Cold Test Results

For the testing of PSUs, we are using high precision electronic loads with a maximum power draw of 2700 Watts, a Rigol DS5042M  40 MHz oscilloscope, an Extech 380803 power analyzer, two high precision UNI-T UT-325 digital thermometers, an Extech HD600 SPL meter, a self-designed hotbox and various other bits and parts. For a thorough explanation of our testing methodology and more details on our equipment, please refer to our How We Test PSUs - 2014 Pipeline post.

The latest revision of the TX-M series is certainly improved in terms of efficiency, yet it still fails to achieve >92% at half load with an input voltage of 230 VAC. This result, however, does not mean that the unit’s certifications are false, just that it received its efficiency rating with an input voltage of 110 VAC, under which the 80Plus directive is slightly more lenient.

This particular model’s efficiency certification can be viewed here. The vast majority of manufacturers submit their units for 110 VAC testing - only 5% of the 80Plus certified non-redundant PSUs have been tested with an input voltage of 230 VAC. The TX550 maintains a good average efficiency of 90.3% within its nominal load range (20% to 100% of the unit's capacity) but tends to favor medium-to-heavy loads, struggling when the load is lower than 200 Watts.

The thermal control scheme of the Corsair TX550M is very simplistic, with the fan adjusting its speed according to the internal temperature of the unit. As such, it manages to maintain very low noise levels while at room temperature and up to medium loads. At heavier loads, the fan will increase its speed, yet not overly so, maintaining audible but typically comfortable noise levels.

The Corsair TX550M PSU Hot Test Results
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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".

    >cell phones
    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 - link

    I 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 - link

    I'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 - link

    I 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 - link

    And 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 - link

    Actually 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 - link

    I 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 - link

    average user using PC around 100-200W
  • sonny73n - Saturday, December 2, 2017 - link

    I 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.

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