Be Quiet is well known in the European market for building some of the quietest fans and PSUs with active cooling. Established in 2006, it took until the release of the Be Quiet Dark Pro 10 for the company to burst into the US market. The Dark Power Pro 10 series ranges from 550W to the 1200W model being looked at today, with the 850W and 1000W models carrying 80PLUS Platinum Certification and the rest 80PLUS Gold.
At first glance, you expect the box to be holding two or more power supplies as it is ridiculously big and rather heavy. Measuring in at 40cm x 27cm x 12cm and weighing in at 5KG, one has to wonder if they packaged a baby elephant by mistake. This is by no means a bad sign, as weight can be a good indication of the quality of a PSU. This unit is based on a Seasonic design, making it the bigger brother to the Platinum 1000W reviewed recently. This is another reassurance of the quality of the unit at hand.
Other than its physical size, the box is not loud in any way. In the centre is a picture of the PSU against a black background, which makes it quite hard to see as if Be Quiet wants the unit to talk for itself. Elsewhere on the front of the box you will find the 80PLUS Gold certification logo, a hint at the SilentWings fan design, and the ability to swap between multi rail and single rail operation.
The back of the box is covered in very small, grey text against a black background which makes it incredibly difficult to read and even more so to get a good picture. The key focal points are the “virtually inaudible” SilentWings 135 mm fan, a switch to merge the four 12V rails into a single rail, modular cables with a reach of up to 120 CM a five year warranty. All technical details are also given on the back.
The Be Quiet Dark Power Pro 10 1200W uses a quad 12V rail design. The first two 12V rails are capable of supplying up to 35A each while the second two can supply up to 45A each. These four rails can be combined into a single 99A rail offering 1188W of the total 1200W available. The 3.3V and 5V rails are each rated at 25A with a combined total output of 125W, the -12V rail can supply 0.5A for 6W of power, and the +5Vsb rail used for powering USB devices can supply up to 3A for a maximum of 15W.
Opening the box shows us exactly why it is so big and heavy. Other than the power supply itself taking up almost half the box, there is a smaller box to the left which contains the modular cables. The accessories are divided between two smaller sections towards the bottom, and all four compartments are separated by foam padding. This is by far the most neatly packaged PSU we’ve seen, and it shows that money actually CAN buy class.
As mentioned above, Be Quiet has packaged the modular cables in their own box instead of a velvet or plasticized bag as most other manufacturers do. As with the rest of the packaging, the box is black with silver text reminding you which power supply you’re holding. Of course, you may still be wondering where the weight comes from, in which case…
So THAT’S where the extra weight comes from – a total of no less than nineteen modular cables. Nineteen. One nine. The 600 mm 20+4 pin ATX connector is the only non-modular cable, but as you can’t run a PC or even start the power supply without it there’s no need for it to be removable. As the wiring is fairly complex, we have included an image showing the cable lengths and connector locations:
With a power supply of this caliber it is nice to see more than just a manual, power lead and four screws included. Be Quiet has included ten large grey Velcro ties, six zip ties, five standard black screws and five over-sized thumbscrews. “Why five?” I hear you ask. It’s simple, really. Be Quiet understands that you are likely to lose one under the couch or behind the table. Also included is the OC Key, which sticks into a PCI bracket at the back of the case and allows you to switch between single- and multi-rail operation. We would have preferred to see this button mounted on the power supply itself, as its design means you have two thin wires snaking across your machine.
Unlike most other manufacturers, Be Quiet did not include velvet bags for the power supply and modular cables. This is understandable, as the power supply is very well packaged and the cables have a box instead. The Dark Power Pro 10 is a combination of matte and gloss black, and the top of the unit reveals the large 135 mm fan and the most elegant fan grill we’ve seen. It is made of seventeen completely individual metal bars with a shiny gunmetal finish. Even though the bars look very flimsy, they are firm enough to not be easily damaged or bent. Two black bands of rubber run around the unit, along the top, bottom and sides. These serve to absorb any vibration caused by the fan and prevent it from being passed on to the computer chassis. The side is covered by a large aluminium plate containing the brand and model of the unit, but as with the rest of the design it avoids being loud.
We flipped the unit over for this picture to show the bottom of the unit which is has a sticker showing the rail outputs, serial number and various other details such as the RU number. The modular connectors are black and slightly recessed, with the PCI Express power connectors running along the top, fan connectors running along the left and peripheral connectors towards the middle.
The metal used for the power supply’s casing is fingerprint-resistant in both the matte and gloss areas. Any attempts we made to leave a fingerprint simply resulted in them fading away within seconds. We all know how ugly fingerprints look on a glossy surface, so this is certainly commendable and goes to show just how much attention Be Quiet has paid to the aesthetics of the unit.
From this angle you can see the modular cable arrangement. Most PSUs use the same connectors for the 8-pin EPS12V CPU connector and 8-pin PCI-E graphics card power connectors, whereas the Dark Power Pro separates them. This is a good move, as it means that you can use ALL of your PCI-Express power connectors no matter how many 8-pin EPS12V CPU connectors you need to use. The lone white connector is for the OC Key.
Yes, that’s right. There is a rubber sock around the 24-pin connector, much like that seen on a car’s gear shift. Once again, it’s not hard to see where your money has gone. As you can see in this picture, the cable sleeving could be tighter. Even though the flash was used for this particular picture, the colours can be seen though the cables in normal conditions.
Finally, the back of the Be Quiet unit consists of a large honeycomb mesh, a power connector which accepts the full range of 100 to 240V, a power switch and yet another reminder that you have a Be Quiet 1200W PSU.
The power supply was put through its paces by the following machine.
- 2x Xeon E5645 overclocked to 3.460 GHz
- EVGA Classified SR-2 Motherboard
- 48 GB RAM
- 2x GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 580 SuperOverclock graphics cards
- 1x PowerColor Radeon HD 7970 overclocked to 1.125 GHz
- 1x Intel 320 Series SSD
- 4x 7,200 RPM hard drives
- 2x 5,400 RPM hard drives
The results are as follows:
This is some of the tightest voltage regulation you will find, and helps to further explain the price. In fact, the only PSU we’ve seen with tighter voltage regulation was the Seasonic Platinum 1000W, but the Be Quiet manages to feel like a large upgrade from the lesser unit simply by bringing so much more to the table. The tests were done with the PSU set to single rail mode, as it was quicker and easier than trying to juggle load between multiple rails. It is important to point out that at no point during testing did the fan really rev up to an annoying tone – in fact, it was louder during the first second after being switched on than during the actual testing. The PSU scored as follows:
The Be Quiet Dark Power Pro 10 1200W gets a high value sub-score despite its high price simply because it offers so much for the price. Without costing too much more than some 1000W PSUs, the Be Quiet manages to offer the best aesthetics available in a PSU combined with a higher output rating, tight voltage control and very quiet running. For South African pricing and availability, please contact Compitum to find your nearest retailer. Jonathan Horne