Cold Test Results

For the testing of PSUs, we are using high precision electronic loads with a maximum power draw of 2700 Watts, a Rigol DS5042M 40 MHz oscilloscope, an Extech 380803 power analyzer, two high precision UNI-T UT-325 digital thermometers, an Extech HD600 SPL meter, a self-designed hotbox and various other bits and parts. For a thorough explanation of our testing methodology and more details on our equipment, please refer to our How We Test PSUs - 2014 Pipeline post.

The Corsair CM450M makes a borderline pass through our efficiency test, just meeting the standards required for 80Plus Gold certification. The energy conversion efficiency reaches 92.1% at 50% load. An average conversion efficiency of 90.2% is achieved within the nominal load range (20% to 100% of the unit's capacity). It seemingly does not perform very well at very low loads, with a conversion efficiency of just 76.1% at 5% load. That however corresponds to an actual load of just 23 Watts and more powerful units would likely fare far worse at so low a load. With a load of 45 Watts, a fairly reasonable figure for the idling state of an average home PC, the conversion efficiency jumps to 83.5%.

As the power output of the CM450M is low and the conversion efficiency is high, it does not have high cooling requirements. Our testing results are not surprising, as the little 450W PSU maintains very low operating temperatures even when heavily loaded. The cooling fan does remain inaudible across most of the load range but it increases its speed at higher loads, reaching audible (but not intrusive) figures. 

The Corsair CS450M PSU Hot Test Results
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  • kmmatney - Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - link

    Just get an adapter to convert a 4-pin Molex to another PCI power connector. From the specs: ""For a system using a single Radeon R9 270 graphics card AMD specifies a minimum of a 500 Watt or greater system power supply. The power supply should also have a maximum combined +12 Volt continuous current rating of 28 Amps or greater and have at least one 6-pin PCI Express supplementary power connectors"

    So it's not 500W, but does have the recommended amount of current available on the 12V line, and I'm sure will be fine due to the quality components inside this PSU.
  • der - Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - link

    Will this replace the legendary Corsair 430W tho?
  • meacupla - Thursday, June 11, 2015 - link

    Why do you think it wouldn't be able to?
    Or any other decent PSU for that matter?
  • Ashinjuka - Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - link

    Just want to add my voice to the chorus of readers thanking AnandTech for listening to us and reviewing more realistic, less "halo-y" power supplies. Keep up the great work!
  • Samus - Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - link

    I'm sure I speak for many people when I say great review and thank you for listening to the AT readers who have requested reviews covering non-1KW+ models.

    The CS450M represents a PSU I think most people here would end up buying for PC's they build for family, friends or even businesses.

    Keep'em coming.
  • Xanavi - Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - link

    Built a Z97/4690K/GTX960 powered by the CX430 v3, it's been great so far!
  • ImSpartacus - Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - link

    What an awesome review.

    It's nice to see Anandtech vet a psu that goes on sale a ton.

    I know I would consider this psu for any future gaming builds that used single 6/8 pin gpus.

    Keep it up. I'd love to hear more about the awesome psus in the ~500w range that most people shop for.
  • haukionkannel - Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - link

    Well, even to HTPC usage would be ok with this card. Quite nice!
  • nmm - Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - link

    So glad to see this review! I've bought 2 of these PSU's (for 27 bucks each after rebates), one in a HTPC I built for my parents and one that's sitting in my closet as a spare. I figured this review might not turn out so well for me since I was able to pick them up for so little, but wow am I pleasantly surprised! I hope you guys manage cover a lot more of these mid-range items that are likely to show up in your typical sub-$1000 PC's. I have no interest in 700+ watt PSU's, and I don't even know anyone who uses one. Hope to see more like this!
  • Peichen - Thursday, June 11, 2015 - link

    I would have bought this unit a month ago when it was on sale for $27 if it came with CS550M's cable set. The larger unit has 2x 3-SATA cables and 2x 6+2-pin PCI Express cables.

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