Corsair started off as a high-performance computer memory manufacturer, but they evolved into one of the largest and most recognizable companies in the consumer PC market. Today the company markets an immense variety of products, including practically everything short of motherboards and processors. One of their most popular product ranges is that of power supply units (PSUs). The company released their first few PSUs back in 2006 but today they are offering a vast variety of products for every kind of user and application.

A few weeks ago we had a look at the HX850, one of Corsair’s better PSUs, a product designed for advanced gaming/workstation systems. Impressive as it was, its power output (and price tag) undoubtedly was excessive for the average home user and casual gamer. With PSUs, bigger is not better; using a PSU that is excessively overpowered will force it to operate well outside its optimal loading range, effectively reducing its efficiency and performance.

The optimal power range for a typical home entertainment/gaming system usually is within 400-600 Watts. To that end, Corsair supplied us with the TX550M, a PSU that the company feels it is ideal for the mainstream gamer. 

Power specifications ( Rated @ 50 °C )
AC INPUT 100 - 240 VAC, 50 - 60 Hz
RAIL +3.3V +5V +12V +5Vsb -12V
MAX OUTPUT 25A 20A 43A 3A 0.8A
120W 516W 15W 9.6W

On paper, it certainly does look that way - it has the ideal power output for a single-GPU card gaming system, impressive performance specifications, a 7-year warranty, and a very reasonable ($80) price tag.

Packaging and Bundle

We received the TX550M in a cardboard box that was peculiarly small in comparison to that of other Corsair products. Still, the cardboard box is strong enough to protect the PSU during shipping. The artwork is based on the same yellow/black that Corsair has been using for the past several years, with a picture of the PSU being the focus of it at the front of the package. A lot of information is printed on the sides and rear of the box.

The bundle of the TX550M is unsurprisingly simple. Inside the box we found only the typical AC power cable, black 3M mounting screws, a standard manual, a case badge, and a few short cable ties. Corsair does not supply any thumbscrews, cable straps, or other accessories.

The TX550M is a semi-modular PSU, meaning that the basic 24-pin ATX and 4+4 pin CPU power cables are hardwired to the unit but the rest of the cables are removable. All of the modular cables are flat, ribbon-like, with all-black wires and connectors. The same goes for the 4+4 pin CPU power cable that is hardwired to the unit. The 24-pin ATX cable is an exception, with all-black wires that are wrapped inside a classic black nylon sleeve. 

Corsair TX550M
Connector type Hardwired Modular
ATX 24 Pin 1 -
EPS 4+4 Pin 1 -
EPS 8 Pin - -
PCI-E 6+2 Pin - 2
PCI-E 8 Pin - -
SATA - 5
Molex - 4
Floppy - 1

Recent Power Supply Reviews

AnandTech tests a good number of power supplies each year, mostly in the popular power ranges (650-850W) with a few reviews now-and-again for small form factor parts or larger behemoths. Here are the power supplies we have reviewed in the last twelve to eighteen months.

  • [link] The Corsair TX550M 80Plus Gold PSU Review (this review)
  • [link] The Corsair HX850 80Plus Platinum PSU Review
  • [link] The Seasonic PRIME Titanium PSU (650W, 750W, 850W) Review
  • [link] The Riotoro Onyx Power Supply Review: 650W & 750W Tested
  • [link] The BitFenix Whisper M 450W & 850W PSU Review
  • [link] The Silverstone ST30SF & ST45SF SFX Power Supply Review
  • [link] The Zalman ZM1200-EBT 1200W Power Supply Review
  • [link] The Be Quiet! SFX-L Power 500W PSU Review
  • [link] The Enermax Revolution SFX 650W PSU Review
  • [link] The SilverStone SX700-LPT SFX 700W PSU Review
The Corsair TX550M PSU
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  • t.s - Saturday, December 2, 2017 - link

    I mean, all the peripheral on your example is not something that will make the system spent, like 150W
  • 1_rick - Friday, December 1, 2017 - link

    Well, that makes something like this model overkill for a lot of people, then. Just as an example, I have a Corsair CX-430 PSU, an overclocked Ryzen 1600X, and a GTX 950. During a GPU stress test, it will pull a bit under 250 watts. CPU stress tests are somewhat lower--I think under 200W. It idles well under 100, and normal usage is probably 120-160W.
  • mjeffer - Friday, December 1, 2017 - link

    This is one of my annoyances whenever building a new system. It's really hard to find a high quality, low wattage PSU that would represent your true needs. Most major vendors only go budget on low wattage or it's impossible to find someone who's done a teardown to see if it is made with quality parts because reviews are usually only done on grossly overpowered PSUs
  • KAlmquist - Saturday, December 2, 2017 - link

    I've been happy with the Seasonic SSR-360GP, but sadly it appears to have been discontinued. I guess the Antec EarthWatts EA-380 is worth a look.
  • Manabu - Monday, December 18, 2017 - link

    It is getting harder and harder to find high quality low wattage PSUs with enough cables. I'm using 6 sata and 3 ide and 1 6-pin vga cable (gtx 650 ti). My overclocked system draws up to 250W (measured at the wall) with linpack AVX2 and Furmark, but more normal high load is like 150-175W. Thus I would want a 350W psu for a good margin and efficiency.

    Instead I had to buy a 450W 80+gold psu (electricity here is expensive and it runs 24h/d). Previously I used a 420W 80+ bronze psu for 6 years and before that a 400W 80+ psu for 5 years. Power ratings are creeping up, but at least efficiency too. Still, if power ratings continue to go up efficiency for my loads will go down.
  • jhapp - Friday, December 1, 2017 - link

    People need reliability, not 3D graphics. I always buy PNY/Quadro high resolution 2D cards which run about 10 watts per monitor. 3D video cards are expensive and energy wasting. Add them to the long list of things people don't need but think they do because of media hype, like hi-res tvs, or hybrid cars, ethanol, E85, smart phones, cell phones, ...
  • Jimios - Friday, December 1, 2017 - link

    I'd like to see you play a modern game with a 10W 2D Quadro.
  • MadAd - Friday, December 1, 2017 - link

    With CPUs providing basic graphics these days I dont think the average user would buy a 3d card unless they actually had an app demanding it, eg for me Planetside 2 wouldnt even work without a serious graphics card, otherwise I wouldnt bother and just use the onboard.
  • Dr. Swag - Friday, December 1, 2017 - link

    But if you want to play video games...
  • LukaP - Friday, December 1, 2017 - link

    Even if you dont, iGPUs exist, on both sides...

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