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Corsair AX1500i Titanium PSU Review

Today, we're taking a look at Corsair's flagship power supply unit. The AX1500i is a digital, 1500 watt, 80 PLUS Titanium-rated beast of a PSU!

Load Regulation, Hold-Up Time And Inrush Current

To learn more about our PSU tests and methodology, please check out How We Test Power Supply Units. 

Primary Rails And 5VSB Load Regulation

Load Regulation testing is detailed here.

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Hold-Up Time

Our hold-up time tests are described in detail here.

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The hold-up time easily surpassed the minimum allowed limit that the ATX spec sets. The advanced design of this platform allowed for this good result, since the combined capacity of the bulk caps is rather low for such a strong PSU. To give you an example, the Super Flower Leadex Titanium unit has much larger bulk caps with 1,560µF combined capacity; however, it registers a significantly lower hold-up time of 16 ms.

Inrush Current

For details on our inrush current testing, please click here.

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The inrush current is pretty low for a PSU, with 1.5kW max power.

Load Regulation And Efficiency Measurements

The first set of tests reveals the stability of the voltage rails and the PSU's efficiency. The applied load equals (approximately) 10 to 110 percent of the maximum load the supply can handle, in increments of 10 percentage points.

We conducted two additional tests. During the first, we stressed the two minor rails (5V and 3.3V) with a high load, while the load at +12V was only 0.10A. This test reveals whether a PSU is Haswell-ready or not. In the second test, we determined the maximum load the +12V rail could handle with minimal load on the minor rails. 

Test12V5V3.3V5VSBPower (DC/AC)EfficiencyFan SpeedFan NoiseTemp (In/Out)PF/AC Volts
10%10.705A2.004A1.999A1.004A149.78W90.99%0 RPM0 dBA45.54°C0.986
11.975V4.993V3.300V4.967V164.61W42.06°C115.1V
20%22.432A3.000A2.999A1.209A299.70W92.81%0 RPM0 dBA47.38°C0.984
11.986V4.986V3.296V4.956V322.93W43.52°C115.1V
30%34.511A3.509A3.517A1.410A449.74W93.62%0 RPM0 dBA48.74°C0.991
11.987V4.984V3.296V4.949V480.39W44.43°C115.1V
40%46.591A4.014A4.002A1.614A599.59W93.37%376 RPM18.5 dBA40.81°C0.994
11.986V4.980V3.295V4.942V642.19W50.50°C115.1V
50%58.304A5.004A4.997A1.814A749.45W93.28%536 RPM22.9 dBA41.94°C0.996
11.989V4.990V3.302V4.948V803.45W52.23°C115.1V
60%70.087A6.014A6.001A2.020A899.33W92.61%632 RPM25.8 dBA42.43°C0.997
11.979V4.986V3.298V4.940V971.13W53.94°C115.1V
70%81.848A7.017A6.999A2.225A1049.18W91.77%768 RPM30.7 dBA44.28°C0.997
11.975V4.985V3.299V4.935V1143.24W56.78°C115.1V
80%93.580A8.014A7.984A2.429A1199.18W90.77%952 RPM34.5 dBA45.65°C0.998
11.977V4.990V3.305V4.938V1321.19W59.54°C115.1V
90%105.787A8.518A8.500A2.429A1349.26W89.85%1392 RPM45.6 dBA47.00°C0.998
11.974V4.988V3.305V4.935V1501.73W61.34°C115.2V
100%117.509A9.028A8.982A3.564A1499.03W89.02%1704 RPM51.4 dBA48.62°C0.998
11.972V4.988V3.307V4.904V1683.90W63.22°C115.2V
103%121.648A9.028A8.980A3.565A1549.07W89.04%1800 RPM52.9 dBA48.81°C0.998
11.976V4.988V3.307V4.904V1739.84W63.86°C115.1V
CL10.099A22.028A19.998A0.000A177.48W84.06%1544 RPM49.0 dBA45.62°C0.978
11.982V4.979V3.331V5.018V211.13W56.00°C115.1V
CL2124.935A1.002A1.003A1.001A1507.39W89.19%1728 RPM51.6 dBA47.61°C0.998
11.959V4.997V3.298V4.975V1690.15W61.97°C115.1V

The results of these tests are really good, showing the advantages of digital control. Load regulation is almost perfect on the +12V, 5V and 3.3V rails, while at 5VSB it is very good as well, staying within 2 percent. On top of that, the PSU achieved really high efficiency levels; however, with 50 percent of its max-rated-capacity load and with full load, it didn't manage to hit the really high 80 Plus Titanium requirements (94 and 90 percent), at least during the tough conditions under which we conducted our tests. Finally, although we pushed the AX1500i very hard, it managed to operate quietly, and the noise went high only with very high loads (90 percent and above).

During our overload test, we had shutdowns with anything above 1600 W after a while, so we stayed at 1550W, where the PSU operated without any problems, even at 49°C ambient temperature. In the past, we tested two AX1500i units with both of them, easily delivering 1650W of power with the same tough conditions in place; however, this unit didn't do us that favor. Since it isn't wise to operate a PSU beyond its limits, we won't consider the strict overpower limit of the AX1500i as a negative.

You will find several screenshots of the Corsair Link software below, which we took during our test sessions.

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The efficiency levels and the watt power consumption that the Corsair Link application provides aren't very accurate, especially as the load increases. We could say that they are very optimistic — showing significantly higher efficiency levels — than the ones that we measured with our lab-grade equipment. We also noticed that at a level of amperes of around 4.5A and below, the Corsair Link app shows zero ampere readings on the PCIe and EPS connectors. Corsair should provide a fix for this issue as soon as possible.

Aris Mpitziopoulos
Aris Mpitziopoulos is a Contributing Editor at Tom's Hardware US, covering PSUs.