be quiet! Dark Power 12 review (850W)
Element 22 - Bulletproof, nothing to lose, I ... am Titanium
Shortly after the release of the PRO series 12 power supplies from be quiet! now releases a non-PRO mode, Dark Power 12. Initially released as 1000W, 850W, and 750W models we'll check out the 850W one. Now, don't let the looks and title fool you, this series is carrying a Titanium 80Plus certification, and that means gaming with the most efficient PSU series available.
Dark Power 12 features 80 PLUS Titanium certification, much like the new PRO model. There is however a distinction, the PRO model is all digital, and this non-pro model is not; makes use of Active Rectifier + Full Bridge LLC + SR + DC-DC topology. It's wire-free on the DC side (but not AC). This hardware infrastructure results into high-efficiency ratings, the best possible even at rated Titanium. And albeit I am a fan of single rails at defaults, this unit is set up at default with four separated 12V rails. However, bequiet! once again includes a switch/jumper designated the (overclock locking key), and with a flick of it (when powered down yo!) you can choose a full single 12V rail or the separated 12V ones.
As stated I say give me a single rail any time of the day, but if you want more choice and prefer multi-rails, you'll have that option with the Dark power serries. 80 Plus Titanium, in short at 50% load, this puppy is 96% efficient and even 94% at 20% of its capacity (based on 230V). From the entire scope of certifications, Bronze, Silver but really Gold, Platinum, and Titanium sits at the end of the energy efficiency spectrum. And while we're sure that if ever a 98% efficient model can be made we'll see a Plutionuim model, Titanium currently is the best the industry can offer. If your PC is on 24/7, this is what you want. Surely does cost a pretty sum of money. And you know it by now, efficiency does matter; many years ago PSUs were rated as low as 70% efficient, meaning that 30% of the used power simply vanishes somewhere in that electric circuitry, while you are paying for it on that electricity bill. For example; if your components would consume 500W directly from the PSU, then with that 70% efficient product, you'd use and draw 650W from your wall power socket, that difference is the efficiency loss. With a Titanium PSU, that very same PC now would be using 520W depending on the PSU model). The math is that simple.
The Be Quiet! Dark Power 12 series will become available in three models initially, 750, 850 and 1000 Watts. Admittedly we see little reason for kilowatt power supplies these days, that is, unless you are a hefty overclocker or need something really efficient for cryptocurrency mining. An average high-end PC these days (and yes multi GPU isn't a thing anymore these days also) will be fine with say a 750 Watt PSU as a modern Ryzen 9 5800 XT PC under full computational load paired with say a GeForce RTX 3080 consumes maybe 400~450 Watts. We do always state this though, calculate and double up your wattage, as at half the PSU load, your power supply will be the most efficient. In the aforementioned example, that would mean something in the region of an 800 Watts PSU. And what do you know? We have the 850W model available for testing. Let's have a peek at the product and then let's head onwards into the review.