Corsair HX650w 650W ATX PSU

Packaging & Contents

 Corsair HX650w

Just like its bigger brothers, the HX650W is packaged inside a light blue and black box with an up-close picture of the PSU modular connectors dominating a large portion of the box. At the top-left is badge depicting Corsair's excellent 7 year warranty, but aside from this there are no other certification or specification stickers (such as 80PLUS / SLI /Crossfire) to be seen anywhere. Truth be told, the box design doesn't exactly jump off the shelves at you, but then again who really goes into a PC shop to buy their hardware these days anyway?

HX650w Box Front HX650w Box Back

HX650w Box Side HX650w Box Side

Flipping the box over we can see that Corsair have printed a basic specification list in just about every European language. At the top of the list is a selection of thumbnail images showing off the modular cables, fan grill and capacitors. But the sides of the box is where the information junkies will get their fix...

Over on the left side we have two line graphs that represent the HX650W's efficiency at various load levels and also the noise output of the unit as the wattage is increased. Going by the graphs it would seem that the HX650W performs its absolute best at around 325-400W. Also included on this side of the packaging is the DC Output Rating chart which we discussed on the previous page.

At the right side of the box is some more thumbnail images, only this time depicting how many connectors of each type are included in the unit. This is especially handy if you do happen to purchase the PSU from a store and need to know in advance whether it has enough connectors to power all the hard disks in your 20TB media server! 


As per usual Corsair's internal packaging is second to none. Two large styrofoam slabs completely encase the entire PSU, and a clear plastic bag prevents anything from rubbing at the PSU's paintwork during transit. As I've said many a time before: "It would take one seriously incompetent or clumsy courier to damage this PSU".... either that or City Link.

The modular cables are provided in their own separate velcro sealed black canvas bag, and all of the usual gubbins to get you up and running (manual, screws, power cord, cable ties) are tucked neatly at the side of the box.


Aside from the change in sticker colour from red to blue, there is very little to differentiate the HX650w from the HX620w at first glance. The fan size and positioning (slightly to one side) is all identical and the only minor difference is the Corsair logo badge affixed to the center of the fan grill, rather than simply being a sticker attached to the fan hub. Once again, Corsair have gone for a textured powdercoat finish for maximum durability.


The specifications sticker is hidden away at the top of the unit and therefore shouldn't be visible inside a windowed PC case (unless of course your case mounts the PSU on its side). For most of us this probably wont affect the purchasing decision either way, but it's always good to see a manufacturer taking the appearance of their PSU into consideration.

At the rear of the unit, everything is pretty much standard with a normal 'kettle' style mains lead, power switch and honeycomb mesh exhaust grill. One could comment that the area above the switch and power socket could have been put to better use with more meshing, but considering that all HX units have followed this design and not suffered from poor airflow, I'm probably just nitpicking.

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Most Recent Comments

15-01-2010, 03:05:32

The banners are out, the drinks are flowing... Whats the occasion? Jimbo is finally back in the reviewers chair and is taking a look at the Corsair HX650W power supply.

Continue ReadingQuote

15-01-2010, 03:57:33

Great review Jim, your test area must look like a NASA lab room :P Great to see you back mind ;-)Quote

15-01-2010, 04:42:40

Cheers mate. And yea, when people come round they do give me a bit of a strange "are you a terrorist or something" look Quote

15-01-2010, 05:01:22

Is the 7 year warranty applicable to the modular (HX) series only, or does it cover the TX PSU's as well? local etailers have variously listed 5 and 7 year warranty's. Not a major as I'm sure either would last the distance. Awesome review.Quote

15-01-2010, 05:10:31

The TX950w I've got here has a 5yr warrenty. So I'd imagine that applies to the rest of the TX series too.Quote

15-01-2010, 07:32:32

good review, makes me glad i bought 1 !Quote

15-01-2010, 12:28:07

nice review jim, im upgrading my psu pretty soon and these corsairs are defintely the way 2 go but i was going to get the HX750 one since its more future proofQuote

