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Corsair AX1500i Digital ATX 1500W Power Supply Review

Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction and Features

Corsair announced their latest flagship power supply, the 1,500 watt AX1500i Digital ATX PSU earlier this year at CES. We recently received a retail unit to review and have spent the past week putting it through our suite of tests. The new AX1500i Digital proved to be a very interesting power supply and brings not one, but several outstanding features to the high-end enthusiast market. Over time, we all grow numb to marketing terms like “most technologically advanced”, “state-of-the-art”, “ultra-stable”, “super-high efficiency”, etc., but in the case of the AX1500i Digital PSU, we have seen these claims come to life before our eyes.

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Right out of the box, the AX1500i Digital power supply is capable of delivering up to 1,500 watts of continuous DC power (125 Amps on the +12V rail). If that is not impressive enough, the PSU can do it while operating on 115 VAC mains and with an ambient temperature up to 50°C (internal case temperature). This beast was made for multiple power-hungry graphic adapters and overclocked CPUs.

The Corsair AX1500i is one of the very first power supplies to obtain 80 Plus Titanium certification, which requires a PSU to operate with at least 90% efficiency between 10% and 100% load, and with at least 94% efficiency at 50% load.

The AX1500i is a digital power supply, which offers two distinct advantages. First, the AX1500i incorporates a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) to provide digitally-controlled power. This enables the PSU to deliver extremely tight voltage regulation over a wide range of loads. And second, the AX1500i features Corsair Link, which enables the PSU to be connected to the PC’s motherboard (via USB) for real-time monitoring (efficiency and power usage) and control (over-current protection and fan speed profiles).

Silent operation (zero-rpm fan mode up to ~30% load) might not be at the top of your feature list when shopping for a 1,500 watt PSU, but the AX1500i can do it thanks to high efficiency.

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(Courtesy of Corsair)

Corsair AX1500i Digital ATX PSU Key Features:

•    Digital Signal Processor (DSP) for extremely clean and efficient power
•    Corsair Link Interface for monitoring and adjusting performance
•    1,500 watts continuous power output (50°C)
•    Dedicated single +12V rail (125A) with user-configurable virtual rails
•    80 Plus Titanium certified, delivering up to 94% efficiency
•    Ultra low noise 140mm double ball bearing fan
•    Silent, Fanless mode up to ~30% load (~450W)
•    Self-test switch to verify power supply functionality
•    Premium quality components
•    Fully modular cable system
•    Conforms to ATX12V v2.4 and EPS 2.92 standards
•    Universal AC input (100-240V) with Active PFC
•    Over-current, over-voltage, over-temperature, and short circuit protection
•    Dimensions: 150mm (W) x 86mm (H) x 225mm (L)
•    7-Year warranty and legendary Corsair customer service
•    MSRP: $449.99 USD (available in Q2 2014)

Please continue reading our review of the AX1500i Digital PSU !!!

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Here is what Corsair has to say about their new flagship AX1500i Digital ATX power supply unit:  " The AX1500i incorporates a second-generation digital architecture which enables the power supply to consistently deliver up to 1,500 watts of ultra-stable DC power with 80 Plus Titanium energy efficiency levels (up to 94% efficiency) making the AX1500i the most technologically advanced, energy efficient, and customizable power supply available for extreme PC enthusiasts.

The Corsair AX1500i uses server-grade power train architecture and a DSP to provide digitally controlled power. This state-of-the-art DSP-controlled design features proprietary control architecture to allow for dynamic, on-the-fly performance optimization. This design delivers exceptionally stable power over the whole load range, and automatically compensates for DC output cable voltage drop. This ensures tight DC output voltage regulation without the ripple/noise and other issues associated with traditional PSU architectures.

The AX1500i’s super-high-efficiency is made possible due to a combination of advanced technologies and smart design features. In addition to providing superior voltage regulation, the use of a DSP also results in a reduction in the overall number of discrete components in the design, since the DSP replaces a number of discrete components. The reduced component count means fewer losses in the circuit, and increased efficiency along with improved reliability (less can go wrong).

A major benefit to the high efficiency of the AX1500i is very low heat generation, which allows the AX1500i to be cooled effectively at extremely low fan noise levels. The AX1500i can operate in a silent, Zero-RPM Fan Mode up to 30% load (450W). And for PCs with high power requirements (overclocked with multi-GPUs) the AX1500i will still be extremely quiet even at higher loads, due to the very slow ramp in fan speed and the use of a high-quality, quiet 140mm fan. Even fan bearing noise is reduced by using a fluid dynamic bearing as apposed to a dual-ball bearing fan.”

April 30, 2014 | 10:22 AM - Posted by 7stars

Minor Weaknesses:
• Corsair Link not supported in Win XP

lol really minor at this time...
indeed don't think that someone buys this beast to run it on Win Xp... would be unbelievable :-D

April 30, 2014 | 12:18 PM - Posted by Lee Garbutt aka...

Agreed... very minor!

I almost didn't include it but the issue did come up during my testing as I initially tried to install Corsair Link on one of my old CPU cooler test beds that happens to be sitting next to the PSU test equipment (have retained Win XP environment for consistency over the years). Pretty good PSU if that was the only "weakness" that came up during testing.

April 30, 2014 | 04:48 PM - Posted by Daniel Masterson (not verified)

Any chance you will test the 2 295X2's on this?

April 30, 2014 | 10:40 PM - Posted by dumbasita moronitis (not verified)

Already tested in this video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Co7luj9ILr4
More details to come.

May 1, 2014 | 12:40 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Sorry, we had to send back the second R9 295X2 card before the AX1500i arrived to me.  :/

May 2, 2014 | 09:43 AM - Posted by Daniel Masterson (not verified)

Oh ya I remember you mentioning that. Well maybe someday in the future!

May 1, 2014 | 01:53 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This is the first time I have heard of ATX 12V 2.4. Whats new? I am considering buying a new PSU now I am interested to know.

May 1, 2014 | 04:44 PM - Posted by Lee Garbutt aka...

Good question: according to our technical expert at Corsair... "The only difference between ATX12V 2.3 and 2.4, AFAIK, is that the 2.4 has the Haswell testing (0 load on the +12V to see if the PSU can support the C6/C7 sleep states)."

May 7, 2014 | 04:26 AM - Posted by otto (not verified)

It doesn’t meets the efficiency requirements for 80 plus Titanium for 240v , 80 plus Titanium for 240v at 50% load mute be 96% or higher.

September 29, 2014 | 06:58 AM - Posted by Anurag Daware (not verified)

Hi,
I am testing Link software on my machine :
Config:
At IDLE load, PCIe A all current values are shown as ZERO,
Does this software have some threshold, above only it can sense current properly?

Following is sample data:
AX1200i PCIe 1 (A) Main (V) Main (A) Efficiency (%) Power In (W) Power Out (W)
Date Time AX1200i AX1200i AX1200i AX1200i AX1200i AX1200i

9/26/2014 4:15 0A 237V 0.4A 82.47% 87.4W 72.0823229576928W
9/26/2014 4:15 0A 236V 0.4A 82.44% 87.2W 71.8877801636352W
9/26/2014 4:15 0A 236V 0.4A 81.73% 83.2W 67.9962986383872W
9/26/2014 4:16 0A 237V 0.3A 79.18% 71.55W 56.6555688749302W
9/26/2014 4:16 0A 237V 0.3A 79.18% 71.55W 56.6555688749302W
9/26/2014 4:16 0A 237V 0.4A 80.98% 79.4W 64.2982873744608W
9/26/2014 4:16 0A 237V 0.4A 80.98% 79.4W 64.2982873744608W

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