Corsair AX 1200w ATX PSU Review

Introduction & Specifications

Corsair AX 1200w ATX PSU

Introduction & Specs

For many years Wattage has been the male penis extension. Whether it be in the form of insanely loud car audio systems that you need ear plugs to operate, heavily modified car engines being measured in KW on a rolling road, or that unnecessarily high output PC power supply you purchased for your 486 DX2.  Its always been about bragging and trying to go one better than your mates regardless of whether you actually need the power or not.

However, in the PSU scene at least, times are changing. Back in April graphics card manufacturer nVidia released it's eagerly anticipated GTX480 card on the world. With it came word that the card was capable of sapping up to 300w from the wall at full load. Considering that most of the industry had slowly been moving towards 'ECO Friendly' computing this complete change in direction has given PSU manufacturers viable reason to start producing 1kw+ models once more.

Corsair are one such manufacturer that has done exactly this. Up until recently the HX1000 stood at the top of their mantle, being one of the most respected high-output PSU's available. However, due mainly to its now slightly dated design the PSU has started loosing ground to newer modes that can easily better it in areas such as efficiency. Determined not to be left behind, Corsair went back to the drawing board with the intention of creating yet another PSU that would raise the bar once more. What we're looking at today is that very PSU. The Corsair Professional Series Gold AX1200. So let's start with the specs..

*  Supports the latest ATX12V v2.31 and EPS 2.92 standards and is backward compatible with ATX12V 2.2 and ATX12V 2.01 systems
* An ultra-quiet 140mm double ball-bearing fan delivers excellent airflow at an exceptionally low noise level by varying fan speed in response to temperature
* 80 Plus Gold certified to deliver at least 90% efficiency at 50% load
* Active Power Factor Correction (PFC) with PF value of 0.99
* Universal AC input from 90~264V
      o No more hassle of flipping that tiny red switch to select the voltage input!
* A dedicated single +12V rail offers maximum compatibility with the latest components
* Over-voltage and over-current protection, under-voltage protection, and short circuit protection provide maximum safety to your critical system components
* High-quality Japanese capacitors provide uncompromised performance and reliability
* Completely modular cable system allows you to use only the cables you need
      o Power supply upgrade and replacement is easy, as the cables only need to be disconnected at the power supply
* Low-profile, flat cable design reduces air friction and helps maximize airflow through your computer’s chassis
* A seven year warranty and lifetime access to Corsair’s legendary technical support and customer service
* Dimensions: 150mm(W) x 86mm(H) x 200mm(L)
* MTBF: 100,000 hours
* Safety Approvals: UL, CUL, CE, CB, FCC Class B, TÜV, CCC, C-tick

At first glance there's very little to separate the AX1200 from the barrage of other high-end PSU's that pass through OC3D's labs on a monthly basis. Sure you get a 'quiet' 140mm fan, Active PFC, Universal AC input, Jap caps, a handful of safety features and a single +12v rail. But we've seen all that before. However, what does set this unit apart from a lot of the others is Corsair's impressive seven year warranty (which we've tested ourselves a couple of times) and that shiny 80PLUS Gold certification. Corsair will also be quick to tell you that the AX was designed in-house from the ground up, how it has a server grade power train architecture (toot-toot!) and how their Zero Voltage/Current Switching technology has helped the unit to achieve over 90% efficiency at 50% load. For further info be sure to check out their blog.

To put the efficiency side of things into perspective. If you were to run the AX1200 alongside a standard 80% efficiency PSU at at full load there would be a 144w difference in the amount of power that the two draw from the mains. Basically enough power to run a small HTPC, Laptop, TV...or GTX260 for PhysX processing ;)

Corsair AX1200 Rail Layout
DC Output +3.3V +5V +12V1 +12V2 +12V3 +12V4 +12V5 +12V6 -12V +5VSB
30A 30A 100.4A - - - - - 0.8A 3.5A
Max Power 180W 1204.8W 9.6W 17.5W
1204.8W


When it comes to the rail layout, impressive simply is not the word. Considering that the AX1200 is supposed to be a 1200w PSU, it already over-delivers on this rating on the +12v rail alone. 100.4A (1204.8W) on a single rail is pretty insane and would certainly put on an awesome fireworks show if the safety features weren't there to keep everything in check.

