Corsair CMPSU-520HX - Overview


We never had the opportunity to review Corsair's renowned 520W HX series, so we asked Corsair to send us a sample. The 520HX was one of the first power supplies to come out of Corsair, and it paved the way for what we see today. At the time, Corsair was only using Seasonic units, but many of their recent offerings are now manufactured by CWT.

The 520HX comes in the ubiquitous black color scheme, with distinctive yellow stickers on most of the sides. Each Corsair power supply model has a distinctive color, which allows you to easily distinguish between the various units and wattages. Since this is an older Seasonic design, the housing is typical of Seasonic units from a couple years ago. The cable harnesses are flat, which is actually pretty cool since you can fold them up and talk them into various nooks and crannies and avoid impeding airflow.


Seasonic offers their Energy+ series utilizing the same design, and those are some of the better performing Seasonic models. The design is very solid but does have a few minor problems with voltage regulation. A Hitachi capacitor is used in the primary, which is somewhat unusual -- most companies use Nippon Chemi-Con now for whatever reason. The secondary is full of Nippon Chemi-Con capacitors, which is nice to see since Seasonic manufactured power supplies frequently used Ostor or other inexpensive capacitors instead.

Cooler Master - Performance Corsair - Performance
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  • marraco - Friday, February 20, 2009 - link

    Any good PSU review need to include reliability test when two PSu are joined by soldiering the green cable (and one black).

    It allows to use two cheap units as one more powerful one, saving lots of money for value overclockers. But is not ever safe. Not all power supplies are reliable when joined this way.
    If the two PSU is bad, there are a risk of getting a burned (and costly) video card, or BSOD by electric instability.
    But value overclockers take risks to save money, and spent scarce money in the right components.

    That is the reason for which that hard to find and very valuable info is so useful.

    Please, consider it next time you do a PSU review.
    Reply
  • drank12quartsstrohsbeer - Friday, February 20, 2009 - link

    I'd like to see a few tests done that would show the variation between identical units. These powersupply builders rely on other manufacturers for the components, so the chances for a bad component to make it into a unit is a lot higher than for some other computer equipment.
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Friday, February 20, 2009 - link

    That is a very good point. And it wouldn't be too difficult in terms of additional testing since only the major tests (ripple, voltage flux, etc.) would need to be tested.

    Even an N=2 would be a good quality check.
    Reply
  • marc1000 - Friday, February 20, 2009 - link

    congrats for including Arctic Cooling and Akasa units. will ready more carefully later. cheers. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Friday, February 20, 2009 - link

    I'm really upset with the Tuniq's poor showing. I built a system last month using the Tuniq after recommendation by Mr. Katzer in the comments section and had thought it would have performed much better. I ended up only paying $40 (if the $40 rebate actually comes in) which is about as low as you can get for a 550psu, but I would not have chosen it if this review had been available.

    Really disappointed.
    Reply
  • Exar3342 - Friday, February 20, 2009 - link

    It seems that PSU reviews dominate the reviews here at AT lately. Where did all the memory and CPU shootouts go? What about comparing panel sizes and reviewing them?

    I don't want to take anything anything away from this PSU review, it was excellent. Just give us more review variety!
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, February 20, 2009 - link

    DDR3 Roundup - 3/3 (nine sets, 1066~2000)
    DDR2 Roundup - 3/10 (eleven sets, 800~1150)
    Interspersed each week for the next month will be various motherboards in the under $150 price range, budget CPUs, storage (external, NAS, internal HDD/SSD), and even some GPU action showing what you get for under a $100 compared to integrated graphics. We just went through a major overhaul of our base test suites, start rolling out the new stuff next week.
    Reply
  • crimson117 - Friday, February 20, 2009 - link

    What are you talking about? There's plenty of that kind of coverage...

    http://www.anandtech.com/guides/showdoc.aspx?i=347...">Holiday Memory Guide - several choice DDR2 and DDR3 modules are listed with OC results.

    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?...">Phenom review, with lots of benchmarks comparing almost every current AMD and Intel CPU.

    http://www.anandtech.com/displays/showdoc.aspx?i=3...">24" LCD Roundup is a little outdated, but monitor models don't change over as often as CPUs do.
    Reply
  • Ditiris - Friday, February 20, 2009 - link

    Christoph,

    This is easily the best presentation of material I've ever seen on Anandtech. Furthermore, it's a survey of mainstream components which is probably what 95% of your readership is going to buy. Those two things easily make this the best article I've ever seen on Anandtech.

    As someone who does technical presentations all the time, I know how difficult it is to condense large amounts of data into easily understandable formats. You really did a fantastic job. Thank you, and I look forward to more articles.
    Reply
  • homerdog - Friday, February 20, 2009 - link

    Agreed, excellent article. Now give XClio some love! Reply

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