15-01-2010, 16:35:54

Originally Posted by name='thestepster'
nice review jim, im upgrading my psu pretty soon and these corsairs are defintely the way 2 go but i was going to get the HX750 one since its more future proof
The corsair HX series PSU's are quality products. You really can't go wrong with any of them.Quote

15-01-2010, 21:01:14

exactly its just the pennies that cant stretch, i was thinkin about 850+ but being a jobless tax scroungers just now its my best optionQuote

01-09-2010, 18:17:29

All - Any thoughts on these items relative to replacing my stock PSU with one of these animals? Dell's notorious for arranging its grilles and mount points so as to only "allow" Dell replacement parts. I have an XPS Studio 435T/9000 (Core i7 920) and am worried about 3 things.

1) Form and fit (not afraid of a little metal work, however)

2) cable management (more along the lines of reach and airflow than aesthetics), and

3) the PSU's ability to handle Stepped Approximated Sine wave or Pulse Width Modulated sine wave UPS's (battery side only, not AC side).

These Dells are notorious for crashing when presented fake sine waves from their power sources. Any idea if the Corsairs care if it's a pure or fake sine wave? Ever test that? If interested pick up an APC BX1300G and see if your PSUs puke when it goes into battery mode... I'd be real interested in the result!

Great report, Jim.

Cheers, BZ

02-09-2010, 03:34:17

Hey BZ,

To be honest I have little (read:no) experience with aftermarket PSU's in Dell machines. The last I heard tho was that they switched around certain cables on the ATX connector so that only their PSU's would work and anything else would go *bang*. Not sure if this is still the case though?Quote

02-09-2010, 05:20:51


All the recent Dell machines I have replaced PSUs in have had standard ATX (albeit crappy) units in them. I would think yours is no different, the only issue I can forsee is if there is enough room in the case for a new one, since Dell OEM PSUs tend to be on the short/small side and the Corsair units are a little bigger. Remember you'll need some cable clearance too. The only newer Dells that I've worked on with non-standard PSUs were smaller form factor machines, which is almost to be expected, though even some of the larger towers (probably not XPS) have been more narrow than normal.

Never seen a Dell with the ATX connectors switched round wrongly yet, I would hope that they'd also change the plug so that a standard one simply wouldn't fit in that case, who knows if they do or not.

I can see many complaints on the net about your PSU having problems like you mentioned, but no issues with Corsair units in the same way, so I would think a decent quality unit would solve the problem or not present the issues you are concerned about.

Remember, if you buy a unit from the internet, you can use the Distance Selling Regulations to get it returned if you find out it won't fit, but you do only have 7 days to do that and obviously you mustn't damage it.

Hope that helps.

I have a Corsair HX620 ready for RMA (still) and by the sounds of how they operate I may get back one of these newer units, glad to hear it's at least an improvement on the old one.Quote

02-09-2010, 07:46:05


Thanks for the feedback and sharing your observations/experience. I've been inside the XPS tower - it seemed pretty roomy, bet then again I wasn't trying to replace the biggest blob inside the box at the time. Based on your and Jim's reply I guess the best thing to do is get a multimeter out and check everything before trying to slip it in place. Agree - not changing the plug while messing with polarities and voltages would be criminal. I'm building my next box...

Thanks again both. I'll report back after the Corsair arrives (tomorrow as scheduled).


BZ (from across the pond - Northern Virginia, USA)Quote

02-09-2010, 07:54:43

I think I must be showing my age...

It seems that starting after September of 1998 Dell defected from the cause of industry standardization and began using specially modified Intel supplied ATX motherboards with custom wired power connectors. Of course they also had custom power supplies made that duplicated the non-standard pinout of the motherboard power connectors.

An even bigger crime than simply using non-standard power connectors is that only the pinout is non-standard, the connectors look like and are keyed the same as is dictated by true ATX. There is nothing to prevent you from plugging the Dell non-standard power supply into a new industry standard ATX motherboard you installed in your Dell case as an upgrade, or even plugging a new upgraded industry standard ATX power supply into your existing Dell motherboard. But mixing either a new ATX board with the Dell supply or a new ATX supply with the existing Dell board is a recipe for silicon toast. How do you like your fried chips, medium or well done?


