Corsair AX1600i 1600W Power Supply Review

1600 watts is a lot of computer power supply to shoehorning into one small box. We have seen this attempted many times, and many times companies have fallen short. Corsair's new flagship AX1600i claims to be the world's best PSU that has gotten even better. We will be the judge of that and judgement has been passed.

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Overview

The first thing we are going to look at with the Corsair AX1600i 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 AX1600i is instantly recognizable as a Corsair product as it follows in the form and scheme of previous Corsair products. On the front of the packaging, we find a number of pieces of information such as the fact that this product has a hybrid fan mode, that it supports Corsair Link, that it has a 10 year warranty, and that it is certified for 80 Plus Titanium levels of efficiency. A quick check of the 80 Plus website does indeed find that this unit is certified for the 80 Plus Titanium specification. On top of that, the 10 year warranty we see mentioned here is certainly on the longer end of the spectrum these days with just a few other brands offering longer warranties on select products. Moving to the rear of the packaging, we find a bit more information including an efficiency graph, a fan noise graph, power label (reproduced below), and advertising that mostly focuses on the Corsair Link software. Lastly, when we move around to the rest of the sides of the packaging, we find the connector count (reproduced below) and some more advertising about various features that were on the front of the packaging.

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As with the previous AX1500i, the Corsair AX1600i is somewhat hard to define in regards to its power distribution as the unit has software control of its 12v rails over current protection (OCP) via Link. However, this unit appears to have shipped to us in the "single" 12v rail power distribution as the default setting. That said, there is no documentation with the unit that indicates what the 12v distribution would be if the OCP was enabled in the software once installed. So, starting from that basis, the AX1600i's "single" 12v rail is rated at 133.3A (or ~100% of the unit's possible capacity if needed) while the minor rails are capped at a combined 180W or 30A each (which is very similar to the AX1500i we saw some time ago). To go with this 12v capacity, the AX1600i comes equipped with ten modified 8-pin PCI-Express connectors, nine Molex connectors for peripherals, and sixteen SATA connectors good for powering just about any RAID array, or combination of peripherals, users can dream up. This is also made possible by the fact that, at 180W, the minor rail capacity is rather beefy for a modern unit. Then again, this is a 1600W unit so everything about it is likely to be kind of beefy.

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Once we open the packaging of the AX1600i, we see the power supply in a pouch, mounting screws, user manual, warranty guide, power cord, cables in a pouch, zip-ties, the Corsair link cables, flash drive, and stickers to change out the color of the branding on the side of the unit. The user manual is unique to the AX1600i and comes in nine languages spanning a total of 72 pages. The manual includes a bunch of advertising, installation instructions, cable count, fan noise graph from the packaging, efficiency curve from the packaging, package contents, installation instructions, and explanation of the self test feature but lacks the warranty information. In the warranty guide, we find some of the warranty information but we do not find the length of the warranty (ten years on the Corsair website). Also of note, the flash drive that we get does not contain the Corsair Link software which is still an odd omission. Let's move on now to the AX1600i itself and see what we get there when we purchase this unit.