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Review: Fractal Design Ion+ Platinum 860P (860W)

by Tarinder Sandhu on 31 July 2019, 15:01

Tags: Fractal Design

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Fractal Design is most synonymous with designing a wide range of chassis and all-in-one liquid coolers. It is lesser known for power supplies but is hoping to change that perception with the release of a quartet of high-performance 80 PLUS Platinum-rated, comprising 560W (£95), 660W (£105), 760W (£115), and 860W (£125) capacities. We have the range-topping 860W model, referenced as Ion+ Platinum 860P, in for review today.

Fractal knows that playing at the very premium end of the market means it needs to make a good impression. Packaging is first class, and the supply itself is very well put together. Measuring 150mm x 150mm x 86mm, it's sensibly short enough to facilitate easy cabling in space-restricted chassis. The matte finish is good for hiding fingerprints and dust, while there's adequate spacing between the various ports to enable easy plugging in.

Like many, there's a switch to activate a semi-fanless mode where the spinner remains switched off until load hits around 40 per cent of capacity, or 335W or so in this instance. What that means is that, for most single-GPU PCs, the fan will not spin up at all. We're not sure why a switch is needed, actually, because we'd imagine the vast majority of users to naturally favour the semi-fanless mode.

Fractal uses its in-house, fluid-dynamic-bearing 140mm Dynamic X2 GP-14 fan, though it's slightly different from the regular case-optimised version because it is designed to spin much faster, at up to 2,000rpm instead of 1,000rpm in chassis configuration, producing 36.6dB of noise and 119cfm airflow. That makes sense when cooling a PSU running under the pump.

Cabling depends upon the model. The 860P has a 600mm-long ATX and ATX12V 4+4-pin cables, 700mm-long EPS12V 8-pin, and then a trio of dual-plug PCIe 6+2-pin of sensible lengths. There's also 10 SATA and four Molex. What's particularly handy is how flexible the all-black cables are, making routing them through chassis holes a cinch.

Being critical, there are three cables for SATA plugs - two of which house four while the remaining one has two. The two start off with the first connector at 400mm, rather than 500mm we see on some models.

The chassis, meanwhile, is mercifully free of any RGB lighting. It's also a straight-up supply, meaning there's no way of gleaning information such as wattage, voltage, loads, etc., on a PC. That's no bad thing in our book.

Stripping away the cover shows the Ion+ is an extremely tidy supply on the inside, too. The ability to run passively at reasonable wattages is backed-up by having decent heatsinks over the hot-running components. A visual analysis shows that it uses Japanese capacitors for primary and secondary sides, and it's always good to see Rubycon 400V, 470uF electrolytic caps.

The Ion+ 860P uses a single 12V rail and is therefore able to shunt the entire capacity down it. The minor rails offer average capacity, meanwhile.

Amps/watts and voltage
Rail amps
Maximum rating
Maximum continuous rating
860W @ 50°C ambient

Fractal hits all the right notes from a technical standpoint. Offering excellent efficiency by dint of its specification, the Ion+ 860P, backed by a 10-year warranty, is petite, has extremely clean soldering, and uses flexible cabling that we like.

Let's now see how well it performs before passing judgement.