The Corsair TX550M is at a lower level in Corsair's portfolio than the RM550x, so naturally, it has to have a lower overall performance, not to create any problems for the latter. Still, it achieves high enough performance, and it isn't noisy, even under harsh conditions. If you don't have a problem with its semi-modular cable design and find it at a reasonable price, go for it. Units like the RM550x and the be quiet! Pure Power FM 11 keep the TX550M out of our best power supplies.
We have already reviewed the 650W and 750W members of Corsair's TX-M line, so we thought to also put the smallest member, with 550W, to the test. Thanks to the limited depth of 140mmn, all TX-M models have compact dimensions and use a semi-modular cable design. They are rated as Gold by 80 PLUS and Cybenetics, and the TX550M has a Cybenetics A (20-25 dB[A]) noise rating. Lastly, the OEM behind these units is Great Wall, which also provides Corsair's SF models.
The TX550M comes with a 120mm fan, which uses a rifle bearing. This is not the best bearing type. Still, it is way better than a plain sleeve bearing, and it doesn't cost as much as a fluid dynamic bearing. Although the PSU uses a modern platform, it cannot deliver full load at 12V, on paper at least, which is weird. All PSUs featuring DC-DC converters should not have a problem delivering full load at 12V with a minor load on the minor rails since, in essence, the rail providing power to the minor rails is the 12V one.
Specifications: Corsair TX550M
|Manufacturer (OEM)||Great Wall|
|Max. DC Output||550W|
|Efficiency||80 PLUS Gold, Cybenetics Gold (87-89%)|
|Noise||Cybenetics A (20-25 dB[A])|
|Intel C6/C7 Power State Support||✓|
|Operating Temperature (Continuous Full Load)||0 - 40°C|
|Over Voltage Protection||✓|
|Under Voltage Protection||✓|
|Over Power Protection||✓|
|Over Current (+12V) Protection||✓|
|Over Temperature Protection||✓|
|Short Circuit Protection||✓|
|Inrush Current Protection||✓|
|Fan Failure Protection||✗|
|No Load Operation||✓|
|Cooling||120mm Rifle Bearing Fan (NR120L)|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||150 x 85 x 140mm|
|Weight||1.54 kg (3.4 lb)|
|Form Factor||ATX12V v2.52, EPS 2.92|
Power Specifications: Corsair TX550M
|Rail||Row 0 - Cell 1||3.3V||5V||12V||5VSB||-12V|
|Row 2 - Cell 0||Watts||Row 2 - Cell 2||120||516||15||9.6|
|Total Max. Power (W)||Row 3 - Cell 1||Row 3 - Cell 2||550||Row 3 - Cell 4||Row 3 - Cell 5||Row 3 - Cell 6|
Cables & Connectors for Corsair TX550M
|Description||Cable Count||Connector Count (Total)||Gauge||In Cable Caps|
|ATX connector 20+4 pin (610mm)||1||1||18-20AWG||No|
|4+4 pin EPS12V (650mm)||1||1||18AWG||No|
|Modular Cables||Row 3 - Cell 1||Row 3 - Cell 2||Row 3 - Cell 3||Row 3 - Cell 4|
|4+4 pin EPS12V (650mm)||1||1||18AWG||No|
|6+2 pin PCIe (600mm+150mm)||1||2||16-18AWG||No|
|4 pin Molex (450mm+100mm+100mm+100mm)||1||4||18AWG||No|
The only fixed cables are the ATX and the first EPS, which are essential. The other cables are modular. It is nice to see two EPS connectors on a 550W unit, along with a pair of PCIe connectors, although the latter are on a single cable.
This is the first time we see a PSU having more 4-pin Molex connectors than SATA ones. There should be more SATA connectors. On top of that, the distance between the peripheral connectors is too short at 95-100mm.
