So far, I have tested two members of Fractal Design’s Ion+ line, and I plan to take a look at another one soon enough. High Power, the original manufacturer of all Ion+ models, did a very good job; these power supplies feature good build quality and thanks to the quality parts, they will easily outlive the ten-year warranty period.
With a little more tuning, the overall performance could reach the levels of the similar capacity Seasonic Focus Plus Platinum, which is the primary opponent of the Ion+ 660P. Nonetheless, what the ION+ loses in pure performance numbers, it manages to turn the tide when it comes to noise output. With only 13.74 dB(A) overall noise output, the 660W Ion+ unit meets the requirements of Cybenetics LAMBDA-A++ level, so it is among the quietest PSUs in the 600-700W category. Fractal Design focused on silent operation, and the combination of a high-efficiency platform along with a low speed, 140mm, FDB fan brings the desired result.
One of the significant downsides of this product is the low bottom efficiency with 2% load. Intel states that the power consumption at idle can be very low in modern systems, thanks to new power-saving technologies, so it requires high efficiency even under super-light loads (10W or 2% of the PSU's max-rated-capacity for units with >500W max power). Another downside is the low efficiency at 5VSB, a rail that is often overlooked although several regulations (CEC, ErP Lot 3 2014, and ErP Lot 6 2010/2013) ask for high-efficiency levels at 5VSB.
Despite its flaws, if you want one of the quietest mid-capacity PSUs, the Ion+ 660P is the right choice, and it has a fair price. If Fractal Design cooperates closely with High Power and manages to fix the efficiency issues mentioned above, without notably increasing the production cost, it could beat the competition on performance as well as noise.
Image Credits: Tom's Hardware
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Disclaimer: Aris Mpitziopoulos is Tom's Hardware's PSU reviewer. He is also the Chief Testing Engineer of Cybenetics, and developed the Cybenetics certification methodologies apart from his role on Tom's Hardware. Neither Tom's Hardware nor its parent company, Future PLC, are financially involved with Cybenetics. Aris does not perform the actual certifications for Cybenetics.