Corsair hit the ground running last year with the release of two top notch modular power supplies. In my first Corsair power supply review, I had said that "they had put forward a power supply that would suit anyone's needs." I know that's what I said because I'm reminded of it every time I see the Corsair banner ad for the HX620W.
This year, they took a chance and instead of going with a mega-high power unit like all of the other manufacturers decided to come out with this year (and so many enthusiasts think they want this year), Corsair has taken the route of providing the DIY community with a 450W unit. 450W? I thought with everyone running out buying 8800 Ultra cards for their Quad FX rigs. What? Not everyone has a Quad FX with 8800 Ultra SLI? My bad... I didn't get the memo.
So here is the power supply that arrived on my door step earlier this week: The Corsair VX450W.
So Corsair can sell this product throughout all of North America, three languages, English, French and Spanish, appear on all panels of the box. Unfortunately, this makes for a cluttered box.
The three language rules applies to the back of the box as well. There's a lot of information here, but for now we'll just focus on the graphs on the right.
The first table we see is the DC output rating table. As we can see from this table, the VX450W has 33A on a single +12V rail. That's pretty respectable as there are a number of 500W power supplies that don't even have this much juice available on the +12V rail.
The next graph shown on the back of the box is a noise level graph. According to this, the fan does not spin up until the PSU is almost fully loaded.
The last graph on the back of the box has a representation of the efficiency of the power supply with both 115V and 230V input.
The side of the box shows us that the VX450W has a 20/24-pin main ATX connector, a 4/8-pin ATX12V/EPS12V connector, one 6-pin PCI-e connector (despite that 33A on the +12V rail should be able to support almost any SLI configuration; certainly anything G7 and under), six SATA, six 4-pin peripheral connectors (also known as Molex connectors) and two floppy connectors.
Now let's get to opening the box and having a look inside....
On top of everything we see our user's manual. The same manual that Corsair uses for the VX450W is also used for the VX550W. So even though we're having a look at the 450W version today, we can also have a sneak peak at the 550W unit.
I'm going to cheat a little and flip to the part of the manual that shows the DC output of the 450W and 550W models. We can see that the column on the right jives with what we had seen on the outside of the box. The column on the left shows us that the 550W version not only has another 96W available on the +12V rail, but also another 10W on the +3.3V and +5V combined. That's hot. We'll get more into the DC output capability after we have a look at the actual label on the power supply.
So now I have all of the loose crap out of the box and spread out on the table. Not only do we have our manual, we have a bag with eight zip-ties, a bag with four mounting screws and a 1" square Corsair case badge. We also have our customary AC power cord.
In the bottom of our box we have our power supply. The power supply comes inside of a white cotton-like bag with a draw string that immediately gave me flashbacks of my youth. The bag reminded me of those Crown Royal bags my parents would give me whenever they cracked open a new bottle of the Canadian whiskey (which was about every other night. I had a lot of bags.) The cool thing here is that this bag doesn't leave a purple stain around your mouth and on your tongue when you put it in your mouth. My kindergarten teacher thought I had some weird kind of skin disease and to this day it is thought that the consumption of the purple dye has contributed to some brain damage... but at the risk of dragging this out to an 11 page review, I digress...
The power supply itself was in a plastic bubble-wrap bag inside the white cotton-like bag. I suppose this is to protect the power supply in case you decide to swing the bag about by the drawstrings. For the record; drawstring durability testing was not performed in this review.
So now we can have a look at the label on our VX450W and once again we see the 33A on the +12V. For the sake of consistency with my other reviews, I'll duplicate this table in HTML format so it's a bit easier to read:
Max Combined Watts
Here is an overhead shot of the power supply. We can see here that the housing is very small. The fan is a 120MM and it essentially takes up the entire depth of the unit.
Both sides of the power supply are adorned with Corsair VX450W stickers. The flash makes the sticker look yellow here, but yellow is the color reserved for the HX520W. The stickers are actually a brilliant, neon, acid, lime green.
Although the sleeving is not as close to the connector as I've seen on some power supplies, the cables are all sleeved to the last connector.
Let's have a look at those connectors and the cable lengths....
Type of connector:
ATX connector (610MM)
2 x 2 4-pin 12V connectors (610MM)
2 x 4 8-pin Xeon/EPS connector (610MM)
6-pin Xeon/AUX connector
2 x 3 PCIe (610MM)
2 x 4 PCIe
5.25" Drive connectors (410MM + 150MM + 150MM)
3.5" Drive connectors (+150MM)
SATA Drive power connectors (410MM + 150MM + 150MM)
Fan only connectors (thermostatically controlled 12V only)
* 8-pin EPS12V connector splits in two to create the 4-pin ATX12V connector.
As we can see here, the cables are very long. Typically we see 550MM cables, and that's ok 98% of the time. Sometimes we're cursed with 500MM cables. But Corsair went with 610MM and longer cables for the VX450W. You can't imagine my relief when I installed the tiny little VX450W into my test rig and the cables actually reached the load tester. Typically, the smaller units are a big problem because often a longer housing can compensate for shorter cables, but not all short power supplies have longer cables like this one does.
Going back to the manual, we find that the VX550W version of this power supply has two PCI-e connectors instead of just one.
Now that we have that out of the way, let's get this thing plugged into the load tester and see what it can do....
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