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be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 850-watt Power Supply Review

be quiet! ups the ante a bit more with their latest Dark Power Pro 10 power supply. This time around we have more power and increased efficiency.

@TweakTown
Published Sun, Jul 15 2012 10:48 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 7:01 PM CST
Rating: 96%Manufacturer: be quiet!

Introduction, Specifications, Availability and Pricing

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VIEW GALLERY - 28 IMAGES

Last month we introduced many of our readers to a power supply manufacturer that they had never heard of before and covered the launch of the Dark Power Pro 10 550W power supply. be quiet! is a German manufacturer of power supplies, fans and coolers.

Not only have they received numerous awards throughout Germany for their products, but they also received an Editor's Choice awards as one of the best damn power supplies we have ever seen here at TweakTown. It isn't something that came lightly, especially when we'd never seen any of their products before.

When we found out that more Dark Power Pro 10 power supplies were being launched, we decided to get our hands on another one to see if be quiet! could give us a repeat winner. Today we are taking an in depth look at one of their latest Dark Power Pro 10 units, the 850W model. The three new models round out the upper end of the series and the Dark Power Pro 10 can now be had in wattages ranging from 550W to 1200W. Of the six units, the 850W model is the only one to be 80Plus Platinum rated for efficiency while the rest are rated for Gold efficiency.

Read on to find out if be quiet! scores a second win on our test bench or just proves to be a one shot chump.

Specifications, Availability and Pricing

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The Dark Power Pro 10 series of power supplies utilize a quad 12V rail design and can also be configured to use these four rails as a single rail. We will talk more about this in a little bit. Two of the four rails are rated for 30A each and the other two are rated for 45A each. Combined total output for the four rails is 70A or 840W. Both of the minor rails are rated for 25A each with a combined maximum current of 140W. The 5VSB rail is rated for 3A or 15W total. Combined maximum output is 850W.

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Just as before, the Dark Power Pro 10 series covers all the features that we look for in a unit. Protection is provided against over-current, over- and under-voltages, short circuits, overheating and overloads. The unit is rated for 80Plus Platinum efficiency and rated for 100% continuous output at 50C. All of the cables are fully sleeved, both native and modular.

As be quiet! is relatively new to the U.S. market, their power supplies aren't available yet. Overseas we can find the new 850W model for what works out to be about $210. That makes this a pricey 850W model, but if things work out like they did with the 550W model, then you're paying the premium for a top notch unit. Warranty for the Dark Power Pro 10 series of power supplies is for five years.

Packaging

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be quiet! uses the same packaging for the entire Dark Power Pro 10 series so there won't be much new here with the exception of a few specification changes.

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The back has a fantastic cable and connector availability chart along with some highlights and the I/O specifications.

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Repeated features from the back are on one side, just in different languages.

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The other side has some 80Plus and fan information as well as some awards they have won.

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The top simply has the carrying handle and company website.

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The bottom just clones the front so there is nothing additional here.

Inside the Box

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Once again we find a very well protected unit and even though our packaging was received with a bit of damage, none of the damage made it to the contents of the box.

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The top of the unit gives us a good look at the semi-gloss black finish used on the power supply as well as the I/O specification label.

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This side simply has the product identification label.

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The other side is just the same except it has the warranty sticker.

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Looking at the front, we find the same modular connectors as the 550W model. Everything is neatly labeled with the exception of rail distribution.

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The back houses the standard honeycomb mesh grill. There is an on/off rocker switch present and you can see the anti-vibration material on the back as well. You'll need slightly longer than usual screws to mount the unit, which are included.

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The bottom houses the 135mm SilentWings2 fan that actively cools the power supply.

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Included with the power supply is a box of cables. All of the cables are fully sleeved.

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Included with the unit is the overclocking key or OCK. This is what allows you to switch the power supply from using four individual 12V rails to a single 12V rail. Two different keys are included in case you prefer to just insert the key into the power supply and not utilize the expansion slot key.

