Packaging, Contents, Exterior And Cabling
The box that the AX1500i comes in is huge. On its front, there's a quarter shot of the PSU with the modular panel exposed. Several icons right above the model description denote the seven-year warranty, the semipassive mode, the Corsair Link interface that allows the control and monitoring of the PSU through software, and the 80 Plus Titanium efficiency of the unit. On the back of the box, we find the power specifications table, along with two graphs showing the unit's efficiency and the fan's noise curve. According to the second graph, the fan isn't engaged at up to 30 percent of the load at 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit), and even at full load (most likely with the same ambient temperature of 25 C), its noise doesn't exceed 30 decibels. This looks impressive, especially for a 1.5-kW PSU. However, we will evaluate the fan's noise with our own equipment and test methodology to see if Corsair's statement stands.
Inside the box, the PSU is surrounded by packing foam and looks like it is adequately protected and capable of withstanding even harsh shipping conditions. The unit itself is stored in a nice cloth bag with Corsair's logo printed on it. With such an expensive product, luxuries like this cloth bag are very welcome.
The contents include a nylon pouch for storing the modular cables that won't be used, several zip ties, a set of fixing bolts, the user manual and a warranty leaflet. As you can see from the photos above, the AC power cord is heavy-duty, featuring a C19 coupler. In high-capacity PSUs like the AX1500i, the use of C19 and C20 couplers is required, because with 115VAC input and a full load, the PSU can draw up to 15 A from the AC socket. According to IEC 60320 set of standards, the typical C13/C14 couplers are suitable for only up to 10 A, so they shouldn't be used in PSUs with more than 1.1-kW capacity.
Corsair added a sticker on the front of the PSU noting that the fan will not spin at low loads. This is to reassure users that the fan isn't defective, and it is perfectly normal for it not to start spinning right away. The on/off switch looks very small for such a large PSU. However, it isn't installed in series with the live wire; it is just a standby switch. Finally, the PSU's inlet is a C20.
On the sides of the PSU are two decals stating the product's model number, and the power specifications table is shown at the bottom of the PSU.
On the back, the modular panel has many sockets, all of them numbered so you can easily distinguish them through the Corsair Link application.
In the photo above, near the top-left corner, you can see a self-test button, through which you can check whether the PSU is working properly. One of the two LED indicators should light up green while the fan spins up once you press the corresponding button. You should contact Corsair's customer service if the LED lights up red and the fan doesn't spin. In the same area, you will also find the USB Comm and I2C ports. You will utilize the I2C ports only if you use a Corsair Link Commander. Lastly, as you can see in our sample, the USB port has skipped quality control; it wasn't soldered in place properly. Thankfully, this didn't affect its proper function.
All cables are flat and discreet, and their quality is quite good. If you want even higher-quality cables with a nicer look, you can get an individually sleeved kit from Corsair, which comes at an additional cost.