Corsair HX850 Gold Power Supply Review

Corsair, a brand we have come to trust when powering our enthusiast desktop PC systems, brings to us an 850 watt power supply unit that touts quiet operation, a modular configuration, and "gold" rated power efficiency. How does the new Corsair HX850 fit into Corsair's current power supply lineup?

Introduction

Corsair is known in enthusiast circles as a premier supplier of high performance memory and has risen to become one of the most talked about power supply brands around. Corsair was able to establish such presence through rigorous design standards, excellent support, and the use of quality OEM’s such as Seasonic and CWT. Since its entrance into the PSU field, it has established a number of lines of power supplies to address and overlap just about every market segment with its GS, CX, VX, TX, HX, and AX lines. Today, Corsair brings us a revision to an old standby from its HX line, the HX850 Gold (CP-9020032) that is produced in conjunction with CWT.

Channel Well Technology (CWT) was founded and began manufacturing power supplies in 1993. Since 1993 Channel Well Technology products have shown up under various guises including Antec, Xclio, 2theMax, CWT, Thermaltake, Xigmatek, and Corsair. While most familiar to our US users from when it used to provide OEM services for Antec, CWT is one of the more complete OEM manufacturers as it has a fairly high level of vertical integration providing transformers all the way up to its well designed SMPS.

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Just Another Ship of the Line

The Corsair HX850 Gold is the second refreshing of a model that we have seen from the HX series of power supplies by Corsair, previously the HX1050 replaced the HX1000W. The previous incarnation of the power supply we are reviewing today, the HX850W, was an excellent power supply for its time. However, that power supply is now about three years old and in the interim Corsair’s competition has been on the move. Of course given the results we saw from that previous HX850W, as well as Corsair's other offerings, we are expecting this refurbishment of the class to be excellent. However, given the huge overlap of Corsair’s product lines, it seems somewhat difficult to place where this unit is supposed to be among Corsair’s order of battle. As such, let’s see what Corsair has to say about this unit before moving on:

HX Series Modular Power Supplies: Legendary Performance and Reliability

Quiet operation at low loads, modular cabling and 80 PLUS® Gold efficiency makes HX Series PSUs a great choice for high-performance PCs

Quiet operation at low loads

Basic PC power supplies have fans that spin whenever your PC is on – whether you’re pushing your graphics card to the limit or just surfing the web. HX Series power supplies are smarter than that: they generate less heat, so they require less cooling, and the thermally controlled fan only spins when it’s needed.

Slay the cable kraken

The modular cable set allows you to use only the cables you need for your particular set of components. There’s no more unwieldy mythical tentacled monstrosity of unused cables to clutter up the inside of your case.

High efficiency – Low heat

Efficiency is the measurement of how well a power supply converts the AC power from your outlet to the DC power used by your PC’s components. If your power supply isn’t efficient, it will generate more heat, which requires more cooling and more fan noise. And, it might even affect your power bill.

HX Series PSUs are among the most efficient on the market. They help keep your PC cool and quiet, and your power bill down.

Well since we have slayed that "cable kraken," let’s move on to see what we can expect when a user purchases the Corsair HX850 Gold power supply in retail in terms of documentation, accessories, cable count, rail layout, output characteristics, and general build quality.