03-09-2010, 10:11:43

Originally Posted by Jim View Post

I think I must be showing my age...


So - I ordered an HX750W from the net and after doing so thought it prudent to call Corsair to discuss this before installing. Explained my situation to the quite knowledgable tech; mainly the story on the factory PSU, speed bumps people had run into, and my problem with the OEM power supply not liking the "dirty" AC signal coming from my UPS's inverter. He said he'd never seen that problem with a Corsair, so that was the first bit of good news. I was torn between sticking with the old PSU and upgrading to a pure sine wave UPS (less risk) - or - buying a new PSU and sticking with my relatively inexpensive UPS (much less cost despite making a major upgrade to the PC itself). Whilst speaking with him he urged me to verify (with Dell) that my motherboard was ATX12V 2.2 (& backward) compliant, had a 20+4 pins main power plug and either an 8 pins or 4 pins power plug for the CPU. So off I went first to Intel to read the ATX 2.x spec. Found pinouts and other information useful to non-Dell users - since Dell only publishes scant marketing level descriptions (hardly full specs). So then off I went to (useless) Dell. The only thing they could tell me was their part number (F217J) for my original PSU - couldn't recommend any others as replacements. I cross-referenced that to a Flextronics Model #VP-0900073-000. Couldn't verify that it was ATX 2.2 compliant, but found a few posters out there who claimed to have successfully replaced this exact model with a number of differing brands, all ATX 2.2 compliant PSU's. The new Corsair arrived yesterday and down went the PC to the workshop. I cracked the machine open, cleaned and dusted, took a bunch of pictures and measured stuff. Decided it would fit and it was safe to open the new Corsair.

Wow - was I thrilled when I opened up that box! High quality nylon pouch for the modular cables, packaging like I've never seen before (velvet-like bag containing the PSU), wire ties, extra mounting screws and a very well written installation guide - even a metal "Powered by Corsair" logo tag for the outside of the machine. I was really impressed. So, the new PSU was about 1/2" shorter and about 7/8" longer, but turns out those dimensions don't matter much in my chassis. True to form, Dell's external mounting holes in the chassis didn't line up with the PSU. I extended the upper right chassis hole by making it a bit oblong (up and to the right about 1/8") and drilled a new lower left hole (about 5/16" directly below the original one). New PSU slipped right in and the holes lined up with their threaded mounting screw bosses in the PSU case. Because the Corsair isn't as tall, it didn't rest on a stamped-out horizonal chassis tang that the original rested upon, but there was no give or movement of any kind once the four screws were securely in place. The cables are some of the best quality I've ever seen. Took about 15 minutes to route stuff, another 10 minutes to tidy and close things up, and back up to the office I went.

Fired right up (I like my chips medium, thank you Jim). UPS monitoring S/W said I was burning 195W - about 50W less than before (I suppose that's a manifestation of the unit's efficiency... cool!). Then off to test the el cheapo APC Back-Up system (el cheapo - US$169 - not that cheap). Ran the self test and voila. It worked. This PSU's so quiet - what a purchase.

Jim and alexhull24 - I owe you a debt of gratitude. Thanks for the prudent warnings and good advice - and Jim - thanks for the exceptional review the 650. While I didn't necessarily write this for just you gents, I thought you might appreciate the detail and the news on the XPS Studio 435T's ATX 2.2 compliancy. Maybe somewhere along the line Dell got the message... Then again, probably just an "oversight" on their part.

One footnote. Someone out there blamed Active PFC as the root cause of my problem between the PSU and the UPS. Not true. The old PSU is a switching PSU. Says so right on the label. Glad I didn't rule out Active PFC. Had I followed that "advice" I probably would not have bought this and may have ended up with the same problem... There you go, Jim. See if you can show that Switching PSU's can't handle the Step Approximated or Pulse Width Modulated sine waves. Maybe that's the root cause... Maybe it's just a piece of junk Dell OEM PSU that's the problem.



Attachment 2844Quote

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