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Corsair RM Series 550W Power Supply Review

Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction and Features

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Corsair offers a full line of high quality power supplies, memory components, cases, cooling components, SSDs and accessories to the PC market.  Corsair's new RM Series includes six models; the RM450, RM550, RM650, RM750, RM850 and RM1000.  All of the power supplies in the RM Series feature all-modular cables, an energy-efficient design (80 Plus Gold certified) and quiet operation thanks to their ability to run without a cooling fun up to 40% load. The RM Series offers many of the same features as the Corsair HX Series (fanless operation, Gold level efficiency, fully-modular cables) but are a little less expensive. And all RM Series power supplies are Corsair Link ready, which means you can monitor the PSU fan speed and +12V output right from your desktop if you have a Corsair Link system set up on your PC. Previously the Corsair Link option was only available on Corsair’s premium AX Series Digital power supplies.

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Here is what Corsair has to say about their RM550 PSU we will be looking at in this review: “The Corsair RM550 is fully modular and optimized for silence and high efficiency. It’s built with low-noise capacitors and transformers, and Zero RPM Fan Mode ensures that the fan doesn’t even spin until the power supply is under heavy load. And with a fan that’s custom-designed for low noise operation, it’s whisper-quiet even when it’s pushed hard.

80Plus Gold rated efficiency saves you money on your power bill, and the low-profile black cables are fully modular, so you can enjoy fast, neat builds. And, like all Corsair power supplies, the RM550 is built with high-quality components and is guaranteed to deliver clean, stable, continuous power. Want even more? Connect it to your Corsair Link system (available separately) and you can even monitor fan speed and +12V current directly from your desktop.

Corsair RM550 PSU Key Features:

• Silent, fan-less operation up to 40% load
• 80Plus Gold certified, delivering over 92% efficiency under real world loads
• Fully modular, low-profile flat cables help maximize case airflow
• Corsair Link ready!
• High-quality capacitors provide uncompromised performance and reliability
• Active PFC and Universal AC input (100-240 VAC)
• Safety: FCC, ICES, CE, C TUV US, RCM, TUV, CB, CCC, BSMI, GOST, ROHS, WEEE, KC, TUV-S
• 5-Year warranty and lifetime access to tech support and customer service

Please continue reading our Corsair RM550 power supply review!!!

PSU 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 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
• AC Ripple and Noise
• Efficiency
• Differential Temperature
• Noise

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The Corsair RM550 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)
• Agilent 34401A digital multimeter (Accuracy ±0.0035% vDC)
• 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)
 

September 22, 2013 | 11:15 PM - Posted by sergio (not verified)

What do you think, is it OK to use this power supply in bottom-mounted-PSU cases? My concern is fan outake in limited space and directed downwar.? On loads below 50%, what's going to be with heat dissipation?

September 23, 2013 | 05:18 AM - Posted by jonnyguru (not verified)

sergio: Fans in power supplies are intake, not exhaust.

September 23, 2013 | 01:22 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

2 pci-e connectors a positive? That should be a negative. All 550w psu's in this day and age should have 4 pci-e connectors.

September 24, 2013 | 02:45 AM - Posted by rrr (not verified)

Unless you plan on running stuff like 2x 670 or 2x 7950, which is pushing 550W unit, I disagree.

2 PCI-E is IMO fine for 550W. Not so for 650W OTOH.

December 16, 2013 | 02:43 PM - Posted by psumaster (not verified)

There are videocards coming with 3 PCI-E, so I think at least 3 would be a good number. 2 PCI-E should be the default for 400W units.

September 24, 2013 | 06:19 AM - Posted by Mark "Dusty" D (not verified)

Lee, on the Specifications and Packaging page, the efficiency and fan noise curves show the x axis as sytem load (watts), but it is expressed in percentages of full load. Conversely, on the DC Load Regulation and AC Ripple page, it shows the wattage being drawn but would be more helpful in percent of full load.

March 1, 2014 | 04:05 PM - Posted by Anonymous Cowerd (not verified)

Would like an article
that compares the cost between the common recommendation
by all to take a PSU that's double your consumption
and a PSU that's just enough above your system consumption.

Example for calculated comparison:
PC1 peek consumption is 380w - PSU is 450W.
PC2 peek consumption is 380W - PSU is 750W.
(both the same 80+ rate)

PC#1 would be far from optimal, but buying cost is low.
PC#2 is in middle of the bell curve efficiency chart,
but cost more!

since the drop between PSU #2 & #1 efficiency is just few percent's would it make buying the more expansive PSU worth while, for the average warranty of the PSU?

Such article would greatly benefit PCPER community.

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