Be Quiet! Dark Power 12 - 850W PSU Review

PSU - Power Supply Units 105 Page 8 of 8 Published by


Final Words & Conclusion

Final Words & Conclusion

I've stated many times already that our PSU reviews are more based on the overall experience, opposed to scientific data-sets. That said, we do test with demanding hardware and finetune and match that setup to produce numbers that you see in the real-world as well. We have to say though, it is hard to pass 750 Watts load no matter how many components we fire off at a PC these days. That creates a conundrum all by itself, as the install/user-based for this type (1000W/850W) power supplies is getting seemingly smaller with people having just one GPU. One trend has reversed though, with graphics cards like GeForce RTX 3090 and RX 6900 we now again have products that breach 300~350 Watt non-overclocked. So that energy-friendly trend we have been seeing for years now seems to be reversing backward again. Which arguably not a good trend. 


As with any power supply, half the maximum load rating is the point of equilibrium, the sweet-spot where it'll be the most efficient, and in this case, that is 92% efficiency (230 Volts). As such, the 350 Watt range is actually a sweet-spot as your average gaming PC with one dedicated (yet high-end) graphics card would consume roughly that during a hefty gaming session (I am talking high-end, not enthusiast class). Ranging from Bronze to Platinum, you can buy more efficient power supplies. Over the years, it has become a bit of a marketing thing really as differences a few percents really is the margin what we are talking about here. That's also the same percentual difference in your electric bill. Below we have plotted the wattage differential based on 50% PSU load versus the energy consumption (wall side). 


Maximum Watt (PSU) 50% Watt 80plus Bronze Silver Gold Platinum Titanium Volts
850 425 531 500 478 462 452 443 230v
425 531 500 483 472 462 452 110v
Rate 23 cents per kWh / 230V
EUR/USD cost 50% usage 5 hours day / 5 days week / year EUR/USD 44 42 40 39 38 37 230v
EUR/USD cost 50% usage 24/7 EUR/USD 777 731 699 676 661 648 230v

Let's say you game 5 hours per day, 5 days a week for a full year. During gaming, you'll consume 350 Watts (= a fair estimation).  We assume you pay 23 cents for each kWh of energy (the average going rate in the EU, but that varies per country). As you can see, from 80plus to Titanium, the difference is seven EUR/USD for thirteen hundred hours of gaming per year. My overall advice is to go with silver or gold; platinum/titanium power supplies often carry a big price premium. I do want to state, though, that efficiency also says something about build quality. Follow your instinct, I'd say. Now, this plot and math is based on gaming. Of course, if you'd have your PC active 24/7 for mining, you'll want as an efficient PSU as possible as coming from 80plus to Titanium you'll save roughly 129 USD/EUR per year (depending on kWh prices).


Stability-wise we cannot protest whatsoever, at half load and max load voltages remain drop dead in sync. But we'll trust that some other reviews will show some additional ripple tests yet have no doubt the product will come out as clean. Nice is the option for four 12V rails, or in OC mode, the massive single +12V rail.


The Dark Power 12 series looks great with its dark accents. The PSU slightly exceeds ATX length and measures in at just over 17cm. The cables are delivered in a dark black sleeving. Good to see is that the plastic connectors themselves are all black as well. Modular designs are the way to go. You use what you need in terms of wiring, keeping the innards clean and tidy, plain and simple. And overall it is a great-looking PSU. 


Euhm, yeah as stated here it's gonna hurt my man. These are the final MSRPs. Dark Power 12 will available in retail stores in the coming weeks, at the recommended retail prices you see listed below. The power supplies do include a 10-year warranty.

  • $199.90 / £205.99 / €214.90 (750W)
  • $239,90 / £239.99 / €249,90 (850W)
  • $279,90 / £269.99 / €279,90 (1000W).

Final words

We embrace Titanium-rated power supplies, yes we do. However recommending them to the avid gamer is just not completely appropriate as a recommendation, as really these PSUs are all about energy efficiency. If you game a few hours a day on your PC, you'll have gained a few bucks per year in energy saving compared to say a Silver or Gold certified model. However, if you are that guy that has a 24/7 rig active all the time, here's where efficiency matters the most and where we can recommend it, as at that point this PSU can even save and make you money over time. That's the honest answer and the conundrum you are facing. We'll plea one more thing in favor of titanium certified PSUs though, the more efficient often means the cleaner and more stable the power delivery is, they also run less warm (heat lost in a PSU is energy being wasted). Most platinum and Titanium PSUs are passive up to say 40% load, this feature however is a miss on this PSU series, as it's not passive in the sense of being a hybrid or something. So the fan will spin at all times, it's silent though, matching the brand name.  While writing this I realized I do have one last point to make or better yet, a question to ask; be quiet!, where is the 12-pin power connector for the new GeForce RTX 30xx cards? Pricing aside, of course, this is an excellent power supply, we can find little that bothers us. You also receive a 10-year warranty with this product so to that extent it is guaranteed to be long-lasting as an investment. The Dark Power 12 is at a feature level that will appeal to many and from what we observe, quality hardware. Bulletproof, nothing to lose, I am Titanium.



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