It was just 3 months ago when we had the pleasure of looking at a truly innovative PSU, the Corsair AX1200i. Today Corsair is expanding its Digital PSU Line Up with the release of the AX860i and the AX760i, as well as the AX860 and the AX760 analog models. What does that mean for users? Well, it should mean that we have tighter voltage regulation, lower ripple and noise, and high energy-efficiency available to us at a cheaper price than that of the AX1200i. We are going to put the AX860i through the same testing process we used on the AX1200i, we want to see it perform just as good if not better than its big brother. So why don’t you grab your morning cup of Joe and enjoy the read.
SUPPLIED BY: Corsair
PRODUCT: AX860i 860W
PROD LINK: AX860i Product Page
PRICE: $249.99 @ NewEgg
Price is at the time of testing!
As always, we start things off with the packaging. Corsair always seems to keep the front of the box relatively clean when it comes to marketing. We are given just the basics of information, AXi Series, Digital ATX Power Supply, 80 PLUS Platinum, and Corsair Link. It almost makes me feel like it would be too simplistic for the normal walk-in retailer.
There’s the information we have been looking for. As we can see above, almost all of the rear of the box is adorned with marketing material. Let’s break it down and see if it’s the right stuff.
- Unlike traditional power supply designs, the Corsair AX860i uses a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) for tighter voltage regulation and lower electrical ripple and noise which improves overall system stability and component reliability.
Looking at the first graph we can see that the AX860i is supposed to offer great efficiency, which will be one of the areas we take a look at later on. The AX860i also has a similar fan noise curve to that of the AX1200i. This one does ram up just a bit sooner starting at 20% rather than 30%. I also notice that it seems to ramp up a decent amount between 80% and 100%. We will have to see if that’s going to be noticeable here in the office.
I think someone made a typo (AX760i)… I’ve come to be fond of the silent operation at low loads on the AX1200i. Hell, I don’t think the fan came on at all after I did the initial testing in the main rig. With the AX860i’s fan curve ramping up a little sooner than that of the AX1200i (10% sooner), I’m not sure I’ll be able to enjoy that feature as much with this unit. This system idles at 175W which is really close to the 20% mark.
As we stated in the AX1200i review, Corsair Link isn’t exactly new. The AX1200i however, was the first PSU to utilize it. That is one of the benefits of the AXi series. The AX860i comes with a USB dongle that connects to an available USB header on your motherboard and allows you to monitor and control different aspects of your PSU’s performance. If you wanted to expand on Corsair Link, they offer a couple of different options. You can also get a little more information on it here.
The Corsair AX860i also comes with Corsair’s 7 Year Warranty… That’s a long time not to lose a receipt. Offering a 7 year warranty on a product isn’t something to sneeze at. To get a warranty like that in this day and age, you normally have to buy one of those stupid extended warranties, which you find out the hard way isn’t always a true extended warranty. Seriously though, 7 years is impressive, but we know that it’s going to affect the price in the end.
I found it odd the last time around when the AX1200i showed us it was rated at 100.4A and 1204.8W. I see they kept with the same idea here, 71.6A and 859.2W. I guess as an enthusiast, we would want every single bit of power we can muster out of our power supply.
Over on the side of the box, we have a listing of our connectors and cable lengths. However, on the cable lengths, they are only giving full cable lengths, we’ll have to see if the manual shows connector to connector measurements.
- The fully modular cables make it easy to install and the self-test switch lets you quickly determine if the AX860i is functioning normally before you even attach cables to your motherboard.
On the other side, we have a little more info.
- Auto-switching circuitry provides universal AC input from 100V – 240V
- Supports ATX12V 2.3 and EPS12V 2.91 standards and is backward compatible with ATX12V 2.2 and 2.01 systems.
- Dimensions: 150mm x 86mm x 160mm
Enough messing around here, let’s get to the good stuff.
Starting off with the left rear we have the modular cable bag, with the AX860i in its purdy little bag. Next, we have a Warranty pamphlet, a pamphlet for the Corsair Link download information, followed by the universal AX1200i, AX860i, and AX760i User’s Manual. In the front we have a small bag of Zip Ties, Thumb Screws, and a Corsair Case Badge.
Here we have a shot of the User Manual, which looks to be a bit more informative than most manuals. I mentioned earlier that I would have to check the manual to see if it showed the length between connectors on the cables, or if it showed just the full-length measurement like the box, it is the same as the box.