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Fractal Design ION+ 860P Power Supply Review: Whisper Quiet

Load Regulation, Hold-Up Time, Inrush Current, Efficiency and Noise

To learn more about our PSU tests and methodology, please check out How We Test Power Supply Units. 

Primary Rails And 5VSB Load Regulation

The following charts show the main rails' voltage values recorded between a range of 40W up to the PSU's maximum specified load, along with the deviation (in percent). Tight regulation is an important consideration every time we review a power supply because it facilitates constant voltage levels despite varying loads. Tight load regulation also improves system stability, especially under overclocked conditions. At the same time, it applies less stress to the DC-DC converters that many system components utilize.

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The load regulation we measure is satisfactory on each rail.

Hold-Up Time

Hold-up time is the amount of time that the system can continue to run without shutting down or rebooting during a power interruption.

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The hold-up time we observe exceeds 17ms, while the power-good signal is spot-on at 16ms.

Inrush Current

Inrush current, or switch-on surge, refers to the maximum, instantaneous input current drawn by an electrical device when it is first turned on. A large enough inrush current can cause circuit breakers and fuses to trip. It can also damage switches, relays, and bridge rectifiers. As a result, the lower the inrush current of a PSU right as it is turned on, the better.

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Although we measure low inrush current with 115V input, this is not the case with 230V input.

10-110% Load Tests

These tests reveal the PSU’s load regulation and efficiency levels under high ambient temperatures. They also show how the fan speed profile behaves under increased operating temperatures.

Test #12V5V3.3V5VSBDC/AC (Watts)EfficiencyFan SpeedPSU NoiseTemps (In/Out)PF/AC Volts
15.338A1.996A2.004A1.003A85.82888.273%0 RPM<6.0 dB(A)43.85°C0.969
12.028V5.016V3.299V4.985V97.23040.30°C115.12V
211.733A2.997A3.009A1.206A171.90891.918%0 RPM<6.0 dB(A)45.00°C0.990
12.016V5.011V3.292V4.976V187.02340.73°C115.12V
318.476A3.496A3.497A1.409A257.80892.573%0 RPM<6.0 dB(A)46.29°C0.997
12.005V5.008V3.288V4.967V278.49241.29°C115.12V
425.230A3.993A4.008A1.611A343.80692.299%595 RPM12.5 dB(A)41.78°C0.996
11.993V5.013V3.295V4.966V372.49347.71°C115.12V
531.667A4.997A5.020A1.817A429.92892.001%598 RPM12.6 dB(A)42.31°C0.997
11.981V5.006V3.288V4.956V467.30849.40°C115.11V
638.112A6.003A6.034A2.022A516.02091.359%602 RPM12.6 dB(A)42.60°C0.998
11.970V5.001V3.281V4.946V564.82551.10°C115.11V
744.572A7.009A7.056A2.229A602.15690.746%657 RPM14.6 dB(A)43.01°C0.998
11.959V4.996V3.274V4.936V663.55952.44°C115.11V
851.042A8.019A8.057A2.437A688.27390.032%847 RPM22.7 dB(A)43.99°C0.998
11.948V4.990V3.277V4.926V764.47753.67°C115.10V
957.932A8.526A8.557A2.438A773.99989.333%972 RPM26.8 dB(A)44.58°C0.998
11.936V4.987V3.272V4.924V866.42455.37°C115.10V
1064.594A9.029A9.090A3.063A860.00588.546%1332 RPM36.2 dB(A)45.55°C0.999
11.925V4.986V3.267V4.899V971.25056.85°C115.10V
1171.869A9.030A9.095A3.064A945.97187.731%1705 RPM42.9 dB(A)46.56°C0.999
11.914V4.985V3.266V4.897V1078.26158.27°C115.10V
CL10.154A14.005A13.999A0.000A117.60983.815%0 RPM<6.0 dB(A)49.30°C0.981
12.004V4.994V3.273V5.053V140.31942.30°C115.12V
CL271.667A1.002A1.000A1.000A868.90089.484%914 RPM24.9 dB(A)45.51°C0.999
11.939V5.005V3.287V4.967V971.01756.18°C115.09V

The power supply can handle high operating temperatures, and the performance of its APFC circuit is excellent. Even in the first few tests where the load levels are relatively low, the PF readings are high.

20-80W Load Tests

In the following tests, we measure the PSU's efficiency at loads significantly lower than 10% of its maximum capacity (the lowest load the 80 PLUS standard measures). This is important for representing when a PC is idle with power-saving features turned on.

Test #12V5V3.3V5VSBDC/AC (Watts)EfficiencyFan SpeedPSU NoisePF/AC Volts
11.208A0.500A0.483A0.200A19.72461.509%0 RPM<6.0 dB(A)0.866
12.097V5.021V3.307V5.015V32.067115.13V
22.479A0.999A1.000A0.400A40.14279.853%0 RPM<6.0 dB(A)0.925
12.032V5.016V3.302V5.004V50.270115.12V
33.675A1.499A1.488A0.601A59.62084.684%0 RPM<6.0 dB(A)0.949
12.028V5.011V3.296V4.994V70.403115.12V
44.939A1.996A2.001A0.801A80.02187.555%0 RPM<6.0 dB(A)0.966
12.028V5.016V3.300V4.993V91.395115.13V

The unit's fan operates passively during these light loads.

2% or 10W Load Test

Intel plans on raising the ante at efficiency levels under ultra-light loads. So from July 2020, the ATX spec will require 70% and higher efficiency with 115V input. The applied load is only 10W for PSUs with 500W and lower capacities, while for stronger units we dial 2% of their max-rated capacity.

12V5V3.3V5VSBDC/AC (Watts)EfficiencyPF/AC Volts
1.259A0.253A0.252A0.052A17.59849.980%0.882
12.099V5.022V3.307V5.021V35.210115.13V

The efficiency we observe is much lower than 70%.

Efficiency

Next, we plotted a chart showing the PSU’s efficiency at low loads, and loads from 10 to 110% of its maximum-rated capacity. The higher a PSU’s efficiency, the less energy goes wasted, leading to a reduced carbon footprint and lower electricity bills.

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Our results indicate high efficiency under normal loads, though the numbers could be better with light loads.

5VSB Efficiency

Test #5VSBDC/AC (Watts)EfficiencyPF/AC Volts
10.100A0.51168.407%0.100
5.106V0.747115.12V
20.250A1.27574.474%0.200
5.099V1.712115.12V
30.550A2.79876.365%0.315
5.086V3.664115.12V
41.000A5.06776.924%0.392
5.066V6.587115.12V
51.500A7.56677.047%0.434
5.044V9.820115.12V
63.000A14.91476.537%0.487
4.971V19.486115.12V
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The 5VSB rail's circuit needs an update. Its efficiency numbers are very low for today's standards.

Power Consumption In Idle And Standby

Mode12V5V3.3V5VSBWattsPF/AC Volts
Idle12.088V5.048V3.308V5.047V5.5350.407
115.1V
Standby0.1050.013
115.1V
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Fan RPM, Delta Temperature, And Output Noise

All of our results are obtained between an ambient temperature of 37 to 47 degrees Celsius (98.6 to 116.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

If you don't push the minor rails hard, which reflects real-world usage, the semi-passive fan mode lasts quite a while. Moreover, the fan speed profile is highly relaxed.

The following results were obtained at 30 to 32 degrees Celsius (86 to 89.6 degrees Fahrenheit) ambient temperature.       

The semi-passive mode lasts up to 170W if you push the minor rails hard. Fortunately, even when the fan starts spinning, noise output remains low.

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