Home / Tech News / Announcements / Corsair HX1050 Power Supply Review

Corsair HX1050 Power Supply Review

Additional technical assistance: Peter McFarland and Jeremy Price.

Correctly testing power supplies is a complex procedure and KitGuru have configured a test bench which can deliver up to a 2,000 watt DC load. Due to public requests we have changed our temperature settings recently – previously we rated with ambient temperatures at 25C, we have increased ambient temperatures by 10c (to 35c) in our environment to greater reflect warmer internal chassis conditions.

We use combinations of the following hardware:
• SunMoon SM-268
• CSI3710A Programmable DC load (+3.3V and +5V outputs)
• CSI3711A Programmable DC load (+12V1, +12V2, +12V3, and +12V4)
• Extech Power Analyzer
• Extech MultiMaster MM570 digital multimeter
• SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa)
• Digital oscilloscope (20M S/s with 12 Bit ADC)
• Variable Autotransformer, 1.4 KVA

DC Output Load Regulation

Combined

DC Load

+3.3V
+5V
+12V
+5VSB
-12V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A V
265W
4.04
3.35
4.03
5.04
14.02
12.08
0.67
5.03
0.20 -12.04
500W
8.51
3.35
8.12
5.01
28.20
12.04
1.51
5.01
0.30 -12.09
850W
17.12
3.33
16.13
4.99
56.21
12.01
2.12
5.00
0.40 -12.11
1040W
21.02
3.32
20.05
4.97
70.12
11.97
2.50
4.97
0.50 -12.12
Corsair HX1050 Maximum Load
1165W

We wrestled 1165W from the unit before it would switch off. The overcircuit protection system worked fine and it shut off safely.

Next we want to try Cross Loading. This basically means loads which are not balanced. If a PC for instance needs 500W on the +12V outputs but something like 30W via the combined 3.3V and +5V outputs then the voltage regulation can fluctuate badly.

Cross Load Testing +3.3V +5V +12V -12V +5VSB
A V A V A V A V A V
760W 1.0 3.33 1.0 5.03 65.0 11.97 0.20 -12.08 0.50 4.98
165W 15.0 3.29 18.0 4.97 2.0 12.03 0.20 -12.06 0.50 5.00

The Corsair HX1050 handled the Cross loading tests very well, maintaining steady results with only minor fluctuation. All voltages remained within stated tolerances.

We then used an oscilloscope to measure AC ripple and noise present on the DC outputs. We set the oscilloscope time base to check for AC ripple at both high and low ends of the spectrum. ATX12V V2.2 specification for DC output ripple and noise is defined in the ATX 12V power supply design guide.

ATX12V Ver 2.2 Noise/Ripple Tolerance
Output
Ripple (mV p-p)
+3.3V
50
+5V
50
+12V1
120
+12V2
120
-12V
120
+5VSB
50

Obviously when measuring AC noise and ripple on the DC outputs the cleaner (less recorded) means we have a better end result. We measured this AC signal amplitude to see how closely the Corsair unit complied with the ATX standard.

AC Ripple (mV p-p)
DC Load +3.3V +5V +12V 5VSB
265W 5 5 10 5
500W 10 10 15 10
850W 10 15 25 10
1040W 15 15 30 10

Ripple results are well within the parameters set down in the ATX12V Ver 2.2 standard. +3.3V and +5V are extremely impressive and the +12V rail is also very stable, never exceeding 30mV.

Efficiency (%)
265W
86.35
500W
89.89
850W
87.75
1040W
85.46

The HX1050 reaches almost 90% efficiency at 50 percent load, and this falls to just over 85% efficiency at full load.

We take the issue of noise very seriously at KitGuru and this is why we have built a special home brew system as a reference point when we test noise levels of various components. Why do this? Well this means we can eliminate secondary noise pollution in the test room and concentrate on components we are testing. It also brings us slightly closer to industry standards, such as DIN 45635.

Today to test the Power Supply we have taken it into our acoustics room environment and have set our SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa) one meter away from the unit. We have no other fans running so we can effectively measure just the noise from the unit itself.

As this can be a little confusing for people, here are various dBa ratings in with real world situations to help describe the various levels.

KitGuru noise guide
10dBA – Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA – High Quality Computer fan
40dBA – A Bubbling Brook, or a Refridgerator
50dBA – Normal Conversation
60dBA – Laughter
70dBA – Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA – City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA – Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA – MP3 Player at maximum output
110dBA – Orchestra
120dBA – Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA – Threshold of Pain
140dBA – Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA – Instant Perforation of eardrum

Noise (dBA)
265W
28.5
500W
28.5
850W
31.7
1040W
36.1

The HX1050 is a very quiet power supply which only becomes audible at around 75% load, and rises to around 36 dBa when fully loaded. It is one of the quieter performance power supplies we have tested this year, our equipment had a problem measuring any noise emissions under 50% load.

Temperature (c)
Intake
Exhaust
265W
35
36
500W
38
44
850W
42
52
1040W
46
57

The large Yate Loon fan helps to generate high levels of airflow across the components inside the chassis, with a 11c above ambient intake registered at full load. The passive fan profile means that the temperatures are a little higher than we have recorded with some other designs.

Maximum load
Efficiency
1165W
84.2

Pushing the PSU above its rated limits generates an efficiency level of around 84.2%. This is not a viable ‘real world’ situation, but its interesting nonetheless.

Check Also

FSP’s new Dagger series brings Gold efficiency to SFX power supplies

The heart of any decent PC build is the power supply. However, when it comes …

  • Todd

    another winner by the looks of it, nice price point. I remember I paid the same for a 850W. even if it was gold certified.

  • Brooke

    Their PSU’s are great, still have one I bought a few years ago, its been on 24/7 for two years now.

  • Frankinberger

    ill be looking at the 850W in this range in a few months……… hopefully its priced well (ideally £120 or less!)

  • k0rn

    hard to fault their power supplies. Quick question,. are they really a custom design or do CWT just build them to specification for corsair?

    I read on another site that Corsair get the CWT designs and then tweak it ‘in house’? this would mean it is a more a Corsair/CWT joint design right?

  • Davis

    Excllent, another good one for a more mainstream audience

  • Thomas

    I need a new psu, 850w just as good in this range?

  • Peter

    Not for me, i boight their 1200w ax psu in jan, love it, great for my sli 590s

  • Colin

    I can recommend their power supplies, I have an AX and I love it.

  • Forrest

    They dont often drop the ball, and although they dont really seem to make anything themselves, they work with some great partners and force high standards.