The $80 Power Supply for Almost Everyone: The Corsair TX550M 80Plus Gold PSU Reviewby E. Fylladitakis on December 1, 2017 8:00 AM EST
- Posted in
- Power Supply
Corsair started off as a high-performance computer memory manufacturer, but they evolved into one of the largest and most recognizable companies in the consumer PC market. Today the company markets an immense variety of products, including practically everything short of motherboards and processors. One of their most popular product ranges is that of power supply units (PSUs). The company released their first few PSUs back in 2006 but today they are offering a vast variety of products for every kind of user and application.
A few weeks ago we had a look at the HX850, one of Corsair’s better PSUs, a product designed for advanced gaming/workstation systems. Impressive as it was, its power output (and price tag) undoubtedly was excessive for the average home user and casual gamer. With PSUs, bigger is not better; using a PSU that is excessively overpowered will force it to operate well outside its optimal loading range, effectively reducing its efficiency and performance.
The optimal power range for a typical home entertainment/gaming system usually is within 400-600 Watts. To that end, Corsair supplied us with the TX550M, a PSU that the company feels it is ideal for the mainstream gamer.
|Power specifications ( Rated @ 50 °C )|
|AC INPUT||100 - 240 VAC, 50 - 60 Hz|
On paper, it certainly does look that way - it has the ideal power output for a single-GPU card gaming system, impressive performance specifications, a 7-year warranty, and a very reasonable ($80) price tag.
Packaging and Bundle
We received the TX550M in a cardboard box that was peculiarly small in comparison to that of other Corsair products. Still, the cardboard box is strong enough to protect the PSU during shipping. The artwork is based on the same yellow/black that Corsair has been using for the past several years, with a picture of the PSU being the focus of it at the front of the package. A lot of information is printed on the sides and rear of the box.
The bundle of the TX550M is unsurprisingly simple. Inside the box we found only the typical AC power cable, black 3M mounting screws, a standard manual, a case badge, and a few short cable ties. Corsair does not supply any thumbscrews, cable straps, or other accessories.
The TX550M is a semi-modular PSU, meaning that the basic 24-pin ATX and 4+4 pin CPU power cables are hardwired to the unit but the rest of the cables are removable. All of the modular cables are flat, ribbon-like, with all-black wires and connectors. The same goes for the 4+4 pin CPU power cable that is hardwired to the unit. The 24-pin ATX cable is an exception, with all-black wires that are wrapped inside a classic black nylon sleeve.
|ATX 24 Pin||1||-|
|EPS 4+4 Pin||1||-|
|EPS 8 Pin||-||-|
|PCI-E 6+2 Pin||-||2|
|PCI-E 8 Pin||-||-|
Recent Power Supply Reviews
AnandTech tests a good number of power supplies each year, mostly in the popular power ranges (650-850W) with a few reviews now-and-again for small form factor parts or larger behemoths. Here are the power supplies we have reviewed in the last twelve to eighteen months.
- [link] The Corsair TX550M 80Plus Gold PSU Review (this review)
- [link] The Corsair HX850 80Plus Platinum PSU Review
- [link] The Seasonic PRIME Titanium PSU (650W, 750W, 850W) Review
- [link] The Riotoro Onyx Power Supply Review: 650W & 750W Tested
- [link] The BitFenix Whisper M 450W & 850W PSU Review
- [link] The Silverstone ST30SF & ST45SF SFX Power Supply Review
- [link] The Zalman ZM1200-EBT 1200W Power Supply Review
- [link] The Be Quiet! SFX-L Power 500W PSU Review
- [link] The Enermax Revolution SFX 650W PSU Review
- [link] The SilverStone SX700-LPT SFX 700W PSU Review
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Kitsunemimi - Friday, December 1, 2017 - link>People need reliability, not 3D graphics.
Yeah, because all this "gaming" nonsense and those GeForce video cards are so dumb and pointless.
