We would like to thank Corsair for supplying the review sample.
Corsair has, after dominating heavy-weight PSUs with the AX1200i, hit the medium category with two new contenders, the AX760i, which we evaluated a few days ago, and the AX860i. Both units have a digital (DSP) control system that provides top performance under all conditions, a fully modular cabling-system, 80 Plus Platinum efficiency, and a semi-fanless operation due to the fan not having to spin up at all during lower loads. Corsair apparently managed to pack all the exotic features of their flagship AX1200i unit into a more affordable package, and that will appeal to a lot of users since many don't need 1.2 kW to power their system.
The general trend is to make newer system components more efficient, which decreases power demands. Some companies have, nevertheless, entered the watt race again by trying to hold the record for the strongest PSU on the market. They do, of course, gain significant experience through such projects (compare it, if you will, to Formula One car racing where some of the technology used in race cars finds its way into commercial vehicles after some time has passed), but such mega-PSUs are overkill for most systems and many users are, thankfully, aware of this. That having been said, the lower-capacity AXi PSUs will, naturally, claim a much larger slice of the market-pie than their bigger brother whose target audience is the hard-core overclocker.
In this review, we will take a detailed look at the AX860i. It uses the same cabling configuration as the AX760i, but provides more headroom through its increased capacity, which a user owning or planning on creating a three-way SLI or Crossfire configuration will appreciate given that this PSU will easily cope with such a task.