Corsair AX1500i Power Supply Review

Corsair's Best Ever Power Supply

Corsair AX1500i Power Supply

 

 

Introduction

High end power supplies have always had their very specific uses. For the average user, we’ve always recommended saving money and going for a lower wattage unit as most computers will never need excessive watts to power their system. The majority of systems are able to get by with a mere 500 watts. A single Intel i5 with a GTX 780 will rarely pull over 500w, and running 780s in SLI will still be unlikely to hit over 750watts. Of course any system running two GTX 780s is likely the be envied by the vast majority of users, and so to most consumers and enthusiasts, seeing a 1500 watt unit does turn a lot of heads.

We’ve previously seen 1200w units from Corsair, with the older much loved AX1200, and the current AX1200i, but now we’re graced with the latest AX1500i, capable of powering any combination of consumer processors and graphics cards you could fit in a system.


Corsair AX1500i Power Supply  Corsair AX1500i Power SupplyCorsair AX1500i Power Supply  Corsair AX1500i Power SupplyCorsair AX1500i Power Supply  Corsair AX1500i Power SupplyCorsair AX1500i Power Supply   Corsair AX1500i Power Supply

Corsair AX1500i Power Supply Review

Corsair AX1500i Power Supply 

Section Description
1Input AC inlet, EMC/EMI filter
2PFC Return MOSFETs with Heatsink
3Bridgeless Interleaved PFC choke
4PFC MOSFETs and Diodes with Heatsink
5Relay
6Bulk Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors
7Buck Inductor
8Buck MOSFET and Diode
9LLC MOSFETs with Heatsink – Phase 1
10LLC MOSFETs with Heatsink – Phase 2
11, 12  LLC resonant capacitors
13Driver transformer for LLC MOSFETs
145V, 3.3V and -12V DC-DC converter
15Control Board (DSP Primary and 2 x MCU + I2C link Secondary)
165Vsb Board
17Interleaved LLC main transformers with Sync Rectifier board
1812V main output wire with core to reduce ripple & noise
19Connector board, connect main board all output (12V,5V,3.3V,-12V,5Vsb) to modular output Connector

 

 

Conclusion

Like the previous Corsair AX1200i, the 1500i comes with the same Digital Controlled Power technology. This means it’s able to output a more stable DC Voltage and will be within 1.5% of the 12v, even if you’re pushing the hardware to its limits. This has been a characteristic with all of the ‘i’ branded power supplies from Corsair and it does add having a more stable power output definitely adds a good selling point if you’re looking for a new power supply.

As you’d expect with any high quality unit, the AX1500i carries the 80 Plus efficiency rating. However, this is one of the few units that carries the Titanium rating. This is one of the highest ratings we’re ever seen on a power supply. The previous AX760i, AX860i and the AX1200i all carry the 80 Plus Platinum rating which has previously been the best efficiency rating that we’ve seen, and it’s incredible to see that Corsair have managed to gain an extra few percentage points (up to 94%) of efficiency out of the AX1500i. Also, in our testing, when we were pulling 1200w from the AX1500i, we saw only 9mv of voltage ripple. The rated specfications for an ATX power supply is currently 120mv, which really shows just how much of a high quality product this is.

Another feature that we’ve been accustomed to on the power supplies from Corsair has been a silent fan mode. This means that up to 30% of load, the power supply’s fan won’t spin up at all. Of course, if you’re running a 500 watt unit, this means you’ve only got headroom up to around 150w before the fan kicks in. However, with a unit as large as the AX1500i, the 30% gives you up to 450w whilst remaining entirely silent. This means you could be running a reasonably high end gaming system on the AX1500i and even under load the fan may never need to spin up.

The ‘i’ branding also means we’ve got support for Corsair Link with the AX1500i. Although we don’t see the necessity with this for more consumer based products such as the AX760i, since most people running systems like that may not be too bothered by the exact voltages their PSU is outputting, we do see this as being a fairly useful feature with a unit this powerful. If you’re running an Intel 2011 system, with a Quad SLI/Crossfire configuration, efficiency, power and voltages may be something you prefer to keep an eye on. It also may be convenient to check just how much you can push your hardware inside before the fan spins in order to keep your overall system noise controlled.

