured. The cables easily reached across my CM Stacker case, with length to spare. Speaking of the cables, the sleeving only went as far as an inch before the outer wall of the power supply, but that shouldn't really create any issues since there is at least a grommet in the opening. The sleeving was tight and did not have the slip in the heatsink to allow the sleeving to come out from under it. Being a non modular design, there are no breaks in the wiring from the power supply to the end of the cables. Some people feel this is a better design, but I have not seen any voltage droop through a connection to cause a concern with the modular designs. What that leaves the end user with is plenty of cabling to hide in the chassis. It really comes down to preference instead of performance. The basic matte black finish is an indicator that the TX750W is all business and does not need the flash to perform. The finish was durable and did not chip or flake while bouncing around in my case, so it should hold up well. If you need a power supply that is able to handle a load and not break a sweat, the Corsair TX750W appears to be up to the challenge.

 

In the near future, OverclockersClub will be changing the format of its power supply reviews to supply the end user with a more thorough analysis of the power supply, including load testing up to the rated capacity to check for the rated output, as well as the voltage measurements and electronic noise. Stay tuned for our new testing methodology.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: