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Fractal Design Integra R2 750W Review

Additional technical assistance: Peter McFarland and Jeremy Price.

Correctly testing power supplies is a complex procedure and KitGuru have configured a test bench which can deliver up to a 2,000 watt DC load. Due to public requests we have changed our temperature settings recently – previously we rated with ambient temperatures at 25C, we have increased ambient temperatures by 10c (to 35c) in our environment to greater reflect warmer internal chassis conditions.

We use combinations of the following hardware:
•  SunMoon SM-268
•  CSI3710A Programmable DC load (+3.3V and +5V outputs)
•  CSI3711A Programmable DC load (+12V1, +12V2, +12V3, and +12V4)
• Extech Power Analyzer
• Extech MultiMaster MM570 digital multimeter
• Extech digital sound level meter
• Digital oscilloscope (20M S/s with 12 Bit ADC)
• Variable Autotransformer, 1.4 KVA

We are combining +12V output to get the results.

DC Output Load Regulation

Combined

DC Load

+3.3V
+5V
+12V
+5VSB
-12V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A V
75W
1.23
3.33
1.19
5.05
4.95
12.23
0.50
5.01
0.20
-12.02
150W
2.17
3.30
2.83
5.05
10.08
12.12
1.00
4.98
0.30
-12.04
375W
6.16
3.28
6.05
5.04
26.16
12.03
1.50
4.96
0.50
-12.06
565W
10.32
3.25
10.86
5.02
38.33
11.95
2.00
4.92
0.60
-12.07
750W
10.72
3.22
13.82
4.99
53.60
11.82
3.00
4.90
0.80
-12.09

Load regulation is not the greatest we have seen in recent months, although it isn’t weak enough to cause any issues.

Fractal Design Integra R2 750W Maximum Load
788W

We managed to reach around 788W before the unit would shut down gracefully, after the protection kicked in.

Next we want to try Cross Loading. This basically means loads which are not balanced. If a PC for instance needs 500W on the +12V outputs but something like 30W via the combined 3.3V and +5V outputs then the voltage regulation can fluctuate badly.

Cross Load Testing +3.3V +5V +12V -12V +5VSB
A V A V A V A V A V
734W 1.0 3.32 1.0 5.03 60.0 11.76 0.2 -12.00 0.50 4.97
154W 15.0 3.21 15.0 4.97 2.0 12.21 0.2 -12.03 0.50 4.95

The unit exhibited noticeable fluctuation on most of the rails, with the +12V output dropping to 11.76 after being hit with 60A.

We then used an oscilloscope to measure AC ripple and noise present on the DC outputs. We set the oscilloscope time base to check for AC ripple at both high and low ends of the spectrum.

ATX12V V2.2 specification for DC output ripple and noise is defined in the ATX 12V power supply design guide.

ATX12V Ver 2.2 Noise/Ripple Tolerance
Output
Ripple (mV p-p)
+3.3V
50
+5V
50
+12V1
120
+12V2
120
-12V
120
+5VSB
50

Obviously when measuring AC noise and ripple on the DC outputs the cleaner (less recorded) means we have a better end result. We measured this AC signal amplitude to see how closely the unit complied with the ATX standard.

AC Ripple (mV p-p)
DC Load +3.3V +5V +12V 5VSB
75W 15 15 10 10
150W 20 15 15 15
375W 20 20 25 20
565W 30 30 35 25
750W 35 35 50 30

Ripple results are within the rated tolerance guidelines although the +3.3V and +5V are higher than many other competing units we have reviewed recently. The +12V output peaked at 50mV under full load.

Efficiency (%)
75W
84.21
150W
87.23
375W
88.21
565W
86.45
750W
85.22

Efficiency peaks at just over 88 percent at 50 percent load, dropping to just over 85 percent at full load.

We take the issue of noise very seriously at KitGuru and this is why we have built a special home brew system as a reference point when we test noise levels of various components. Why do this? Well this means we can eliminate secondary noise pollution in the test room and concentrate on components we are testing. It also brings us slightly closer to industry standards, such as DIN 45635.

Today to test the power supply we have taken it into our acoustics room environment and have set our Digital Sound Level Noise Decibel Meter Style 2 one meter away from the unit. We have no other fans running so we can effectively measure just the noise from the unit itself.

As this can be a little confusing for people, here are various dBa ratings in with real world situations to help describe the various levels.

KitGuru noise guide
10dBA – Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA – High Quality Computer fan
40dBA – A Bubbling Brook, or a Refrigerator
50dBA – Normal Conversation
60dBA – Laughter
70dBA – Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA – City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA – Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA – MP3 Player at maximum output
110dBA – Orchestra
120dBA – Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA – Threshold of Pain
140dBA – Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA – Instant Perforation of eardrum

Noise (dBA)
75W
32.3
150W
33.7
375W
35.6
565W
36.3
750W 38.3

The fan is very noisy, and is even audible when delivering a load of 300 watts. At full load it is extremely noticeable, and the pitch of the fan is also slightly irritating.

Temperature (c)
Intake
Exhaust
75W
36
40
150W
38
43
375W
39
49
565W
45
57
750W
47
63

The 120mm fan spins fast as the load rises, ending up with a maximum exhaust temperature around 16c higher than the intake.

Maximum load
Efficiency
788W
84.7

For those interested, we measured efficiency when stressing the unit to breaking point. 84.7 percent efficiency at 823W … hardly practical, but interesting regardless.

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