The self-test button is another feature we’ve seen on Corsair PSUs of late. Although Corsair units are some of the most reliable and high quality units out there, if you’re running a multi-thousand pound system with the AX1500i, it may be helpful to check everything is in order before booting the system. The convenient self-test button allows for this, and may go a long way in preventing system failures, and possible losses of money. The unit also comes with a 7 year warranty, and as most of us know the Corsair customer support is highly regarded by anyone who’s previously need it.

Of course, the AX series has always been fully modular, and this is no exception here. The fully black cables allow for the PSU to colour match with almost any system, and as with all modular Corsair units these days, options for coloured individually braided cables will be available if you did want to make your system even more unique.

We think Corsair going up from 1200w to 1500w has been an interesting decision. Of course to the vast majority of PC users, they'll never consider anything of this high calibre. However, it definitely does serve its purpose. Benchmarkers may benefit if they're wanting to run the latest high end system with mutliple graphics cards, along with everything overclocked as high as possible. Also, with the recent influx of Bitcoin mining systems which can run even more than four graphics cards in the same system, a 1500w power supply may be a perfect option for that. Also, people like this will have efficiency in mind if running any form of system like that, and the AX1500i's Titanium efficiency at 94% definitely makes Corsairs latest flagship PSU more attractive.

At £329.99 its not for the faint hearted, but if you are planning on investing in the hardware that would need this to power them you would be insane to cut corners in the PSU department. So if you want the very best for your pair of 295X2's bank of GTX780 Ti's or your monster mining system then the Corsair AX1500i should be on your wish list and because of this it gets the OC3D Gold award.

  

Thanks to Corsair for providing the AX1500i. You can discuss your thoughts on the OC3D Forums.    

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Most Recent Comments

30-04-2014, 10:04:48

tinytomlogan
http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...062548961l.JPG

We give you a quick look at Corsair's latest and greatest high end power supply - the AX1500i!


Continue Reading

30-04-2014, 10:30:06

SieB
Well, if you have a quad GPU set up then this looks like the PSU to get. You can't go wrong with a Corsair PSU, 99.9% efficiency is pretty damn good.

30-04-2014, 10:45:45

Squidlorock
That looks like an absolute beast of a system you have running on that psu!

30-04-2014, 12:38:00

RickPlaysWarr
Now that's a HOT system, put intended in both performance and heat generation. Waiting on the R295x2 review to see how hot the Rad's actually got. You mentioned it in the video. I can't imagine having 2 of those cards in my system at $1600 or so apiece.

30-04-2014, 12:48:00

Boonstick
Best thing about that review... TTL's Tshirt! Excellent!

Where the hell did you get that as I need one asap!

30-04-2014, 14:04:58

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boonstick View Post
Best thing about that review... TTL's Tshirt! Excellent!

Where the hell did you get that as I need one asap!
Amazingly it came from the USA!

30-04-2014, 14:20:29

Vicey
I love this product. I have absolutely no need for one and yet I want it!

30-04-2014, 17:00:20

Lonestar166
Brilliant review TTL, many thanks.

30-04-2014, 17:51:01

Morgenmuffel
So my mind goes like...do i need to Upgrade from my MaxRevo1350 to this??

Or is it not as good as it looks like?? Help Mr. Guvnor^^

01-05-2014, 06:26:57

Kusarininja
Awesome review, it actual;ly made me check my Corsairlink software to see my power loads in and out as I have never ever checked it lol. Just under 650 watts on my dual HD7970's on a Corsair Ax1200i. Yes probably an overkill where the psu is concerned but I need the high amps on the 12v as my old 850psu just could not cope with the crossfired cards, worked ok when not linked but would freeze in less than 15 seconds when crossfired.

