Corsair and CWT design a higher-quality refresh of the CX line; also target German market with new Vengeance series

Posted on October 25, 2015, 05:59

u9mPuaM1.pngCorsair's CX line remains pretty basic as far as modern power supply technology goes - at least when you look at the 430W, 500W and 600W units, which employ satisfying but simple solutions like group voltage regulation. In order to bring technological advancement to their most popular budget line, they will release three new models: 450W, 550W and 650W.

Three new CX units in factory documents.
Three new CX units in factory documents. Download original file.

The RPS numbers are Corsair's way to give reference designators to their units (and perhaps obfuscate their "market names" from inquisitive people). The three numbers belong to the new CX450, CX550, and CX650 respectively. As you can see from the data above, the power available on their +12V rails (that modern computers need the most) is respectively 448.8W, 549.6W and 648W.

All three of them are manufactured by CWT, Corsair's close partner. They will all use DC-DC converters to generate the minor rails, which is a significant step up from the group regulated design that older CX430-600 units used. Still being in the budget category, they will not use all Japanese-brand capacitors.

In group regulated units, the +12V and +5V voltages aren't regulated independently from one another, which makes them unstable in scenarios where most of the load sits on one voltage, and just a small portion of the load on the other voltage.

Two chokes in Corsair CX600M,<br />indicating group regulation
Two chokes in Corsair CX600M,
indicating group regulation
Photo courtesy of TechPowerUP
PCB with DC-DC converters<br />in FD Tesla R2 500W<br />
PCB with DC-DC converters
in FD Tesla R2 500W
Photo courtesy of ComputerBase

Power supplies that use DC-DC converters on the secondary side work differently: all that's coming off the main transformer is +12V. The PSU can give you the majority of its rated power as +12V alone if you so wanted, because it doesn't need to reserve a portion of its capabilities for the minor rails. If you also ask for +5V and +3.3V, then a portion of the main +12V voltage is stepped down to your minor voltages accordingly by the DC-DC converters. 

You could say that by loading the +5V and +3.3V with 60W, you're actually still loading the +12V rail, with these 60 watts converted to the lower voltages from +12V. This solution improves voltage regulation (deviation from the nominal values), load regulation (total drop in voltage over the whole load range), crossload performance (how stable the voltages remain when there's a high load on +12V and low on the others, and vice versa), transient load reaction (drop in voltages during sudden load spikes) and efficiency.

Implementing DC-DC modules improves reliability as well since DC-DC modules use polymer capacitors, which last longer and aren't as prone to failures as wet electrolytic capacitors.

The Vengeance series

In the same time, Corsair plans to appeal to the German customers by launching the Vengeance line. This is simply the new CX line with DC-DC converters, but going down to 400W, with full Japanese capacitors and multiple +12V rails:

Four
Four "Vengeance" series units aimed at the German market. Download original file. (same as above)

Customers in Germany pay special attention to multiple +12V rails, a design choice that gives them extra peace of mind. In the very unlikely event of a short circuit, the OCP set individually for each rail will prevent the power from raising to hardware-destroying levels, and safely shut the PSU down.

Lots of enthusiasts also demand nothing less than the most reliable Japanese-brand (Nippon Chemi-Con, Rubycon, etc.) capacitors in their power supplies, which the Vengeance series is going to have. It will also feature a 500W and even a 400W unit, as customers in Germany tend to choose more appropriate sizes for their PSUs and do not choose "overkill" just because they can.

The combined +12V rail rating for the 400W, 500W, 550W and 650W units is respectively 399.6W, 499.2W, 549.6W and 648W. The first three models have three +12V rails, each limited to 25A, while the 650W unit has four +12V rails with the same 25A limit.

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