* Prices may differ from that shown
The CX430 is a Computer Power Supply Unit produced by Corsair. It theoretically puts out 430w and costs between £30-£40.
==Ease of Installation==
Power supply installation is pretty standard throughout all the brandings, and this model is no different to many of the others on the market. The power supply is designed to be put in a case that supports ATX, but may also fit in a variety of other cases, including some mATX cases.
The power supply is just the right size for most cases, and has four screws to screw it into the case. These keep it very secure and in place. From here, the cables are all tied up with several cable ties, simply unscrew it and plug it all in to use. The majority of the pins are more than long enough to reach even the farthest away components in your computer, so it's unlikely you'll run into any issues.
The only thing that I can imagine being an issue of any description is that the SATA cables are all on a single cable, and so while one of them has a distance that can extend across the case, the others have staggered shorter cables.
The power supply also accommodates case fans and a variety of high end graphics cards, with multiple 'Molex' cables and a PCI-E connector. Some of the cables are also sleeved to help ensure good cable management.
The Power Supply is 430w and rated for at least 80% efficiency on typical load. This means that when your computer is being used typically, it will use no more than 20% more than the computer actually needs (of course 100% would be better, but sadly it's impossible to have 100% efficiency in any energy transfer).
The Power Supply also has a dedicated +12V Rail. This basically means that the power supply is a lot more reliable, and is more likely to be able to power high end devices like dedicated graphics cards.
The Power Supply also features a 'universal AC input', which essentially means it can work all over the world without changing anything on the PSU (on lower-end PSUs you'd need to physically flip a switch to tell the power supply what voltage the plug is outputting, but here, it is done for you). It also conforms nicely with the majority of EU Power Saving standards, meaning that you can be sure you're getting efficiency for your machine.
The power supply also features protection against a lot of generic problems that could be caused by unseen circumstances or issues with the houses wiring. This includes protection from over-volting and over-powering, as well as under-voltage and short circuiting protection. This means that the PSU can protect both itself, and the components inside your PC (if an issue like a short circuit where to happen under a cheaper, 'no name' PSU, you might find yourself heading down dead computer lane without a paddle, potentially losing a lot of data).
For such a cheap PSU, the CX430 has a great range of features and additions that make you feel safer, and help provide a clean and consistent power supply.
The Corsair CX430 has a 120mm fan, and it is actually surprisingly quiet. It's more than adequate for cooling the power supply, but the power supply still remains what is probably the quietest component in my computer, which for many is a rare occurrence.
However, under a considerable amount of load (components drawing a lot of power), you can observe a problem that affects all power supplies, but particularly badly the CX-series ones. A high pitched squeal will be produced by the power supply - and if you're not wearing headphones, it's incredibly noticeable. The squeal isn't a sign of anything bad happening, and it is relatively normal for PSUs, but the Corsair's squeal is pretty loud in comparison to most - and it could quite easily get on your nerves.
However, the only time when I've found that it is so under load that it requires to start squealing to it's hearts content is when I was running both a graphics card and CPU stress test at the same time, and while playing Battlefield 3, and to be honest, they're both effectively the same thing.
Amps are an important part of a gaming system. The graphics card can sometimes require a substantial amount of amps from the power supply, and as such it's important to provide that. The Corsair CX430 does provide very good amperage on all of the rails. For those who aren't too interested in what the amps on the voltage rails are, you can safely skip over this section, especially if you're not running a dedicated graphics card, as you won't need to worry about this.
+3.3V = 20A
+5V = 20A
+12V = 28A
-12V = 0.8A
+5Vsb = 3A
The amperages here are more than enough to run the majority of systems where 450w is the recommended power supply. No guarantees, and you should definitely check things for yourself, but it should run higher end cards like the 6770 just fine.
Corsair are one of the best companies for manufacturer support around. They will take everything that is in warranty (the warranty that comes with the CX430 is 3 years), and replace it if there is even a shadow of a doubt that there is something wrong with it. They will not give you your money back though, only replace your PSU.
It doesn't even matter if you bought it from a separate retailer, they will replace any RMA request on their website so long as you can prove that the product is still within warranty.
Again, Corsair are one of the best companies for keeping your warranty safe.
