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Corsair HX620 620W Power Supply Review

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     September 13, 2007



Corsair HX620 620W Power Supply Review



Product Number: CMPSU-620HX
Price: $154.56 at Directcanada
Packaging: Retail
Fan Size: 1x 120mm
Warranty: 5 Years
Availability: Now



Table of Contents:

Intro

1- Packaging and Accessories
2- Exterior Impressions
3- Cables and Connectors
4- Interior Impressions
5- Output Characteristics

Performance Tests

6-Efficiency Testing
7- Voltage Regulation Testing
8- +12V AC Ripple Testing
9- Heat and Noise

10- Conclusion


Cable Lengths and Connectors:

- Molex: 10 Connectors (modular)
o 2x 31” (3 connectors)
o 2x 18” (2 connector)

- SATA: 8 Connectors (modular)
o 2x 32” length (3 connectors each)
o 1x 26” length (2 connectors each)

- PCI-E 6+2 Pin: 2 Connectors (modular)
o 2x 22” length

- 4-Pin Floppy: 1 Connector
o 1x 6” length (dedicated cable can be attached to Molex connectors)

- 20+4 ATX Connector: 21” length

- 4+4 Pin CPU connector: 21” length

- Dedicated fan connector: 6” length (2 fan connectors)



Corsair has been known as a company which makes performance memory products for some time now but has only branched into the Great Power Supply War a little more than a year ago. At that time, many power supply manufacturers were content to stay in the Dark Ages by producing inefficient, completely inadequate power supplies for today’s needs. Indeed, many think that Corsair blazed a path with their first power supplies (the HX520 and the HX620) which made many other manufacturers sit up and take notice. Not only do the Corsair power supplies still promise class-leading performance but they carry with them a 5-year warranty through Corsair’s excellent RMA service.

After countless reviews of both the HX520 and the HX620 it feels a bit odd to be reviewing one of these units almost a year after its release. This goes to prove just how well these power supplies have stood the test of time. Corsair has even announced the release of a pair of follow-up power supplies with their VX-series in 450W and 550W configurations. All of Corsair’s power supplies are made by Seasonic which is one of the better OEMs on the market these days.

In this review we will be looking at the year-old Corsair HX620 620W power supply. Even a year after its release, it is still selling like hotcakes and is still considered by many to be one of the best 600W power supplies around. With its recent price reductions and Corsair’s continued support by adding a pair of 8-pin PCI-E connectors, even a year after its release the HX620 is still on many people’s short lists. So, is it still in a position to trample its competitors or have other companies caught up to Corsair’s flagship power supply? Read on to find out.


1- Packaging and Accessories


The main box of the HX620 is larger than most of the other power supply boxes we have come across in the past, but it holds all the necessary information you would need to know. The entire theme is quite understated with the only real splashes of color being the red which separates the HX620 from the other power supplies in Corsair’s stable. The front of the box shows the modular interface with the main features while the back of the box is reserved for the output characteristics, detailed features and review awards.


This is the first box we have encountered that opens from the right-hand side but once it is open you realize that Corsair has packaged this power supply very well. The unit itself is encased in tight-fitting black foam while all of the accessories are pushed over to the side of the box. Once the foam “cover” is removed, we see that the power supply is also wrapped in a plastic bag to additionally protect its finish. Looking back at past reviews, this is one of the best packaged power supplies we have had pass through the lab in quite some time.


The accessories included with the HX620 are your usual fare but the inclusion of a bag to store unused modular cables is a welcome addition which is included with far too few modular power supplies these days. In addition to the Corsair-branded bag you get a well-written instruction manual. Four black mounting screws, an AC power cord and eight black zip-ties.


2- Exterior Impressions


There is a look and feel to the Corsair HX620 that just screams quality and durability. The exterior casing is painted in a black matte powdercoating which is nearly impervious to scratches and fingerprints while the red theme continues here as well with red accent labels. The fan is a 120mm unit which has a red Corsair sticker in the center of it and it is protected by a black metal grille. The first hint that a power supply is well-made is its actual weight and the Corsair HX620 has quite a bit of heft to it.

Unlike many modular power supplies we have reviewed in the past, this Corsair unit is the length of a standard ATX power supply. This definitely works to Corsair’s advantage versus the competition since some of the other power supplies on the market have to extend their casing in order to incorporate a modular interface. Thus, the HX620 is able to fit into cases which may be an extremely tight fit for some of the competition.


