Corsair AX1500i Digital ATX 1500W Power Supply Review
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.
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.
(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)
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.”