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Corsair AX860i PSU
Date 7th March 2013
Author FearTec
Editor James "Agg" Rolfe
Manufacturer Corsair

Introduction, Specs, Features, Packaging

I am wondering if this should be called a product review or unboxing and quick test - I am more calling this a stroke of good fortune. Recently my friend's Silverstone PSU failed just after warranty and I suspected my Silverstone PSU was also dying because my Windows 8 was crashing after no more than 3 hours of little activity. I have never skimped on a PSU before and have always purchased and recommended Silverstone PSUs . My existing PSU was a Silverstone ST65ZF, built like a brick dunny, great heat sinks and had good reviews on JohnnyGuru and other sites (even though it had 4 separate 12v rails).

I refuse to throw away working hard drives so I continue to use a 500GB and 10,000RPM Raptor drive along with 2 other larger spindle drives and a solid state drive. All this is in my main games/development system with 16GB of RAM and a Geforce GTX 680. First I investigated the voltages on my system at idle. My 3.3v, 5v and 12v are all good, nothing below the specified voltages. The 12v may be a little high but that seems ok (better to have more than less). Below are the idle voltage reading from my Silverstone PSU.

Click to Enlarge

I fired up Unigine Valley Benchmark 1.0 and a few background processes to try and trip the PSU with no luck.

Click to Enlarge

Day after day I came home to a crashed PC and day after day I checked other components and drivers with no luck. I would not recommend anyone purchase a high end PSU like the Corsair AX860i on a gut feeling. However, after 4 days in a row of a crashing system my gut won. I researched a number of PSUs and settled on the Corsair AX860i mostly because it had a single 12v rail, could run in 50c, was silent and had internal voltage sensors.

The Specs and Features
The full specs can be found here.

-- Snip from Corsair ----------------------------------------

The revolutionary AXi Series PSUs are the first desktop PC power supplies to use digital (DSP) control and Corsair Link to bring you an unprecedented level of monitoring and performance customization. The DSP in the AX860i makes on-the-fly adjustments for incredibly tight voltage regulation, 80 PLUS® Platinum Efficiency, and clean, stable power.

Real-time monitoring and control with Corsair Link: Put the AX860i under your control by connecting it directly to a USB header on your motherboard with the included cable, or to a Corsair Link Commander (available separately). Then, download the free Corsair Link Dashboard software for unrivaled power supply monitoring and control options.

Monitor power input and output, efficiency, fan speed, and internal temperature, directly from the Windows based application. Or, take it to the next level and set up and modify fan speed profiles, or even select from virtual single rail or multi-rail software modes, with selectable OCP points.

DSP-controlled, real-time voltage regulation helps ensure that your valuable components receive clean, stable power.

AX860i's extreme efficiency earns it coveted 80 PLUS® Platinum certification. Less wasted power means minimal excess heat. This can reduce the strain on your other components, and it can save you money over the long run in the form of lower power bills.

Super-high efficiency has another benefit: silence. The thermally-controlled fan doesn't even spin at low loads. It's ideal if you're building a quiet PC or you just want to reduce the amount of ambient noise in your life.

An ultra-quiet, 120mm double ball-bearing fan delivers excellent airflow with exceptionally low noise levels by varying fan speed in response to temperature.
The AX860i is so efficient that the fan doesn't spin up until you're pushing your system hard. And, fan speed thresholds can be adjusted with Corsair Link.
Are you used to checking to see if the fan spins to verify if your power supply is working? No worries. AX860i has a self-test switch to verify proper functionality before you install.

  • Digital Signal Processor (DSP) for delivering extremely clean, efficient power with real-time adjustments
  • Corsair Link Integration for monitoring and adjustment of performance, noise, and OCP settings
  • Dedicated single +12V rail with user-configurable virtual "single rail" and "multi-rail" software modes
  • An ultra-quiet, 120mm double ball-bearing fan delivers excellent airflow with exceptionally low noise levels by varying fan speed in response to temperature
  • 80 PLUS Platinum certified, delivering up to 92% energy efficiency under real-world load conditions
  • Active Power Factor Correction (PFC) with PF value of 0.99
  • Universal AC input from 90~264V
  • Over-voltage, under-voltage, over-current, and short circuit protection provide maximum safety for your critical system components
  • Engineered to meet maximum power output at a server-grade 50°C temperature rating.
  • Self-test switch to determine PSU functionality even before installation.
  • High-quality capacitors provide uncompromised performance and reliability
  • A seven year warranty and lifetime access to Corsair's legendary technical support and customer service
  • Safety Approvals: cTUVus, CE, CB, FCC Class B, TÜV, CCC, C-tick
Package contents
  • AX860i power supply
  • Modular cable pack
  • Accessory bag with mounting hardware, cable ties, and case badge
  • Installation Guide
  • Corsair Link Digital interface cable
  • Corsair Link USB Dongle
  • Conforms to ATX12V v2.31 and EPS 2.92 standards, and is backward compatible with the ATX12V 2.2 and ATX12V 2.01 standards
-- End Snip from Corsair ----------------------------------------

Enough of the specs, it had me at "fans don’t spin up until heavy load" and "monitor power input and output". Time to order.

The PSU did not seem that big when compared to my heavy and large Silverstone ST65ZF. It lost half the weight and was 5cm shorter.

Click to Enlarge

Power readings and noise charts seem impressive, no noise until greater than 20% usage.

Click to Enlarge

71 Amps on the 12V rail, is that dangerous?

Click to Enlarge

All the plugs I need except the floppy power plug.

Click to Enlarge


All original content copyright James Rolfe.
All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.
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