The modular interface is blessed in its simplicity and practicality; all of the peripheral connectors (SATA and Molex) connect to the top receptacles which look like flattened Molex connectors while the PCI-E connectors plug into the lower plugs. All of the connectors are very easy to plug and unplug from the interface and even in a dark and cramped case, they are easy to find.


3- Cables and Connectors


Corsair’s cable package is nothing if not thorough; they have included every possible connector along with some we have not seen on a power supply up until now. Not only are all of the cables more than long enough to reach anywhere in even the largest case but the modular interface ensures that the interior of your case does not become a rats-nest of cables. One of the more interesting cables can be seen in the upper part of the picture on the left; it is a cable which splits one Molex connector into a pair of +12V case fan connectors. This is an absolutely brilliant solution for a situation where you may want to connect more fans without having to plug in an extra modular cable directly into the power suply.

Since there are some of us who don’t use floppy drives anymore, Corsair has made the floppy connectors on the HX620 completely separate from any other cable. Nearly every other power supply adds the floppy connector at the end of a string of Molex connectors. Yet, Corsair has taken quite a unique approach by making two floppy connectors which actually attach to a Molex connector. This ensures that if you don’t need it, the floppy connector won’t be left flapping in the wind.


While all of the older versions of the HX620 have a pair of 6-pin PCI-E connectors, within the last few months all of the recent shipments to retailers have included a pair of 6+2 pin PCI-E connectors which will be used more and more on upcoming graphics cards. In this case, Corsair has seen fit to use a break-off connector so these connectors can also be used as standard PCI-E connectors as well. As we have stated before; it is recommended that you look for power supplies carrying these 8-pin PCI-E connectors if you want your new purchase to be somewhat future-proofed. It is believed that both Nvidia’s and ATI’s upcoming high-end graphics cards will exclusively use 8-pin PCI-E connectors and thus it is hard to recommend a 600W or higher power supply which does not include at least one of these connectors. In addition, if you have a HX620 and do not have this cable, you can contact Corsair to send you one for a nominal charge.

All of the Molex connectors are equipped with quick-release prongs which make them very easy to remove once they are connected. We have not seen many power supplies outside of the FSP power supplies use these connectors but their inclusion here is a welcome addition.


The cables on the Corsair HX620 are sleeved in two separate types of material; one being standard woven fabric sleeving while the other is quite a bit different. It is not sleeving at all but rather the individual cables are adhered together and finished in a black plastic coating rather than the color-coded norm. The ATX and CPU cables are sleeved in the mesh sleeving which is in itself done perfectly to give the right amount of looks, protection and support to the cables while maintaining enough “give” for them to be easily bent.

On the other hand, all of the modular cables are finished in the aforementioned fashion which basically consists of the unsleeved cables being bound together to produce a flat yet bendable cable. For some people this type of cable is the perfect mix of aesthetics and functionality but others feel like it hinders cable routing in some circumstances. In our Gigabyte Aurora 570 case, the flat cables were perfect for hiding and especially well suited for passing behind the side panel without preventing it from closing. While cables from other power supplies tend to take a bit of work to snake around a case, these were amazingly easy to work with.


4- Interior Impressions


The interior of the Corsair HX620 is extremely tightly packed with large black ribbed heatsinks populating the areas most in need of cooling. While many manufacturers of modular power supplies allow for extra space for the modular interface, Seasonic (Corsair’s OEM) has seen fit to save space and cram everything into a standard ATX sized power supply. Even with all of the components in close proximity, there is still enough space for good airflow over the heatsinks. We can also see one large transformer which is placed very close to the edge of the casing.


The modular interface is very cleanly laid out which is always a pleasure to see considering some of the train wrecks we have seen in the past. While we cannot see how the actual wires themselves are attached to the front of the PCB, the clean layout of the area we can see is refreshingly simple with a minimum of solder.

The primary filtering stage has a pair of large chokes on it accompanied by well-placed heatsinks to disperse the heat they and the rectifier located here generate. You may also notice that one of the heatsink ribs has been extended to touch the larger of the two coils; this is to further help disperse the heat generated by this component.


When opening a power supply, it is always good to see quality components and the Corsair HX620 definitely did not disappoint in this category at all. The primary capacitor is an industrial-grade Rubycon 470uF 105*C rated unit which is near the pinnacle of quality capacitors. This is also a change from the original unit which had a Hitachi primary cap. The secondary side consists of a forest of Nippon Chemicon capacitors which are also of extremely high quality. Without a doubt, Corsair and their OEM Seasonic have chosen high-grade components for the interior of this power supply. I will be very interesting to see how well the HX620 does in our battery of tests.