Of course, as soon as you start putting load on the +3.3/+5v rails it does eat into this output, and with 30A available to either of the rails a maximum of 180w can be deducted from the 1204w output of the 12v rail. Mind you, this is just theoretical though, because we're willing to bet that the AX1200's max output is a conservative claim. One that will be quickly surpassed when it comes to our testing.

But first let's move on and see what goodies Corsair have bundled in the box...

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Most Recent Comments

25-06-2010, 05:44:41

tinytomlogan
Having already given most of the PSU market a good kicking with their HX series, Corsair are once again upping the anti with latest AX series.

Continue Reading

25-06-2010, 07:04:15

killablade
Wow. That is simply amazing!

oh btw you forgot a C in the title

25-06-2010, 08:57:57

F-alienware
Beast.

25-06-2010, 13:21:54

VonBlade
I was lucky enough to see the results prior to it going live.

It is truly epic. With a price-tag to match. Ouch.

But clearly if you want the best...

25-06-2010, 13:25:26

tinytomlogan
I dont think its too bad, the aging HX1000w is still selling for 190, so for all that power and gold efficiency then I dont think its too bad. Just found it at scan for 246 now too.....

25-06-2010, 14:04:43

TH3 H4NGMAN
Am I the only one who finds 6 pcie connectors lacking? Corsair's own 850W unit has 6, which has 30% less power. Antec's 1200W has 8 and the OC edition has 12!

25-06-2010, 14:17:12

Steve-O-
OMG look at the RIPPLE! (Or lack there-of). Awesome stuff! Me want!

26-06-2010, 23:53:21

douglatins
How much!!?!?!???!????

27-06-2010, 03:24:41

Stefan Payne
Have you noticed any electronics noise?

And, well, to the danger of 100A, we don't need to say anything, do we?

28-06-2010, 08:53:57

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Stefan Payne'
Have you noticed any electronics noise?

And, well, to the danger of 100A, we don't need to say anything, do we?
I cant say that I've heard any unusual noise from the unit. Obviously the PSU testing equipment creates quite a bit of noise its self, but normally PSU's that make high pitched noises stand out above the low-pitched hum of the fans.

As for the single 12v rail, I can see where you're coming from. However I've not heard of any cases where a failure of a single rail PSU was any more catastrophic than a multi-rail PSU. At the end of the day 1200w is 1200w. Even if its split cleverly by OCP, it still has the potential to go wrong. Unless a PSU is physically split (different transformers etc) then it's naive to assume multi-rail is safer.

I did also get a gut feeling that the AX1200 was safer than a lot of other units I've tested before. It handled overloading extremely well and shut down gracefully without me wincing and expecting a *bang*. That is just a gut feeling though.

30-06-2010, 10:38:54

Kartoff
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='TH3 H4NGMAN'
Am I the only one who finds 6 pcie connectors lacking? Corsair's own 850W unit has 6, which has 30% less power. Antec's 1200W has 8 and the OC edition has 12!
I noticed it already and tell Corsair about it at their forum... But it seems after GTX480 hit the shelves everything we know about consumption become history So maybe they want to prevent trying to power quad SLI reducing connectors to 6 though...

30-06-2010, 10:45:57

Stefan Payne
@Jim

I worked as an elictician for a time, so my belly hurts a little (more) when I have to see those 100Amps...

Have you tested the short circuit protection?

As for electronics noise: I tested the Corsair AX1200 on my P4 testsystem (an old FSC D1520 with a 2GHz Celeron) and it had quite notacible electronics noise, haven't tested anything else, though...

@Kartoff

The problem is that the AX1200 hasn't enough modular connectors for more than 7 eight pin PCie connectors, 'cause they're shared with the EPS12V one...

30-06-2010, 10:59:43

Kartoff
I think there are enough place to put 2 more connectors for PCIe so total number will be 8 but they put only 6 and a label

30-06-2010, 11:11:49

F-alienware
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='douglatins'
How much!!?!?!???!????
I suppose you wouldn't care if it was going to run TRI 480 GTX

01-07-2010, 06:48:35

Sihastru
The actual manufacturer of this unit is Flextronics. You know the guys that build videocards.

And what a unit it is. It's the first time since the Antec Signature 850 (a Delta built unit) that I am actually impressed. It looks well engineered, only good quality components used and VERY much attention and care to detail.

This is THE one PSU to have, one PSU to rule them all. Until someone makes a better one... lol.