A pricey investment but hell, like TTL said if you are going to spend a lot of money on graphics cards and whatnot then don't compromise on the psu.

01-05-2014, 06:46:32

JR23
I'm impressed with the way it destroys everything and with those kind of efficiency and ripple figures it is amazing but I don't know if I would every buy one. Say you had a 900D quad titan rig, the classic full loop overkill, wouldn't it be better to run two AX860's. It's significantly cheaper (260 vs 330), probably 2% less efficient, shorter so easier to package around radiators, would have a higher rating and should failure occur it would only take down half of your kit and leave you with a mostly operational system. The price per watt seems vastly disproportionate to Corsairs other PSU's of the similar quality.

Has the AX1200i been discontinued for this or will there be a second gen AXi series coming, not many people have stock of it at the moment.

01-05-2014, 07:18:52

Vicey
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR23 View Post
I'm impressed with the way it destroys everything and with those kind of efficiency and ripple figures it is amazing but I don't know if I would every buy one. Say you had a 900D quad titan rig, the classic full loop overkill, wouldn't it be better to run two AX860's. It's significantly cheaper (260 vs 330), probably 2% less efficient, shorter so easier to package around radiators, would have a higher rating and should failure occur it would only take down half of your kit and leave you with a mostly operational system. The price per watt seems vastly disproportionate to Corsairs other PSU's of the similar quality.

Has the AX1200i been discontinued for this or will there be a second gen AXi series coming, not many people have stock of it at the moment.
Although the 900D has support for two PSU's in the bottom if you're going Quad-SLI you're most likely going to put a 480mm radiator in the bottom which would mean you could only fit a single PSU in the bottom unless you did some seriously ugly modding to squeeze a second PSU in along side the first 860.

In my own 900D I filled the bottom with a 480mm radiator and the top with another 480mm. With the cables for everything it doesn't leave a lot of room in the base, I could probably have squeezed another 240mm radiator in the bottom but it wouldn't look great, sticking a second PSU down there would be really difficult without it looking terrible.

I think the AX1500i would definitely be something someone who is buying four titans would afford without even thinking about it.

EDIT:// I just thought if you did stick a 480mm radiator in the bottom and then tried to stick two PSU's down there the 2nd PSU would exhaust heat straight in to the case as it wouldn't have its back bolted to the panel for exhausting heat outside. That would probably be an issue.

01-05-2014, 07:30:34

JR23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicey View Post
Although the 900D has support for two PSU's in the bottom if you're going Quad-SLI you're most likely going to put a 480mm radiator in the bottom which would mean you could only fit a single PSU in the bottom unless you did some seriously ugly modding to squeeze a second PSU in along side the first 860.

In my own 900D I filled the bottom with a 480mm radiator and the top with another 480mm. With the cables for everything it doesn't leave a lot of room in the base, I could probably have squeezed another 240mm radiator in the bottom but it wouldn't look great, sticking a second PSU down there would be really difficult without it looking terrible.

I think the AX1500i would definitely be something someone who is buying four titans would afford without even thinking about it.

EDIT:// I just thought if you did stick a 480mm radiator in the bottom and then tried to stick two PSU's down there the 2nd PSU would exhaust heat straight in to the case as it wouldn't have its back bolted to the panel for exhausting heat outside. That would probably be an issue.
Wouldn't they sit back to back at the bottom and intake from each side of the case? Yeah I did kinda forget nobody put's rads in the front of 900D's, I was thinking you could have two 240's, a 360 and a 480 but yeah I guess that having the rad go right down behind the back PSU gains a little rad space in the bottom. My hypothetical 900D would be different . And yeah after 5k+ I guess who cares about 70.

JR

01-05-2014, 07:52:04

Vicey
I think that aesthetically a lot of people who buy the 900D like to have a 480mm radiator or at-least four fans on that bottom section because it just looks amazing when viewed from the side. I know that's the reason I did it.

