Corsair is a traditional memory manufacturer they gained a lot of respect in the industry with their power supplies – we reviewed HX620W and TX750W and they are terrific products. But how the entry-level series from Corsair, dubbed VX, performs? Today we will take the most inexpensive power supply from Corsair, VX450W, and completely disassemble it and see if it can really deliver its labeled power.
As you can see, this power supply uses a big 120 mm ball bearing fan on its bottom (the power supply is upside down on Figures 1 and 2) and a big mesh on the rear side where traditionally we have an 80 mm fan. We like this design as it provides not only a better airflow but the power supply produces less noise, as the fan can rotate at a lower speed in order to produce the same airflow as an 80 mm fan.
This power supply has active PFC, a feature not usually found on entry-level power supplies. PFC provides a better usage of the power grid and allows Corsair to sell this product in Europe (read more about PFC on our Power Supply Tutorial). As for efficiency, Corsair says that this product’s efficiency is somewhere between 80% and 85%. Of course we will measure this to see if what the manufacturer claim is true. Keep in mind that more expensive power supplies have an efficiency of at least 80%. The higher the efficiency the better – an 80% efficiency means that 80% of the power pulled from the power grid will be converted in power on the power supply outputs and only 20% will be wasted. This translates into less consumption from the power grid (as less power needs to be pulled in order to generate the same amount of power on its outputs), meaning lower electricity bills.
The main motherboard cable uses a 20/24-pin connector and this power supply has one EPS12V connector that can be split into two ATX12V connectors.
This power supply comes with five peripheral power cables: one auxiliary power cable for video cards with one 6-pin connector attached, two cables containing three standard peripheral power connectors and one floppy disk drive connector each and two cables with three SATA power connectors each.
This power supply provides more connectors that Average Joe will ever need and it is great to see an entry-level power supply with so many power connectors, especially because the entry-level power supplies we reviewed recently have far less connectors (usually four peripheral power connectors and two or four SATA power connectors). The number of plugs should please all mainstream users and even more demanding users.
The only thing we didn’t like is that this power supply comes with only one video card power connector so users building an SLI or CrossFire system will need to use a power adapter with one of the cards. Zalman ZM360B-APS is rated at a lower power range and comes with two of them.
On this power supply +12 V and ground wires on the main motherboard cable, video card power cable and EPS12V/ATX12V are 18 AWG, but all other wires are 20 AWG (i.e. thinner). We’d like to see all wires 18 AWG.
On the aesthetic side Corsair used nylon sleeving on all cables, coming from inside the power supply housing.
This power supply is manufactured by Seasonic. It looks like a Seasonic from SII-12 series (SS-xxxSB) but we couldn’t confirm this. Also Seasonic doesn’t carry any 450 W model, so it seems that this model is manufactured exclusively for Corsair. After opening this power supply we found out that internally it is identical to Antec Earthwatts 500 W, but using better electrolytic capacitors.
Now let’s take an in-depth look inside this power supply.