Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

Corsair TX950W 950 Watt Power Supply Review

Corsair's cannons are blazing with its 950 watt TX series PSU that claims to sustain a full 950 watt load at 50°C and up 85% energy efficiency under "real-world" load conditions. We put the TX through our normal gamut of higher-than-industry standard tests and tell you if our TX sinks to the bottom or stays proudly afloat.

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Conclusions

The Corsair TX950W is the 9th power supply from Corsair we have reviewed and is the highest powered unit from the TX line from Corsair to date. This unit however, is not based on the same old CWT PSH platform that the TX850W is and this is a good thing as that platform has been problematic for just about everyone but Corsair. No, this unit is based on a new line of power supplies from CWT that Corsair seems to be the US lead brand on, the DSG. Given the outstanding performance we saw from the HX850W which was based on a modified version of the DSG platform we have nothing but high hopes for this unit as well. Typically however, the TX line has been a bit less at everything compared to the HX line so we have to temper our hopes just a touch. Will the TX950W perform like the HX850W? Or are we missing the secret sauce (which near as I can tell is actually Pyrat XO)?


HardOCP’s testing methodology is intended to very much push power supplies to their advertised wattage rating in temperatures that will represent some of the hottest computer enthusiast cases. So if a unit passes all our testing it is definitely not something to take lightly. In fact we expect more power supplies to fail our testing than make it through unscathed.

Build Quality

The build quality of the TX950W is very good and overall better than the older TX members. The exterior of the unit once more features the same fit and finish we have seen now from just about every Corsair unit that has crossed our hands. We do see that the cable sleeving issue with CWT built Corsair units (and CWT units in general) is rectified here once more which is excellent. On the interior of the unit we find some differences compared to the HX850W as this unit appears to be a stock CWT DSG unit as opposed to the modified one we saw as the HX850W. One of the first differences we notice is the mysterious HongHua Electron Technological CO LTD fan used in this unit. After that we find the primary side looks to be organized just like the older independently regulated PSH design. The overall topology however, is the same synchronous rectification design with DC-DC VRM's for the minor rails output that we saw with the HX850W. Corsair has once more outfitted their ship with all Japanese (Nippon Chemi-con) capacitors (including the solid capacitors on the DC-DC VRM's) which is very good to see. This is coupled with an internal build quality and soldering that is neat and clean overall. The user manual however, is in the same kind of shape we found the HX850W and as such Corsairs efforts remain solidly behind the likes of Enermax and Silverstone high-end units in thoroughness and utility which is unfortunate. The warranty is also shorter than what we saw with the HX850W, keeping in line with the differentiation of Corsair's multitude of different products at almost the exact same or even the exact same power output levels, as it is 5 years long for this unit.

Load Testing

The Load Testing results for the Corsair TX950W were excellent across the board just like the last time we saw this platform. The voltage regulation for this unit was excellent as the 12v rail dropped by just 0.1v over its capacity and the minor rails dropped by just 0.05v for both of the lightly loaded rails. The HX850W posted very similar voltage regulation numbers back when we first saw it. Also like what we saw with the HX850W, the TX950W posted excellent efficiency values that ranged from 84.67% to 88.21% at 120v and 83.04% to 87.13% at 100v. These results were exceptionally close to the 80Plus Silver ratings that 80Plus has listed for this unit on their webpage and at 25C this unit might be able to hit 80Plus Silver. On an interesting turn of events we see that the Transient Load Testing results for the Corsair TX950W surprisingly outdid the related HX850W. The peak change we saw on the loaded 12v rail was just ~140mV. This stands in contrast to the HX850W which hit ~180mV. However, the HX850W does have a lower 12v capacity so this difference is not that significant. What is significant is the keel hauling the TX950W inflicted upon the HX1000W's and the competing PC Power and Cooling Silencer 910 in this test. This larger in capacity Corsair unit and similar PC Power and Cooling unit simply were abused by the TX950W. Overall, the TX950W posted some very good results for this particular set of tests.

DC Output Quality

The DC Output Quality of the Corsair TX950W was overall very good. Considering that previously the TX line had been dominated by CWT PSH line, expectations for this unit could understandably be low. However, the unit is based on the same DSG platform that the HX850W was and that unit was exceptional so you could also understandably have high expectations for this unit. In the end, the TX950W more or less split the difference of those two view points. The DC Output Quality was better than the PSH based units before it but worse than the DSG based HX850W. With its peak 12v trace of ~60mV and peak minor rail values of less than 10mV the TX950W was good overall in this regard, and a solid improvement for the TX line.

Noise

The Corsair TX950W follows in the tradition of all previous Corsair units as it employs a single large overhead fan, excellent efficiency, and a good fan controller all in an effort to mitigate the unit’s sound profile. However, this unit does vary from others we have seen as it employs a fan from the obscure brand Hong Hua. For the most part during load testing though, the unit was surprisingly quiet given that the previous OK-quality Yate Loon's have been replaced with the Hong Hua unknown. However, once we got into the Torture Test the Hong Hua fan came to life. Like the Corsair HX850W before it, the fan became clearly audible as it spooled up and grew louder when the unit moved into the full power test. However, in all loads below 80% this sound was absent and the unit was unremarkable in our test background. Given these results I would say the noise exhibited by both the HX850W and the TX950W is due to the fan controller in the DSG platform as opposed to the fans (though Corsair could use some better fans overall and that would not be out of line).

Paul's Thoughts:

The Corsair TX950W is the second time we have had a look at the new CWT DSG platform, though this time in stock form and second impressions are never quite the same as first impressions. That in and of itself is not to take anything away from Corsair personally it is just the way it is. However, the TX950W did a good job for a second appearance for a platform as this time we bumped the capacity up 100W while maintaining the same general load testing results. The TX950W does take a bit of a back seat to the HX850W though for a couple of intentional product segmentation reasons (shorter warranty and fixed cables) and for a couple build quality reasons and one set of performance metrics that may be related. The primary layout for this unit is much more like the PSH series than that of the HX850W and in the end we found that the DC Output Quality split the difference between the PSH based units (such as the TX850W) and the previous DSG based HX850W. Also, we see for the first time the unknown Hong Hua branded fan in this unit which for all of its mystery seems to have performed as well as the midline Yate Loon's we have been seeing. However, it really wouldn't hurt anything to see a better fan as the higher powered Corsair units we have been seeing subjectively seem to be getting louder than their other lower powered units, or it could be that everyone else is getting quieter with their units these days.

The Bottom Line

The Corsair TX950W represents a re-launching of Corsair's price-performance line of power supplies and it is the second largest capacity unit currently being shipped by Corsair (following the HX1000W). Previously, we saw the HX850W utilize the same platform as this unit to great effect and as such we expected great things from this unit. Largely, this turned out to be the case. The TX950W had the same excellent voltage regulation, efficiency, and similar noise profile as the high end HX850W all while being 100W greater in capacity. What it doesn't have compared to that unit is the same length warranty, modular interface, or quite as good of DC Output Quality. However, the TX950W is the price-performance line and not the premier line so you give a little to, in this case, get a lot of value as today's pricing finds the TX950W coming in at $159.99 with Free Shipping. This makes the TX950W one shiny piece of eight fit to adorn most any users gaming rig as it sails into battle.

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Corsair TX950W PSU

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