Articles

Corsair CS550M 550W Power Supply Review

Author:Paul Johnson

Editor:Kyle Bennett

Date: Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Corsair is famous among computer hardware enthusiasts for its power supplies. Today we have what is considered a low range PSU for most of us, but the CS550M boasts some upper end features such as its semi-modular design and gold level efficiency. Corsair also says this PSU is very quiet so it might be right at home in HTPC boxes.

Introduction

Corsair is known in enthusiast circles as a premier supplier of high performance memory and has risen to become one of the most talked about power supply brands around. Corsair was originally able to establish such presence through rigorous design standards, excellent support, and the use of quality OEMs. Since its entrance into the PSU field, it has established a number of lines of power supplies to address and overlap just about every market segment with the VS, GS, CX, VX, TX, RM, HX, and AX lines, as well as those product lines revisions and subdivisions. Today, Corsair has added yet ANOTHER line of power supplies to its already convoluted lineup with the CS Series Modular. From this new line we will be looking at the CS550M (CP-9020076) which is made by Great Wall.

China Great Wall Computer Group Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of China Electronics Corporation, is a name that is not that well known to our North American readers. Great Wall was founded in 1986 and currently operates a number of companies producing products including power supplies, monitors, laptops, memory, flash products, and a laundry list of other PC and technology related products. In the power supply field, Great Wall is currently one of the largest suppliers of power supplies in the Chinese market. Its presence in North America, however, is very limited and one of the few brands we have seen using Great Wall products so far is OCZ and now Corsair.

It’s Starting to Look Like Alang Around Here

In what has become somewhat of a repetitive process, today, we are looking at yet another new power supply line from Corsair. One of the things we have noticed over the last few years is just how very prolific Corsair has been with line after line after line of power supplies. Indeed, at this point in time, Corsair has no fewer than 8 active lines of power supply products and that number just goes up if we consider the "I" models as separate lines as well. With today’s CS550M though, we are looking at a unit that will be the 4th at this power level but only one of three currently active 550W models. The good news is, the most recent 550W unit we have seen from Corsair that compares very favorably to this unit (the TX550M) has been discontinued so there should be no direct competition among Corsair products. However, as a replacement-ish unit, this power supply certainly will have tough shoes to fill. Before moving on though to see how all of that shakes out, what does Corsair have to say about this unit?

CS Series Modular power supplies are ideal for basic desktop systems where low energy use, low noise, and simple installation are essential. 80 PLUS Gold efficiency reduces operating cost and excess heat. Flat, sleeved black modular cables with clearly-marked connectors make installation fast and straightforward, with good-looking results.

Moving on let’s see what we can expect when a user purchases the Corsair CS550M supply in retail in terms of documentation, accessories, cable count, rail layout, output characteristics, and general build quality.