Fractal Design Newton R3 800 W Power Supply Review
By Gabriel Torres on March 22, 2013


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

The Newton R3 is the new 80 Plus Platinum power supply series from Fractal Design, available in 600 W, 800 W, and 1,000 W versions. Let’s see how the 800 W version fared on our tests.

This power supply is manufactured by ATNG.

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 1: Fractal Design Newton R3 800 W power supply

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 2: Fractal Design Newton R3 800 W power supply

The Fractal Design Newton R3 800 W is 6.5” (165 mm) deep, using a 135 mm fan on its bottom. We couldn’t identify the fan model. The manufacturer says it is a ball-bearing type. This fan only turns on when you pull 50% or more of the power supply’s labeled wattage, i.e. above 400 W. This allows you to have a completely silent power supply when your system is not demanding a lot of power.

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 3: Fan

The modular cabling system from this power supply has eight connectors, two (white) for EPS12V/ATX12V and video card power cables and six (black) for peripheral and SATA power cables. The unit comes with the main motherboard cable, an ATX12V/EPS12V cable, and two video card power cables permanently attached to it. They use nylon sleeves that originate from inside the unit. This power supply comes with the following cables:

The main motherboard cable and the EPS12V/ATX12V cable that are permanently attached to the power supply use thicker, 16 AWG wires. All other wires are 18 AWG, which is the minimum recommended gauge.

The cable configuration is perfect for a 800 W power supply, allowing you to install three high-end video cards that require two power connectors each, without using adapters.

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 4: Cables

Let’s now take an in-depth look inside this power supply.

A Look Inside the Fractal Design Newton R3 800 W

We decided to disassemble this power supply to see what it looks like inside, how it is designed, and what components are used. Please read our “Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies” tutorial to understand how a power supply works and to compare this power supply to others.

On this page we will have an overall look, while in the following pages we will discuss in detail the quality and ratings of the components used.

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 5: Top view

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 6: Front quarter view

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 7: Rear quarter view

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 8: The printed circuit board

Transient Filtering Stage

As we have mentioned in other articles and reviews, the first place we look when opening a power supply for a hint about its quality, is its filtering stage. The recommended components for this stage are two ferrite coils, two ceramic capacitors (Y capacitors, usually blue), one metalized polyester capacitor (X capacitor), and one MOV (Metal-Oxide Varistor). Very low-end power supplies use fewer components, usually removing the MOV and the first coil.

In the transient filtering stage, this power supply is flawless.

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 9: Transient filtering stage (part 1)

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 10: Transient filtering stage (part 2)

On the next page, we will have a more detailed discussion of the components used in the Fractal Design Newton R3 800 W.

Primary Analysis

On this page, we will take an in-depth look at the primary stage of the Fractal Design Newton R3 800 W. For a better understanding, please read our “Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies” tutorial.

This power supply uses two US15KB80R rectifying bridges, which are attached to the same heatsink as the primary semiconductors. Each bridge supports up to 15 A at 101º C. So in theory, you would be able to pull up to 3,450 W from a 115 V power grid. Assuming 80% efficiency, the bridges would allow this unit to deliver up to 2,760 W without burning themselves out (or 3,105 W with 90% efficiency). Of course, we are only talking about these particular components. The real limit will depend on all the components combined in this power supply.

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 11: Rectifying bridges

The active PFC circuit uses one IPW60R099C6 MOSFET, which supports up to 37.9 A at 25º C or 24 A at 100º C in continuous mode (note the difference temperature makes), or 112 A at 25º C in pulse mode. This transistor presents a 99 mΩ maximum resistance when turned on, a characteristic called RDS(on). The lower the number the better, meaning that the transistor will waste less power, and the power supply will have a higher efficiency.

The active PFC circuit is controlled by an ICE2PCS01 integrated circuit.

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 12: Active PFC controller

The output of the active PFC circuit is filtered by two 220 µF x 400 V Japanese electrolytic capacitors, from Chemi-Con, labeled at 105º C. These capacitors are connected in parallel, and thus are equivalent to a single 440 µF x 400 V capacitor.

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 13: Capacitors

In the switching section, this power supply uses two SPW32N50C3 MOSFETs in a resonant configuration. Each transistor supports up to 32 A at 25º C or 20 A at 100º C in continuous mode, or up to 96 A at 25º C in pulse mode, with a maximum RDS(on) of 110 mΩ.

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 14: Switching transistors, active PFC diode, and active PFC transistor

The switching transistors are managed by a CM6901 resonant controller.

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 15: Resonant controller

Let’s now take a look at the secondary of this power supply.

