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Corsair CS Series Modular 850W Power Supply Review

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Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction and Features

Our first Corsair power supply up for review in 2015 is the CS Series Modular 850W PSU; the CS850M. Corsair's CS Series Modular PSUs are designed for basic desktop use and light to moderate gaming where low energy use, low noise, simple installation, and good value are important. The Modular CS Series now includes five models; the CS450M, CS550M, CS650M, CS750M, and the new CS850M.  All of the power supplies in the CS Series feature modular cables, high efficiency (80 Plus Gold certified) and quiet operation. In addition, Corsair continues to offer a full line of high quality power supplies, memory components, cases, cooling components, SSDs and accessories for the PC market.  

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Here is what Corsair has to say about their CS Series Modular PSUs: “The CS-M Series is designed for basic and midrange PCs, but offers features and performance traditionally reserved for higher-end models. 80 Plus Gold efficiency and a thermally controlled fan ensure quiet operation and lower energy use, and the modular, detachable cable set makes installations and upgrades faster and better looking.”

 “80 Plus Gold efficiency reduces operating cost and excess heat. Since it generates less heat, the fan doesn’t need to work as hard, and you’ll enjoy near silent operation. The flat black modular cables with clearly-marked connectors make installation fast and straightforward, with good-looking results.

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Corsair CS Series Modular PSU Key Features:

•    Five Models: 450W up to 850W
•    Compliant with the latest ATX12V v2.4 and EPS 2.92 standards
•    Backward compatible with ATX12V 2.2, 2.31 and ATX12V 2.01 systems
•    4th Generation Intel® Core™ processor ready (Haswell & Z87 motherboards)
•    80 Plus Gold certified for high efficiency (=90% under real world loads)
•    Modular cables (only use the cables you need)
•    Low-profile, flat modular cables reduce air friction and maximize airflow
•    Active PFC with Universal AC input (100-240VAC)
•    Multi GPU ready
•    Safety: OVP, UVP, SCP, OPP, and OTP
•    Approvals: FCC, ICES, UL, CUL, TUV, CCC, CE, RCM, CB, EAC, KC, BSMI, ROHS, WEEE
•    3-Year warranty and lifetime access to Corsair’s tech support & customer service
•    MSRP: $139.99 USD

Please continue reading our Corsair CS850M power supply review!!!

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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 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 CS850M 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)

The following cables/connectors were used to connect the CS850M PSU to the PCPerspective power supply test equipment.
•    (1) 20+4 pin ATX
•    (1) 8-pin EPS/ATX12V
•    (4) 6-pin PCI-E
•    (2) SATA
•    (2) 4-pin Molex


February 17, 2015 | 03:39 PM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

CS units were always very unreliable crap, even considering that they're cheaper. The price-to-performance-to-reliability balance is just way off in these. If you need a truly high quality PSU from Corsair exactly, and for reasonable money, get HX line AT THE VERY LEAST, NOT the CS line. If you're on a very small and/or tight budget you can get TX or RM units just fine, but for all sakes, I'm warning you, DO not buy CS units. They really suck some major rat's ass, big time. If you want to spend little and get a decent unit, it's either TX or RM, if you want a perfect high tier unit for reasonable price - HX, and if you want best of the best - AX (NOT an AXi, but the good ol' AX).

February 22, 2015 | 01:21 AM - Posted by HERETIC (not verified)

Corsair built up a great reputation in Power Supplies,
By primarily using SEASONIC units.................

They have now moved to CHEAPER suppliers in their low
to mid range---MOAR profits-Don't buy them........

Corsair high end are good products-But why bother-
Just buy SEASONIC-You know your getting quality
components and quality built-Remember the PSU is the
most important part of your build.................

March 3, 2015 | 04:22 PM - Posted by jonnyGURU (not verified)

Naive and uninformed folks here.

February 17, 2015 | 06:36 PM - Posted by Lance Ripplinger (not verified)

The CS line looks to me like it is the CX series, just "Gold" certified. Or is that over simplifying this?

March 3, 2015 | 04:23 PM - Posted by jonnyGURU (not verified)

So instead of actually reading the review.... :(

February 18, 2015 | 11:13 AM - Posted by BBMan (not verified)

Warranty period is a good hint. Well, it works for me.

February 28, 2015 | 07:23 PM - Posted by DMaster (not verified)

It's not CWT. You can see the mark "GW-ATX850SLA" on the DC-to-DC secondary board. GW means Great Wall. And all other CS units are also made by Great Wall. RealHardTechX is agree with me :-)

March 3, 2015 | 04:22 PM - Posted by jonnyGURU (not verified)

Correct. It is Great Wall. Which, in many cases, is a step up from CWT.

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