Introduction

A decade ago, the 80 Plus program was introduced with the aim of promoting the development of more efficient and environmentally friendly computer power supplies units (PSUs). When it was officially included in the Energy Star 4.0 specification requirements in 2007, the program really took off, with every manufacturer who had not already certified their units sprinting to do so.

In 2008, it was already easy and fairly cheap to produce 80 Plus certified PSUs, making the original 80 Plus program somewhat obsolete, but the original standard was revised to include differing tiers of efficiency, starting with the 80 Plus Bronze, Silver, and Gold certifications. Two more levels, Platinum and Titanium, were introduced later. These "badges of honor" drove the manufacturers to funnel money into research in order to create better and more efficient units, and they significantly helped their marketing departments as well. Today, users can easily find 80 Plus Gold certified units at very reasonable prices for their home computers, and 80 Plus Titanium certified units for servers have already been available for a couple of years.

The race for more powerful and more efficient PSUs continues to this date, as every manufacturer is trying to get ahead of the competition by either developing more efficient units, or by producing cheaper units with the same level of efficiency. Today we will look at Corsair's attempt to show us who's the true king of the hill, as we are going to review the AX1500i, a fully digital 1500 Watts PSU with an 80 Plus Titanium certification and an impressive list of features.

The AX1500i is one of the first 80 Plus Titanium certified consumer PSUs, as well as one of the most powerful units currently available. These facts do help explain the rather insane retail price of $450, perhaps, but there's no question that this is a very niche product. With such a price tag and power output, the AX1500i is intended only for very advanced users and hardcore gamers who are willing to pay as much as a small home/office PC costs just to get the best PSU possible. However, this segment of the market is very demanding as well – does the Corsair AX1500i has what it takes to please such users? We will find out in this review.

Power specifications ( Rated @ 50 °C)
AC INPUT 100-240 VAC, 50-60 Hz
RAIL +3.3V +5V +12V +5Vsb -12V
MAX OUTPUT 30A 30A 125A 3.5A 0.8A
180W 1500W 17.5W 9.6W
TOTAL 1500W

Packaging and bundle

The black, serious cardboard box of the AX1500i somehow hints at the proportions of the power supply. It is not deeper or taller than typical PSU packaging, but it is much wider. Information on the most vital features and performance aspects of the AX1500i can be found on the rear of the box.

For a product of this class, the bundle can definitely be described as substandard. There is only a set of four black screws, a case badge, and a C19 power cable. Note that the vast majority of consumer-grade PSUs are making use of C13 cables; C19 cables are more commonly found on servers and larger electronic appliances. Beyond the above, there are no cable ties, no cable straps, and no other accessories whatsoever included with the AX1500i, which is very strange for a product with such a price tag.

Every single cable of the AX1500i, including the 24-pin ATX cable, is a flat, ribbon-like cable with no sleeving. All of the connectors and wires are black, making them perfect for those builders that they do not want their PSU cables to stand out visually.

The Corsair AX1500i PSU
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  • Homeles - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    The internals of that PSU are simply gorgeous. Can't wait to get my EE degree and help design something like that. Reply
  • quick brown fox - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    As somebody who has previously worked for a power supply company (not these ATX form factors though), designing very high efficiency PSUs like these is hard as HELL. You're not going to enjoy designing and testing these when all you're missing is that +1% efficiency for certification purposes. Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    It's always useful that this thing doubles as a jump starter for my car... Reply
  • rickon66 - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    Electric welding anyone? Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    Even small benchtop welders need double the power of something like this. Bigger free standing models start at needing a 50A-220V circuit for input (and presumably go up from there). Reply
  • davidgirgis - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    Dream Computer:
    Caselabs Magnum TX10-D
    2x Corsair AX1500i
    Asus X99-E WS
    Intel Core i7-5960X
    64 GB Corsair Dominator Platinum 2800 MHz
    4x EVGA GeForce GTX Titan Black Hydro Copper
    Creative Sound Blaster ZxR
    512 GB Plextor M6e M.2
    8x 1TB Samsung 850 Pro in RAID 0
    Digistor 5.25" Blu-ray Burner Slot-Load

    Accessories:
    3x 27" Asus ROG Swift
    nVidia 3D Vision 2
    Corsair Vengeance K70 RGB
    Mad Catz R.A.T. Tournament Edition
    Razer Invicta
    Razer Oberweaver
    Turtle Beach Ear Force XP Seven
    Logitech Z906
    Microsoft Xbox One Wireless Controller
    Thrustmaster T500 RS GT5 Wheel
    Thrustmaster TH8 RS Shifter
    Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog

    Water Cooling:
    EK-Supremacy EVO Elite Edition
    4x EK-CoolStream RAD XTX 480
    2x EK-RES X3 400
    2x Swiftech MCP655
    2x Bitspower pump mod kit
    Bitspower XStation
    xx Bitspower Black Sparkle Fittings
    2x Bitspower tap drainage
    4x Bitspower mid-loop temperature sensors
    2x Bitspower Flow-Meter
    xx Blacknoise Noiseblocker NB-BlackSilent Pro fans
    Aquacomputer Aquaero 6 XT Fan Controller
    Rigid Acrylic Tubing
    Coolant
    Some Lights
    Reply
  • Dr.Neale - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    AeroCool Dead Silence fans (available in black, or with red, white, or blue LEDs, in 120mm or 140mm) would be better. Reply
  • Dr.Neale - Thursday, September 11, 2014 - link

    P.S. They are available at www.FrozenCPU.com FYI. Reply
  • fluxtatic - Friday, September 12, 2014 - link

    Enjoy losing 8TB of data when one of your SSDs flakes out. Reply
  • Phillip Wager - Friday, September 12, 2014 - link

    wow this is really tempting to pick up just to be compleatly fanless at around 600 watts or less! that justification enough to pick up a $350 dollar power supply thats 3x the power than i'll ever need right? .........right?? Reply

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