5- Output Characteristics


Even though the Corsair HX620 has three +12V rails rated at 18A each, there has been some talk that this power supply is actually a single-rail unit without OCP circuits “splitting” the output into three rails. The combined output of the +12V rails (or rail in this case) is an astounding 600W or 50A. Considering this power supply has an output of 620W, the fact it can output nearly 97% of its output to the +12V rail will have it punching far above its weight category. From looking at competitors, we can see than the Corsair HX620 will even give most 700W power supplies a good run for their money when it comes to +12V output.


PERFORMANCE TESTS:

Instruments Used:

Belkin 1100VA UPS
Rexus PSU tester
Fluke 187 Digital Multimeter
UPM Power Meter
USB Instruments Stingray USB O-Scope
USB Instruments Differential oscilloscope probe

Test Platform:

DFI Lanparty SLI-DR Expert
AMD X2 3800+ (at 2.6Ghz)
2GB Corsair PC4000 Ram (at 520Mhz)
EVGA 8800GTS (Stock, OC 650/1900, SLI, SLI OC 650/1800)
1x Samsung Spinpoint 250GB SATA Hard drive
Gigabyte 3D Aurora 570 Case
Pioneer DVD Writer
4X 120mm Noctua NF-S12-1200 fans

Important note:

Because of processor limitation, 8800GTS cards in SLI are seriously bottlenecked in Company of Heroes. Thus, while they still drew quite a high amount of power, when coupled with a higher end system or playing at higher resolutions they would probably draw much more.

One way or another, I would NOT recommend anything under a good 700W power supply for a pair of 8800GTS cards. These tests are done as benchmarks ONLY.


6-Efficiency Testing:

To test efficiency, plugged in the UPM power meter to the Belkin UPS and the highest sustained AC power consumption was recorded over the 1 hour test period. All tests were run twice and if there were anomalies, the test was run a third time. All “Startup” results are the peak power output required while powering on the computer between the POST screen and a usable WindowsXP desktop.

The first efficiency test’s “Load” value was done with an overclocked processor and the graphics card at stock speeds while running Company of Heroes. The values are the highest peak power draw over the 1 hour test period.

The second efficiency test’s “Load” value was done with an overclocked processor and a heavily overclocked (both 2D and 3D overclocked to the same value) graphics card. Company of Heroes was played while Orthos was running on the processor in the background.

The third efficiency test was run with 2 8800GTS 320MB cards in SLI running at stock speeds with the processor overclocked to 2.6Ghz. Company of Heroes was then run for 1 hour to determine load values.

The final test was run with 2 8800GTS 320MB cards running in SLI and overclocked to 650/1800. Company of Heroes was played for 30 minutes while the overclocked processor (at 2.6Ghz) ran Orthos in the background. In addition, HDtach was looped in the background and a full DVD was burned as well.

Efficiency Test #1



Efficiency Test #2



Efficiency Test #3



Efficiency Test #4


Only one word can describe the efficiency numbers the Corsair HX620: amazing. Before this review, the Ultra X-Pro 600W was the reigning champion when it came to AC power consumption but it was thoroughly beaten by Corsair’s flagship power supply in nearly every test. It is once again interesting to see a power supply that is not 80Plus certified putting up numbers which very much deserve the certification. In the end, it all comes down to money and it is fair to assume that Corsair didn’t want the extra cost incurred by getting the 80Plus sticker on their power supplies. In this case the numbers speak louder than any certification sticker ever could; we have a new champion in the efficiency tests!!


7- Voltage Regulation Testing

To test voltage regulation I used the same tests as the efficiency. All tests were done over two tests of 1 hour where the voltage drops were logged with the Fluke 187 multimeter. The multimeter was installed directly on a connected PCI-E connector for the +12V tests and a SATA connector for the +5V and +3.3V tests. The tests were as follows:

The “Idle” value was done with an overclocked processor and the graphics card at stock speeds while running the Windows Desktop.

The “Load” value was done with an overclocked processor and the graphics card at stock speeds while running Company of Heroes.

The “Load (OC)” value was done with an overclocked processor and a heavily overclocked (both 2D and 3D overclocked to the same value) graphics card. Company of Heroes was played while Orthos was running on the processor in the background.

The “Load (SLI)” value was run with 2 8800GTS 320MB cards in SLI running at stock speeds with the processor overclocked to 2.6Ghz. Company of Heroes was then run for 1 hour to determine load values.

The “SLI OC” test was run with 2 8800GTS 320MB cards running in SLI and overclocked to 650/1800. Company of Heroes was played for 30 minutes while the overclocked processor (at 2.6Ghz) ran Orthos in the background. In addition, HDtach was looped in the background and a full DVD was burned as well.


