Good morning, folks. Today, I have a special treat for you... my first ever Fractal Design review. The model I'm looking at is the Newton R3 1000 watt unit, an 80 Plus Platinum beast that comes with a five year warranty and its own suitcase.
No, seriously, look at that picture. That box is seventeen and a half inches long. I'm surprised it doesn't come with a kitchen, three bedrooms, and a family of seven.
Like all boxes, this one comes with a lot of marketing on it. Let's have the Nikon go in for a closer look.
All seems very promising, here. I'll be honest, though... this isn't anything we haven't seen before. It will be up to the unit itself to impress us, and it will get that chance shortly.
Reduces electricity bills, eh? What this blurb doesn't tell you is that you have to pay more for Platinum efficiency in the first place versus even 80 Plus Gold efficiency. In some cases, you're talking months of lower utility bills before the difference in initial cost is made up.
And really... most Platinum units I test are still only barely able to clear that level of efficiency. But perhaps this unit has other things going for it. Efficiency is only one small facet of performance, and still the least important in my mind. I've always been about low ripple and rock solid stability first.
Hmm... "with the exception of a few that we deem likely." So this is a semi-modular unit, then. We'll have to wait and see if the few hardwired cables they deem likely track with the few I deem likely, which is scored on in the functionality area of page six.
Only four 5.25" Molexes? Well, I can see that one. How many of us really use a lot of those connectors anymore? Not me. Looking at the main rig, I think it's only using one. And that's for the case's fan controller.
Ah, ok... we have a semi fanless mode, too. A lot of these big Platinum units come with such functionality, and it's good to see Fractal staying competitive. I don't see any mention of a switch enabling use of the fan at all times, which I consider desirable on a unit this size, but we can't always have everything we want. I won't hold that against it.
This is good to see, that extra long 12V cable. While I can see having that cable too long may be a nuisance, having it too short is a dealbreaker in many instances. I mean, you can live with a too long cable for the most part, you just have to find a nook or cranny to tuck the excess into. If it's too short, you need extensions. Which creates more failure points, because you have more connectors. Not to mention the fact that these extensions are often profoundly ugly.
Oh, good. 100% Japanese capacitors. I always look for this in a company's flagship offering.
We'll skip the single 12V paragraph. I'm all ranted out on that subject. Single, multi, it supports everything when it's designed properly.
Taking the outer marketing sleeve off the box, we are left with an elegant white inner box. One which I will now open for you.
Oh. You're welcome, Fractal. But could you use something else to attach that manual to the plastic? Whatever you used left a nasty sticky residue on the user guide when I peeled it off of there.
I'll give them this... that gigantic box does appear to have been used to take extra care in protecting everything.
Found in the box: a power supply with a bag over it, a European power cord, user guide, bag of cables and accessories, and an info card. The card is just a notice that tells you the unit has a semi-fanless mode, and if the fan isn't spinning it doesn't mean the unit is borked.
Here's the user guide, which gets away with just about the bare minimum of info I require for no deduction in the functionality score.
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