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Corsair AX1200i Digital ATX 1200W Power Supply Review

Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction and Features

Manufacturers are continually looking for ways to differentiate their products from the rest of the field and highlight new or improved features to make you want to buy their products.  Leave it to Corsair to actually come up with a truly new and unique power supply for the PC enthusiast market!  The Corsair AX1200i is a smart PSU that incorporates a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) to deliver extremely clean, efficient power with the ability to make real-time adjustments to various internal parameters.  The included Corsair Link software can be used to monitor and adjust performance, noise (fan speed), and Over Current Protection (OCP) settings.

It’s been almost two years since we reviewed Corsair’s flagship power supply, the Professional Series Gold AX1200.  While the new AX1200i retains many of the original features it now comes with 80 Plus Platinum efficiency certification and a built-in DACS (Data Acquisition and Control System) thanks to Corsair Link technology.

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(Courtesy of Corsair)

Here is what Corsair has to say about their new AX1200i Digital ATX power supply unit:  "The revolutionary AX1200i is the first desktop PC power supply to use digital (DSP) control and Corsair Link to bring you an unprecedented level of monitoring and performance customization. The DSP in the AX1200i makes on-the-fly adjustments for incredibly tight voltage regulation, 80 PLUS Platinum efficiency, and clean, stable power.

Real-time monitoring and control with Corsair Link. Put the AX1200i under your control by connecting it directly to a USB header on your motherboard with the included cable, or to a Corsair Commander (available separately). Then, download the free Corsair Link Dashboard software for unrivaled power supply monitoring and control options.

Monitor power input and output, efficiency, fan speed, and internal temperature, directly from the Windows based application. Or, take it to the next level and set up and modify fan speed profiles, or even select from virtual “single rail” or “multi-rail” software modes, with selectable OCP points. "

Corsair AX1200i Digital ATX PSU Key Features:

• Digital Signal Processor (DSP) for extremely clean and efficient power
• Corsair Link Integration for monitoring and adjusting performance
• 1,200 watts continuous power output (50°C)
• Dedicated single +12V rail with user-configurable virtual rails
• 80Plus Platinum certified, delivering up to 92% efficiency
• ZVS / ZCS technology for high efficiency
• Independent DC-to-DC converters
• Ultra quiet 140mm double ball bearing fan
• Silent, Fanless mode up to ~30% load
• Self-test switch to verify power supply functionality
• Premium quality components
• Fully modular cable system
• Conforms to ATX12V v2.31 and EPS 2.92 standards
• Universal AC input (90-264V) with Active PFC
• Over-current, over-voltage, under-voltage and short circuit protection
• Dimensions: 150mm (W) x 86mm (H) x 200mm (L)
• 7-Year warranty and legendary Corsair customer service

Please continue reading our Corsair AX1200i Digital PSU review!

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Packaging and Parts

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The Corsair AX1200i Digital power supply arrived securely packed inside a large retail box showcasing the unit’s features and specifications.  The power supply is protected by thick foam inserts and wrapped as usual in a fancy black felt bag with the Corsair logo.

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In addition to the power supply the box also contains a power cord, mounting screws, wire ties, Corsair case badge, Corsair Link USB dongle, a multi-language User’s Manual and a black nylon pouch containing 19 modular cables.

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Testing Methodology

Establishing an accurate load is critical to testing and evaluating a PC power supply.  PCPerspective’s power supply test bench can place a precise 2,000 watt DC load on the PSU under test.  Each power supply is tested under controlled, real-world conditions up to its maximum rated load (at 40ºC), using both 115 VAC and 240 VAC line voltage.  Our current suite of tests includes:

• DC Load Regulation
• DC Line Regulation
• DC Cross-load (unbalanced load)
• AC Ripple and Noise
• Power Factor
• Efficiency
• Differential Temperature
• Noise

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The Corsair AX1200i Digital ATX power supply was evaluated on both features and performance.  A full range of equipment was used to test the power supply under controlled load conditions. 

• (2) CSI3710A Programmable DC load (+3.3V and +5V outputs)
• (4) CSI3711A Programmable DC load (+12V1, +12V2, +12V3, and +12V4)
• (2) 200W Precision resistor load bank (+12V5 and +12V6)
• Switchable precision resistor load bank (-12V and +5VSB)
• Extech MultiMaster MM570 digital multimeter (Accuracy ±0.02%)
• Extech 380803 Power Analyzer (Accuracy ±0.5% of full scale)
• DS1M12 "StingRay" digital oscilloscope (20M S/s with 12 Bit ADC)
• Powerstat Variable Autotransformer, 1.4 KVA, 0-140 VAC
• Extech Model 407738 digital sound level meter (Accuracy ±1.5 dB)

August 30, 2012 | 08:59 AM - Posted by KngtRider

Lee and or PCPER I am a bit confused about the PSU test bench as described in this article. 'Up to 2000W' but also mention real-world test.

Which tests are you using the PC-based load for and which tests are you using simulated loads for ?

Or are you using both?

Many of the top review sites are using the imported ATX tester or home brew resistor grids which is not a 'real world test' (but a simulated one) and I am interested as to how you are pulling off a real world PSU test

Additionally, testing in open air versus mounted in a warm PC chassis, typically pushed against a wall or under a desk.

Thanks.

August 30, 2012 | 05:21 PM - Posted by Lee Garbutt aka...

The PCPerspective PSU test bench uses a combination of six Progammable DC loads and up to three different banks of precision load resistors to create the various loads (up to 2,000W max). The real-world testing is stated because we mount each PSU in a modified case and recirculate some of the warm exhaust air back to the inlet to "simulate" real-world operating conditions.  The loads are not real-world (actually much more precise and programmable) but the test environment is, temps gradually increase as the load increases just like in a real PC - the best of both worlds.

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