Corsair AX1200 1200W Power Supply Review

Corsair has built a tremendously solid brand in the computer power supply market over the last couple of years. Today it steps into a new realm, that being the 1200 watt market. Making great PSUs gets harder as the power scales. Let's see if Corsair can ride the winds once again and pull off a bigger-than-a-kilowatt win.

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Overview

The first thing we are going to look at with the Corsair AX1200 is its packaging, accessories, and documentation. While normally none of these items is a make or break item for a power supply the packaging quite often contains a lot of information about the product we are purchasing. The inclusion of an owner’s manual that provides actual information about our product is also of great help. Accessories are almost unnecessary with a power supply as the unit is self contained, unless it is modular, but there are cases where a manufacturer can include useful accessories to make installation, routing, and use more efficient.

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The packaging of the Corsair AX1200 breaks with the trend established by all of the other Corsair units we have reviewed to date, in that it does not really feature an accent color (unless we are to count the small Gold label on the unit). This particular packaging is also very large, like the HX1000W units, and as is typical for the packaging of a Corsair unit, the AX1200 packaging carries a large amount of information about the power supply on the packaging. This information includes the connector count, power label (which will be broken down below), fan noise level graph, an efficiency graph, and a number of marketing points. The efficiency graph and text indicates the unit peaks at ~90% efficient at 50% load at 115v. This would put the unit in the 80Plus Gold category (which is apparently the reasoning here for the Gold moniker on the unit as well), and the 80Plus website does list the AX1200 as being certified for 80Plus Gold. While on the AX1200 product page we also notice that the unit is advertised as being SLI certified (though the packaging omits this) but a quick check of the SLIZone webpage does not turn up SLI certification for this unit at the time of writing. Moving on, the AX1200 comes equipped with a 7 year warranty which is great and the same as what the HX series of units carry (except for the HX1000W which is still 5 years).

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The Corsair AX1200 is a single 12v rail power supply from Flextronics and it shares this 12v arrangement with all of Corsair’s previous power supplies except for the HX1000W. The single 12v rail that the AX1200 is sporting is rated at 100.4A (I guess someone wanted to be different so we get an extra 0.4A) which makes it good for a possible 100% of the unit’s total DC output capacity. Previously, the few units we have seen capable of this have been produced by the likes of BFG using designs like Andyson’s MT-8 and MT-9. To go with this 12v capacity, the AX1200 comes equipped with six modified 8-pin PCI-Express connectors as well as twelve Molex connectors for peripherals and sixteen SATA connectors good for powering your RAID array. Overall this setup is well appointed for any current high end enthusiast system.

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Once we open the packaging of the AX1200 we see the usual assortment of items including the power supply in a pouch, mounting screws, user manual, and power cord. The user manual is unique to the AX1200, and comes in eight languages spanning a total of 57 pages. The manual includes the power table, installation instructions, cable count, and warranty information. This is some of the desirable information in a manual, especially the warranty information, but it really isn't as complete as some other manuals we have seen that include all the electrical specifications and the pinouts. The only real other perk to the manual is that it does list the cable lengths so that is certainly welcome. All in all, the manual is good but it still could be better such as what we have seen from Enermax previously.