I also like that they finally sorted out the Ultra patent on modular PSUs, and I see they are getting their license worth.

Anyone knows of another Flextronics PSU out there? Maybe a sister model? We need to keep an eye on this new platform, it's just TOO good.

04-07-2010, 05:47:45

silenthill
I've got the 1000W Corsair 1000HX its running my 920@4GHz and two GTX 480(sli) and 4 hard drives at full load the system draws around 700W and the power supply is cool and quiet I think Corsair are one of the best manufactures in the world and they give you a 5 year warranty I only would consider this new model if I add another gtx480 to my setup but be sure when it comes to power supplies Corsair are number one.

04-07-2010, 21:02:28

AMDFTW
yer corsaor will be my next PSU but 850w

05-07-2010, 03:29:38

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Sihastru'
The actual manufacturer of this unit is Flextronics. You know the guys that build videocards.

And what a unit it is. It's the first time since the Antec Signature 850 (a Delta built unit) that I am actually impressed. It looks well engineered, only good quality components used and VERY much attention and care to detail.

This is THE one PSU to have, one PSU to rule them all. Until someone makes a better one... lol.

I also like that they finally sorted out the Ultra patent on modular PSUs, and I see they are getting their license worth.

Anyone knows of another Flextronics PSU out there? Maybe a sister model? We need to keep an eye on this new platform, it's just TOO good.
Its a Corsair in house patented design so you wont see a sister model dude. Anyone could have built this technically.

05-07-2010, 10:10:32

VTX1800C
I just got me THIS Corsair AX1200 BEAUTY!!!
[/FONT]

1 x Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition Gulftown 3.33GHz LGA 1366 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor

3 x ASUS ENGTX480/2DI/1536MD5 GeForce GTX 480 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express (3-way SLI)

1 x Western Digital VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 600GB 10000 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s

2 x OCZ DDR3 16000 2000MHZ Triple Memory Module KITS (12 G

1 x ASUS RAMPAGE III Motherboard

1 x NVIDIA 3D VISION GLASSES KIT (AVATAR Bundle)

1 x Alienware OptXTM AW2310 3D LCD Monitor [FONT="Comic Sans MS"]120 HZ BABY


1 x Microsoft WINDOWS 7 ULTIMATE 64-bit

AND MANY MORE GOODIES!!!!....

NOT TO MENTION THIS Corsair AX1200 BABY!!!

I do believe it will not let me down...

LET DA FRAGGIN BEGIN!!!

05-07-2010, 10:25:12

VTX1800C
DID I FORGET to mention Microsoft WINDOWS 7 64-bIT

05-07-2010, 11:06:58

silenthill
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='VTX1800C'
I just got me THIS Corsair AX1200 BEAUTY!!!
[/FONT]

1 x Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition Gulftown 3.33GHz LGA 1366 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor

3 x ASUS ENGTX480/2DI/1536MD5 GeForce GTX 480 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express (3-way SLI)

1 x Western Digital VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 600GB 10000 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s

2 x OCZ DDR3 16000 2000MHZ Triple Memory Module KITS (12 G

1 x ASUS RAMPAGE III Motherboard

1 x NVIDIA 3D VISION GLASSES KIT (AVATAR Bundle)

1 x Alienware OptXTM AW2310 3D LCD Monitor [FONT="Comic Sans MS"]120 HZ BABY


1 x Microsoft WINDOWS 7 ULTIMATE 64-bit

AND MORE MORE GOODIES!!!!....

NOT TO MENTION THIS Corsair AX1200 BABY!!!

I do believe it will not let me down...

LET DA FRAGGIN BEGIN!!!

If you have a wattmeter could you please measure how much power your pc is consuming when it is in full load.

Regards

05-07-2010, 11:44:10

VTX1800C
I do but is @ WORK.

I will bring it in because that is a great idea...

I believe accordign to all my research on GTX480 that I will consume between 800~900 Watts. The reason i say this is because the GTX480's will draw 300W on a full load (75W 6-pin, 150W 8-pin, 75W PCI-e slot), however, in a 3-way SLI configuration which is what I build, all 3 GTX480 GPU's will never perform at full load because they will devide the demanded load among their GPU's. Which by the way GTX480 3-way SLI (3 GPU's) is much faster and better than ATI HD 5970 CrossfireX (which is actually 4 HD 5870 GPU's). I could give you benchedmark results but you should reaserch on your on so I dont favor my system. I did a bunch of research to decide on the components I bought.

