Packaging & Appearance
If Corsair were entering the competition for who has the biggest box in the 850w PSU category then they would certainly win. Seriously though, Corsair really do know how to package a PSU; and judging by external appearances the HX850W looks like it's been treated to exactly the same packaging as it's bigger brother, the HX1000W.
The front of the box keeps things fairly simple with only an arty farty image of the PSU's modular connector system spanning the length of the box and the model number in a big, bold typeface. Around the back of the box there is yet another picture of the PSU, this time with all of the modular cables plugged in. Several other thumbnail style images are also positioned along the top with some brief descriptions in five main languages below.
For those with a thirst for information Corsair have also printed both fan speed and efficiency graphs over to the right that give an overview of the HX850W's performance at various load levels. Finally, at the sides and bottom of the box there is yet more information on the number of connectors provided with the unit, a more detailed specs list and a rail layout chart.
And here's how you treat a PSU like royalty...Take one HX850W PSU, place inside a clear plastic bag, follow that with a velour drawstring bag and finally completely encase it in-between two large styrofoam slabs custom moulded to the shape of the PSU. Include a large selection of modular cables in a separate canvas velcro bag and place it all inside a large double walled cardboard box complete with an instruction manual, some screws and a few cable ties. The Queen will approve!
Strip off all the packaging and at first glance you'd be forgiven for thinking that the HX850 uses exactly the same outer casing as the HX1000W. However, with dimensions of 150mm(W) x 86mm(H) x 180mm(L) it's actually a good 20mm shorter than its bigger brother, giving you just that little bit more hope at squeezing it inside that powerful-but-small-lan-rig you've been promising yourself.
Some other features do remain the same though. Firstly you get the same durable and slightly coarse black powdercoat finish, which (call me a weirdo) not only looks good but also smells strangely appealing too! And then of course there's the 135mm fan complete with Corsair branded fan grill. Comparing the position of the fan between the HX1000W
and the HX850W, it certainly looks like Corsair has done some tweaking, moving it closer to the exhaust area on the HX850W. But then again maybe it's just the shorter length of the unit playing tricks on me.
A top-down view of the unit reveals the rather compact specification sticker which has been thoughtfully placed on the area of the unit you are least likely to see with it installed in your PC case. Good thing really as both sides of the HX850W have extremely cool (but probably really cheap) Corsair logo stickers on them which gives the unit a distinguishing look.
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. I was sorely disappointed to see that Corsair swapped the absolute monster
of a switch used on the HX1000W for the much smaller kiddies science project
version, but I'm sure it'll do just fine regardless.