Fractal Design Ion+ 2 Platinum 860W Report (Page 4 of 4)

Page 4 - Minor Tests and Conclusion

Power supplies are interesting products, because often, reviews of products in this category are conducted and tested in methods that make it difficult to distinguish one power supply from another. Many aspects must be taken into consideration. Certain criteria consist of efficiency, noise, power ripples, and of course the ability to pull out the rated specifications. Because many cannot afford such equipment to obtain results regarding those aspects, articles covering power supplies often come out with less than adequate and acceptable information. As this is a product report -- not a review -- what we are doing is a close examination of the power supply and the internal hardware and build. But what we can do for you is do some minor testing with the results we can present to you with and let other review sites with professional equipment show you the actual test results. We are not going to try to create useless test results by installing the power supply into the latest gaming rig and try to take readings from that, as this is not even remotely the correct way to test power supply units. We understand that many websites do that as a means of load testing, but the results, even if you use an oscilloscope and multimeter at each output location, it is not sufficient, nor does it accurately reflect the performance of the power supply.

Using our power supply tester which exerts minimal load on the power supply, the initial consumption was 8W as measured by our wall meter unit, indicating that the basic load-free power consumption of the power supply is very good. This specific model has not been tested in independent reviews from websites with professional load testing equipment at press time, but similar models in the product line delivered very good efficiency and excellent voltage regulation and ripple across all rails. Stricter over-current protection was also implemented compared to the original model. This is an 80 Plus Platinum certified power supply.

Voltages with minimal load are generally accurate, which is a basic requirement of power supplies out of the box. In this situation all are within 4%. The Power Good or PG delay is tested at 170ms, which is compatible with Non-Alternative Sleep Mode per ATX specifications. The ATX design specifications state a PSU's PG is required to be between 100ms and 500ms, with 250ms maximum for Non-Alternative Sleep Mode and 150ms for Alternative Sleep Mode.

Active power correction is important to correct AC load line loss. In AC power, there are three components to it, as there is a phase difference between current and voltage. This makes up the power triangle, which consists of the following: Average usable power (P, measured in watts), reactive power (Q, denoted as VA-R), and total power (S, written as VA). While they all have the save physical units, it is not the same thing as aforementioned. What we want is the average usable power with as little wasted reactive power as possible. The total power provided over the AC line is the magnitude of the two combined (sqrt(P^2+Q^2)). Power factor can then be easily calculated by P divided by S. The ideal value is 1.00, and this is where active PFC comes in. The Fractal Design Ion+ 2 Platinum 860W has active PFC, and the power factor will approach 0.99 with a nominal load.

The Fractal Design Ion+ 2 Platinum 860W is silent to very quiet power supply, depending on the amount of power being drawn. Under idle level loads, the Ion+ 2 Platinum 860W is inaudible, because the fan is shut off completely. Under moderate to high loads, the Ion+ 2 Platinum 860W is still quieter than the competition. Personally, I found the Dynamic X2 GP-14 to be exceptional. The hydraulic bearing fans have a smooth-running motor with no annoying noise during operation. While this is very subjective, I am quite a picky person on noise. On a scale from 0 to 10 where 0 is silent and 10 is the loudest, I would rate the Fractal Design Ion+ 2 Platinum 860W to be at 0.0/10 when the fan is off, because, well, the fan is off. Above that, under typical settings, I would peg it at 1.5/10 acoustically under moderate loads, because the fan does not spin that fast. If you are a silent PC enthusiast, the Fractal Design Ion+ 2 Platinum 860W is an excellent choice with its semi-fanless operation and ultra-quiet fan.

Fractal Design provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.

The Fractal Design Ion+ 2 Platinum 860W is a whisper quiet power supply built by Sirfa/High Power that delivers very good efficiency and excellent voltage regulation and ripple across all rails according to our affiliates with professional load testing equipment. It continues its predecessor's quiet-focused semi-fanless operation and features the excellent Dynamic X2 GP-14 fan. The latest update adds ATX 2.52 support and stricter over-current protection. Some cables are still a bit short though. That aside, it is backed by Fractal Design's excellent 10-year warranty should anything goes wrong. At an MSRP of $150, the price is very competitive for its wattage and performance grade.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Minor Tests and Conclusion