The $80 Power Supply for Almost Everyone: The Corsair TX550M 80Plus Gold PSU Reviewby E. Fylladitakis on December 1, 2017 8:00 AM EST
- Posted in
- Power Supply
Corsair started off as a high-performance computer memory manufacturer, but they evolved into one of the largest and most recognizable companies in the consumer PC market. Today the company markets an immense variety of products, including practically everything short of motherboards and processors. One of their most popular product ranges is that of power supply units (PSUs). The company released their first few PSUs back in 2006 but today they are offering a vast variety of products for every kind of user and application.
A few weeks ago we had a look at the HX850, one of Corsair’s better PSUs, a product designed for advanced gaming/workstation systems. Impressive as it was, its power output (and price tag) undoubtedly was excessive for the average home user and casual gamer. With PSUs, bigger is not better; using a PSU that is excessively overpowered will force it to operate well outside its optimal loading range, effectively reducing its efficiency and performance.
The optimal power range for a typical home entertainment/gaming system usually is within 400-600 Watts. To that end, Corsair supplied us with the TX550M, a PSU that the company feels it is ideal for the mainstream gamer.
|Power specifications ( Rated @ 50 °C )|
|AC INPUT||100 - 240 VAC, 50 - 60 Hz|
On paper, it certainly does look that way - it has the ideal power output for a single-GPU card gaming system, impressive performance specifications, a 7-year warranty, and a very reasonable ($80) price tag.
Packaging and Bundle
We received the TX550M in a cardboard box that was peculiarly small in comparison to that of other Corsair products. Still, the cardboard box is strong enough to protect the PSU during shipping. The artwork is based on the same yellow/black that Corsair has been using for the past several years, with a picture of the PSU being the focus of it at the front of the package. A lot of information is printed on the sides and rear of the box.
The bundle of the TX550M is unsurprisingly simple. Inside the box we found only the typical AC power cable, black 3M mounting screws, a standard manual, a case badge, and a few short cable ties. Corsair does not supply any thumbscrews, cable straps, or other accessories.
The TX550M is a semi-modular PSU, meaning that the basic 24-pin ATX and 4+4 pin CPU power cables are hardwired to the unit but the rest of the cables are removable. All of the modular cables are flat, ribbon-like, with all-black wires and connectors. The same goes for the 4+4 pin CPU power cable that is hardwired to the unit. The 24-pin ATX cable is an exception, with all-black wires that are wrapped inside a classic black nylon sleeve.
|ATX 24 Pin||1||-|
|EPS 4+4 Pin||1||-|
|EPS 8 Pin||-||-|
|PCI-E 6+2 Pin||-||2|
|PCI-E 8 Pin||-||-|
Recent Power Supply Reviews
AnandTech tests a good number of power supplies each year, mostly in the popular power ranges (650-850W) with a few reviews now-and-again for small form factor parts or larger behemoths. Here are the power supplies we have reviewed in the last twelve to eighteen months.
- [link] The Corsair TX550M 80Plus Gold PSU Review (this review)
- [link] The Corsair HX850 80Plus Platinum PSU Review
- [link] The Seasonic PRIME Titanium PSU (650W, 750W, 850W) Review
- [link] The Riotoro Onyx Power Supply Review: 650W & 750W Tested
- [link] The BitFenix Whisper M 450W & 850W PSU Review
- [link] The Silverstone ST30SF & ST45SF SFX Power Supply Review
- [link] The Zalman ZM1200-EBT 1200W Power Supply Review
- [link] The Be Quiet! SFX-L Power 500W PSU Review
- [link] The Enermax Revolution SFX 650W PSU Review
- [link] The SilverStone SX700-LPT SFX 700W PSU Review
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sweeper765 - Sunday, December 3, 2017 - linkUsing 8700k OC'ed, 2x8gb ddr4 1.35v, gtx 1060, 3 hdd, 2 ssd.
I get 35-40 W idle and about 270W max load.
So even 300W would be enough, though ideally for efficiency would be 550W. No need to go higher.
Oxford Guy - Saturday, December 9, 2017 - linkThe optimal range for total system power is just 300 watts with a top-tier card? Yeah, right.
There are two other reasons to have extra capacity in a PSU:
1) Capacitor aging
2) Lower loads on higher spec units tend to be quieter.
Oxford Guy - Saturday, December 9, 2017 - linkAnother thing is that there are spikes in power usage. Sometimes transient spikes are quite a lot above the average power usage.
Manabu - Monday, December 18, 2017 - link1) Even with capacitor aging, there no need to buy a PSU more than double the max consumption of your system. So, a 300W PSU is indeed too low for a top-tier card, but a 550W one would already be more than enough. For my system with a mid-low range GPU with 250W max load (175W more normal high load) a 350W would also be plenty.
2) There are platinum fanless 400W psus. Low wattage psus being noisier is just a reflect of this warped market that only valorizes high wattage psus. On the other hand, lower loads on higher wattage psus tend to be less efficient, so more heat in the ambient.
Alistair - Friday, December 1, 2017 - linkNo idle fan mode, no buy. This alone shows the cooling is poor, and the noise profile will be poor. Many other better choices. Shame Corsair for not including a standard feature nowadays.
Oxford Guy - Saturday, December 9, 2017 - linkThis site tends to not put enough emphasis on noise. However, at least it was the only one that called out Seasonic for its terrible performance in the 1050 model that could be "heard from rooms away".
Ken_g6 - Friday, December 1, 2017 - linkWhy should I buy a currently-$72 Corsair, when I can get either a $55 Seasonic FOCUS Plus after rebate, or a $60 Rosewill Capstone before rebate (other versions of which are an AnandTech Editor's Choice)?
oranos - Friday, December 1, 2017 - linkhard to buy anything other than seasonic
airdrifting - Sunday, December 3, 2017 - linkAgain there are better quality power supply for less money. Every power supply recommendation article on Anandtech has been crap so far leading me to believe you guys are just bunch of shills paid by those companies.
Kyt - Sunday, December 3, 2017 - linkThere are better, yes. Some of us don't have access to all brands and models and when you are choosing between only 3 brands, you would want to know what you're getting and this is where this review becomes useful.