Fractal Design Ion+ 2 Platinum PSU Review (860W)
Element 78 - is platinum is more valuable than gold?
Highly flexible modular cables and a product that looks fantastic, meet the Fractal Design Ion+ 2 Platinum 870 which provides excellent performance, silent operation, ease of installation, and all at a reasonable price of 150 USD. The unit features 80 PLUS Titanium certification and is all digital, in short at 50% load, this puppy is 94% efficient and even 92% at 20% of its capacity (based on 230V). From the entire scope of certifications, Bronze, Silver but really Gold, Platinum, and Titanium sit at the end of the energy efficiency spectrum. And while we're sure that if ever a 98% efficient model can be made we'll see a Plutionuim model, Titanium currently is the best the industry can offer. If your PC is on 24/7, this is what you want. Surely does cost a pretty sum of money. And you know it by now, efficiency does matter; many years ago PSUs were rated as low as 70% efficient, meaning that 30% of the used power simply vanishes somewhere in that electric circuitry, while you are paying for it on that electricity bill. For example; if your components would consume 500W directly from the PSU, then with that 70% efficient product, you'd use and draw 650W from your wall power socket, that difference is the efficiency loss. With a Titanium PSU, that very same PC now would be using 520W depending on the PSU model). The math is that simple. Here in the lab we have been using 80 Plus Platinum models for well over 10 years and all are still going strong. A high-quality power supply is always suggested as we say, it's an investment that will last you a long time.
It goes without saying that the latest ION+ 2 Platinum 860W Power Supply Unit from Fractal Design is such a series and the subject of today's review. Models in the latest ION+ 2 series of power supply units from Fractal Design are presently available in 560/660/760/860W configurations, all of which are fully modular and have earned the 80 PLUS Platinum certification (up to 93~94 percent electrical efficiency).
Admittedly we see little reason for close to kilowatt power supplies these days, that is, unless you are a hefty overclocker or need something really efficient for cryptocurrency mining. An average high-end PC these days (and yes multi GPU isn't a thing anymore these days also) will be fine with say a 750 Watt PSU as a modern Ryzen 9 5950 X PC under full computational load paired with say a GeForce RTX 3080 consumes maybe 400~450 Watts. We do always state this though, calculate and double up your wattage, as at half the estimated PSU load, your power supply will be the most efficient. In the aforementioned example, that would mean something in the region of an 800 Watts PSU. And what do you know? We have the 860W model available for testing. Let's have a peek at the product and then let's head onwards into the review.