Corsair AX1200i Power Supply Review

Corsair has a refresh today that talks to its high end line of high power PSUs. The AX1200i comes in touting "platinum" efficiency and "an unprecedented level of monitoring and performance customization." How does the AX1200i perform out-of-the-box and does it actually bring value at its huge price?

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Overview

The first thing we are going to look at with the Corsair AX1200i 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 AX1200i breaks the trend of what we have seen from recent Corsair offerings. The layout is similar but the particulars vary and we see that the AX1200i accent coloring is going to be red rather than the gold we saw on the 80 Plus Gold rated AX1200. The packaging is once more large but is a bit more devoid of information than what we have seen before. Indeed, on the front of the packaging all we find of relevance is the 80 Plus Platinum seal and we do indeed find the unit listed when we look at the 80 Plus website. Moving to the rear, we find a few more tidbits of information including an efficiency graph, a fan noise graph, power label (reproduced below), and a seal indicating that this unit is covered by a 7 year warranty. We also see a lot of talk about the Corsair link capability of this unit. For those of you so interested in this gimmick, the user manual states that you can download the Corsair Link Dashboard on the Corsair website at "www.corsair.com/AX1200i," but at the time of writing there is no link for a product called the Corsair Link Dashboard like the manual said. What you can find is this link for the Corsair Link Beta Driver. Corsair had a huge re-launch of its website a while back, and it really didn't result in anything good including finding this piece of software. Lastly, when we open the flap on the front we find the connector count (which is also reproduced below).

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The Corsair AX1200i is once more a "single" 12v rail power supply that shares all of its rated outputs with the AX1200. The single 12v rail is rated at 100.4A, we 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. The minor rails (5v and 3.3v) are good for up to 30A each with a total output cap on the 5v and 3.3v rails of 180W. To go with this 12v capacity, the AX1200i 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. Before moving on, it should be noted that Corsair advertises this unit as being a single 12v rail unit. However, the unit has the capability for the software to "turn on" the OCP on each rail. In order for this to be possible, the hardware for the OCP must also be present (unless of course it isn’t and this whole thing is a ruse) and there must be an actual 12v arrangement in which the default state has the OCP actually set to a value that is either approaching the unit’s total 12v capacity, or simply high enough that you are not going to physically draw enough to trip it with the available connectors (as with the Seasonic Platinum-1000 and related units). Corsair does not readily make this information available, but unlike Seasonic and those using that platform, Corsair are touting this "feature" which makes this confusing at the very least. From what we have been able to gather, it appears that the 24pin ATX connector, as well as all of the 6 pin (housing side) connectors, are on one 12v rail while all of the 8-pin (housing side) connectors are on their own 12v rails. Barring the very muddled nature of the 12v rail assignment, overall this setup is well appointed for any current high end enthusiast system.

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Once we open the packaging of the AX1200i we see the power supply in a pouch, mounting screws, user manual, power cord, cables in a pouch, flash drive (sans the Corsair link software), zipties, and the Corsair link cables. The user manual is unique to the AX1200i and comes in six languages spanning a total of 47 pages. The manual includes the power table, installation instructions, cable count, fan noise graph from the packaging, package contents, and a bunch of advertising but lacks the warranty information. 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 ok to good but it still could be better and is a bit less helpful than the AX1200’s.