Corsair HX1500i PSU Review. The Beast!

Corsair’s HXi line got stronger with the HX1500i, which uses a semi-digital CWT platform, offering tons of power and high performance. With a 400 bucks price-tag, this is mong the most expensive PSUs on today’s market and one of the few ones also, that are supported by software (iCUE) for monitoring and controlling of some vital functions. 

Corsair stepped up its game by releasing the HX1200i and HX1500i units. Usually, I should be among the first to post their reviews, but a mixed up in sampling and a heavy work overload in the lab led to a late review. But better late than never, and after all, product reviews are not a sprint, but a marathon, especially for PSUs which have a much longer shelf life than other IT products. This is why I don’t care much whether I will be the first to post a review, but I do care to have the most accurate and detailed review possible.

The HX1500i uses a modified CWT platform with the code name CST. Corsair spent a year modifying and tuning the design to increase performance and reliability to the desired levels. I remember this period since several HXi units passed from the lab. The primary thing in the HXi units is the semi-digital platform, allowing control and monitoring of the PSU through the iCUE software. The added benefit of digital controllers is that they can “talk” to the system, allowing for several functions.

In the HX1500i’s case, through iCUE, you can toggle single rail or multi rail mode, control the fan speed and monitor the PSU’s performance. I am not a big fan of iCUE, mainly because it is a bit complicated since it supports a wide range of Corsair products, but the fact is that it offers lots of options. You need to get used to this software to use it efficiently.

Cybenetics Report

 

Technical Specifications:
  • Manufacturer (OEM): CWT
  • Max Power: 1500W
  • Cybenetics Efficiency: [115V] Platinum (89-91%) [230V] Platinum (91-93%)
  • 80 Plus Efficiency: Platinum
  • Noise: Cybenetics A- (25 – 30 dBA)
  • Compliance: ATX12V v2.53, EPS 2.92
  • Alternative Low Power Mode support: Yes
  • Power 12V: 1500W
  • Power 5V + 3.3v: 150W
  • Power 5VSB: 17.5W
  • Cooling: 140 mm Fluid Dynamic Bearing Fan (NR140P)
  • Semi-Passive Operation: Yes
  • Modular Design: Yes (Fully)
  • High Power Connectors: 3x EPS (3x cables), 10x PCIe 6+2 pin (7x cables)
  • Peripheral Connectors: 16x SATA (4x cables), 8x 4-pin Molex (2x cables)
  • ATX/EPS Cable Length: 610/650mm
  • Distance between SATA connectors: 115mm
  • Distance between 4-pin Molex connectors: 100mm
  • In-cable capacitors: No
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 150 mm x 85 mm x 200 mm
  • Weight: 2.44 kg (5.38 lb)
  • Warranty: 10 years

Box & Bundle

The box is large since it has to accommodate a PSU measuring 200mm in length. The protection inside the package is adequate, with packing foam covering the PSU’s edges.

Product Photos

The first thing that leaves an impression is the non-restrictive fan grille. The PSU’s dimensions follow. On the front side, the exhaust grille is restrictive to prevent increased radiated EMI. On the back side, we find a load of connectors, a Type-C socket, and an LED above it. There is a notice that this PSU is designed for use only with Corsair Type-4 cables.

Cables

The amount of cables that you will get with this PSU is immense. Unfortunately, 12VHPWR cables are not included.

Protection Features

OCP (Cold @ 26°C)

12V: 154.2A (123.36%), 11.906V
5V: 35.5A (142%), 5.037V
3.3V: 35.6A (142.4%), 3.281V
5VSB: 6.3A (180%), 4.822V

OCP (Hot @ 45°C)

12V: 154A (123.2%), 11.907V
5V: 35.4A (141.6%), 5.037V
3.3V: 35.5A (142%), 3.277V
5VSB: 6.3A (180%), 4.8V

OPP (Cold @ 30°C)

1835.91W (122.39%)

OPP (Hot @ 40°C)

1833.63W (122.24%)

OTP

✓ (107°C @ 12V Heat Sink)

SCP

12V to Earth: ✓
5V to Earth: ✓
3.3V to Earth: ✓
5VSB to Earth: ✓
-12V to Earth:✓

PWR_OK

Proper operation

NLO

SIP

Surge: MOV
Inrush: NTC Thermistor & Bypass relay

OCP is conservatively set at 12V, and the same goes for OPP. On the contrary, OCP is set high on the minor rails. The rest protection features are present and working ok.