Component Analysis of Corsair TX550M
We strongly encourage you to have a look at our PSUs 101 article, which provides valuable information about PSUs and their operation, allowing you to better understand the components we're about to discuss.
|Manufacturer (OEM)||Great Wall|
|PCB Type||Double Sided|
|Transient Filter||4x Y caps, 2x X caps, 3x CM chokes, 1x MOV|
|Inrush Protection||NTC Thermistor SCK-2R58 (2.5Ohm) & Relay|
|Bridge Rectifier(s)||1x GBU1508 (800V, 15A @ 100°C)|
|APFC MOSFETs||1x STMicroelectronics STW34NM60N (600V, 18A @ 100°C, Rds(on): 0.11Ohm)|
|APFC Boost Diode||1x CREE C3D04060A (600V, 4A @ 155°C)|
|Bulk Cap(s)||2x Rubycon (450V, 270uF each or 540uF combined, 3,000h @ 105°C, MXG)|
|Main Switchers||2x STMicroelectronics STF24N60DM2 (600V, 11A @ 100°C, Rds(on): 0.2Ohm)|
|APFC Controller||Champion CM6500UNX & Champion CM03AX|
|Resonant Controller||Champion CU6901VPA|
Primary side: APFC, Half-Bridge & LLC converter|
Secondary side: Synchronous Rectification & DC-DC converters
|+12V MOSFETs||4x Advanced Power Electronics AP4N1R8CMT-A (45V, 180A, Rds(on): 1.8mOhm)|
|5V & 3.3V||DC-DC Converters: 6x Advanced Power Electronics D508|
PWM Controllers: ANPEC APW7159C
Electrolytic: 1x Rubycon (6-10,000h @ 105°C, ZLH), 5x Rubycon (4-10,000h @ 105°C, YXJ), 1x Rubycon (3-6,000h @ 105°C, YXG), 1x Nippon Chemi-Con (4-10,000h @ 105°C, KY)
|Step-Down DC-DC Converter||Texas Instruments TPS54231|
|Supervisor IC||IN1S429I-SCG (OVP, UVP, OCP, SG, PGO)|
|Fan Model||Corsair NR120L (120mm, 12V, 0.22A, Rifle Bearing Fan)|
|Rectifier||1x Diodes Incorporated SBR10E45P5 SBR (45V, 10A)|
|Standby PWM Controller||Power Integrations TNY278GN|
Despite its small size, the PCB is not densely populated, allowing good airflow between parts. The platform is provided by Great Wall, the same OEM that builds Corsair's SFX units (SF series). All parts are of high quality, and the fixed wires are installed in such a way to block as less as possible the airflow on the secondary side. On the primary side, we find a half-bridge topology and an LLC resonant converter, while on the secondary side, a synchronous design is used along with DC-DC converters for the minor rails.
The transient/EMI filter has all necessary parts, with an additional CM choke, and it does a good job in suppressing incoming and outgoing EMI emissions. There is also an MOV and an NTC thermistor supported by a bypass relay, for protecting against voltage surges and large inrush currents.
The single bridge rectifier can handle up to 15A A of current at 100 degrees Celsius, so it will easily cover this PSU's needs.
The APFC converter uses two FETs, provided by STMicroelectronics, and a single CREE diode. The bulk caps are of high quality since they are provided by Rubycon, while the APFC controller is a Champion CM6500, supported by a CM03AX.
The main FETs are by STMicroelectronics and are installed into a half-bridge topology. There is also an LLC resonant converter to boost efficiency. The resonant controller is a Champion CM6901.
Four FETs are used by the 12V rail. There is room for two more for higher power output. A small heat sink on the business side of the PCB helps them cool down. A pair of DC-DC converters regulate the minor rails.
The few electrolytic caps are of high quality. Like the electrolytic ones, all the polymer caps are made by Japanese manufacturers.
The standby PWM controller is a Power Integrations TNY278GN IC.
The small modular board hosts four polymer caps. There is space available for four more, and two additional sockets.
The main supervisor IC is an IN1S429I-SCG, which is semi-hidden by the polymer caps of the DC-DC converters.
Soldering quality is good, although there is not much to see on this side of the PCB.
The NR120L fan uses a rifle bearing, so it will last for long. This is a low speed fan, so noise output will be reduced even under high operating temperatures and increased load levels.
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In turn CORSAIR is a true reseller, not a manufacturer. This can be a big deal. They buy their PSU’s from their original manufacturers so the quality of their products ultimately depends on their original manufacturers or perhaps those manufacturers which returned the lowest fabrication bid on a large CORSAIR factory order. It can be difficult to find out where CORSAIR’s PSU’s come from as CORSAIR has routinely been using 3-5 different manufacturers and in diffrent countries. In time likes these where high wattage and or premium PSU’s (1200W-1600W) may easily exceed $400 plus to especially feed the upcoming 4000 series GPU craze, picking the right PSU becomes important! As one of the dealers at the recent computer show noted: “SeaSonic principally specializes in PSU’s while CORSAIR markets and sells hundreds of different products. “Go take your pick!”