Closing a gap in its lineup of enthusiast-class power supply units (PSU), Corsair recently introduced new 750W and 850W models, bridging its existing 620W and 1kW variants. Not only has the company waded into a very lucrative high-end segment with these new entrants, Corsair also boasts of improved power efficiency. We take a quick look at the Corsair HX850.
While the Corsair HX620 and HX1000 could claim to be 80 PLUS certified, times and technology have moved on since they were introduced. And the enthusiast PSU segment has seen more and more brands trying to outdo each other in terms of their offerings' efficiency. With a claim of "up to 90% power efficiency in real-world load conditions", which Corsair clarifies as room temperature and 50% load, it does appear impressive.
Corsair also maintains that the HX850 is capable of producing the full 850W of power at an ambient temperature of 50 degrees Celsius. If that's the case, it should be quite the boon for heavy users who have multiple graphics cards and other devices, since they can choose this instead of overcompensating with a higher wattage PSU.
The 80 PLUS Silver rating should give enthusiasts a certain amount of confidence in these claims as there aren't many models in the market with such certification.
Besides the high efficiency numbers, other aspects of the modern PSU are embodied by this PSU. Features like modular cable management and having both 8-pin and 6-pin PCIe power connectors for today's high-end graphics cards are mandatory for premium PSUs. You can tick those boxes as the HX850 has all those covered.
The modular cables are the flat ribbon type and not rounded so as to ensure the best airflow within the chassis, though we found the uniform black used for them to be too dark for our taste. Perhaps having some cable types, like the PCIe connectors in a different color would help users quickly pick them out when fixing their PC. A whole bag of cables (yes, there's a small bag to hold the cables) is included, allowing you to hook up to 12 SATA and PATA devices.
Justifying its premium branding, the Corsair HX850 comes with a seven-year warranty from local distributor Corbell. It's not cheap however, with an online retail price of around US$195. For that price though, you know what you're in for and the HX850 certainly looks like a perfect fit for PSU hunting enthusiasts.