Element 78 - Platinum
We review the all new Be Quiet! Dark Power PRO 11 - 850 Watt power supply. The successful series from Listan (the company behind Be Quiet) has been upgraded with a few new tweaks, features and hey now, it now is an 80 Plus Platinum certified product series. In the ever-growing demand of power consumption they this is a highly modular, four 12V rail, high energy efficient product that remains very silent. Next to a bump in efficiency the new Dark Power Pro 11 power supply have a new trick, the design allows you to switch (with an overclock locking key) in-between a single and multi-rail design. Now personally I say give me a single rail anytime of the day, but if you want a choice and prefer multi-rails, go for it we say.
Efficiency wise anno 2015 things just do not matter that much anymore. The 850 Watt PSU as tested today has a 80 Plus Platinum certification meaning at 50% load this puppy is 94% efficient (with 230V). Bronze, Silver but really Gold or Platinum and Titanium is what you want, the upper stack in hardware is more expensive though. As you guys know Platinum is the most expensive of the precious metals that is widely traded by very large numbers of people. Plenty of other metals are more expensive, but they are generally traded only by specialists and industries that consume them. Generally speaking public trades gold, silver, and platinum. Gold is the prettiest, silver is cheaper (by a huge margin), but platinum is the fanciest!
So, it's 94% efficient at 50% load at 230V and 92% at 110V. Efficiency matters; years ago PSUs were as low as 70% efficient, meaning that 30% of the used power simply vanishes somewhere in that electric circuitry, whilst you are paying for it on that electricity bill. Allow me to explain a little more simple, if your components consume 500W directly from the PSU then with that 70% efficient product you'd actually use and draw 650W from your wall power socket. With a Platinum PSU you'd be using 540W. The math is that simple. You can select four rails up-to 32 to 40 amps with a total of 83 amps. There will be a multitude of connectors, but also four 3-pin fan connectors on this power supply.
A couple of years ago a new trend picked up, the consumers, all created a demand for modified PCs. The dull beige painted PCs had to go. We want nicely shaped, cooled and preferably lit PCs with side windows so we could actually look at the inside of the PC. Really cool to look at but that created another issue. We now had the beautiful looking cases where you could look inside, but that resulted in pulling the hairs out of your head as there were yellow, red, and black wires coming from the PSU everywhere. So the power supply received another function; aesthetics. It needs to look nice. By organizing cables and by giving you the option to actually choose the wires you want to use, another problem was solved. We call it cable management these days.
Another factor we need to weigh in. Sound levels coming from your PSU. The high rated PSU's typically have one fan and upto a few years ago a lot of manufacturers did not pay attention to all the noise a PC makes these days. So the third factor was utilizing silent high-performance fans preferably with smart-fan technology (variable fan speeds based on heat). The fan used on model 11 is a new 135mm, the Silent Wings revision 3. To make the product even more silent the PSU chassis houing / casing has been equipped with a rubberized bracket on both sides to prevent sound resonating and vibration.
The Be Quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 series will become available in three models 850 up-to 1200 Watt models initially, later this year you will also see 550 and 750 Watt models with the same Platinum certification and sound dampening features.
But have a peek at the product and then let's head onwards into the review.