Review Index:

Corsair AX860i Digital ATX Platinum Power Supply Review

Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction and Features

View Full Size

As promised, Corsair recently added four new power supplies to their AX Series including two new digital models, the AX860i and AX760i. The AX860i and AX760i PSUs bring most of the great features of Corsair's flagship AX1200i Digital ATX PSU (DSP control, Platinum efficiency, all-modular cables, and 7-year warranty) to PC gamers and enthusiasts who don't need a 1200W PSU and are looking in the range of 760 and 860 watts.  Both the AX860i and AX760i incorporate Digital Signal Processing to deliver extremely tight voltage regulation, clean and 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.  The Corsair AX860i and AX760i Digital ATX power supplies have been certified 80Plus Platinum for efficiency and come with all modular cables. 

In addition to the two new digital power supplies, Corsair is also revamping the traditional analog AX Series line with the addition of the AX860 and AX760 models, which include 80 PLUS Platinum certification, all-modular cables, and significantly lower noise levels than previous models.

View Full Size

Corsair AX860i Digital ATX PSU Key Features:

• Digital Signal Processor (DSP) for extremely clean and efficient power
• Corsair Link Integration for monitoring and adjusting performance
• 860 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 120mm double ball bearing fan
• Silent, Fanless mode up to ~30% load
• Self-test switch to verify power supply functionality before installation
• High quality capacitors for uncompromised performance and reliability
• 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 160mm (L)
• 7-Year warranty and legendary Corsair customer service

Please continue reading our Corsair AX860i Digital PSU review!

View Full Size

Here is what Corsair has to say about their new AX860i Digital ATX PSU:

"The revolutionary AXi Series PSUs are the first desktop PC power supplies to use digital (DSP) control and Corsair Link to bring you an unprecedented level of monitoring and performance customization. The DSP in the AX860i Series 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 AX860i 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.

Stable and reliable power delivery. DSP-controlled, real-time voltage regulation helps insure that your valuable components receive clean, stable power.

Less heat and lower operating cost. The AX860i's extreme efficiency earns it coveted 80 Plus Platinum certification. Less wasted power means minimal excess heat. This can reduce the strain on your other components, and it can save you money over the long run in the form of lower power bills.

Quiet operation at low loads. Super-high efficiency has another benefit: silence. The thermally-controlled fan doesn't even spin at low-loads. It's ideal if you're building a quiet PC or you just want to reduce the amount of ambient noise in your life.

Easy installation and cable routing with better airflow. The fully modular cable set allows you to use only the cables you need, and the flat design makes cable routing much easier in tight spaces. You get a clean-looking system build with cables out of the airflow path for efficient space usage that's energy efficient as well. "

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

View Full Size

The Corsair AX860i 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)
• 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)

December 16, 2012 | 03:14 PM - Posted by BetoAnonymous (not verified)

I wonder if Ron Holt would have ever imagine such awesomeness.

December 18, 2012 | 08:06 AM - Posted by Hood (not verified)

I wonder that nobody thought of PSU monitoring software before this; after all, the least a computer should be able to do is monitor itself, and user control of the power supply is a no-brainer. Kudos to Corsair for taking this bold step, which is kind of a gamble given the price range and state of the world economy. I think the "i" series will be a runaway best seller, despite the high price tag. Same for the "i" series of liquid CPU coolers. Enthusiasts love anything that gives them more info, control, or both, and Corsair has been delivering nicely.

December 28, 2012 | 10:00 PM - Posted by WillRock (not verified)

Gigabyte has thought of PSU monitoring software years ago, so did nVidia with ESA supportive PSU's.

The "i" series won't be the runaway best seller. How many people shell out $250 for a 860W unit like seriously?

Most people are after bang for the buck, which is what this unit definately is not.

February 22, 2013 | 07:45 AM - Posted by FearTec (not verified)


I have one on the way to replace my Silverstone ST65ZF.

Silence and dual/tri SLI 680 will be awesome.

March 20, 2014 | 10:59 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I bought one and it failed to self test. First time I've spent such an amount of a PSU thinking I was getting quality and all I've got is something they couldn't be bothered to QC before leaving the factory. Very disappointed, not buying anything from Corsair ever again.

January 9, 2013 | 06:41 AM - Posted by rrr (not verified)

One thing "i" version is worse at than non "i" version, is having lower quality fan. AX860 non "i" has San Ace fan - generally regarded as higher quality than Yate Loons. One can argue it doesn't matter with semi passive mode in place, but it still looks out of place to have lower end fan on a supposedly premium unit.

November 28, 2013 | 06:17 PM - Posted by the pirate bay.apk (not verified)

The two murdered troopers, Power and Cahill, were men from good Irish families.
Not only does a digger realize that it's very possible
he might discover a lots of gold with little or no
trouble, but, worse still, he knows he might work very, very
hard without getting any gold at all. Juni, als Bombenanschläge in
Kathmandu und anderen Städten Nepals acht Tote und 22 Verletzte forderten.

February 22, 2013 | 12:45 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Does anyone know if you have to use Corsair Link in order for this PSU to work?

July 15, 2014 | 08:55 PM - Posted by Paige Thompson (not verified)

You probably do, and assuming they insist that you do (Ive never seen the fan spin up on its own) you also need to use this powersupply exclusively on a windows machine, or at least have a windows virtual machine in linux running the software with the USB attached to the virtual machine (most VM apps support this) and yes I did do this until the stupid connector broke, now I just want to figure out the pinouts and voltages (which they don't release the spec for) to find out if it's really PMBus like they claim:

if it is, my motherboard has a connector for it granted I will have to make my own because the PSU's connector is missing a NC (no connection) "null" pin. This corsair link is the most idiotic thing I've ever seen and I expected to at least not get jacked for what I paid for my 1200i ... nothing more or short of that was acceptable when I made the decision to purchase it, I really shouldn't have to detail check things that are supposed to be standard.

December 24, 2015 | 06:13 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This is wrong, this PSU works perfectly fine without CorsairLink.

July 15, 2014 | 08:47 PM - Posted by Paige Thompson (not verified)

This is a complete ripoff. Supposedly its a USB to PMBus (SMbus) interface and they indicate that it's pmbus, except every motherboard that supports pmbus is 5 pin at least, granted there is an NC pin. This power supply should be connected to mine, especially since the cheap cable broke and I never saw any advantage to this device (which is only supported in windows, so I had to attach it to a windows VM to do anything with it.) The ASMB4 management chip in my server does a decent job of managing the fan speeds and temp thresholds, and supposedly supports a conntected pmbus device, so I think I'll wait (which I really dont want to wait because I just want to be done with this already) until I can get my volt meter out of storage and see if I can hook this psu up to the pmbus connector on my motherboard. I can't think of any good reason why this wasn't done right the first time, especially on a "high end" power supply like this one.

I reckon if despite my best efforts and intentions, I may just pour lighter fluid all over the $5,000 dollar computer and set it on fire like I did the Senn. HD380 pros when I couldn't salvage the cable myself after 10 tries I could have just paid the 30 dollars, but no and I don't think I'll let this one go either.

mass produced crap is never worth what you pay for it:

August 20, 2014 | 01:26 PM - Posted by Fred B. (not verified)

It seems that Corsair has destroyed the value of the Link system by refusing to release the protocol used on it, so no one can do anything on Linux, or do anything on Windows for that matter other than through the GUI. Of course competitors will be motivated to reverse engineer the protocol, so the only one that Corsair is "protecting" itself from, are the army of eager software engineers that would write free software, boosting Corsair's sales. Good thinking Corsair!