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Corsair AX1200 Power Supply Review

Rating: 9.5.

Corsair are well known as one of the leading suppliers of high quality memory for the discerning enthusiast and in recent years they have expanded their range into other areas such as cooling and power supplies. The Corsair motto seems simple, create the best products they can without compromising … it has worked well for them so far as their name is more highly regarded now than it has ever been.

Corsair's high level presence in the power supply market has been undoubtedly aided by strong partnerships with CWT and Seasonic with top level support and testing regimes in place to ensure the products have achieved their standards. The HX range for instance was a huge success and granted them an elusive position in this competitive sector. With further expansion into other ranges such as the CX, TX and VX it seemed there was no stopping them.

Today we look at the new range of units – specifically the Corsair Professional Series Gold AX 1200 which is the flagship model in the range and is in fact the largest capacity power supply that they have ever released. What is particularly interesting is the fact that the model has been created in conjunction with a new supplier –  Flextronics International Ltd.

It is worth delving a little into the background of Flextronics as many people will never have heard of them. They are an electronics manufacturing services provider who were founded in 1969 and have an HQ in Singapore. They provide a wide range of manufacturing, logistical support and supply chain management and offer technical support to industries such as medical, automotive and consumer electronics. Their customer base includes Microsoft, SUN, HP, Samsung, Apple, Siemens, RIM, Lego Group, Lenovo and many more. In 2005 they founded a subsidiary group called FlexPower and are now the ‘4th largest power supply company in the world'. The power supply we are looking at today is one of their first within the SMPS (switching mode power supplies) market place for the enthusiast audience.

As we all know on KitGuru, the power requirements of gaming PC's are constantly increasing and in the last year with the release of high performance graphics cards such as the nVidia GTX480 and processors like the Core i7 980X from Intel … it shows no sign of slowing down. Power supplies have always been a massively important aspect of a system build, but finally even the mass enthusiast audience is beginning to understand this.

The Corsair unit we are looking at today is based on a server grade powertrain architecture which incorporates state of the art features many of which are unique in the consumer power supply market. Corsair Marketing manager Gareth Ogden has produced a detailed post on the technology which you can read over here. It really is worth a look if you are interested in what Corsair have achieved by working with Flextronics.

Unique Design, Exclusive to Corsair

The Professional Series Gold AX1200 has been designed from the ground-up by Corsair’s power engineering team, and is therefore unique and exclusive to Corsair.

100.4 Amp Single +12V Rail

The AX1200’s massive 100.4 Amp (1204.8 Watt) single +12V rail makes it the ideal power supply for ultra-high end NVIDIA SLI™ and ATI CrossFireX™ gaming PCs based around multi-core CPUs.

80 Plus® Gold Efficiency

The sophisticated electrical design, incorporating advanced magnetic modeling during development in order to optimize magnetic component performance, delivers exceptionally high energy efficiency (90% and above). This meets or exceeds the requirements for 80 Plus Gold certification.

Outstanding Noise/Ripple and DC Voltage Regulation

The AX1200 features individual DC-DC regulation for 3.3V, 5V and 12V rails, and secondary side synchronous rectification, utilizing MOSFETs that have lower losses than the conventional output rectification schemes. An advanced 4-layer modular connector board PCB ensures a better ground return plane, lower resistance and low voltage drops. This, combined with circuit trace optimization, also helps to minimize ripple and noise.

Fully Modular Cable System

The fully-modular, low-profile cable system provides maximum flexibility when building or upgrading your PC, and maximum airflow through your chassis. This allows you to utilize only the cables that you need, reducing cable clutter and maximizing the cooling performance of your PC.

Zero Voltage Switching / Zero Current Switching Technology

The Corsair AX1200 utilizes ZVS / ZCS technology to switch at near 0V and 0A, which ensures there are minimal switching losses, thereby maximizing efficiency and further reducing waste heat.

Ultra Low Noise Design

The AX1200 utilizes a low-noise, thermally-controlled 140mm fan, and employs sophisticated techniques to enhance cooling performance and reduce noise. This includes a specially designed PCB that channels airflow to reduce back-pressure and maximize the fan’s cooling ability.

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