Secondary Analysis

As one would expect in a high-efficiency power supply, the Fractal Design Newton R3 800 W uses a synchronous design, where the Schottky rectifiers are replaced with MOSFETs. Also, the reviewed product uses a DC-DC design in its secondary. This means that the power supply is basically a +12 V unit, with the +5 V and +3.3 V outputs produced by two smaller power supplies connected to the main +12 V rail. Both designs are used to increase efficiency.

The +12 V output uses six IPP023N04N MOSFETs, each one supporting up to 90 A at 100º C in continuous mode, or up to 400 A at 25º C in pulse mode, with a maximum RDS(on) of only 2.3 mΩ.

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 16: The +12 V transistors

As explained, the +5 V and +3.3 V outputs are produced by two DC-DC converters. Each converter is located on a small daughterboard present in the secondary of the power supply, each one controlled by a CAT7523 integrated circuit and using two IPD031N03L G MOSFETs, each one supporting up to 90 A at 100º C in continuous mode, or up to 400 A at 25º C in pulse mode, with a maximum RDS(on) of only 3.1 mΩ.

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 17: One of the DC-DC converters

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 18: One of the DC-DC converters

The outputs of this power supply are monitored by a GR8313 integrated circuit, which only supports over voltage (OVP) and under voltage (UVP) protections.

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 19: Monitoring circuit

The electrolytic capacitors from the secondary are from Chemi-Con and Teapo, and labeled at 105º C, as usual. A few solid capacitors are also used.

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 20: Capacitors

The +5VSB Power Supply

The +5VSB (a.k.a. standby) power supply is independent of the main power supply, since it is on all the time.

On the Fractal Design Newton R3 800 W, the +5VSB power supply has an integrated circuit that incorporates the PWM controller and the switching transistor in a single chip. However, the manufacturer scratched the markings on this chip, making it impossible for us to identify it.

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 21: The +5VSB integrated circuit with an integrated switching transistor

The rectification of the +5VSB output is performed by an MBR2060CT Schottky rectifier, which supports up to 20 A (10 A per internal diode at 135º C, 0.95 V maximum voltage drop).

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 22: The +5VSB rectifier

Power Distribution

In Figure 23, you can see the power supply label containing all the power specs.

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 23: Power supply label

As you can see, this power supply has a single +12 V rail, so there is not much to talk about here.

How much power can this unit really deliver? Let’s check it out.

Load Tests

We conducted several tests with this power supply, as described in the article, “Hardware Secrets Power Supply Test Methodology.”

First, we tested this power supply with five different load patterns, trying to pull around 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100% of its labeled maximum capacity (actual percentage used listed under “% Max Load”), watching the behavior of the reviewed unit under each load. In the table below, we list the load patterns we used and the results for each load.

If you add all the powers listed for each test, you may find a different value than what is posted under “Total” below. Since each output can have a slight variation (e.g., the +5 V output working at 5.10 V), the actual total amount of power being delivered is slightly different than the calculated value. In the “Total” row, we are using the real amount of power being delivered, as measured by our load tester.

The +12VA and +12VB inputs listed below are the two +12 V independent inputs from our load tester. During this test, the +12VA and the +12VB inputs were connected to the power supply’s single +12 V rail (the +12VB input was connected to the power supply’s EPS12V connector).

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

6 A (72 W)

12 A (144 W)

18 A (216 W)

24 A (288 W)

30 A (360 W)

+12VB

6 A (72 W)

12 A (144 W)

18 A (216 W)

24 A (288 W)

29.5 A (354 W)

+5 V

1 A (5 W)

2 A (10 W)

4 A (20 W)

6 A (30 W)

8 A (40 W)

+3.3 V

1 A (3.3 W)

2 A (6.6 W)

4 A (13.2 W)

6 A (19.8 W)

8 A (26.4 W)

+5VSB

1 A (5 W)

1.5 A (7.5 W)

2 A (10 W)

2.5 A (12.5 W)

3 A (15 W)

-12 V

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

Total

165.1 W

320.9 W

484.4 W

646.4 W

802.6 W

% Max Load

20.6%

40.1%

60.6%

80.8%

100.3%

Room Temp.

44.8° C

44.6° C

45.9° C

48.3° C

47.0° C

PSU Temp.

47.6° C

47.4° C

47.5° C

48.5° C

48.5° C

Voltage Regulation

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Ripple and Noise

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

AC Power

183.8 W

350.9 W

533.0 W

723.0 W

918.0 W

Efficiency

89.8%

91.5%

90.9%

89.4%

87.4%

AC Voltage

116.8 V

115.0 V

113.0 V

111.0 V

108.6 V

Power Factor

0.989

0.995

0.997

0.997

0.998

Final Result

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

The 80 Plus Platinum certification promises efficiency of at least 90% under light (i.e., 20%) load, 92% under typical (i.e., 50%) load, and 89% under full (i.e., 100%) load. The Fractal Design Newton R3 800 W matched these numbers, except on the full load tests, where it displayed 87.4% efficiency, below the minimum promised. However, we have to consider that we tested this power supply at almost 50º C, while the 80 Plus certification tests are conducted at 23º C, and efficiency drops as temperature increases. Another explanation is on the AC voltage, which was below 110 V during this particular test.

