We would like to thank Corsair for supplying the review sample.
Corsair recently commenced a large-scale foray into the high-end category that left their competitors behind to wonder what sort of a strong hit would come next (who knows, they may decide to enter the 600W or lower wattage category with high-end models next). The AXi and the fresh AX models did, indeed, easily take the top spots of their respective categories, and they are almost left alone in the field to fight amongst each other for the performance crown. As we already stated in the AX760 review, the AXi models are all being made by Flextronics, and they feature digital control; it offers the best possible performance along with the ability for software control/monitoring. The AX models, on the other hand, are made by Seasonic, and they utilize a more conventional platform that doesn't use digital control, but it still exploits cutting-edge technology and a sophisticated design devised by Seasonic’s highly experienced R&D team, which allows for ground-breaking performance. We already found out that the AX760's performance is on par with that of the AX760i, so we are expecting pretty much the same from the AX860 unit.
Before we skip to the main review, let’s take a brief look at the main characteristics of the AX860. For starters, as its model number implies, it has 860 W capacity and is certified for 80 Plus Platinum efficiency. It also utilizes a fully-modular cabling design with stealth cables, which means that all of its cables are black, and many of them are also flat. Moreover, the AX860, like its smaller brother, has the ability to operate in fanless mode at lower loads/ambient, which minimizes its output noise. Now, Seasonic provided for those that prefer the fan to spin constantly in order to avoid increased temperatures inside the PSU via a small switch on the rear of the PSU; it allows you to toggle between normal and hybrid operation. Like all Corsair high-end PSUs, the AX860 enjoys a seven-year warranty, which is a clear indication of how confident they are in their product. So far, its only downside seems to be the stiff price.