Date: December 6, 2006
Author(s): Rob Williams
Corsair knows their stuff when it comes to performance memory, but how about power supplies? Despite the fact that they are new to the PSU market, they prove that they are not newbies. After taking a look at their HX620W, we walk away impressed.
Power supplies are an imperative part of your system that should not be taken lightly. Throwing in a budget PSU could result in poor power efficiency or even a wrecked system. In the past, I have been foolish enough to trust “less than reliable” power supplies and have had two die on me while the system was in use. Luckily enough I didn’t damage the rest of my system, but that’s not to say it could not have happened quite easily.
Because of this trust that people put on their power supplies, it’s no wonder that everyone wants a piece of this pie. Not excluding memory manufacturers! OCZ was one of the first with their ModStream series, and it quickly became known to companies that great looking and efficient power supplies are what enthusiasts want in their rigs. In the past year we have seen both Corsair and Mushkin also enter the power supply scheme of things, which now opens up even more selection for you to peruse.
What does Corsair have to say about their power supplies? These are not cheaply developed, they are designed to well handle whatever you want to throw at them. They released two models, a 520W and the 620W which we are taking a look at today. Though the wattages are not a huge jump from one another, the 620W costs an average of $50.00 more. What both models offer are triple +12v rails capable of 18a. One noticeable difference between the two is that the 520W has a 24a +5v while the 620w has an available 30a on the same rail.
I am not the type of person to look at a box and think, “Wow that’s great.”, but this is one of those times when I will. This is a clean, simple and informative box, just as they should be. While the 620W has a black/red color combination, the 520W has a yellow/red scheme.
Showing shots of an open box is usually boring, I want to show that Corsair goes the extra mile to make sure you get the product in good condition. I’ve received many power supplies that were simply wrapped in a bag, but theirs is encased in a thick styrofoam box.
This is a modular power supply, so all of the available connectors are kept separate in a Corsair branded bag. The connections do not have rounded cables, but rather are completely flat, similar to the cables we’ve seen from Ultras FlexForce series.
As you can see, the connectors are pure black. This is a great thing since it helps keep the inside of your case looking pimp, especially if you enjoy modding. The plastic connectors are the same color so the cables should add to the look of your rig.
Here is a list of the connectors that are included:
As you can see, there are plenty of connectors for most anyone. There are a few things to note, but they are good things. Most newer motherboards require a 4-Pin power connector (4-Pin fan) to be plugged into the motherboard for extra stability. While Corsair didn’t add a connector for this purpose to run directly from the supply, they instead use an adapter that will convert one of the 4-Pin Molex connectors in the case into a 4-Pin fan connector. This proved to be a great thing, because it halted the need for having to run yet another cable from the PSU downward into the case.
Before we move into an inspection of the supply, here you can see just how thick the included stryofoam protector is. It would take a huge drop in order to receive this supply in bad shape.
One thing you will notice is the size. It’s small… perfect for any case. The entire chassis is pure black with the only other color being the various stickers.
According to the rating sticker, this power supply really packs a punch. 18a on each rail is sure to keep a stable rig.
The back of the supply is nothing we haven’t seen before. Besides the obvious, the entire back utilizes a mesh design to allow hot air release.
Both the left and right sides are clean except for the product sticker.
The only cables built straight into the power supply, understandably, are the motherboard connectors. They are kept tied together with a plastic cable which can easily be removed. As you can see, these select cables are kept in black sleeving.
You will have a total of 5 general ports to deal with, which will allow for all of the connections except for the PCI-E. Those two ports are kept directly above the other five.
On the bottom of the supply we can see a huge 120mm fan, which sucks air from the inside of your case and directs it out the meshed back.
After cracking the PSU open we can learn a lot. Here is the backside of the fan, which is capable of 2050RPM and 80.5CFM. Despite the job is has to do, it still retains the somewhat quiet 38.0dBA rating. The HX620W has a built-in fan controller which will adjust the fan speed accordingly, so it will only become noticeably audible under full load.
To help dissipate heat, an oddly styled black heatsink is used. It is comprised of two sections, and are designed to keep the heat evenly distributed throughout the supply and ultimately with the help of the fan, straight out of the back.
The primary capacitor.
As a whole, the internals are kept very clean and is optimized to run efficiently. Thanks to the large 120mm fan, the hot air should be able to escape out the back quickly. Here are a few more pictures of the innards before we move onto testing.
Throughout all of our benchmarks regardless of what we are reviewing, testing is done in a clean and stand-alone version of Windows XP Professional with SP2. Prior to testing, these conditions are met:
The testing rig used for today’s benchmarking is as follows:
To stress the HX620W, I ran these applications for the period of an hour.
What’s to say? The power supply held up incredibly well. This is by far the most solid supply I’ve personally had in for testing. It handled the stress well and there was only minor fluctuation. The +12v rails were all above the mark but still retain ATX 2.0 standards, and more importantly were super stable.
Many have known for quite a while, Corsair knows their memory and know how to release a blowout product. Well, they apparently took their smarts from that market and put it straight into their power supplies because this is a fantastic result. What’s most impressive is that the HX series came out of nowhere, and then proved to be a huge winner. Besides the obvious performance highs, there are a few other things that help this add up to become a highly recommended product.
I am not a fan of bling. I don’t care if a power supply has fancy LED’s… I’d rather see solid performance. That’s why we see the likes of PCP&C doing so well… they focus primarily on performance. Corsair believed that was the road to take, and developed a simple looking power supply that still looks great thanks to it’s pure matte black paint job.
I’ve also been a fan of modular power supplies for quite some time, because more often than not, a supply will have far more connectors than I need. 6 Molex and 6 S-ATA is overkill when I only have a single DVD-Rom and hard drive. Other things that they did right was include the 4-Pin fan connectors as an adapter instead of another cable that runs straight from the PSU. This helps you keep things towards the center of your case instead of having an abundance of cables running through your case cutting off crucial airflow.
But most importantly, the HX620W proves to be a very reliable product that keeps tight figures on the rails. It was a blast to stress test this supply… trying to throw everything at it and see it laugh at me. Great first showing from Corsair that well deserves a 9 out of 10 and our Editors Choice award!
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