Reviews - Corsair TX550M 550W
Sample Provided by: Corsair (By OklahomaWolf on Mon, Oct-24-2011)

Page 1 - First Look

Whew. That was a close one. For a minute there, I thought I wasn't going to be able to pull myself away from one of the most addictive games I know - Caesar III - to write this review. And yet here I sit, having successfully done it. I'd almost forgotten what daylight looked like.

Stop laughing. Just because I first started playing this game back in my Windows 98 non-SE days doesn't mean it's not addictive. What else is addictive? How about Corsair's ongoing commitment to quality. Yes, I'm reviewing another Corsair offering today in the TX550M, little brother to the TX750M I looked at not long ago.

And like big brother, this unit is also 80 Plus Bronze rated, what with being based on the same CWT platform.

As usual, the box has some marketing printed on it. I'm going to do as the Romans do... read them aloud in a thick English accent while my carefully placed market refuses to go get food from the granary right next to it. I, uh, may have started up the game again. And by "may" I mean "most definitely."

  • The right blend of performance and features
    The Enthusiast Series Modular family is designed to balance affordability with important features like high-efficiency, continuous rated power output, tight voltage regulation, and low ripple and noise, to deliver a power supply that meets the needs of your performance PC.
  • Modular design
    With its semi-modular design, the TX550M lets you build your system with only the cables you need, reducing clutter and improving airflow. There's no tangle of extra wires to deal with, so your system looks neater and is easier to upgrade.
    -No tangle of extra wires, eh? This wasn't exactly the case with the TX750M. We'll have to see how many hardwired cables are crammed into this one.
  • High-efficiency
    Thanks to advanced power circuitry, including DC-to-DC power conversion, the TX550M is 80Plus® Bronze certified and ErP compliant, and is guaranteed to operate at 82% or higher efficiency, even at maximum load.
    -What about minimum load? 80 Plus only begins testing at the 20% load level, leaving everything below to languish like the block of housing I put too far from the pottery supply warehouse. It is incredibly unlikely we will get 82% efficiency below the point where 80 Plus starts testing.
  • 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.

There's more marketing on this side of the box.

Built for gamers, overclockers, and high-end system builders

  • RELIABLE
    Engineered to deliver clean, continuous power under adverse conditions.
  • MODULAR
    The semi-modular cable design gives you the flexibility to connect only the peripherals you need.
  • PROTECTED
    Backed by a five-year warranty and legendary Corsair customer and technical support.

Here, we have some compatibility information. One second... I have to send my army after some rioters. Ah, there we go. Let that be a lesson to the rest of you plebes... pay your taxes or else. Bah... now Caesar's whining about not getting his weapons.

COMPATIBILITY

  • 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

Next step - unpack the box.

A power supply in a velvet robe, a user guide, a warranty guide, some zip ties, screws, a case badge, a power cord, and some modular cables were found in there.

Hmm... maybe I'll shut down the game now. It seems that my idiot prefects allowed a house to catch fire, and now the whole block is burning because the game thinks it has to send help from the opposite end of the city to put the fire out. This game is still as maddening as it is addictive. Also, I want to replace all the doctor's WAV files with quotes from Dr. House, and you can't do that with the game running.

Here's the power supply, looking a lot like big brother.

It seems we still have the same modular connector count on the front panel. Two blue, two black.

Here's the business end of the unit, with lots of space for airflow from that 140mm fan.

The view from the side.

Suddenly, I'm hungry for barbecued ribs.

The label of the moment. This being one of those units that takes the voltage regulator module approach to derive the minor rails off the main 12V rail, most of the total rated power of the unit can be pulled right off the 12V rail itself.

Corsair TX550M

+3.3V +5V +12V -12V +5VSB
25A 25A 45A 0.8A 3A
Max Power
@ 50°C
140W 540W 9.6W 15W
550W

A better look at the modular connectors. Blue is for the PCI-E cables, black for peripheral cables.

And... yes, the hardwired cables are slightly less cluttered than the 750W model's were, but only slightly. The Molex and SATA chains have one less connector each, and there are no hardwired PCI-E cables. I'd still like to see that hardwired Molex chain done away with, somehow.

Type of connector: Corsair TX550M
ATX connector (570mm) 20+4 pin
4+4 pin EPS12V/ATX12V connector (620mm) 1
5.25" Drive (400mm+150mm+150mm) 3
SATA (370mm+150mm+150mm) 3
Modular Cables
6+2 pin PCIe (600mm) 2
5.25" Drive (400mm+150mm+150mm) 3
5.25" Drive to 3.5" Drive adapter (+100mm) 2
SATA (400mm+150mm+150mm) 3
Unit Dimensions (L x W x H)
160mm x 150mm x 86mm

 

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