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Corsair HX1000i Platinum Modular PSU 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 – 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
100W
1.53
3.33
1.77
5.05
6.66
12.20
0.50
5.00
0.20
-12.01
200W
3.13
3.32
3.50
5.04
13.50
12.17
1.00
5.00
0.20
-12.02
400W
6.42
3.32
7.04
5.03
27.50
12.12
1.50
4.99
0.30
-12.03
600W
9.81
3.32
10.75
5.02
41.70
12.08
2.00
4.98
0.30
-12.02
800W
13.25
3.31
14.55
5.00
56.40
12.05
2.50
4.98
0.50
-12.03
1000W 16.53 3.31 15.66 4.98 71.40 12.02 3.00 4.98 0.60 -12.03

Load regulation is very good with all the rails holding tight, within 2%.

Corsair HX100i Platinum
Maximum Load
1102W

We managed to get another 102W from the power supply before the protection circuitry kicked in. The supply was undamaged and it was ready to fire up again when we dropped the load to a more realistic level.

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
885W 2.0 3.32 2.0 5.04 72.0 11.98 0.2 -12.02 0.50 5.00
240W 20.0 3.30 24.0 4.97 2.0 12.18 0.2 -12.00 0.50 4.99

The Corsair HX1000i Platinum coped well with the intensive Cross Loading test. We noticed minor droop when we hit the +12V rail hard with 72Amps.

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 unit complied with the ATX standard.

AC Ripple (mV p-p)
DC Load +3.3V +5V +12V 5VSB
100W 10 10 15 5
200W 15 10 15 10
400W 15 10 20 10
600W 15 15 25 15
800W 20 15 35 20
1000W 20 20 40 20

Ripple suppression is good. All rails hold well within the industry rated tolerance levels.

Efficiency (%)
100W
83.8
200W
89.3
300W
93.1
500W
93.9
800W
93.1
1000W 92.0

The overall efficiency results are excellent, peaking at 93.9% at 500W. This drops to 92% efficiency at full load, a very impressive result.

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 Refrigerator
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)
100W
28.0
200W
28.0
400W
28.0
600W
31.7
800W 32.1
1000W 33.0

The Corsair HX1000i is extremely quiet even when it is tasked with delivering a full 1000 watts of power. This is one of the quietest high performance power supplies we have ever tested.

Temperature (c)
Intake
Exhaust
100W
35
39
200W
35
41
400W
37
43
650W
43
53
800W
45
54
1000W 47 61

Temperatures are well controlled and while the fan gets active in the last 20% of power delivery it doesn’t create a racket.

Maximum load
Efficiency
1102W
91.2

Pushing the power supply above its rated limits generates an efficiency level of around 91.2%. This is not a viable ‘real world’ situation, but its interesting nonetheless.

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