Corsair CX650M PSU Review

Corsair's CX series consists of both non-modular and semi-modular units. It was recently upgraded with new members and improved versions of older ones. The CX650M is the third strongest member of the line, featuring 650W capacity and a 40°C rating.

High-end PSUs might offer top-notch performance, but the models that drive sales are much more affordable. Corsair's CX family is the company's mainstream line-up. It's one step above the entry-level VS series, which we don't even have access to in the U.S.

The CX portfolio includes modular and non-modular products; the former is distinguished by the CX-M brand. There are five CX-M units in total with capacities ranging from 450 W to 850 W, covering the most popular categories. All of them feature 80 PLUS Bronze efficiency and have a 40 °C temperature rating for continuous full-load delivery.

In addition, Corsair backs them with a five-year warranty. That's impressive for a mid-range PSU family, exhibiting confidence in the Channel Well (CWT) platform it employs. The upgraded CX-M models are interesting enough, though we have to wonder about their higher than expected prices. We don't doubt that upgrades affect manufacturing costs. Higher temperature ratings and improved reliability require quality components, after all. But we do consider PSUs a real investment, since they keep your system running safely and efficiently. So we recommend against buying dirt-cheap power supplies just to save some money. That gamble rarely pays off.

Besides the semi-modular cable design and 40 °C temperature rating, the CX650M also features a single +12V rail and sleeve-bearing fan that promises quiet operation. Since this is an 80 PLUS Bronze unit, there is no semi-passive mode. Lower efficiency results in higher thermal loads compared to Gold- and higher-rated PSUs. In general, fanless operation isn't recommended in low-efficiency PSUs, since it stresses sensitive components and doesn't last long anyway. It's better to play it safe in this segment. If you desperately need a passive mode, then you should look for a higher-efficiency PSU.

Specifications

The CX650M is compatible with Intel's C6 and C7 sleep states, since it uses DC-DC converters for generating the minor rails. In addition, it is equipped with a full set of protection features, including over-temperature protection, which we consider a must-have. The CX650M's dimensions are compact, thanks to a reduced depth of only 14cm.

As mentioned, there is no semi-passive mode and Corsair claims compatibility with the latest ATX spec (v2.4). Finally, the provided warranty lasts five years. We're comfortable with that coverage. Interestingly, the CX650M's price on various online stores is way lower than the company's official MSRP. For its own reasons, Corsair lists an estimated price much higher than a Bronze-rated PSU should sell for. It's a good thing street pricing is more sane.

Power Specifications

Rail3.3V5V12V5VSB-12V
Max. PowerAmps25255430.8
Watts130648159.6
Total Max. Power (W)650

The single +12V rail is quite strong, sporting a maximum current of 54A. The same goes for the minor rails, which can deliver up to 130W, combined. Finally, the 5VSB rail has sufficient capacity for this wattage category.

Cables And Connectors

Native Cables
DescriptionCable CountConnector Count (Total)Gauge
ATX connector 20+4 pin (590mm)1118AWG
4+4 pin EPS12V (640mm)1118AWG
Modular Cables
DescriptionCable CountConnector Count (Total)Gauge
6+2 pin PCIe (600mm+150mm)2418AWG
SATA (350mm+120mm+120mm+120mm)1418AWG
SATA (490mm+120mm)1218AWG
Four-pin Molex (450mm+100mm+100mm) / FDD (+100mm)13 / 118AWG

The PSU features semi-modular cabling with only two native cables. That's perfectly acceptable, since every system needs them anyway. Cable length is ample, but the distance between peripheral connectors is too short. Moreover, the FDD connector isn't provided in adapter form, but is instead installed onto the cable that hosts the four-pin Molex connectors. This is a shame, since most folks won't even use a floppy drive.

The number of PCIe connectors is ideal for a budget-oriented 650W power supply. And as a result of the low street price, we won't whine about the single EPS connector. We could use a couple more peripheral connectors, though.

Power Distribution

Since this PSU features a single +12V rail, we do not have anything to say about its power distribution.

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44 comments
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  • Dark Lord of Tech
    Thanks for the review on this new CXM platform.
  • JQB45
    Looks to be better then the old CX line up.
  • Onus
    Good to see that Corsair didn't produce a[nother] Turkey with this one.
  • turkey3_scratch
    Onus why would Corsair produce me?

    Anyway I think the price/performance page shows all. This thing rocks!

