5-way High-End 1KW+ PSU Round-Up
Corsair HX 1000W
Corsair is a name that many enthusiasts will recognise as being one of the most respected memory manufacturers' in the industry. In 2006 they made their first entry into the PSU market with the HX620
. Based on internals by Seasonic with some customisation by Corsair, the HX620 was a massive hit, winning awards worldwide. In fact, the HX620 was such a success that to this day it is one of the most recommended mid-range PSU's on the market.
Based on this success Corsair were obviously quite keen to make an equally good impression on the high-end market. However, with such a high standard being set for their HX620 the pressure was on not to disappoint power hungry Quad-SLI and CrossfireX enthusiast community. With this in mind Corsair made a switch from Seasonic as their OEM, over to CWT
(Channel Well Technology) who are responsible for making some of the best PSU's in the industry.
Using CWT's 1200w Power Plus unit as the base for their new PSU, Corsair not only understated the power output of their new HX PSU by simply labelling it as "1000w", but also improved on the existing CWT components by specifying higher quality capacitors along with several other smaller upgrades and tweaks. This all certainly sounds impressive, but we'll see just how much of a difference it's made over on the testing page.
The HX1000 comes in a rather long double walled cardboard box that actually got us quite worried as to just how long the PSU would be once we'd unpackaged it. Thankfully on opening the box our fears were alleviated by a large quantity of Styrofoam padding along with a collection of cables and accessories neatly tucked at the end of the box.
Out of the PSU's we've covered so far in this review, the HX1000w is definitely the most professional looking of the bunch. With a matt black, slightly coarse powdercoated finish along with blue specification stickers, there's something about the HX1000W that makes it stand out for wanting to do exactly the opposite.
Corsair have made full use of all available space and have opted for a 135mm fan. As with all PSU's of this design, the air is drawn up from inside the PC case, pushed over the heatsinks inside the PSU and allowed to exit out the back of the unit via a meshed grill.
Also worthy of a mention is the absolutely huge power switch used on the unit. While most manufacturers' tend to skimp and save, using rocker switches that look like they were stolen from a school electronics project. The switch used on the HX1000 looks more than capable of dealing with the extremely high current that this unit will be pulling from the wall socket under heavy load.
Corsair have kept the modular connector system extremely simple: PCI-E cables go in the blue sockets, everything else goes in the black ones. In addition, a small sticker detailing which of the two +12v rails each of the sockets is connected to internally; makes the decision of where to insert the modular plugs even easier.
The collection of modular cables is plentiful, and certainly far more than you could plug into the unit all at the same time. However, what really sets the HX1000's cables apart from those used on the rest of the modular units in this review is the total lack of sleeving.
Rather than opting for the cumbersome and often untidy look of fabric mesh finished off with heatshrink and cable ties, Corsair have decided to use black wires arranged in a ribbon cable style. This not only makes routing of the cables around the inside of the PC much easier, but also looks extremely cool.
Unfortunately the ATX, P4-12v and EPS12v cables hard wired into the unit don't follow the clean look of the modular cables and are sleeved in much the same way as the rest of the units on review. We can only assume that this is because the sleeveless modular cables are something that are added by Corsair after the unit has left the CWT factory.
Looking inside the HX1000, the layout of the internal components is so distinctive that it is instantly recognisable as coming from the same OEM that Thermaltake also use for their 1.5kw Toughpower
series. However, if we compare the Toughpower unit side-by-side
with the HX1000 it is clear to see that Corsair have not only upgraded the capacitors, but also changed over the transformers, upgraded the cooling and made several slight alterations to the layout as well.
What makes the unit so unique is that it is essentially two 500w PSU's placed side-by-side. This means that each of the two +12v rails in the unit is powered by a totally independent circuit, offering unmatched stability. Not only this, but Corsair have also assigned one of the circuits to power the +5v rail, and another to power the +3.3v rail, once again offering much greater stability than any single circuit power supply could provide.
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