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Corsair AX1200

Like the HPC-1200 in Antec’s line-up, the AX1200 is the flagship model of Corsair’s top-end Professional Series Gold. As its name suggests, the series is 80+Gold compliant.

The AX1200 is shipped in a large box that, unfortunately, lacks a carry handle.

There’s a lot of information on the back of the box: a list of power connectors, efficiency and noise diagrams, product specs and descriptions of key features.

The elongated shape of the box and its contents (a pouch with detachable cables, another velvety pouch for the PSU, a pack with screws, cable straps and a sticker with manufacturer’s logo) resemble Seasonic's X Gold series.

Contrary to the obvious conclusion (and unlike the other models of its series which are indeed based on Seasonic's platform), the AX1200 is a Flextronics-based product.

Exterior Design

The AX1200 is closer to the classic top-wattage PSU design in its exterior.

It looks ordinary enough with its rough matte-black paint, 140mm fan and honeycomb-mesh grid of the back panel. The rest of the panels are blank. The AX1200 is even longer at 200 millimeters than the above-discussed Antec.

The AX1200 is an all-modular PSU. It has not a single fixed cable.

Circuit Design

The interior design of the Corsair is more conventional than that of the Antec, too. There are some things worth noting, though.

The component layout departs from the tradition in some respects: the input capacitors are almost in the center of the case, the intricate heatsinks are unusual for a high-efficiency PSU, and there are unexpectedly small high-frequency transformers in strange packaging here.

The PSU generates +3.3V and +5V voltages by means of DC-DC converters located on two upright daughter cards. There are capacitors and chokes on one side of each card.

On the other side we can see MOS transistors and some small components.

It’s unusual that the DC-DC converter cards are placed on both sides of the two transformers. The more conventional layout is to put them next to each other. Anyway, despite the mentioned layout nuances and unusual transformers, the AX1200 has quite a standard circuit design.

The Corsair AX1200 being more modular than the Antec, the daughter card with connectors is very large. It carries a lot of ceramic capacitors which should contribute to minimizing voltage ripple at the PSU’s output.

Cables and Connectors

This all-modular PSU comes with the following cables:

  • Mainboard cable with a 20+4-pin connector (61 cm)
  • Two CPU cables with 4+4-pin connectors (61 cm)
  • Six graphics card cables with 6+2-pin connectors (61 cm)
  • Three cables with four PATA power connectors on each (46+11+11+11 cm)
  • Three cables with four SATA power connectors on each (45+9+9+9 cm)
  • Two cables with two SATA power connectors on each (40+10 cm)
  • Two adapters from one PATA power connector to a floppy-drive plug (10 cm)

The graphics card and mainboard cables are sleeved. The peripheral power cables are flat and more flexible. Each cable is labeled with the PSU’s model name, suggesting that shouldn’t use them with other PSUs.

The cables are sufficiently long but the small spacing between the PATA and SATA connectors on the same cable can be a problem. On the other hand, this depends on your system case and its HDD bays. You may even find this spacing more convenient than the traditional 15 centimeters.

Like the Antec model, the AX1200 comes with more power cables than it has connectors: eight cables for six connectors. This gives you more flexibility in configuring the power supply of your components.

Specifications

The Corsair AX1200 boasts the highest wattage rating of all the PSUs in this review. The others are 1200 watts whereas the AX1200 is 1204.8 watts, and it can deliver all of it across its solid +12V power rail.

The load capacity of the +3.3V and +5V rails is more than enough for any modern PC configuration.

As I’ve mentioned above, the AX1200 is 80+Gold certified.

 
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