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Fractal Design Ion+ Platinum 660P PSU Review

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. We run at 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 test in a single +12V configuration.

DC Output Load Regulation

Combined

DC Load

+3.3V
+5V
+12V
+5VSB
-12V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A V
65W
0.92
3.34
0.88
5.04
4.42
12.05
0.50
5.02
0.20
-12.03
130W
1.63
3.33
1.65
5.03
9.18
12.04
0.50
5.02
0.20
-12.02
325W
2.93
3.33
3.00
5.02
24.25
12.03
1.50
5.01
0.20
-12.03
490W
4.04
3.33
4.10
5.01
36.90
12.02
2.00
5.01
0.30
-12.02
660W
5.05
3.33
5.30
5.01
50.23
12.01
2.50
5.00
0.30
-12.02

Load regulation is good, within 1.5%.

Fractal Design Ion+ Platinum 660P PSU Maximum Load
743 watts

We managed to get the PSU to deliver 743 watts before it would shut down, delivering just over 80 watts more than the rated specifications.

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
590W 1.0 3.34 1.0 5.04 48.0 12.02 0.2 -12.03 0.50 5.02
145W 12.0 3.33 15.0 4.99 2.0 12.05 0.2 -12.04 0.50 5.01

The unit passed our cross load test without any noticeable concerns or issues.

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
152W 5 5 10 5
270W 5 10 10 5
400W 10 10 15 5
523W 10 10 15 10
660W 10 15 20 15

Ripple suppression rates as excellent, peaking at 10mV and 15mV on the +3.3V and +5V rails respectively. The +12V rail hit a maximum of 20mV under full load conditions. Another fantastic result.

Efficiency (%)
152W
90.6
270W
93.8
400W
93.7
523W
93.1
660W
92.5

Efficiency peaked at around 94%, falling to around 92.5% at full load. Very solid results indeed.

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 SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa) 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)
152W
<28.0
270W
<28.0
400W
31.7
523W
32.4
660W 33.9

This is a quiet power supply throughout the range, peaking at 33.9db when the power supply is at full load. The pitch of this particular FDB fan is very low too which means it is never intrusive and will likely be drowned out by a couple of case fans.

Temperature (c)
Intake
Exhaust
152W
36
40
270W
39
42
400W
42
44
523W
44
47
660W
47
54

Temperatures inside are very good indeed, helped by the high efficiency of the unit.

Maximum load
Efficiency
743 watts
91.7

At 743 watts, the efficiency level measures 91.7%. Not a practical situation to be running 24/7, but worth noting.

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