Corsair TX550M vs. OCZ ZT550W 550W

In this review we will compare two almost identical products from OCZ and Corsair. Even so, there are still crucial differences between the offerings. With 550W both PSUs deliver more than enough power for most current systems. On the following pages we'll find out which handle overload situations the best, who has the highest efficiency, and which PSU provides the best voltage regulation.

The ZT models from OCZ are based on a Great Wall design with some modifications in the details. Interesting features include the fully modular cable management and a silent fan control. Today we will review the smallest version with 550W. Here's a complete rundown of the features.

  • Available in 550W, 650W, 750W
  • Single +12V rail
  • Fully Modular Cabling System
  • Dimensions: 150 x 86 x 175mm (W x L x H)
  • 80-Plus Bronze Certified
  • MTBF: 100,000 hours
  • 5-year warranty
  • 140mm ball-bearing fan
  • Active PFC
  • ATX 12V 2.2 Compliant

The second unit we test today is a Corsair TX produced by CWT. "Enthusiast Series is designed for reliable operation in high-performance PCs where clean, stable power is important." It's able to deliver the full output power at an ambient temperature of up to 50° Celsius. Like OCZ Corsair uses a double ball-bearing fan. Except the cables with mainboard connectors all cables are modular. In addition the fan grille looks unusual.

  • Available in 550W, 650W, 750W, 850W
  • Single +12V rail
  • Modular Cabling System
  • Dimensions:150 x 86 x 160mm (W x L x H)
  • 80-Plus Bronze Certified
  • MTBF: 100,000 hours
  • 5-year warranty
  • 140mm ball-bearing fan
  • Active PFC
  • ATX 12V 2.31 Compliant
Corsair TX550M Overview
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  • A5 - Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - link

    I wouldn't really call an SPL Meter app coupled with a bad tablet/phone microphone "objective". To get true, repeatable SPL numbers, you need to have a special test setup like SPCR.
  • MeanBruce - Monday, March 26, 2012 - link

    And the Corsair even looks better. Ok ok we all love Corsair PSUs, so is it now standard protocol for the company/groups on the bottom to offer new technology first and the group on top of the market to offer the same technology LAST? Am I the only enthusiast wondering where the Corsair Platinum PSU line-up is hiding? Is the strategy to wait and see what all other groups produce, then go to the drawing board simply to one-up the competition and stay on top of the market?
  • johan851 - Monday, March 26, 2012 - link

    One nice thing about not gluing down the fan connectors is that it's easy to replace that cheapo fan if/when it fails. :)
  • jabber - Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - link

    Yeah I finally got round to replacing the horrendous fan in my Corsair TX750 MK1.

    Sounded like a leaf blower after about 15 minutes of use. Dont quite know why it had to blow at 3000rpm all the while.

    Swapped it out for a low start power 1700rpm fan and its been a lot better.
  • Rick83 - Monday, March 26, 2012 - link

    I'm not really convinced that you can measure efficiency anywhere near a hundredth of a percent, accuracy wise, never mind that at that scale the slightest of atmospheric changes, input voltage changes, inter-series variation will void those results instantly.

    Especially using variations in those non-significant digits to mark advantages of one solution over another is a bit misleading. So unless you're absolutely convinced of those numbers, you should stick to values that you can reasonably expect to hold up under scrutiny.

    Especially if your sample rates are 1, you should assume a certain variation, and ideally if over the course of testing you measure an average, also report the average std-dev.

    Benchmarking is an engineering discipline!
  • ssj3gohan - Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - link

    Wow, I never thought I'd meet somebody who I would agree with so much on this subject. Yes, measuring and properly representing your measurements is a key, key factor in benchmarking. Anandtech usually has their methods straight in other areas (although they consistently fail to include statistical parameters, really people, just because other sites don't show it doesn't mean you are allowed to omit them!) but power supplies are again (like I said in a lot of earlier PSU articles) their bastard child. Only results in table format, bad result representation in general, no methodology, no ambient conditions mentioned or tested against, very limited and unimaginative testing for that matter... it's like the exact opposite of, let's say, the SSD articles. As my go-to tech review site, this is extremely disappointing.

    Of course, I'm totally biased for being a PSU designer myself.
  • Chris Simmo - Monday, March 26, 2012 - link

    I have been using GW PSU's for years (OE) and while they may not be quite as efficient as is stated here, they are incredibly reliable. We have used approximately 3000 PSU's in the PC building company we work for and had less than 20 fail over 4 years. The Corsair PSU's have been rubbish and we refuse to sell them. I have had customers bring us parts for assembly. Of 5 PSU's, 3 were DOA (TX750, TX850, AX850). I don't give a rats arse how efficient they are, they are not worth the money with this horrid a failure rate! Seasonic make awesome PSU's too, but they cost a pretty penny in comparison to the GW PSU's. Good on OCZ for picking a reliable company, not just for efficiency
  • Beenthere - Monday, March 26, 2012 - link

    Both OCZ and Corsair have a sketchy history with PSUs in addition to other products. I would recommend buying a Seasonic or PC Power and Cooling PSU if people want performance and reliability.
  • Holly - Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - link

    Page 6, first sentence says "Corsair uses a 140mm fan from Yate Loon with a ball bearing." ... shouldn't it be "OCZ uses..." ?

    And as for Seasonic PSUs... I have had 6 of those in my hands last year in time span of 6 months. Out of those 3 had to be replaced due to heavy instability (one caused frequent BSODs, one caused system restarts and one air fan was extremely loud) immediately, two other gradually caused high system temperatures and the last one simply didn't start up after about 2 months usage. They were calculated so the system wouldn't load them over 60% at peaks.

    It might be just a bad luck or Seasonic commits low quality products in my country, but I would never recommend or buy them again. I have had variety of Corsair PSUs in my hands from CX, TX, HX, VX and AX line, had to replace only one CX 500W because of excessive fan loudness.
  • Martin Kaffei - Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - link

    You have good eyesight. Fixed and thanks.

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