After spending all this $$$ into this High-End GAMING machine I really do not care about the electric bill, which I pay by the way.

I just got tired of playing the new games on 10 year old technology.

05-07-2010, 11:47:10

VTX1800C
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='silenthill'
If you have a wattmeter could you please measure how much power your pc is consuming when it is in full load.

Regards
I do but is @ WORK.

I will bring it in because that is a great idea...

I believe accordign to all my research on GTX480 that I will consume between 800~900 Watts. The reason i say this is because the GTX480's will draw 300W on a full load (75W 6-pin, 150W 8-pin, 75W PCI-e slot), however, in a 3-way SLI configuration which is what I build, all 3 GTX480 GPU's will never perform at full load because they will devide the demanded load among their GPU's. Which by the way GTX480 3-way SLI (3 GPU's) is much faster and better than ATI HD 5970 CrossfireX (which is actually 4 HD 5870 GPU's). I could give you benchedmark results but you should reaserch on your on so I dont favor my system. I did a bunch of research to decide on the components I bought.

After spending all this $$$ into this High-End GAMING machine I really do not care about the electric bill, which I pay by the way.

I just got tired of playing the new games on 10 year old technology.

05-07-2010, 12:55:04

silenthill
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='VTX1800C'
I do but is @ WORK.

I will bring it in because that is a great idea...

I believe accordign to all my research on GTX480 that I will consume between 800~900 Watts. The reason i say this is because the GTX480's will draw 300W on a full load (75W 6-pin, 150W 8-pin, 75W PCI-e slot), however, in a 3-way SLI configuration which is what I build, all 3 GTX480 GPU's will never perform at full load because they will devide the demanded load among their GPU's. Which by the way GTX480 3-way SLI (3 GPU's) is much faster and better than ATI HD 5970 CrossfireX (which is actually 4 HD 5870 GPU's). I could give you benchedmark results but you should reaserch on your on so I dont favor my system. I did a bunch of research to decide on the components I bought.

After spending all this $$$ into this High-End GAMING machine I really do not care about the electric bill, which I pay by the way.

I just got tired of playing the new games on 10 year old technology.
Im just curious because Ive got two GTX 480 and CORE I7 SYSTEM at full load it consumes around 700 watts my power supply is the 1000W Corsair 1000HXUK so if I add another GTX 480 would my power supply be capable of handling the load.

05-07-2010, 13:13:17

VTX1800C
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='silenthill'
Im just curious because Ive got two GTX 480 and CORE I7 SYSTEM at full load it consumes around 700 watts my power supply is the 1000W Corsair 1000HXUK so if I add another GTX 480 would my power supply be capable of handling the load.
The 12V rail on any 1,000W PSU is not capable of 3 GTX480 GPU's, the Corsair AX1200 shuts off at about 2 minutes of 1,500W-1,600W overload (continous). This is in a test lab over testing these units. That said, any 1,000W PSU would probably shut down when using 3 GTX480 GPU's, not to mention the i7 Core processor and any extra drives you proly have.

To avoid any damage to your system I recomend that you do upgrade your PSU.

There are many out there from 1,200W-1,600W.

Any 1,200W PSU is enough to power 3 GTX480 GPU's + Intel i7 + any drives you have.

I chose Corsair AX 1,200W because of its QUALITY.

AND ITS EFFICIENCY @ LOWER LOADS (any load of maximun 10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 80%) ITS AMAZING!!! = less power cosumption = less $$$ on electric bill.

BTW,

if you research the diference between 2-way SLI vs 3-way SLI the results are improved on many games/tests/graphics.

>ONLY DO UPGRADE to 3-way SLI (3 GTX-480) if you play games that demand the hardware power.<

I say this so you dont spend the xtra $$$ if you really dont need it.

05-07-2010, 13:51:38

VTX1800C
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='silenthill'
If you have a wattmeter could you please measure how much power your pc is consuming when it is in full load.

Regards
Results in...

3 GTX480 GPU's in 3-way SLI @ full load = 937 Watts x 0.89% efficiency = ~834 Watts (actual)

GPU Operating temperature @ full load = 96 C

05-07-2010, 14:37:28

silenthill
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='VTX1800C'
Results in...

