Our load tests utilize a couple of FAST ATE active load testers and a variety of other equipment such as an oscilloscope, power conditioner, temperature probe and a power consumption meter. You can read more about our standard testing approach here.
The tests performed are based around six conceivable setups that are out there and progressively load down the PSU up to the power supply's limits or 1000W, whichever comes first. Since our test equipment's limits are lower than that of the Dark Power Pro 10 1200W power supply, we can only test it to 1000W.
The above tests represent typical loads that we have measured from various systems and are meant to give a rough idea of where your computer might fall in line with our tests. Please keep in mind that each system is different and actual loads can vary greatly even with similar hardware.
Let's start by taking a look at the voltages to see how well this unit did during testing. Starting with the 12V rail, we see 2% regulation from start to finish with a total drop of .10V. The 5V rail managed to stay within 1% of specification with a total drop of .05V from start to finish. Moving towards the 3.3V rail, we see that regulation was within 2% of specification with a total voltage drop of .07V.
DC Output quality for the Dark Power Pro 10 1200W was great. During Test 1, we saw 8mV of noise on our scope. When we increased the loads in Test 3, the ripple climbed to 17mV at around half load. During Test 6 under a load of 1000W, the oscilloscope showed a maximum of 27mV on noise on the 12V rail.
The be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 1200W is rated for 80 PLUS Gold efficiency. This means that the power supply must perform at 87%/90%/87% efficiency at 20%/50%/100% loads respectively. As you can see, the Dark Power Pro 10 1200W passed on our bench, and wasn't close to failing at any point.
Even though we were not able to test the Dark Power Pro 10 1200W to the full output, we have no reason to suspect that any full load results would be anywhere near failing, given the results above.
From the moment you open the box on the Dark Power Pro 10 1200W power supply, you can tell that there is pride and care taken all the way from conception to delivery of the unit to the customer. The design, packaging, documentation and included accessories all hint at a level of care that few bring to the market. There is no disappointment and you can feel that the performance is going to match what you are presented with.
The performance did match exactly what we were presented with, which was no surprise, given what we have seen from be quiet! in the past. Voltage regulation was rather close to being within 1% and make this one of the top five power supplies we've seen over 1000W. Likewise, the DC output quality was fantastic and there is little to complain about. Finally, efficiency was spot on and exactly as advertised.
Once again we run into the problem of price vs. performance. At the MSRP of $309, the unit sits in the middle of road for both performance and price. The $10 premium that Newegg puts on the unit hampers things a bit as that moves it a lot closer towards the likes of the Corsair AX1200i of which I still believe is the best power supply the consumer market has ever seen.
If you don't have the extra few bucks to splurge on the AX1200i, the Dark Power Pro 10 is going to be a great alternative. Likewise, the Dark Power Pro 10 is worth the few extra bucks above the rest of the competition if nothing more than for the increase cable selection to help tidy things up in the case.