Power Supplies are not a case of "I hope it doesn't die", they're a case of "I hope it doesn't die too soon". You see, all power supplies are destined to degrade. Their capacitors worsen, their wattages drop, their amperages fall, and eventually they'll just give up on you. There no avoiding that fact, and it's one of the reasons you need to buy a good one, to deter this from happening.
Thankfully, the CX430 is good at detering this. Their MTBF (Mean-time-before-failure) is 100,000 hours, which works out as more than ten years of constant use. Of course, this is only a mean time, and if you're unlucky you may find that your PSU gives up before then, but if that is the case, you'll most likely be able to apply for an RMA due to the superb Corsair warranty.
The longevity of the CX430 makes it worth it.
==Value for Money==
A vast majority of cheap-out power supplies cost more than the CX430, so you know you're getting a good deal when you're buying the power supply for around £35. It may seem like a lot, especially when there are other power supplies of higher wattages going for far less, but what you've got to remember is that those cheaper power supplies are more likely to fail, and when they fail, they're more likely to take all of your components with them.
This is why you need a good power supply, because otherwise, your other components have potential to go with them - and really, it's worth paying an extra £20 to protect what may be £400 worth of investment).
The CX430 is a fine power supply, delivering efficiency, good amperages on all of it's voltage rails and a level of reliability unrivaled for the price. There may be cheaper power supplies on the market, but you can bet they won't be anywhere near as reliable as this.
If the potential of a slight squeal when under the heaviest of loads isn't an issue for you, I would recommend you to buy this power supply - it's great.
I rate the CX430 a four out of five.
Corsair CMPSU-430CX 430W Power Supply
Model number: CMPSU-430CX
* Vital Stats *
- Supports the latest ATX12V v2.3 standard and is backward compatible with ATX12V 2.2 and ATX12V 2.01 systems
- ultra-quiet 120mm double ball-bearing fan delivers excellent airflow at an exceptionally low noise level by varying fan speed in response to temperature
- Up to 80% energy efficiency means less heat generation and lower energy bills
- Two year warranty and lifetime access to Corsair's legendary technical support and customer service.
* What's in the box? *
- Another box
- the Power supply itself wrapped securely in some bubble wrap type plastic
- 4 screws so you can affix it to your case
- Several plastic ties so you can tie off any cables you aren't using to help improve air flow inside the case
- A Corsair sticker that you can stick on the front of your PC case
- Warranty and Instruction manual
* Installation *
The manual is very detailed and it explained all I needed to know. The power supply itself is slightly larger and heavier than the normal cheap ones you get in PC's bought from PC World, Curries and so on.
I have been told that the heavier a power supply, the more likely it is to be of a higher quality. This one weighs 2.2kg.
The PC case I was using was designed to hold the smaller types of power supply. I therefore had to bend / pull out a piece of metal at the edge of the hole where the power supply was supposed to go in the case, using some pliers to get it to fit. After that it fitted fine.
It has several cables coming off it including 1 cable with 24 pins that you plug into your motherboard and another one to go next to the processor. It also has a few Sata / Molex connectors.
The cables themselves are shielded with an extra material on the outside. I am not sure what it is.
The cables are very long and should be able to reach most places in a PC. I have connected this to 2 hard drives and a DVD drive. The cables I am not using, I have tied off with plastic ties and put them to one side inside the PC case so they don't get in the way and to make sure hot air can easily get out of the case.
* Other thoughts *
I was looking for a power supply that was fairly cheap but at the same time made by a well known company. My last PC kept crashing randomly and I thought it may have been due to the power supply. It was an off the shelf PC, so when I decided to build my own, I wanted to use the best components I could find for the lowest price.
You can get very cheap power supplies that claim to be 500w for £10 -£15 but their quality isn't very good - they can get very hot, make a lot of noise, and may not actually provide the wattage they claim too.
I have been using this with an AMD Phenom 2 x 4 965 quad core processor and I have had no problems at all as of yet.
This cost me just under £40 so it was more expensive. I would say it was a mid range power supply. So far it has performed very reliably. It also makes less sound than the normal power supplies that have a fan spinning around and round. This may be because of the ball bearing type fan it uses. The system fan built into my PC case makes more noise than this.
* Summary *
A mid-range power supply that is worth the price.