3 GTX480 GPU's in 3-way SLI @ full load = 937 Watts x 0.89% efficiency = ~834 Watts (actual)

GPU Operating temperature @ full load = 96 C
thanks for effort great stuff

08-07-2010, 12:46:01

silenthill
I cant understand why Corsair didnt go for 1500w especially with 4 SLI arriving and the huge power consumption of the new Nvidia GPUs.

18-07-2010, 08:02:28

Elemental_Dragon
Looks absolutely stunning! Very impressed with how Corsair has improved their PSU's over the years (I never used to be a fan but that's simply beautiful!)

The black wiring is something I wish more comapnies would do!

~Bex

12-11-2010, 14:03:21

dMITIj
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTX1800C View Post

Results in...

3 GTX480 GPU's in 3-way SLI @ full load = 937 Watts x 0.89% efficiency = ~834 Watts (actual)

GPU Operating temperature @ full load = 96 C
Thats fine, but how mutch of an OC didt you do on your CPU? Because 480GTX @ Tri SLI is one thing but when you have that much of GPU-power you will need a OC at around 4400Mhz on the CPU and how does the power drawing look then?

the reason im asking is that i can't find out what to buy, Corsair AX1200w ore the Silverstone Strider 1500w?

12-11-2010, 14:58:20

AMD_PBz
Are you planning to run 3 or 4 way sli? what are your needs?

Albeit the Silverstone provides more power the Corsair is more efficient

I would be looking at do you need all that or are you after it for bragging rights?

13-11-2010, 07:47:45

dMITIj
im aware of that, thats why i ask, ill be running at 2560x1600 in games, photo edt. 3D work ect. and ill be overclocking my system, CPU @ 4400Mhz and the 480GTX im not sure yet, but they will be OC'ed, and i will also have my 480GTX's watercooled in an 2. loop.

im not that kind of type that need to be bragging, im 33 years old i have kids and a wife hehe

13-11-2010, 09:24:25

AMD_PBz
That explains it .

are you in North America or Europe?

If you are in North America AX1200 is on sale with MIR!

13-11-2010, 10:26:39

dMITIj
Quote:
Originally Posted by AMD_PBz View Post

That explains it .

are you in North America or Europe?

If you are in North America AX1200 is on sale with MIR!
hehe, im in Europe (Denmark) The Silverstone Strider is 460$ here and the Corsair is 360$.

13-11-2010, 10:49:36

AMD_PBz
Well there's your answer Here in Canada $269 + tax or 259 after $20 MIR

13-11-2010, 13:35:11

dMITIj
Quote:
Originally Posted by AMD_PBz View Post

Well there's your answer Here in Canada $269 + tax or 259 after $20 MIR
So you will go with?

13-11-2010, 14:33:19

AMD_PBz
short term loss @ $269 by far

11-02-2011, 07:52:40

cinek2
are the cables long enough to go behind the mobo in nzxt phantom (full tower)?

15-03-2011, 09:09:26

The Terrible Puddle
Possible to sleeve those cables individually?

15-03-2011, 09:52:41

Zeals
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Terrible Puddle View Post

Possible to sleeve those cables individually?
They already have Corsair sleeving, which is really high quality, the only reason to change the sleeving is if you want to put UV ones. So don't bother

15-03-2011, 15:37:16

The Terrible Puddle
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeals View Post

They already have Corsair sleeving, which is really high quality, the only reason to change the sleeving is if you want to put UV ones. So don't bother
I'm gonna build a new rig soon and I've thought the Corsair AX850, and I wanna do a nice job by sleeving each wire individually. But those capacitors or things at the end of the PCI-E cable looks to be a problem.

Or am I wrong?

25-08-2011, 17:11:46

Judderman
Enuff said, this will be going in my new build

The gold award from Jim and the fact its fully modular means i can sleeve all he cables i need without voiding the bloody 7 year warranty lol....friggin 7 years u gotta love a bit of that!

25-08-2011, 17:50:35

shyguy094
Geez. That's a great PSU. I bet you could do quad 580s on that. Maybe a little OC, probably none though. 976W GPUs (4 x 244W) alone is crazy. I kinda want one now.

26-08-2011, 09:44:34

yassarikhan786
Awesome PSU and Review.

03-09-2011, 11:45:57

Natashaful
Being a 1200AX and 850AX owner i can honestly say this is one of the best items to get with a new system.. Think how stable and clean your power will be to help you get everything overclocked
Reply
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