Let’s discuss voltage regulation on the next page.

Voltage Regulation Tests

The ATX12V specification states that positive voltages must be within 5% of their nominal values, and negative voltages must be within 10% of their nominal values. We consider a power supply as “flawless” if it shows voltages within 3% of their nominal values. In the table below, you can see the power supply voltages during our tests and, in the following table, the deviation, in percentage, of their nominal values.

The Fractal Design Newton R3 800 W presented outstanding voltage regulation, with all voltages within 2.2% of their nominal values.

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

+12.14 V

+12.10 V

+12.08 V

+12.06 V

+12.02 V

+12VB

+12.14 V

+12.11 V

+12.08 V

+12.03 V

+11.99 V

+5 V

+5.11 V

+5.10 V

+5.09 V

+5.08 V

+5.07 V

+3.3 V

+3.36 V

+3.34 V

+3.31 V

+3.29 V

+3.27 V

+5VSB

+5.04 V

+5.01 V

+4.97 V

+4.93 V

+4.90 V

-12 V

-12.08 V

-12.10 V

-12.13 V

-12.15 V

-12.17 V

 

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

1.17%

0.83%

0.67%

0.50%

0.17%

+12VB

1.17%

0.92%

0.67%

0.25%

-0.08%

+5 V

2.20%

2.00%

1.80%

1.60%

1.40%

+3.3 V

1.82%

1.21%

0.30%

-0.30%

-0.91%

+5VSB

0.80%

0.20%

-0.60%

-1.40%

-2.00%

-12 V

-0.67%

-0.83%

-1.08%

-1.25%

-1.42%

Let’s discuss the ripple and noise levels on the next page.

Ripple and Noise Tests

Voltages at the power supply outputs must be as “clean” as possible, with no noise or oscillation (also known as “ripple”). The maximum ripple and noise levels allowed are 120 mV for +12 V and -12 V outputs, and 50 mV for +5 V, +3.3 V and +5VSB outputs. All values are peak-to-peak figures. We consider a power supply as being top-notch if it can produce half or less of the maximum allowed ripple and noise levels.

The Fractal Design Newton R3 800 W provided low ripple and noise levels on all outputs.

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

11.4 mV

14.8 mV

22.0 mV

30.0 mV

44.6 mV

+12VB

11.6 mV

16.8 mV

23.4 mV

32.4 mV

47.6 mV

+5 V

6.8 mV

7.6 mV

8.8 mV

11.2 mV

13.4 mV

+3.3 V

9.6 mV

10.0 mV

12.4 mV

14.8 mV

15.6 mV

+5VSB

14.0 mV

15.0 mV

17.6 mV

20.2 mV

24.8 mV

-12 V

7.4 mV

9.4 mV

12.4 mV

16.8 mV

21.4 mV

Below you can see the waveforms of the outputs during test five.

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 24: +12VA input from load tester during test five at 802.6 W (44.8 mV)

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 25: +12VB input from load tester during test five at 802.6 W (47.6 mV)

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 26: +5V rail during test five at 802.6 W (13.4 mV)

Fractal Design Newton R3 800w
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Figure 27: +3.3 V rail during test five at 802.6 W (15.6 mV)

Let’s see if we can pull more than 800 W from this unit.

Overload Tests

Below you can see the maximum we could pull from this power supply. The objective of this test is to see if the power supply has its protection circuits working properly. This unit passed this test, since it shut down when we tried to pull more than what is listed in the table below. During this test noise and ripple levels, and voltages were still within the allowed range.

Input

Overload Test

+12VA

33 A (396 W)

+12VB

33 A (396 W)

+5 V

20 A (100 W)

+3.3 V

20 A (66 W)

+5VSB

3 A (15 W)

-12 V

0.5 A (6 W)

Total

976.4 W

% Max Load

122.1%

Room Temp.

44.4° C

PSU Temp.

45.6° C

AC Power

1,166 W

Efficiency

83.7%

AC Voltage

105.5 V

Power Factor

0.998

Main Specifications

The main specifications for the Fractal Design Newton R3 800 W power supply include:

Conclusions

The Fractal Design Newton R3 800 W power supply has very strong points, such as an outstanding 2.2% voltage regulation, low noise and ripple levels, decent cable configuration with six connectors for video cards, high efficiency, and a fan that kicks in only when you pull at least 50% of its labeled wattage, allowing you to have a powerful yet silent power supply. The only negative is its price, but we hope it drops after it reaches the market.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Fractal-Design-Newton-R3-800-W-Power-Supply-Review/1752


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