Using Link with a Corsair AXi Digital Power Supply
The Corsair AXi Series PSUs have a lot of premium features. They use a digital signal processor for better performance, they're fully modular, and have a zero RPM fan mode at low loads. But one of the coolest things about the AXi power supplies, is their compatibility with the new Corsair Link software. Today, we take a look at the Corsair Link 2 software, or just "Link" for short, and more specifically how it gives you the ability to monitor AC input, DC output, the temperature and the fan speed of an AXi power supply.
The first thing I want to do is open up the "Graph" tab and set what I want to monitor in the "Config Panel" of this tab...
Above, you can see that I've checked boxes asking to have my two graphics cards' temperatures and fans graphed, as well as my CPU's temperature, the temperature of my AX860i power supply, as well as the AX860i's fan speed. I'm also monitoring the temperature of the coolant in the Hydro Series H100 that is cooling the CPU and the RPMs of the two fans cooling the H100's radiator.
While the system is idle, we can see that temperatures are relatively low. The AX860i is just barely over room temperature and therefore, the fan is not spinning.
Over on the "Power" tab, we see that the AX860i is only producing 107.3W as I sit here watching the Link software. It's pulling 117.8W from the wall, so our efficiency is 91%.
On this tab, we can also monitor our voltages, including the voltage of our AC mains, as well as current for each of our +12V outputs.
There are also check boxes that allow you to turn OCP on for the 8-pin +12V outputs (labeled "PCIe") on the power supply. OCP stands for "over current protection" and will shut down the power supply if too much current is delivered on any of these outputs.
Finally, we see the AX860i's temperature and the fan RPM on this tab. This is the same information we saw on the "Graph" tab, but in a different format. The fan is still not spinning because the temperatures are still low, but if we wanted to increase the airflow within our chassis just a bit, we can manually turn the fan speed up.
We start on the "System" tab...
On this tab, we can see everything that Corsair Link 2 monitors, but if we click on the "AX860i Fan" icon on the left, a configuration panel opens up on the right. By default, we can see the fan mode is set to "quiet" which means the fan isn't going to spin at low loads. Changing this is easy...
The lowest setting is 40%, which equates to about 784 RPM. I can keep it like this and still not hear the fan. And the fan will still ramp up even faster automatically if needed. Let's turn it up even more to find out where I can start hearing the fan...
At 76%, the fan is spinning 1508 RPM. I can definitely hear that now. Well, that's enough of that. Let's put the PSU fan back into "quiet" mode, fire up Prime95 and Furmark and see what kind of power we produce and let the fan spin up all on its own...
Almost immediately, the temperatures of the CPU and graphics cards increase. Under this load, we start to see the power supply fan ramp up as well.
After some time under load, we see our temperatures level out, an increase in the graphics cards' fan's RPMs and the PSU's fan leveling off just over 500 RPM.
When we switch back over to the "Power" tab, we can see that our load has increased to 473.4W. We're now pulling 502.9W from the wall and our efficiency is increased to 94%. We can see that the amperage delivered on all of our +12V connectors has increased, the AX860i's temperature has increased very slightly, from 26.5 to 28.8°C, and the fan is now spinning at 556 RPM.
Of course, when you're gaming you're probably not going to be able to watch your load, temperatures and fan speeds while you're playing. For this reason, Corsair Link allows you to log whatever information you'd like to keep track of in a CSV file. Simply check the boxes of the components you want to monitor, browse to where you want to save the file and give the file a name and click "start logging".