01-05-2014, 09:54:14

ShaunB-91
Really not got much of a clue with this PSU stuff but still a good watch anyway, haha love the shirt, I thought it was Brian from the car insurance advert, "You told her you have a red, Italian sports car, it is infact red, Italian hatchback, you're also a trainee plumber, not a trainee pilot, hope that helps!"

Edit: Video has just finished "ITS BRIAN THE ROBOT!" I guess I was right.

07-05-2014, 23:44:16

spikey27
Corsair AX1500i Power Supply - Quite a beast. Big, expensive, well designed, all modular, great performance, quiet, and should last forever. Although I'm nowhere near overloading my present AX1200i, if I was in the market for a new PSU the AX1500i would be it.

In the past, fellow engineers and I discussed the criteria to be used in selecting power supplies. Suggestions came from several other sources as well. Online calculators don't use this method, but here's our suggestion:

If you are building a computer, or modifying a present one, you should know the system's components. Determine the maximum power required for that set of components as if all were operating at full load simultaneously. Granted, they will seldom be operating such, but you never know the exact load at any moment unless you measure it.

Select a PSU with that rated load somewhere in the "middle third" of its output power rating. In this case, the initial sizing range should be between 500W and 1000W.

Note this method is quite conservative by most standards, but there are several reasons why:

- The "middle third" is usually the most efficient operating range for any PSU, and it will cost the least to operate.

- It doesn't disrupt everything if you add a healthy load such as another graphics card, and should remain in the middle third. Unanticipated system growth can spell the death of equipment already operating at or near its maximum capacity.

- The unit should last forever, because you aren't operating it "balls to the wall" every time it is used. Excessive heat due to overloading is one of the best ways to shorten the life of electronic components.

One last comment: Electronic components, of which a computer is full, are very sensitive to PSU problems, whether they be poor regulation, ripple, or other. This unit is excellent regarding all measured parameters.

Even though this kind of money is a sizable outlay, think of it as an investment that will likely carry you well into your next build (or two), while protecting everything you throw at it.

Be sure your case is large enough to accommodate it and has good ventilation.

But don't take this as the only unit to buy, especially if your system doesn't need all that power. Select accordingly.

14-05-2014, 21:09:03

Damnati
Hey guys,

( My english gramma is not the best but i hope you understand what i want from you)

I got 4 x Asus Matrix R9 290X Platinum


This Cards are Running by 250 TDP, i got 1000W with these cards if i calculate it right.

I want to Overclock them to max with Watercoolers. So i can set the Power Target to +50% so i will be @ 375W TDP. That mean 1500W under full Load.

Can i run this setup + mobo pumps and cpu and the crap on this Supply?


Or is the third and fourth Card never going to consum that much ?

Mfg

Damnati

15-05-2014, 05:17:06

Damo666
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damnati View Post
Hey guys,

( My english gramma is not the best but i hope you understand what i want from you)

I got 4 x Asus Matrix R9 290X Platinum


This Cards are Running by 250 TDP, i got 1000W with these cards if i calculate it right.

I want to Overclock them to max with Watercoolers. So i can set the Power Target to +50% so i will be @ 375W TDP. That mean 1500W under full Load.

Can i run this setup + mobo pumps and cpu and the crap on this Supply?


Or is the third and fourth Card never going to consum that much ?

Mfg

Damnati
What's the rest of your spec's mate?

15-05-2014, 06:56:02

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damnati View Post
Hey guys,

( My english gramma is not the best but i hope you understand what i want from you)

I got 4 x Asus Matrix R9 290X Platinum


This Cards are Running by 250 TDP, i got 1000W with these cards if i calculate it right.

I want to Overclock them to max with Watercoolers. So i can set the Power Target to +50% so i will be @ 375W TDP. That mean 1500W under full Load.

Can i run this setup + mobo pumps and cpu and the crap on this Supply?


Or is the third and fourth Card never going to consum that much ?

Mfg

Damnati

Yes mate - but you do need your head testing.
Reply
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