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Also included with the unit are the manual, AC power cord, zip-ties, Velcro cable ties, thumb screws and regular screws to mount the unit to the case.

Cabling Arrangement and A Look Inside

Cabling Arrangement

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As if the cable summary wasn't long enough with the 550W model, the 850W model adds an extra set of PCI-E connectors as well as a 4-pin aux power connector for the motherboard. Seven PCI-E, nine SATA, seven Molex and one FDD connector make sure you've got plenty of ways to power your devices over varying length cables. There are also four fan cables so that the power supply can control fan speed on its own.

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Just as with the 550W model, rail distribution is a bit complicated with the Dark Power Pro 10 850W unit. It has four 12V rails. Two are rated for 30A and two are rated for 45A. Nowhere in the documentation we received on the unit were we able to find which connections are attached to which rails. For our testing purposes, we will be using what be quiet! calls the "high performance single rail mode" by utilizing the included overclocking key.

A Look Inside

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Once opened up, you can see where the similarities between the 550W and 850W models end. There is a significant design difference between the two and our conversations with be quiet! reveal they have done a lot of work with Seasonic to redesign the unit. There is a spot on the PCB for a third capacitor on the primary side of the power supply. It is fairly safe to say that spot isn't blank on the 1000W and 1200W models.

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A pair of Nippon Chemi-Con caps cover the primary side of the be quiet! Dark Power Pro 850W power supply.

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More Japanese made Nippon Chemi-Con capacitors can be found on the secondary side of the PSU.

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be quiet! chose a slightly different fan for the Dark Power Pro 10 850W power supply. It is the BQT T13525-XF20. The only difference is that the fan is a 2000 RPM fan instead of a 1500 RPM fan. It will be a bit louder at 24.2 dbA under full load but that is still very quiet for a power supply.

Test Results and Final Thoughts

Test Results

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 greater than that of the be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 850W, we can test it to the maximum.

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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. The 12V rail showed a total drop of .14V from start to finish. The 5V rail did better and managed to stay within 1% of specification with a total drop of .03V from start to finish. Moving towards the 3.3V rail, we see that regulation was still within 2% with a total voltage drop of .04V.

DC output quality was close to what we expected and overall very good. We started off seeing 19mV of ripple on the 12V rail during Test 1. As we increased the loads, the ripple had increased to 27mV at a little over half load. By the time we had the maximum load of 850W we were seeing 35mV of noise.

The be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 850W is rated for 80Plus Platinum efficiency. This means that the power supply must perform at 90%/92%/89% efficiency at 20%/50%/100% loads respectively. As you can see, the be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 850W passed on our bench and wasn't close to failing at any point.

Final Thoughts

be quiet! had a very big hurdle to overcome with the Dark Power Pro 10 850W power supply and that was the very high hurdle they had to overcome. The Dark Power Pro 10 550W set the bar incredibly high to start with and is close to being the bar level that everyone should be shooting to meet or exceed when designing a power supply. Thanks to their close work with Seasonic, be quiet! has done it once again and have an amazing power supply with the Dark Power Pro 10 850W.

The performance out of the unit is phenomenal. Voltage regulation was spectacular, especially on the 5V rail. It isn't every day that you find a power supply that manages to stay within 1% of specification and I think we have only seen a few over the past several years capable of doing so. If there was one single thing that be quiet! could do to improve the performance of their power supply, it would be to reduce the noise on the 12V rail. While 35mV is still low for an 850W power supply, we've seen others score lower and know it is possible. Efficiency is about as good as it gets for now as the 80Plus organization doesn't even have a rating for above Platinum when using 115V input.

It's fair to say that be quiet! is going to rise through the ranks of power supply manufacturers very quickly once they get some publicity and people are aware of their name. Their power supplies are some of the best we have ever seen.There's just one thing that we can't do with this power supply and that is recommend it enough. If you get a chance to get your hands on one of the new Dark Power Pro 10 power supplies, don't pass it up - they are that good.

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