Review Index:

Corsair AX860i Digital ATX Platinum Power Supply Review

Author: Lee Garbutt
Manufacturer: Corsair

DC Load Regulation and AC Ripple

DC Output Load Regulation

To simulate real world and maximum loading conditions, the Corsair AX860i PSU was connected to the load testers and supplied with a constant 115 VAC.  In this test we are interested in seeing how well a PSU can maintain the various output voltages while operating under different loads. 

The ATX12V V2.2 tolerance for voltages states how much each output (rail) is allowed to fluctuate and has tighter tolerances now for the +12V outputs.  I have also included a second table of expanded tolerances (±1% to ±6%) for reference.

View Full Size

The following tables list the DC voltage results at the different loads for the AX860i PSU while operating on 115 VAC, 60 Hz.

View Full Size

The AX860i produced outstanding load regulation on all of the outputs across a broad range of loads.  All of the main outputs stayed well within ±2% of the nominal voltage instead of the recommended ±5% and complied with Corsair's claims of = ±1.5% for the three main outputs and = ±3% for the -12V and +5VSB. Well done!

View Full Size

AC Ripple and Noise on the DC Outputs

The amount of AC ripple and noise present on the DC outputs was checked using an oscilloscope.  This AC component may be present in the KHz range where most switching power supplies operate or it may be more prevalent at the 60 Hz line frequency.  We adjusted the O-scope time base to look for AC ripple at both low and high frequencies.  The ATX12V V2.2 specification for DC output noise/ripple is defined in the ATX12V Power Supply Design Guide.

View Full Size

Ideally we would like to see no AC ripple (repetitive) or noise (random) on the DC outputs – the cleaner the better!  But in reality there will always be some present.  We measured the amplitude of the AC signal (in millivolts, peak-to-peak) to see how well the power supply complied with the ATX standard.  The following table lists the ripple/noise results during all of the load tests for the main output voltages of interest.

View Full Size

The Corsair AX860i Digital power supply exhibited excellent AC ripple suppression across the entire load range; we're on a roll.

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!