Trying to determine whether Seasonic and Corsair is the better choice for your PC’s next power supply? We can help!
Generally speaking, Seasonic is a manufacturer while Corsair is a reseller. This means that Corsair PSU’s can even be made by Seasonic. However, this also means that the origin of Corsair PSU’s can be difficult to determine without a bit of research.
That’s the short answer, but there are some definite points that you need to cover when deciding to choose between opting for a Seasonic or Corsair power supply.
Choosing the right power supply (internal or external) can be just as challenging as picking out the right GPU or CPU. There are tons of manufacturers that throw tons of numbers and statistics at you to show how their PSUs are the best, and discerning between the makers and models can be a real headache.
Finding a reputable manufacturer is a good first step, but how do you choose?
Out of all the manufacturers in the power supply market, two major players stand out. They both have sterling reputations and long histories of great products and customer service, and both have extensive product lines that will work with just about any computer setup you can think of. And their names are Seasonic and CORSAIR.
This quick guide will cover everything you need to know about about how these two brands compare to one another with tips on how to choose between them.
About Both Brands
Seasonic is a Taiwanese company that started making power supply units for PCs all the way back in 1981. Their decades of experience in the market have led them to some groundbreaking advancements in power supply design, earned them a starring role in the international power supply market, and solidified their place as one of the go-to power supply sources for consumers and businesses alike. Though Seasonic is headquartered in Taiwan, their offices in the US, Europe, and elsewhere in the world give them the local presence they need to give their clientele the fast, high-quality customer service they deserve. Their products are reliable, highly rated, and come in a wide range of wattages.
CORSAIR (or Corsair if you don’t feel like yelling) is a public company that’s traded on the NASDAQ under the name CRSR. They’re an American company that first opened their doors in 1994 as a producer of level 2 cache modules to sell to CPU manufacturers. Since then they’ve expanded their scope to include high-end gaming peripherals, components, and systems such as water cooling systems, mechanical keyboards, RAM modules, and, you guessed it: power supply units.
CORSAIR makes its own RAM modules in its Taiwanese factory, but most of its products are made by third-party producers around Asia. It does make a lot of products in-house for its subsidiary brands Elgato, SCUF Gaming, and ORIGIN PC, none of which are in the power supply unit business. That means that CORSAIR, unlike Seasonic, doesn’t manufacture its own power supply units, instead opting to either buy and rebrand PSUs or contracting outside firms to build the PSUs they design.
In addition to its impressive track record and wide range of products, CORSAIR is also known for its customer service. They’re so responsive and willing to refund or exchange, in fact, that their customer service alone has been enough to create legions of repeat customers. You can feel fairly confident that CORSAIR will make things right if anything goes wrong at any step in the process.
The Differences Between Seasonic & Corsair
The power supply market is relatively small. Most of the units are made by the same small group of manufacturers, and many retailers simply buy those manufacturers’ PSUs and rebrand them as their own products.
SeaSonic is a manufacturer. They make all their own PSUs and sell them directly to consumers and to other retailers for rebranding. Their products are known for their quality and durability, so going with a SeaSonic PSU is a pretty safe bet.
CORSAIR is a reseller, not a manufacturer. They buy their PSUs from their original manufacturers—including SeaSonic in many cases—so the quality of their products ultimately depends on their original manufacturers. It can be difficult to find out where CORSAIR’s PSUs come from, so you’ll need to do a little detective work before buying with confidence. Read customer reviews, see if there are any writeups on them from reputable publications, and investigate the PSU’s original manufacturer if you can figure out who it is.
How to Choose Between Seasonic & Corsair
Let’s assume you’ve found two PSUs that fit all your specifications; one from CORSAIR, the other from SeaSonic. How do you choose between two very similar products?
First, check the prices. If the SeaSonic PSU is cheaper, well, you’re done. You know where the PSU came from (SeaSonic), you know manufactured it (SeaSonic), and you know you’re buying from a company with a reputation for great customer service (SeaSonic). In fact, you might want to buy the SeaSonic PSU even if it’s a bit more expensive than the CORSAIR unit.
If it’s significantly more expensive, however:
Next, if the SeaSonic PSU is significantly more expensive than CORSAIR’s you’ll want to dig into the reviews from CORSAIR’s customers and, if possible, find professional reviews online. This step is necessary because of the indeterminate origin of CORSAIR PSUs. The unit you’re looking at might have been built by a great manufacturer, but it also come from a manufacturer with a less than sterling reputation. If the reviews look okay then go ahead and buy the CORSAIR PSU.
If you’re still not quite sold on one above the other:
Finally, check the warranty offered by both CORSAIR and SeaSonic. CORSAIR generally offers three to five-year warranties on their PSUs, and SeaSonic offers five to twelve-year warranties. A good warranty will let you take a bit more of a risk on a CORSAIR PSU, as they’ll quickly rectify the situation if you receive a damaged or defective unit.
Aesthetically, just go with whatever you like. We’re pretty big fans of PSU shrouds though, as we detailed in our recent guide to PSU shrouds.
What to Look for in a Good PSU
1. Power Output:
This one’s obvious. The components in your PC all need a certain amount of power, and you need a PSU that can deliver enough juice. You can find calculators on the internet (like Newegg’s) to help you figure out how much power you need. You might also want to leave some wiggle room in case you want to upgrade your system in the future.
When PSUs transform AC power from your outlet into DC power for your PC, some of the power “leaks” out in the form of heat. A PSU with a low efficiency rating leaks more energy than one with a higher efficiency rating, meaning a low-efficiency PSU will waste more electricity and heat up the inside of your PC. A high-efficiency PSU will draw less electricity and give your PC’s fans a break, so you really want to aim for one with a higher rating.
Most PSUs now come with an 80 PLUS certification that guarantees the unit in question has an 80% efficiency rate or higher. You’ll want to look for a PSU with at least a standard 80 PLUS certification, but also keep an eye out for units marked with 80 PLUS Titanium, the highest sub-certification available.
Not all PSUs will fit your setup. Some won’t have the right connectors or rails for your other components, and some are just plain too big or too small to fit in your tower. It’s a good idea to pick out all your other components before looking for a PSU; it’ll save you some headache in case your chosen PSU isn’t compatible with the components you want.
Double-check to see what kind of connectors your motherboard, processor, and storage drives require, and only pick a PSU with all the connectors you need. It’s also a good idea to see what kind of voltage rails your components require. Some systems might just need a single +12V rail to function, others might need one or more rails that output upwards of 34A, so make sure you check on the PSU’s information label for its rail configuration and combined power output before you spend the money.
The bottom line is that both SeaSonic and CORSAIR are great companies with great products, though you’ll need to do more research on specific CORSAIR PSU’s thanks to their indeterminate origins.
There are few components as underappreciated as a PC’s power supply unit (PSU). It makes sense; the PSU gets overshadowed by things like graphics cards, processors, and even RAM, but it’s every bit as important to your build as any of the more exciting components. Think of it like this: You can have a nice TV, an amazing sound system, and all the game consoles and smart devices you want, but without electricity they’re basically useless.
A good power supply is one that you don’t really need to think about. One that can consistently and efficiently provide all the power your PC’s other components need to function. A bad power supply might provide too little electricity, provide an unsteady or unreliable flow, and even randomly shut off or stop providing power entirely.
A PC with too little power might not boot up correctly, refuse to boot up altogether, or shut down when power demands get too high for its PSU. An unstable power supply can be even worse; irregularities and instabilities in the power flow can actually damage expensive components like graphics cards and CPUs, which is pretty much the worst thing that can happen to a gaming PC.