Corsair RM850 850W (CWT Edition) Power Supply

Not too long ago, it was discovered that Corsair had made some changes to their RM series lineup. The old Chicony built units were being discontinued and replaced with a newer platform. For a while, this was just a rumor going around. But folks, the rumor happens to be true. And I just happen to have one of the newer RM850 units here in front of me now.

PROD LINK: RM850 Product Page
PRICE: $149.99 NewEgg
Price is at the time of testing!

I’m opening this one with a rant, so bear with me. There are a bunch of people out there who cannot stand knowing that someone else is doing well. “Bob Jones next door bought himself a Ferrari, he sucks! And his wife, Jane, keeps giving thousands of dollars to the homeless shelter while I’m driving this 30-year-old Pontiac, so she sucks too!”

An awful lot of these people exist on Internet message boards, I’m finding, and they all seem to love hating on Corsair lately. I’ve seen it before. One upstart company gets into the power supply market with fantastic units to challenge the big boys, and they’re saints. Next thing you know, said company starts expanding their product line, becomes one of the big boys, and suddenly they’re evil incarnate. I’ve seen this happen to nearly every big name out there… Corsair is just one of the latest. Enermax knows the deal. Antec knows the deal. PC Power and Cooling knew the deal before they dealt with OCZ, then they really knew the deal. EVGA? They’re right on the edge of this right now. All it takes is one “not the awesomest product in the world,” and they’ll go down the “it’s fashionable to hate on them now” rabbit hole, too.

And they’ve got a million excuses. Because of fanboys. Because mine died and I’d rather hate on them than give them another chance. Because Ted down the hall won’t shut up about Corsair. Because they’re somehow too successful now and I liked ’em better when they were up and coming.

Here are my two cents… the original RM850 still gets way too much hate from these people. One little design flaw so minor that it affected exactly zero consumers, and suddenly Corsair is the devil to some and now the RM series is crap not worth buying. Granted, some of these people are still reasonable, not holding the company as a whole to the torch just because the RM or the CX series turned out to be below their personal standards of awesomeness. But for every one of the reasonable people, there’s another one coming out of the woodwork with nonsense like, “oh, I’ll never buy a Corsair again because the CX750M shuts down above 30 degrees and only crap units do that.”

Folks, if you’re one of these people, here’s my personal opinion on the entire Corsair lineup, as I’ve seen things: some units they make are world class. Others just get the job done. Exactly zero are pure crap. They’re all decent. Do you disagree? Well, perhaps you should re-acquaint yourselves with what I consider to be pure crap. Take a look at this LPSW 350W unit. If that doesn’t do it for you, check out this Bestec. Or this Hercules, still easily the worst unit I’ve ever personally tested. Ace Power anyone? What about the Coolmax ZX-500? Do you see what I mean? Every Corsair unit I’ve seen so far can either handle everything I throw at it or gracefully shuts down and bows out when it can’t. Not one has died. Not. One. Ever. Crap units don’t do that. Crap units fry your computer and/or burn your house down while you’re sleeping in the next room.

At any rate, the original RM850 is now at the end of its run and is being replaced by a platform from CWT rather than Chicony (aka Hipro). I’m not sure this is a positive move, as I vastly prefer Chicony build quality to that of CWT. But I am pretty sure Corsair is doing this to finally step out of the shadow cast by a unit that had a minor design flaw their critics won’t let them move past, even though this flaw was quickly fixed. And if you don’t mind me saying so, that’s a damned shame.

But let’s just find out how good the replacement platform is before we pass judgment, eh?

A lot of this marketing will be familiar. The newer RM850 is slotting in to replace the old one, so it makes sense Corsair would target it the same way. We’ve got 80 Plus Gold, we’ve got a fanless mode again, and we’ve got full modularity. And I know what some of you are going to say.

“But, but, the old RM850 had those crappy Ltec capacitors! There’s a good excuse to hate on them, they used Ltec in a unit that had a fanless mode!”

And I sort of agree with you on that one. That was a concern of mine as well. If you recall, however, I mentioned something else… Delta uses Ltec too. Extensively. Some companies out there have the engineering skill to take capacitors like that and get some serious longevity out of them. Delta is definitely one of those companies. Zippy, Etasis, Win-Tact… hell, Win-Tact used exclusively Teapo in all of their PC Power and Cooling builds, and nobody complained because Win-Tact knew how to make those caps last. Chicony is another one of those companies… you don’t get to be OEM for huge companies like Dell and HP without knowing what you’re doing. CWT? One word: Fuhjyyu.

Bottom line… many OEMs out there (not all – a lot of them are going by what the market tells them to use), I don’t want to see second or third tier capacitors in because I don’t know if they’ve done all their homework on them. Some, like Chicony, I’ll still score against out of fairness to my methodology but put the pitchfork away and take a more wait and see approach. Give the Chicony engineers, who are likely smarter than I am, a chance to prove they know what they’re doing; in other words.

But we’re not dealing with Chicony anymore, are we? Nope, we’ve pitchforked them out of the Corsair lineup because one went into protective shut down when it had no ambient airflow. Now, we’ve got CWT. Now, I want to see the good stuff for sure. If I seem just a little disgusted by the whole thing, well, I am. I wanted to see more Corsairs from Chicony, not less.

The box has more marketing to tackle, and I’m determined to get through it without doing more ranting. Although, I am out of the water now, and I don’t see Bob Jones there getting me anymore. That water hogging bastard.

This whole side panel is pretty self-explanatory… you have a graphical depiction of where this RM line is in the grand scheme of things, and some compatibility information.

Let’s keep the box shots rocking with this one, showing us the cabling. Gah… the main ATX is a ribbon cable. Ok, that’s not so good from my perspective. Ribbons are only a functionality advantage when used on cables with fewer wires. When it comes to things like the main ATX, they’re more of an aesthetics choice while being an obstacle to cable management.

Let’s unpack this unit now.

Within the box, I found a power supply, a bag of modular cables, a warranty guide, a safety guide, a power cord, some screws, some zip ties, and a case sticker.

We’re going to skip the two guides… we’ve seen them before and I don’t want to get the scanner out on their account. As always, the actual user manual is found over at the Corsair site.