Reviews - Corsair TX850 V2 850W
Sample Provided by: Corsair (By OklahomaWolf on Wed, Feb-16-2011)

Page 1 - First Look

Greetings one and all to yet another review of the power supply persuasion. I know, I know, it's shocking and scandalous that I would be talking power supplies on a site known for reviewing power supplies. But, I just can't help myself today. This is because a brand new offering from Corsair has fallen into my lap, having been dropped there by yours truly when he stubbed his toe sitting down to write up this article.

Not too long ago, the well dried up on some of Corsair's older power supply lines, causing supply issues therein. Corsair went to update some of those lines with newer platforms, only to find out that doing something completely logical and rational without telling the Internet community about it in obsessive minute detail can and will produce the most irrational responses. Take the CX430, for example. That unit, rated for full power at 35 degrees, replaced the old CX400, now discontinued, which was rated at 40 degrees. And because of that five degree difference, message boards suddenly erupted with rampant speculation about how Corsair was suddenly out to screw everyone into buying an overrated unit.

Today, Corsair's updating the fully wired TX series of units to version 2, using a brand new platform sourced from Seasonic. You will recall that the older TX850 used the venerable Channel Well Technology PSH platform to provide power, and then later on the PSH II for a brief spell while these new units were being readied for prime time. The new Seasonic platform promises us 80 Plus Bronze efficiency and enthusiast grade performance. It will be interesting to see how this platform differs with the older one. As is always the case with a Corsair unit, my expectations are high already. We'll see how it does soon enough.

Now, before I talk about the above box picture, I want to tackle this overrating stuff head on because quite frankly, a lot of people are still making way too much of this. What is an overrated unit? It is a unit that cannot meet published specifications. If you have a unit rated to, say, 300 watts at 25 degrees, and it blows up at 300 watts, 25 degrees, that's an overrated unit. If you have a 600W unit with a 50A single 12V rail and it blows up at 45A, that's an overrated unit. If you have a CX430 rated to 35 degrees, and it does 430 watts at 35 degrees without a single issue, that's not an overrated unit. Can we all move on now? I mean, the horse isn't moving anymore and there are flies all over it. Do we really need an autopsy from a guy in a white lab coat and funny hair to tell us it's dead?

So, what's this unit rated at, anyway? A quick glance at the above box picture answers that question. But, since the writing is too small to read, I'll transcribe the marketing here:

  • Ideal for High-Performance PCs
    The TX850 V2 is guaranteed deliver it's full rated specifications in environments up to 50°C. High quality Japanese capacitors provide uncompromised performance and reliability. The TX850 V2 keeps up when you push your PC hard.
    -And there you have it. The unit is rated for 850 watts and full power to 50 degrees. Can it do it? We will see, yes we will.
  • High Efficiency
    Efficiency is important - less heat is generated, so your system stays cooler and your energy bill is lowered. The TX850 V2 is 80Plus® certified to operate at a guaranteed 82% or better efficiency, even at maximum load.
    -In other words, this unit is certified Bronze. Some of you may be thinking, "Bronze? Bah. I want Gold." Well, who doesn't want gold? I'd gold plate my hair if I could. Seriously though - the difference between the two certifications isn't so tremendous that you should pay a premium for a Gold unit if you really need that extra cash for this month's rent. Sure, you'll see a difference on the utility bills, but not as much of a difference as you might think.
  • Cool and Quiet
    The 140mm double ball-bearing fan automatically adjusts its speed to deliver the proper amount of airflow, so high-performance power delivery is not at the expense of noise.
    -Translation: the unit has a temperature controlled fan.
  • The Corsair Advantage
    With more than 15 years of building enthusiast grade memory and components, we've earned a reputation for quality, compatibility, and performance. Need help? We're available by phone call, email or web forum.
    -Wait... what about citizen's band radio? I feel there is a significant segment of the market being overlooked here, good buddy.

Also present on this side of the box are a couple of fancy graphs of the noise and efficiency curves, as well as a load table for the unit inside. Pretty standard stuff. No miniature reprints of Whistler's Mother, or anything like that.

Why look, more bullet points about the unit's features:

  • Auto-switching circuitry provides universal AC input from 90V - 264V
  • 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

And now we come to the ceremonial unpacking of the box. I'll just put on my funny pointed velvet hat, pick up my latin prayer book, and get this unpacked for you. Repeat after me: oxbay on abletay unpaaaaaackaaaaaaaaaay!!!

Contents of the box include a power supply in a cloth bag, a power cord, a manual, some black screws, a case badge, and some black zip ties.

Opening the manual shows that the unit is well documented, though I have met some units that literally threw the book at us in this regard. All things considered, I have no complaints here.

Pulling the unit out of the bag, I have to say that this is one fantastic looking unit. It's understated and elegant, this color scheme. Not too much orange, not too much white, not too many stickers, just lots of matte black goodness.

Up top, you can see the label. That screw is holding a standoff to aid in supporting the circuit board inside.

One of the side panels. Still looks good to me.

This is the exhaust grille - nice and open for the most part. That closed off section where the "TX850" sticker is hides the AC transient filter parts.

Here's a fan shot for you.

And here's a label shot for you. As you can see, the single 12V rail on this unit is rated for 70A, which is starting to get into the range where I get a little nervous about single 12V designs being able to shut down properly on partial shorts or other issues. With this rail being rated so closely to the unit's total rated capacity, you may be wondering if this newer design uses voltage regulator modules powered off the 12V supply for the minor rails. Wonder no more - it does indeed. In fact, this unit is based on the exact same platform as the XFX Pro 850W Core Edition our fearless founder recently looked at.

Corsair TX850 v2

+3.3V +5V
+12V
-12V +5VSB
25A 25A 70A 0.5A 3A
Max Power 150W 840W 6W 15W
850W

Onwards we go to a tentacle shot. You know, this is an 850W unit. Many of these will be servicing boards that have two EPS12V connectors. This unit does not have a second EPS connector of its own, something I find wanting.

Type of connector: Corsair TX850 v2
ATX connector (590mm) 20+4 pin
4+4 pin EPS12V/ATX12V connector (610mm) 1
6+2 pin PCIe (590mm) 4
5.25" Drive (400mm+150mm+150mm+150mm) 8
3.5" Drive (+130mm) 2
SATA (410mm+150mm+150mm+150mm) 8
Unit Dimensions (L x W x H)
160mm x 150mm x 86mm

 

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