+5V / +3.3V Voltage Regulation

Once again, I am going to keep this short and sweet; because I do not have (and the typical user does not have either) enough components that draw power from the +5V and +3.3V rails in order to stress them. Thus, I did conduct the tests with the system I had and the Corsair HX620 passed every test within +/- 2% of 5V / 3.3V.


+12V Voltage Regulation


If the efficiency of this power supply surprised us, the voltage regulation absolutely knocked us off our feet. The HX620 was utterly and completely rock-solid through even the most stressful conditions we put it under and even seemed like it was raring for more. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to test it with a more power-hungry system even though there has been more than one 600W power supply in the past to bow under the pressure from this very test system. This 0.03V difference between idle and the most stressful test is one of best results that we have seen in these tests.


8- +12V AC Ripple Testing

This is a very significant test in the fact that AC Ripple can be the cause of many common computer problems. Short term effects of excess ripple can be anything from an unstable overclock to memory errors while long term effects can include premature component failure and decreased component performance. The ATX v2.01 ripple tolerance is anything below 120mV on the +12V rail.

To test for ripple the following tests were run twice for 30 minutes while the ripple was being measured by the Singray o-scope. The values were the highest peak ripple measurement across all of the +12V rails. So, if the +12V1 rail shows a ripple of 20mV and the +12V2 rail shows a ripple of 40mV, the highest value will be graphed.

The “Idle” value was done with an overclocked processor and the graphics card at stock speeds while running the Windows Desktop.

The “Load” value was done with an overclocked processor and the graphics card at stock speeds while running Company of Heroes.

The “Load (OC)” value was done with an overclocked processor and a heavily overclocked (both 2D and 3D overclocked to the same value) graphics card. Company of Heroes was played while Orthos was running on the processor in the background.

The “Load (SLI)” value was run with 2 8800GTS cards in SLI running at stock speeds with the processor overclocked to 2.6Ghz. Company of Heroes was then run to determine load values.

The “Load SLI OC” test was run with 2 overclocked 8800GTS cards (650/1800) in SLI while playing Company of Heroes for 30 minutes. At the same time, Orthos was running in the background to put stress on the processor (OC’d to 2.6Ghz) while a DVD was burned and HDtach was running a hard drive scan.


The high-quality components used in the HX620 are paying for themselves in spades as the ripple we experienced all the way through the end of testing was virtually nonexistent. While this does not come as much of a surprise to use, it is good to see this Corsair power supply finish off strong in our battery of tests.


9- Heat and Noise

While some power supplies we have tested are unbelievably loud while expelling waves of heat, the Corsair HX620 was near-silent through all of the tests while the internal temperatures stayed at reasonable levels. The 120mm fans did spin up quite a bit during our last SLI OC test but even then it proved to be the quietest fan in our case. It was obvious that the internals are laid out well since even though they are quite densely packed, the airflow is more than sufficient to cool everything off without the fan increasing its speed to insane rpms. If you are looking for a near-silent power supply, you need look no further than this unit.


10- Conclusion

With the HX620, Corsair has had a winning product for more than a year and it has once again shown that it has every right to be at the very top of your list if you are in the market for a 600W to 700W power supply. Over the past year, the HX620 has only become more appealing with a reduced price and additions such as a pair of 8-pin PCI-E connectors. No matter which test we put it through, this unassuming power supply showed it is at the top of its game by besting every other power supply we have tested to date. It is even more appealing when you consider the cables are long enough for nearly any application and all of the high-grade interior components are fit into a compact package. This would all be for nothing if HX620 would have a loud fan but thankfully it is whisper quiet during even the most stressful tests. Corsair then sweetens the pot even more by backing this power supply up with a lengthy 5-year warranty.

It may sound like we are raving about this Corsair’s product too much but that is just because it so refreshing to see a power supply perform so well. If you are looking for a near-perfect power supply at a reasonable cost, look no further than the Corsair HX620. You will not be disappointed.

You have probably already guessed what rating the Corsair HX620 will receive, but rest assured it is well deserved. Chalk up a 5/5 rating and a Dam Good Award for the Corsair HX620.


Pros

- Class-leading performance in all tests
- Good cable length
- Very quiet even at higher loads
- Reasonable price
- Long Warranty
- High-quality internal components
- Simple modular interface

Cons

- “Coating” on the modular cables may not be to everyone’s liking




Thanks to Corsair for providing us with this product to review

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/power...html#post19530
 
 

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