Corsair CX500: Measurements
Efficiency According to the 80 PLUS Spec
Efficiency by Load
Corsair’s budget-oriented PSU passes our lab tests with nary a hitch. When we check the efficiency, we find that the CX500 not only complies with 80 PLUS' Bronze spec, but has some leeway at medium and full load. Even operating at a low load, it is quite efficient (80% at 50 W, for instance). Measuring ripple and noise, the PSU not only complies with the ATX spec, but surprises us by keeping those brief spikes inside the specification as well on its 12 and 3.3 V rails.
When we disregard the spikes, the ripple and noise values are excellent. Standby power draw and inrush current are among the lowest in our field of contenders. But when we measure hold-up time, which protects against brief brownouts, we saw a result shorter than 16 ms, which is the ATX specification's floor (we saw 14 ms at both 115 and 230 V). At 31.5 dB(A), this PSU is insignificantly louder than Cooler Master's Silent Pro M2.
A Close Look at the PCB
When we spot the green transformers, we immediately know that Corsair's CX500 is manufactured by Channel Well Technology. The interior layout is very clean and the soldering quality is excellent. The large capacitor on the primary side is manufactured by Samxon, which is part of the China-based Man Yue Technology holding. On the secondary side, there are also some Samxon capacitors, but also some capacitors manufactured by Teapo in Taiwan. In spite of its low price, no important components fall victim to cost cutting. For instance, the input filter sports two X capacitors and four Y ones, two coils, and a MOV.