Having a good power supply is crucial for the proper functioning of the PC, and when choosing one for our system, we must take into account various factors such as the most appropriate power, wiring or efficiency, but also the budget we have. Recently, Corsair launched its new CV Series power supplies, cheap sources oriented to the input range but with all the guarantees. Today we present our analysis of the Corsair CV550, with 550W of power and efficiency certification 80 Plus Bronze.
Based on the technical specifications of this power supply, we can already see that it is a simple model and, in fact, “with the minimum”. The wiring is not modular, it does not have Zero RPM technology for the fan, and its efficiency 80 Plus Bronze becomes somewhat scarce by the standards we handle today. However, we must bear in mind that it is a cheap power supply, and its specifications are in line with it.
With its 550 watts of power, this source provides us with enough connectors for almost any mid-range or even high-end equipment, since although it is not compatible with multi-GPU configurations, it does have two 6-pin 2-pin PCI-Express connectors capable of serving high-end graphics cards. According to the manufacturer’s specification, its + 12V rail is capable of giving up to 44A intensity.
The interior is cooled by a 120 mm fan with PWM functionality, which means that even if it is always on, when the source is at rest it will work at low speed to preserve the temperature while maintaining a low noise level.
Finally, it should be remembered that this is not a digital power supply, and therefore it is not compatible with the iCUE software and we will not be able to configure or monitor its parameters through it.
As we mentioned before, to access the interior of the power supply we will have to take off the stickers on both sides, since otherwise we will not be able to remove the four screws that anchor the two halves of its housing.
Once these screws are removed, we can already remove the two parts, but carefully because the fan is anchored to one of them and we will have to disconnect the cable to not break anything.
This is the fan, which curiously is not manufactured by Corsair but by YaLn. It works at 12V and 0.3A, with a maximum speed of 1200 RPM, and has 7 blades quite wide and inclined, designed to generate a good static pressure and thus efficiently dissipate heat from the internal components of the source.
Here we have the other half of the CV550, which we will see in detail right away. At first the impression is good, with everything quite compact and well organized, although the only thing we don’t like very much to see are those “bridge” cables at the top of the image. Now we talk about it.
We start as always with the inlet filter, consisting in this case of a small motherboard with two capacitors And that guarantee that the electricity enters already clean and without noise. The green wire you see – with a perfect weld, by the way – is the ground wire. Nothing to object around here.
This motherboard looks a little better here, in which the on and off switch is also soldered. Right next to it and in parallel we have another motherboard, in this case of control and with the connector for the fan.
What is not so good is this “device” to introduce two X capacitors to the input filter, which complete the filter. They are on the outside, through cables and covered with a thermoreactive plastic.
The transistors have generous passive aluminum heatsinks to maintain optimum operating temperatures. The AC / DC converter comes, as always, covered with tape and with the Corsair logo, denoting that this is a component of the brand itself.
Even transistors that are misaligned have their own heatsink. By the way, in this image we take the opportunity to see the coil that is part of the security and protection systems of the source, as well as more capacitors and soldered to the plate, also signed by Corsair.
The main capacitors are signed by TEAPO, certified for 105º but they are not Japanese, but of Chinese march. Here Corsair has spared, and although it is a good brand and of good quality, if in the end all good sources use Japanese capacitors it is for something.
We go to the opposite side of the fountain, where we find the wiring. As we said at the beginning, we don’t like to see those “loose” wires out there, but it’s really necessary in a source like this one that has fixed wires.
Fortunately we don’t have any more motherboards around here, but the cables are soldered directly to the PCB, and with top quality solders, by the way.
Finally, we simply want to highlight some things that we did not like inside this fountain, and that is a small… not lack of quality, but reluctance. For example, hot melt plastic remains on the coils or insulating stains on the heatsinks. They are small details that do not take us anywhere, really, but these things do not happen in high-end sources in which greater attention is paid to detail.
Test of performance
As usual, before installing the source in the test bench to see how it works, we connect it to a tester to see that its values are correct. This is important especially because we have opened it (something we do not recommend) to see its internal components, but also because it is possible that it arrives badly from the factory.
Having seen the values that the tester throws, and that this Corsair CV550 should work perfectly, we proceed to install it in our test bench. As in this case we are facing an input range source, instead of using the usual test bench we have used one more suited to its power, consisting of an Intel Core i5-6600K at 4 GHz with 2 × 8 GB DDR4 at 3000 MHz and an AMD Radeon Vega 64.
For starters, Aida64 confirms that the voltage values are within acceptable ranges, although that + 3.3V rail is a bit high.
To test the source taking it to a limit situation we will use OCCT in its latest version, with a maximum load of 10 minutes (CPU + GPU) including a minute of rest both at the beginning and at the end.
Interestingly, OCCT does detect an excellent value on the rail of + 3.3V.
In this test, we artificially heat, using a hair dryer, the power supply so that its temperature rises to 50 ° C (which is above the value that the manufacturer says delivers its best efficiency, but it is a typical stress situation). You know that the components work worse the hotter they are, and the power supplies are no exception, so in this test we face the worst scenario.
This has been the result:
Again extraordinary values, with only the + 12V rail moving slightly.
80 Plus certification efficiency tests
For a power supply to receive the 80 Plus efficiency certification, it must pass a series of strict tests and pass certain values, depending on which one certification or another is given. In this case, we are facing a source with 80 Plus Bronze certificate, and these have been the results.
The result obtained, except in situations with 10% load, is excellent.
Assessment and conclusion
The Corsair CV550 is a cheap power supply but it gives us all the guarantees to be able to mount a mid-high-end system in it without having to scratch our pockets too much. It is true that Corsair has spared many points (80 Plus Bronze, non-modular wiring, non-Japanese capacitors, etc.), but it gives us enough power and all the necessary protections to have nothing to worry about.
If for you it is not a problem that the wiring is not modular or that it is not the most efficient source in the world because you do not want to spend a lot of money but do not trust unrecognized brands, without a doubt this is a model of power supply that you could consider.
For all this, this Corsair CV550 takes our Silver award, as well as our recommendation for its performance / price ratio.
Good voltage regulation, even hot
The usual guarantee of Corsair