BeQuiet Dark Power PRO 850 Watt PSU
Listan, (or you guys know them better under the label "BeQuiet!") my good friends, have been very up and coming ever since last year. It proves that with a quality product and decent marketing you can get loads of attention and heaps of consumers buying your products.
The last time I received a power supply from them I received an email back from a friend working in the graphics card industry. He said "Hilbert, I just bought one of these and you were 100% right. I'm really glad I bought one." So for Listan it's difficult to improve an already great product I figured. Hmm, nope! In the ever-growing demand of power consumption they have yet again released an affordable power supply, this time with a 850 Watt rating yet for a price that's stunning. Next to that it's modular, has high energy efficiency, is quite silent and will fit in any case due to it's small size opposed to the Kilowatt PSU's we recently have seen.
Yeah, I know it's a must review product. So the big question is, why do we need 850 Watts ? Simple. High-end gamers PCs these days need a good power supply unit (PSU). The power consumption that a PC can create these days is a little unheard of. Increased transistor counts for processors (GPU/CPU) versus higher clock frequencies and most of all do not ignore the "Dual & Quad" trend. We have multi-core CPUs, and instead of one graphics cards we now have the option to double up graphics power with cards in SLI or Crossfire mode. In fact rumours about SLI 2.0 just started. 4 to 8 graphics cards ? Hey it's becoming reality you know !
Yet a current high-end rig (which we'll use to test this PSU today) average at 400-500 Watts power consumption. Now you can see why these little old grey 300 Watt PSU's we had 3 years ago are by far not sufficient anymore. Today for example with two GeForce 8800 cards in SLI, Core 2 Duo overclocked and 2 GB memory we'll peak over 500 watts !
A PSU needs to manage the power demand in a very secure way otherwise it'll create instability throughout the system. That instability can result as crashes, freezes, underperforming software such as games that run poorly when the graphics card isn't fed enough power, and even resets or shuts down the system completely. Please do not underestimate the importance of the PSU.
Two years ago another trend picked up which we did not foresee. We, 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 modify the wires you want to use, another problem was solved. We call it cable management these days.
The two reasons mentioned above from a consumer point of view have been by far the most important development for PSUs. Namely stable high output quality power distribution and the option for modability, using only the wires that you need. Almost EVERY manufacturer has picked up on this trend and it has become a very big market for sure.
But yet another factor rises that we now need to weigh in. Sound levels coming from your PSU. The high rated PSU's typically have two fans and 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).
And with these factors in mind we land at a product line called BeQuiet! As the name suggests, we do not expect this product to make heaps of sound. The product comes from the mysteriously sounding "Dark power Pro" range. We'll be testing the 850 Watt model to see if it can manage a high-end system with NVIDIA SLI technology.
You will notice that all supplied connectors are nicely wrapped in a black colored foil/plastic and are detachable. It is looking good for sure. It's advanced cable management that facilitates the installation and gives you the option to only use the required cables.
The Dark Power Pro is an 850 Watt PSU which places it in the high-end segment. A PSU which (although not certified) is ready for SLI ready and Crossfire certified; as it has four 12 volts PCI-Express connectors which combined can carry a total of 58 AMPs, and according to the box, the PSU 12 volts rails may peak to 20 AMPs per 12V rail. Next to that we find active PFC and smart fan technology.
Let's browse to the next page shall we !