    Also Jonnyguru claims it is a rifle bearing fan that has the same model # as the sleeve variant.
  • benedict78
    Does the CX650 perform the same as the CX650M? I'm not interested in modularity anyway.
  • turkey3_scratch
    The CX650 is not out yet.
  • Aris_Mp
    I have several CM and CX-M units, which I plan to fully evaluate. So far I figured that there are differences (something natural of course) in their performance.
  • Dark Lord of Tech
    Could you put the newer CXM 750W OR 850W on deck soon , as they are widely use for DUAL CARD configurations.
  • turkey3_scratch
    The 750W and 850W CXM units are basically unchanged except for a bridge rectifier upgrade. Everything else is the same. Only the CX450-650M got the major revisions.
  • Dark Lord of Tech
    Yeah I know that , but want to see one reviewed , to compare top older generations.
  • Ryan_78
    Seems cool to be a CX now. Nice
  • bettsar
    After getting such high marks from the review, why no award?
  • Aris_Mp
    The CX750M is on the test bench right now. I don't have a CX850M sample.
  • Aris_Mp
    About the award. It should have a recommendation award but as it seems we forgot to add it. On it right now :)
  • Math Geek
    good to see them making a strong performer in a moderate price range. if they drop some massive rebates over the holidays like they do most years, this will be a super buy. i'm keeping my eye out to stock up on some. looks like a very solid buy.
  • atljsf
    the modularity is nice if you have a mini itx case, i have a cx500 and some of the unused cables are a bit inconvenient so that cx650m should be nice for those with not that small mini itx cases that can fit normal size psus
  • HERETIC-1
    Corsair spend $3 more and get all Jap capacitors and you'll have a good PSU.
    Oh you have-It's called the Vengeance series.(RECOMMENDED)
  • turkey3_scratch
    HERETIC you are severely misled. Do you realize there are Chinese capacitors of higher quality than Japanese? Do you realize how much ripple a capacitors handles and the environment the capacitors is in also affects it's lifespan a lot?

    Look at the thermal shots. The PSU is significantly cooler than was expected. That is fantastic for capacitor life. If you want to persist at judging power supplies based on capacitors country (and BTW a lot of Jap caps are outsourced to China) then you will be misled.
  • HERETIC-1
    So turkey are you saying Corsair's marketing "105C JAPANESE CAPACITORS"
    on their vengeance series is not necessary?
    I am more than happy to pay a little more when I see-
    "All electrolytic caps come from Nippon Chemi-Con"
  • turkey3_scratch
    The Vengeance series is a higher end unit than the CXM at a different price category for different countries. Not really fair to compare them.

    What more.could you possibly want at the price this thing sells for? This is the best value period and you have to find the need to talk about Japanese caps without even knowing the spec sheets of these caps used.
  • 10tacle
    "Finally, the number of provided cables and connectors is sufficient for this unit's capacity. And although it isn't fully modular, the native cables are absolutely necessary anyway."

    I've never understood the logic behind a "fully" modular PSU where all cables are completely disconnected and need to be plugged in. How exactly are you not going to use a PSU in a PC without the 20+4 pin ATX and 8 pin 12v CPU power connectors going to the motherboard?

    If anything, I'd want those connected directly during manufacturing to ensure nothing is lost (output or resistance) through a transfer connector port to the two most crucial power connectors.
  • atljsf
    202972 said:
    "Finally, the number of provided cables and connectors is sufficient for this unit's capacity. And although it isn't fully modular, the native cables are absolutely necessary anyway." I've never understood the logic behind a "fully" modular PSU where all cables are completely disconnected and need to be plugged in. How exactly are you not going to use a PSU in a PC without the 20+4 pin ATX and 8 pin 12v CPU power connectors going to the motherboard? If anything, I'd want those connected directly during manufacturing to ensure nothing is lost (output or resistance) through a transfer connector port to the two most crucial power connectors.


    the idea is that if you want a longer, half meter or a shorter, 15 centimeters long cable, you can change the one that came with the psu and put the one you need

    this is what most pc builders need this days, especially with mini itx cases where space is extremely limited
  • JQB45
    2011305 said:
    the idea is that if you want a longer, half meter or a shorter, 15 centimeters long cable, you can change the one that came with the psu and put the one you need this is what most pc builders need this days, especially with mini itx cases where space is extremely limited


    So If I buy power supply "A" for my mITX build and its fully modular but the cables are to long, where do I go to get shorter cables?
  • turkey3_scratch
    Cables cost like $100.