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.

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 an amazing presence in such a short time through the use of quality OEM’s (Seasonic and CWT), rigorous standards, and excellent support. Corsair began branding power supplies with the original members of the HX series units, the very well received CMPSU-HX520 (branded as HX520W) and the CMPSU-HX620 (branded as HX620W). Since then though, it has established more product lines of power supplies to address other market segments with its CX, VX, and TX models. With these lines in hand Corsair has covered the low to mid range market but has only a single unit in the 1000W to 1000W+ market segment. Today, however, Corsair introduces a new line of power supplies, the AX, whose flagship member, the AX1200 (CMPSU-1200AX), surpasses the HX1000W as the largest capacity power supply in Corsair’s lineup. This power supply comes to us from Corsair in conjunction with a new supplier, and one which has not previously made enthusiast SMPS (switching-mode power supplies), Flextronics.

Flextronics International Ltd. is an electronics manufacturing services provider, which makes it a bit atypical from the general consumer SMPS OEM, founded in 1969 and headquartered in Singapore. Flextronics provides a wide range of manufacturing, supply chain management and procurement, logistical support, and technical support services for industries ranging from automotive, to medical, to consumer electronic, and industrial component production. Some of their more familiar customers that they provide manufacturing services, or outright production for are familiar to many users including Lenovo, Lego Group, Microsoft, RIM, LG, SUN, HP, Kodak, Verizon, Amazon, Samsung, Siemens, Apple, and many more. Flextronics subsidiary FlexPower, was founded in 2005 and Flextronics claims that following the acquisition of Friwo and Coldwatt, plus internal growth and development that they are now the "4th largest power supply company in the world". However, its production of products for the consumer SMPS market is still rather limited with Corsair bringing the first product from Flextronics/FlexPower to the enthusiast we have seen to date.

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A New Ship of the Line

It has been over 2 years since Corsair has hit the 1000W mark with a power supply product, and after 2 years that HX1000W, which was a very good product at the time, has certainly been showing its age. When the CWT PUC design was introduced, it (like the CWT PSH) was a very competent product that performed very well for the time. However, the competition did not sit still and those designs have been relegated to nothing more than ballast these days. Corsair, however has been dead in the water with products at or above the 1000W mark during that same time and was surpassed for high end products by almost every brand of note. Today, however, we finally see Corsair once more getting under way with their new AX1200 power supply. The big question will be, can they catch the competition and turn around what has been a almost no show in the 1000W realm? Or did they drop anchor for too long? First, let's see what Corsair says about their new flagship:

The Corsair AX1200 provides the power level, reliability, and stability required for the ultimate SLI and CrossFire gaming PCs. It delivers more than 90% energy-efficiency, and is built to Corsair’s renowned quality standards with one aim alone آ— to deliver the precise features and performance that enthusiasts demand.

Moving on let’s see what we can expect when a user purchases the Corsair AX1200 supply in retail in terms of documentation, accessories, cable count, rail layout, output characteristics, and general build quality.