Rightfully, there have been many requests for us to review medium-to-low wattage power supply units. This is more than reasonable, as the average home PC almost never requires a PSU with a maximum output greater than 550-600 Watts. On our end, it is a little difficult to source such units, both because there are few worthwhile models and because manufacturers are more eager to supply samples of their high-end/flagship models than they are their lower-end models. There are a number of assumptions one could make about why the manufacturers prefer to have only their top models reviewed, but we would rather stick to the facts.

One of the very few manufacturers that responded to our call for sub-500 Watt units and immediately dispatched a sample is Corsair. Corsair provided us with a CS450M, the modular 450W version of the CS series. The CS series is a low-to-mid tier power supply – not the cheapest series that Corsair currently offers, but still value-minded – aiming to combine good performance and a high value for money. On paper, the 80Plus Gold certified CS450M appears to be a good deal for the retail price of $80 including shipping. The specifications however rarely ever say anything about the true quality and performance of a PSU, which we will examine in the following pages.

Power specifications ( Rated @ 40 °C )
AC INPUT 100 - 240 VAC, 50 - 60 Hz
RAIL +3.3V +5V +12V +5Vsb -12V
MAX OUTPUT 20A 20A 35.5A 3A 0.8A
110W 426W 15W 9.6W

Packaging and Bundle

Corsair supplies the CS450M in a relatively simple, serious cardboard box. It is smaller than the boxes of the higher end models and that is because there are no polystyrene foam pieces protecting the unit, only a bubble bag. The CS450M however is much lighter than a >1kW PSU and the box is sturdy, therefore it should provide enough protection during shipping. The sides and the back of the box are littered with the specifications and the features of the PSU.

The bundle is exactly as we expected it to be - basic but not overly so. Corsair supplies a simple manual, the typical AC power cable, four black screws, and a few cable ties with the CS450M. This is nothing special but it is not that bad, considering that some companies even skip the AC power cable with their low cost models.

The CS450M is a semi-modular PSU, with the ATX and the CPU EPS cables hardwired to the unit while the rest of the cables are modular. There are only four modular cables, two with SATA connectors, one with Molex connectors and one with a single PCI Express connector.  With the exception of the sleeved ATX cable, of the cables are "flat", ribbon-like, with black wires. 

Corsair CS450M
Connector type Hardwired Modular
ATX 24 Pin 1 -
EPS 4+4 Pin 1 -
PCI-E 6+2 Pin - 1
PCI-E 8 Pin - -
SATA - 4
Molex - 3
Floppy - 1
The Corsair CS450M PSU
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  • Shadow7037932 - Thursday, June 11, 2015 - link

    " Even those of secondary importance are supplied by known manufacturers and are rated for operation at 105°C, a figure that it is next to impossible to be reached inside a 450W unit as efficient as this one. "

    This isn't entirely accurate. The ambient temps around the caps especially the ones near the bridge rectifiers can be significantly higher than your average ambient temp of 25C. Sure, they won't really hit 105C ambient but temperature has a significant impact on the performance of electrolytic capacitors.
  • TurboTastic - Thursday, June 11, 2015 - link

    I know there's already a huge number of comments saying this, but as someone who clamored for sane-wattage PSU reviews, I want to add my voice to the chorus saying "Thank you for listening to the readers and reviewing a <500W PSU!" I will definitely be considering this PSU in future builds - we need a new HTPC in the living room, and this might be a perfect fit!

    Seasonic's SSR-450RM is also in the running. It looks like it does have a few more cable options, including the 2x PCIe 8/6 pin power cables, but I'm not sure if it has the efficient rectification or quiet operation demonstrated in this review.

    Seasonic - if someone is listening, thinks your product is better than Corsair's, and wants to make a (bunch of) sale(s), send an SSR-450RM to E. Fylladitakis!
  • Pissedoffyouth - Friday, June 12, 2015 - link

    I love anandtech but PLEASE can you stop this graph crap. Start it at zero and end at 100, otherwise it makes the results seem different than they are.

    I expect more from this site.
  • ShieTar - Friday, June 12, 2015 - link

    0 to 100 Watts? Degrees? Decibels? Efficiency? The graphs are perfectly fine as they are, why would anybody want to scale any single graph to 0 to 100 Units? Even on efficiency, scaling them to the proposed range would just make all graphs in all reviews look the same. Whats the point in that?
  • FredAZ - Saturday, June 13, 2015 - link

    When adding "age" to a word it means the rate at which something is attained. For Example "mileage" means the number of miles per gallon that a car attains. The term "watts" is the term for power, which already measures the flow of energy, or joules per second. Proper electrical terminology: power, current, Voltage, Energy, charge,
    wattage is redundant, please use "power", power already means the rate at which energy is being delivered, watts are the units
    amperage is redundant, please use "current", current means the rate at which charge is being delivered, amperes (amps) are the units
    voltage is proper because the correct term is elector-motive-force or emf, and no one understands this.
  • lagittaja - Sunday, June 14, 2015 - link

    Great to see more reasonable power supply reviews from you.
    Now go and pester Super Flower, Seasonic and EVGA for review samples.
    For example the Seasonic G-360, G-550. Super Flower Leadex or just EVGA's G2 lineup, the 550W G2 would be nice to see.

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