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Power Supply: Corsair CMPSU-850HX

Tom's Hardware's 2009 Gift Guide: Part 1, For System Builders
By: Anthony Celeste

When Tom’s Hardware managing editor Chris Angelini made available the list of this year’s Holiday Buyer’s Guide items, I jumped on the chance to write about the Corsair CMPSU-850HX power supply, since I had already selected it as the power supply for the home build that I’ll be doing next month. 

You probably already know about Corsair’s reputation for building memory and power supplies that run both cool and efficiently. Corsair was voted “Best Power Supply Manufacturer” in 2008 by the readers of Custom PC Magazine, and the Corsair 850HX has a “5 Egg” rating from Newegg.  

The Corsair 850HX's 850 watts of output ensure your components get plenty of power, even in systems running multiple hard drives and multiple graphics cards in CrossFire or SLI mode. An 80 PLUS Silver Certification from the independent 80 PLUS Program assures that the Corsair 850HX runs efficiently at low, medium, and full load, keeping both your case temperature and your power bill under control. 

If you’ve ever built a PC, or for that matter, even opened one up just to swap out a part, you know just how much of a nuisance all those electrical cables can be. The modular design of the Corsair 850HX allows you to use only the cables that you need, so you don’t clutter your case. And you don’t block your system’s airflow with unnecessary electrical wiring. The Corsair 850HX provides six 8-pin graphics card power connectors, powering up to three high-end  ATI CrossFire- or Nvidia SLI-attached graphics cards. The Corsair 850HX also supplies 12 SATA and 12 four-pin Molex connectors for powering your hard drives, optical drives, fans, and other internal peripherals.

The Corsair 850HX provides its power via a single 12 volt rail design. Single-rail setups were criticized somewhat in the past, since it was felt that a single rail wouldn’t distribute power evenly. Two-, three-, four-, and even six-rail power supplies were developed. However, experience has taught that when using multiple rails, it’s very easy for one or more of the rails to not supply sufficient amperage to run all of the rail’s components. In the 850HX, Corsair has avoided the false hype associated with multi-rail implementations. The single-rail design used in the Corsair 850HX ensures that all of your components will receive the amperage they need to run at their potential, stably.  

The Corsair CMPSU-850HX power supply sells online for less than $200. Corsair shows its confidence in this power supply unit with an impressive seven-year warranty.  

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