Corsair’s latest CS-M series comes with many surprises. It certainly does not set any new performance records or stands out visually but the CS450M offers a fantastic performance-per-dollar ratio, which can easily harm the sales of even other series that Corsair offers. We found the CS450M currently retailing for $89.99 shipped, a very good deal by nowadays standards.
This is the first Corsair power supply based on a Great Wall design that we have ever tested, as most of Corsair’s units usually were CWT or Seasonic designs. Apparently, even though we have seen them building only high performance units before, Great Wall can make very interesting mainstream products as well. A modular power supply with an 80Plus Gold certification and a 3-year warranty retailing for less than $90 shipped is no small feat to begin with. The efficiency alone would be enough to entice a high number of users. However, the electrical performance of the CS450M is excellent as well, to the point that many high-performance designs would be envious of the capabilities of this small power supply. The high efficiency results to very good thermal performance as well, yet the acoustics performance is mediocre for a unit of this capacity, as it will easily reach audible levels. Clearly, noiseless operation was not a priority here, leaving that up to the RM series.
Visually, the CS450M is nothing really special but not an ugly design either. Corsair went with an all-black appearance and black wires, which can be easily hidden inside a modern case. It will not be winning any beauty contests but it will not unnecessarily be standing out either. For those that do not have special demands about the appearance of their system, the CS450M and its cables will be doing a great job hiding away.
Legit Bottom Line: The new CS-M series offers a great price to performance ratio, with very high efficiency, very good electrical performance and high quality for a very reasonable retail price. If you do not really want something visually fancy and acoustics are not your primary concern, the CS450M should definitely be making it to the top few spots of your shortlist.