be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 PSU
Once again, I got hold of a be quiet! product. We must in this review look at one of be quiet!s absolute top models of power supplies. It is their Dark Power Pro 11 850W model we are going to look at.
be quiet! is a German manufacturer that makes casings, coolers, power supplies and other accessories of the highest quality. They choose quality rather than quantity, which is possible to see in their product line. It is elegant and subdued, and I really do not think they have an RGB product yet. There must be a certain will to resist to ride that wave. But be quiet! manages that with full conviction.
Introduction to be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11.
be quiet! has made a nice little video that I want to show you as an introduction. It tells a little about what you get from a be quiet! power supply, and not least what exactly this model offers of features and benefits.
The technical specifications.
be quiet! has as usual a VERY detailed list of specifications. I've created a PDF print of it, which you can read here. Below I have listed the most important features of the power supply, so you can quickly get an idea of just what it offers.
Shall we move on and look at the packaging.
be quiet! in general, has a very distinctive packaging, and that also applies to this power supply. The design of all packages and generally all be quiet! things are kept in discreet colors and preferably black design. On the box you find photorealistic illustrations and a good list of specifications and features.
Inside the packaging is a box with cables and accessories, and the power supply that are well protected in foam. A detailed user manual is also there.
In the accessories box you will find a couple of bags with ordinary screws and thumbscrews, velcro ties and ordinary cable ties.
Besides that, there are cables for fan control, as this power supply actually measures how much the system is loaded and can then control the case fans after that.
In the box we find a lot of cables gathered well with velcro. All cables are black with black sleeving around. It looks really nice. When it is kept in black like that.
be quiet! specified the lengths of the cables, those you can see by looking at this picture.
Dark Power Pro series offers a type of overclocking. One can simply put together all 12V Rails to one large rail. That way you can strain the supply as you like. There are two options for this overclocking. You can either make it permanent with a small connector with a wire. Or you can mount a small switch on the back of the computer. That way you can switch between overclocked mode or normal mode.
Let's look at the power supply.
The first thing you notice when unpacking the power supply, is the large fan opening. The fan is only covered by a thin wire grid, giving an extremely good airflow into the power supply.
Also note the rubber part at each end of the power supply. It makes it well damped against vibrations.
The entire back of the power supply is open. There is a very fine honeycomb pattern covering the components inside the power supply. As you can see here, the rubber frame covers the back and is vibration damping the mounting. There is also an on / off switch, so you do not have to pull out the cable each time you have to mess with your computer.
Now we actually get to the side where it all happens. All plugs are marked really nice, so you do not have any doubts about where to put the connectors. All connectors are coded, so you do not get to put them in incorrectly.
One thing I have not seen from other manufacturers, is the good protection of the ATX cable through the chassis. Here is a good and strong rubber bushing, which ensures that the cable can bend in any direction without damage against the chassis.
As you can see on the left side, the power supply can control up to four fans. It should do so by monitoring the power draw of the system, and then determine how fast the fans need to run.
There is also the small white overclocking connector, where you can either put in the little jumper connector, or use the cable to the bracket on the back of the computer.
The power supply is built over 4 pcs. 12V rails unless you overclock. They are spread over 12V1 covering Drives + ATX connector 12v2 which covers all P8 / P4 connector and then 12V3 + 12V4 broken down by PCIe 1 + 2 and PCIe 3 + 4. So there are good opportunities to make a good distribution of the power draw.
Before we get started with the test, we must be aware of certificates and approvals.
A power supply is subject to a lot of important approvals and certifications nowadays. This power supply is no exception, and be quiet! has also decided to make a little extra out of it.
The basic standard for power supplies called ATX, and it indicates how much the different voltages must turn on the power supply. It also tells what limits for example ripple it should stay within.
To read more about the ATX standard, you can find more information about it at this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATX
The basic figures for ATX power supplies, however, you can see in this chart.
Besides ATX you can move on and make it better. Once you have done that, you would very much like to show it to your customers, and have some sort of proof of how well it has performed. Which is exactly what you get from 80Plus, which provides a certification on the good work you have done.
80Plus certification is about making power supplies more efficient. It is important to have as small a loss in a power supply as possible, since it is just like throwing money in the trash.
be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 series, is 80Plus Platinum approved. It's the second best certification you can get, which means that the power supply must be at least 94% efficient at 50% load.
All certificates and test results 80Plus is freely available, and you can read the certificate to be quiet! Dark Power Pro here.
If you would like to see if your power has done well, you can do so at the link below.
Now it's time to test supply.
The test was conducted in the way that I put a powerful computer together, to get a realistic estimate of how the powersupply would behave under realistic conditions. It also means that I can have some different results than the laboratory results from 80Plus.
The machine consisted of the following hardware:
1 pcs. 2600k CPU (Standard clock / 95W) with Motherboard RAM and SSD
1 pcs Nvidia GTX 550ti Graphics
1 pcs. Nvidia GTC 560ti Graphics
1 pcs. AMD RX480 4GB Graphics Card
2 pcs. AMD RX480 8GB Graphics
With a combination of load on the various units, I managed to make the following measurements. As you can see, the changes was down to the second decimal, which is really awesome. This is the same tendency in the 80Plus certificate shown previously.
Ripple voltage is AC voltage from the wall socket, which slips through the power supply. We would like that to be completely gone, but it is almost impossible. On the other hand, it must be as small as possible, and the ATX standard specifies how high a ripple voltage there must be on a power supply nowadays.
I have measured the ripple voltage at the biggest load I could expose the power supply to. It is at that condition a power supply works the most and are most stressed. Ergo, it would be at that point we experience the highest ripple voltage.
As you can see in the photo, each square up and down is set to 10mV voltage. The high peaks should be ignored since it is noise from outside and can not be eliminated. But the mid range ripple I see as being a maximum of 20mV peak to peak, which is also really great.
The reason I get these spikes is that I measure in an active system, and not a linear resistive load. I have a lot of electronics and fans running on my system while I measure, and it provides a lot of electrical noise. But you will get a feeling, that it is not nonsense with the ripple voltage on this power supply.
So I finished the measurements of the power supply, and I'm pretty impressed about how stable it is, even at maximum load.
Jumps of 2-3 numbers on the second decimal at all voltages are very very nice, especially when we get up in such big power draws as I have been with this power supply.
The same applies to the ripple voltage, which is simply as fine that it can practically be, especially with the conditions I measure under. Had I measured a purely resistive load, it would without doubt have been nicer. But that is not an option for me. But my results gives a reasonably good indication of how this supply behave under load.
Now when we talk about stress, I experienced that the fan on the power supply was not up at maximum speed. It turned silent or quiet while the whole test took place. That also shows a bit about how much extra power there is in this power and how good components are used. So fan noise is not a problem if you choose this power supply.
It is not without cost, if you want some of the best on the market. This power supply costs just over 1600 DKK at this time. I do not think you can protect your other expensive hardware too well, so I think the price is fair and reasonable.
My overall rating of this power supply can really only be a great glistering GOLD star. I have not found anything negative to say about this power supply, and are fully satisfied with both quality and price.