>long list of things people don't need [...] because of media hype, like [...] smart phones
I agree that the reason why effectively the entire mobile phone market has converted to smart phones within the span of a mere few years is none other than "media hype".
Are you high?
>3D video cards are expensive and energy wasting.
>people don't need [...] hybrid cars
What a joke.
wolfemane - Friday, December 1, 2017 - linkI own a hybrid for the simple fact I only have to stop at a pump once a month vs once a week. I didn’t get one for environmental reasons, social status, or media hype. I got one because my family needs a car and I’m sick of paying for gas. And before you get all high and mighty again, it cost no more than a similar size car with a similar package.
DanNeely - Friday, December 1, 2017 - linkI'm not quite breakeven with the payment on my Accord hybrid at current prices/commute length; but probably will be after I move next summer (planning on a better but more distant location). Even if current prices/miles driven stay the same I'll break even about 1.5 years after my car's paid off and net $400/year afterwards. I kept my previous car for just under 11 years before something not worth the cost of fixing failed and forced a replacement (I was hoping for 2-3 more years out of it); so I should come out ahead by a good margin over the lifetime.
Yuriman - Friday, December 1, 2017 - linkI picked up a used Insight around 4 years ago for 3 grand. Averaging between 65 and 85mpg, put 75,000 more miles on it with nothing but a set of tires and some oil changes. According to records I got from the previous owner, it's still on its 17 year old factory hybrid battery. From a value perspective it's hard to beat. Even compared with an economy car like a Civic or Corolla, this car has paid for itself in gas alone.
New hybrids often don't have much premium over their non-hybrid counterparts, and seem to have, on average, better reliability, so I don't think the original comment holds any weight.
MrSpadge - Friday, December 1, 2017 - linkAnd I always wondered who's buying those low end Quadros. Have fun saving money with them over the "expensive 3D cards". Oh, and never use iGPUs - they have the 3Ds as well!
AntonErtl - Friday, December 1, 2017 - linkActually my PC without discrete graphics card (MSI Z170A-Pro, Core i5-6600K @4GHz, 16GB RAM, 3 SSDs, DVD drive) idles at 22W, and the peak power consumption I see is around 70W (still below the 20% point of its 400W PSU); and I measured the current into the PSU, i.e., these numbers include the PSU losses. I have a discrete graphics card lying around (Radeon 6770); the game I play runs nicely with the iGPU, though, so I did not put it in the box. With this card, the power consumption would be still less than 200W.
hybrid2d4x4 - Friday, December 1, 2017 - link"The optimal power range for a typical home entertainment/gaming system usually is within 400-600 Watts"
Please stop regurgitating this kind of nonsense. The optimal range is as low as 120W for integrated video systems and up to ~300W for top-tier single card. There's the 1% that will overclock and/or run multiple vid cards, and these are the only people that will ever stress this kind of PSU to even 50%.
As a point of reference, my i5 4670, GTX1060, 4x4GB DDR3, 1 SATA SSD + 1 HDD system idles at 40W, and uses a peak of 220W measured at the wall. Typical gaming is 170-200W. I'm using a 400W Platinum PSU, and feel like this is a bit overkill for this system.
For a workstation with IGP, I would want a gold/plat 200W PSU, but nothing like this exists thanks to these articles normalizing the 500W-800W PSUs for normal consumers. Please stop it!
fred666 - Friday, December 1, 2017 - linkI agree.
There is no reason to get more than 300-400W for the average user and this is including a stand alone video card and lots of peripherals. It's sad to see web sites such as Anandtech fall into the marketing BS of the power supplies makers.
t.s - Sunday, December 3, 2017 - linkaverage user using PC around 100-200W
sonny73n - Saturday, December 2, 2017 - linkI also agree.
I fell for articles like this one and ended up with a 850W Corsair PSU. Even tho I OCed my i5 and my GPU, the power peak would never go above 380W.
Fool me twice, shame on me... Well, almost.