Part Analysis

General Data
Manufacturer (OEM) CWT
PCB Type Double Sided
Primary Side
Transient Filter 6x Y caps, 3x X caps, 2x CM chokes, 1x MOV, 1x MPS HF81 (Discharge IC)
Inrush Protection 2x NTC Thermistor SCK-075 (7 Ohm) & Relay
Bridge Rectifier(s)
2x VISHAY LVB2560 (600V, 25A @ 105°C)
APFC MOSFETs
2x Infineon IPW60R099P6 (600V, 24A @ 100°C, Rds(on): 0.099Ohm)
APFC Boost Diode
2x CREE C3D10060A (600V, 10A @ 153°C)
Bulk Cap(s)
2x Nippon Chemi-Con (450V, 680uF each or 1,360uF combined, 2,000h @ 105°C, KMZ) &
1x Nippon Chemi-Con (420V, 470uF, 2,000h @ 105°C, KMZ)
Main Switchers
4x Vishay SiHA105N60EF (600V, 8A @ 100°C, Rds(on): 0.102Ohm)
Digital Controllers 2x Texas Instruments UCD3138A
MCU Microchip PIC32MM0064GPM036
Topology
Primary side: Semi-Digital, Interleaved PFC, Full-Bridge & LLC converter
Secondary side: Synchronous Rectification & DC-DC converters
Secondary Side
+12V MOSFETs 12x Vishay SiR626DP (60V, 100A @ 70°C, Rds(on): 1.7mOhm)
5V & 3.3V DC-DC Converter FETs: 8x
PWM Controller(s): 1x
Filtering Capacitors Electrolytic: 2x Nippon Chemi-Con (105°C, W), 7x Nippon Chemi-Con (4-10,000h @ 105°C, KY), 3x Rubycon (4-10,000h @ 105°C, YXF), 1x Rubycon (4-10,000h @ 105°C, YXJ)
Polymer: 19x United Chemi-Con, 28x FPCAP
Supervisor IC Weltrend WT7502R (OVP, UVP, SCP, PG)
Fan Controller Microchip PIC32MM0064GPM036
Fan Model Corsair NR140P (140mm, 12V, 0.22A, Fluid Dynamic Bearing Fan)
5VSB Circuit
Rectifier
1x IPS ISD04N65A FET & 1x D10S45L SBR (45V, 10A)
Standby PWM Controller On Bright OB5282CP

This is a heavily modified CWT CST platform. Corsair has an R&D team, so it doesn’t just get an OEM platform and relabel it. A group of people is working hard to deliver the best possible performance from platforms that the OEMs are not allowed to provide to other brands. This is more expensive, of course, but it is one of the main reasons behind Corsair’s dominance in the PSU market.

The build quality is high, and quality parts were used, including Infineon and Vishay FETs, along with Texas Instruments controllers. There is also a Microchip MCU. Moreover, the platform is modern and semi-digital, meaning that the digital controllers handle the entire primary side and a part of the secondary. The only circuits that use analog controllers are the VRMs for the minor rails and the 5VSB circuit.

Load Regulation

I expected tighter load regulation at 12V.

Ripple Suppression

Ripple is low on all rails, without extra in-cable caps, making cable routing and management daunting tasks.

Transient Response

Transient response is within 1% at 12V, which is good, but the competition fares better.

Hold Up Time

The hold-up time is long enough, and the power ok signal is accurate

Timings

The PSU supports Alternative Low Power Modes!

Inrush Current

Inrush current is low with 115V but pretty high with 230V.

Efficiency Normal, Light & Super-Light Loads

The HX1500i is efficient with normal and ultra-light loads. I want a bit higher efficiency in the 20-80W load range, though.

Average Efficiency 5VSB

The 5VSB rail is highly efficient.

Vampire Power

Vampire power is dead low!

Average Efficiency

The average efficiency is at the proper levels for a Platinum-rated unit.

Average PF

The APFC converter needs tuning to deliver higher PF readings with 230V input.

Average Noise

The average fan’s noise is kept low.

Fan Noise & Speed Maps @ 28-32 °C

The load on the minor rails affects overall noise output, but on the other hand, this unit has powerful minor rails, so most likely, you will never have to push them at the max. Up to around 860W load, noise is inaudible. You will have to reach 100W for noise to exceed 30 dbA; with more than 1200W, you enter the 35 dBA zone.

Overall Performance

Overall performance is good, but I would like to see the HX1500i closer to the Toughpower TF1. The latter is Titanium-rated, but it costs less than the HX1500i.

Epilogue

The HX1500i has top build quality and will cope with heavy abuse without sweating. This is a power supply for demanding gaming systems; the digital interface and the ability to control and monitor it through the iCUE software is an interesting feature. I am not a big fan of iCUE since I find it challenging to use, but the fact is that it provides lots of options. This is the problem, too many options, so things go south quickly.

I expected higher performance from the HX1500i. I have a second sample which I plan to fully evaluate and check if I have any performance difference with this one. Not that its performance is not satisfactory, but for 400 dollars, I would like it to see going closer or even above the Thermaltake ToughPower TF1-1550, which has a similar price tag. Another issue is the lack of 12VHPWR connectors, but I guess, like many brands, Corsair will provide these cables to the owners of this PSU once it has them available, and the new GPUs that require them are out on the market.

 

Buy Corsair HX1500i Buy Thermaltake TF1-1550 Buy be quiet! Dark Power Pro 12 1500W

 

Pros:
  • Full power at 47°C
  • Powerful
  • Top build quality
  • Tons of connectors provided
  • Silent operation
  • Efficient 5VSB rail
  • Good ripple suppression
  • Long hold-up time
  • Accurate power ok signal
  • OCP at 12V and OPP are set correctly
  • iCUE software provides lots of options
  • Low inrush current with 115V input
  • Dead low  vampire power
  • Quality, FDB fan
  • 10-year warranty
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • PF with 230V could be higher
  • Overall performance needs a small boost
  • High OCP on the minor rails
  • High inrush current with 230V input
  • The short distance between all peripheral connectors
  • No 12VHPWR connectors

Related Posts

2 thoughts on “Corsair HX1500i PSU Review. The Beast!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.