Fractal Design Tesla R2 500W Power Supply Review

This is our first review of a Fractal Design computer power supply. This is not a new model and we just happened to get a really good deal on this one as it was on sale, so we figured we would give it a go. Fractal states it also has a contemporary Scandinavian design; black, check, square, check....alrighty.



The first thing we are going to look at with the Fractal Design Tesla R2 500W is its packaging, accessories, and documentation. While normally none of these items is a make or break item for a power supply the packaging quite often contains a lot of information about the product we are purchasing. The inclusion of an owner’s manual that provides actual information about our product is also of great help. Accessories are almost unnecessary with a power supply as the unit is self contained, unless it is modular, but there are cases where a manufacturer can include useful accessories to make installation, routing, and use more efficient.

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The front of the packaging of the Fractal Design Tesla R2 500W looks just about what you might expect from a Swedish product; simple and clean. Given the sparse nature of the front of the packaging we only find a pair of images of the power supply along with an 80 Plus Gold Seal and a seal indicating that the unit has a 3 year warranty. A quick check of the ECOS/ECOVA website does find the Tesla R2 500W listed as being 80 Plus certified. Beyond that, the indicated 3 year warranty is certainly better than nothing but also shorter than what you get from many brands when looking at products that come in above the most entry level of positions in a portfolio. So, in this aspect, the Tesla R2 500W could certainly use a bit of work. Moving to the rear of the packaging, we find a bit of advertising, an efficiency curve, a fan noise curve, the connector count (reproduced below), and the power table (reproduced below). Beyond that, we do not find much else on the packaging but for the most part we have the key elements already present without going overboard. Much as we would expect from "stylish, elegant, and contemporary Scandinavian design."

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The power information for the Fractal Design Tesla R2 500W is exactly what we would expect from a modern power supply that is very 12v capacity oriented. Indeed, the 12v rail has a capacity of 41.5A (or up to ~99% of the unit’s total possible capacity if necessary). The minor rails, however, have a total cap of 100W and each rail is individually capable of 20A. Moving on, we find that the Tesla R2 500W has two modified 8-pin PCIe connectors, two Molex connectors, and five SATA connectors. This represents an interesting situation. The two PCIe connectors are probably about right for a 500W unit given how most people use such a unit and the two Molex connectors are probably about right given the decreased emphasis on these as a method for powering peripherals. However, only two Molex connectors is probably going to be surprising to a lot of users who are used to seeing lots of these available even on power supplies of small(er) capacity!

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Once we open the Tesla R2 500W, we find the power supply, mounting screws, the power cord, and the user manual. The user manual that comes with the Tesla R2 500W is 23 pages long in seven languages (none of which are Swedish). In these 23 pages we get installation instructions, some troubleshooting tips, the warranty information, connector count, and power specifications for all members of the series. In reality, the documentation with the Tesla R2 500W is quite good unlike what we see from most power supplies these days. Certainly it could be better, but Fractal Design has put actual effort into aspect of their product this unlike most brands. Let's move on to the build quality now and see if this same effort shows up there as well.