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Corsair AX860i Digital PSU Review

A black Yate Loon 140mm is installed inside the AX860i, the same D14BH-12 found in all of the AXi series models. It is a ball bearing fan with a very wide speed range, allowing it to operate at both very low and high speeds. The stock fan profile which Corsair programmed into this unit however stops the fan entirely as long as the load is below 30%.

Flextronics is the OEM behind the AX860i, the same company who was responsible for the AX1200i. The design of the AX860i is very similar to that of the AX1200i as well, being more like a miniaturized version rather than a new layout. The unit appears exceptionally well made as every component is very well secured mechanically and the soldering job is amongst the best we have ever seen.

Corsair had to ditch the A/C receptacle filter as the unit is shorter and it would most likely be obstructed by other components. Nevertheless, the filtering stage is more than adequate, with 2 Y-type capacitors on the back of the A/C receptacle and six more on the main PCB, as well as two X-type capacitors, two filtering chokes and a surge suppressing MOV.

Matsushita (Panasonic) provides the primary side APFC capacitor of this power supply, a massive 420V/680μF part rated at 105°C. The APFC coil is equally massive to the capacitor, as is the heatsink of the rectifier bridge and of the APFC transistors. Despite the high efficiency of this power supply, Corsair had to use quality heatsinks because of its ability to operate without any active cooling at low loads.

The secondary side capacitors are made by Rubycon and Nippon Chemi-Con, making this power supply an all-Japanese affair. Plenty of solid state capacitors have been used as well, most of them on the secondary converter board. A large transformer converts the entire input to 12V, which is being distributed via a large metallic rail. The metallic rail also acts as a basic heatsink for the LLC converter board. There are two DC to DC conversion daughterboards, one for the 5V line (left) and one for the 3.3V line (right).

Corsair apparently needed more space as they installed several vertical PCBs, housing the VRMs, the DSP and Corsair Link circuits, as well as the protective equipment and sensors. Two large transformers are being used in the AX1200i, which are feeding the vertical block housing all of the unit's connectors and distribution circuits via a large metallic rail. The main distribution and some additional filtering takes place on the board housing the modular cable connectors.

Corsair's Link software is perhaps the most innovative feature of this power supply and certainly a world's first when it comes to power monitoring. Certainly, other companies released units capable of displaying their output, voltages and other useful data; however, Corsair not only made the AX860i capable of displaying every single piece of performance data there could be about a power supply but also gives end users the capability to program their own profiles, control the speed of the fan, even create virtual overcurrent protection (OCP) rails on specific parts of the equipment. And it does not even stop there as the Corsair Link software can monitor the temperatures of every system component with a sensor, the speed of every fan connected directly on system components and monitor/control other hardware utilizing the Corsair Link interface, such as their new Vengeance RAM modules and H80i/H100i watercooling kits. 

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