If we could summarize this power supply in just one word it would be “wow!.” Together with Antec EarthWatts 500 W this is the best power supply up to 500 W we have ever seen, bringing the best cost/benefit ratio for the average user building a mainstream PC with a good video card, graduating Summa Cum Laude in our tests. You will bring home a relatively inexpensive power supply that even though is sold as being a 450 W unit can deliver up to 570 W at 48° C – in fact Corsair could have easily labeled this power supply as a 500 W unit, but they preferred to stay on the safe side.
This product has a higher price tag than other entry-level power supplies up to 450 W we have recently reviewed, but it is not more expensive. How is that possible? Since it can maintain efficiency above 85% even though you will initially pay a higher price to bring this product home the savings you will have on you electricity bill will compensate the buy in just a few months, especially if you keep your computer turned on for several hours a day.
Comparing Corsair VX450W to other entry-level power supplies we have reviewed recently (the exception goes to Zalman ZM360B-APS) is like comparing the old VW Beetle to the new one. This model from Corsair brings an updated design with active PFC, higher efficiency, lower noise level and the ability to deliver far more than its labeled power and also more cables: six peripheral power cables against four and six SATA power cables cables against four or even two.
As we mentioned, this product is identical to Antec EarthWatts 500 W, but using better capacitors – it was really good to see Japanese capacitors on an entry-level product –, a better-looking housing (black vs. standard grey), a better cooling system (120 mm fan vs. 80 mm fan) and more power plugs (six peripheral power plugs vs. three; six SATA power plugs vs. three). But Antec EarthWatts has as a big advantage coming with two video card power cables. In fact this is the only problem with this product from Corsair: if you want to use two video cards in SLI or CrossFire modes you will need to use an adapter to convert a standard peripheral power plug into a 6-pin auxiliary video card power plug. Being in fact a 570 W product, it can easily feed two video cards.