Introduction

be quiet! is a German company that is slowly making their way into the North American market. As its name suggests (and yes, the correct spelling is all lowercase), the company specializes in creating low-noise components for PCs, mainly cooling and power related. We had the chance to see some of their new products, including their first case, at CES. The last of their products that we reviewed was the Power Zone 850W power supply, which was a bit disappointing in that it was unable to catch up with the competition and not quite quiet under heavy loads.

Our review did not phase the company, who sent us samples of their best PSU series, the Dark Power Pro, for another review. This series is strictly aimed towards enthusiasts and advanced users, seeking the very best parts available for their systems. It consists of six units, ranging from 550W up to 1200W. be quiet! supplied us with samples of their 650W and 850W models, as their reasonable power output makes them the "best sellers" of the series. However, there are large variations between the models of the series, which can be seen from the fact that only the 850W unit is 80 Plus Platinum certified – the rest of the Dark Power Pro 10 units all have a 80 Plus Gold certification. As such, we expect the two units that we will review today to be significantly different, even though they are part of the same series.

be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 650W
Power specifications ( Rated @ 50 °C )
AC INPUT 100 – 240 VAC, 50 – 60 Hz
RAIL +3.3V +5V +12V +5Vsb -12V
MAX OUTPUT 25A 25A 54A 3A 0.5A
125W 648W 15W 6W
TOTAL 650W

 

be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 850W
Power specifications ( Rated @ 50 °C )
AC INPUT 100 – 240 VAC, 50 – 60 Hz
RAIL +3.3V +5V +12V +5Vsb -12V
MAX OUTPUT 25A 25A 70A 3A 0.5A
140W 840W 15W 6W
TOTAL 850W

Packaging and Bundle

Both Dark Power Pro 10 units share a virtually identical packaging, with the obvious differences being the power rating and the 80 Plus certification badge. It is a very professional looking, sturdy cardboard box, with thick layers of polystyrene foam offering sufficient shipping protection. Ample information on the features, specifications and even the length of the cables is printed on the back of the box.

 

be quiet! treats the Dark Power Pro 10 as the top-tier units they are supposed to be and provides a wealthy bundle with these units. Inside the box we find a manual, the typical AC power cable, five black screws, five thumbscrews, several cable ties, six quality cable straps, a jumper for the OCK mode, and a switch with an LED mounted on an expansion slot cover.

We should note that there are five screws and five thumbscrews, even though that the PSU requires four, because be quiet! offers a spare just in case one gets lost. These screws are longer than typical 3M case screws, which are not sufficiently long for the proper installation of the power supply.

Regarding the OCK mode, it is a feature that the Dark Power Pro 10 units offer, allowing the user to "merge" the four 12V lines into one. This can be done by using the provided jumper, which will lock the Dark Power Pro 10 to a single rail OCP monitoring mode, or by installing the expansion cover with the switch, allowing for on-the-fly mode changes. Obviously, the power output of the unit does not get any more powerful; OCK simply overrides the stock OCP (over current protection) configuration, ceasing the monitoring of separate 12V rails and monitoring the entire 12V line as a whole.

For safety reasons, the "single 12V rail" mode is not allowed by the ATX design guide, especially with units this powerful. That is because the OCP will not be triggered if the whole output of the unit is going through a single wire, in which case the cable or the connector can easily melt, potentially even starting a fire. However, the ever-increasing power requirements of modern equipment (especially GPUs) could cause the OCP to trigger even when the PSU itself could handle the load, which has led most high-end PSU manufacturers to ignore the safety norm and go with single 12V rail monitoring.

The cables of the Dark Power Pro 10 are all sleeved and with color-coded wires, which may be a bit too typical for a PSU of this class. It would have been good for be quiet! to at least use black wires or a more distinct sleeving. Five extra cable straps, which are simple and straight unlike those provided separately in the bundle, hold half of the cable packs together and can be repurposed after the PSU has been installed inside a case.

The Be Quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 PSU
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  • Mondozai - Monday, February 2, 2015 - link

    Terrible prices. The EVGA G2 850W is an awesome PSU. It has a whopping 10 year guarantee and for half the price at that.

    Skip, skip, skip.
    Reply
  • Samus - Monday, February 2, 2015 - link

    I feel sorry for the people in Europe where this is one of the best options they have, when North American market has so much competition from EVGA, Corsair, Coolermaster and Antec, making be cool! pretty irrelevant here.

    If I were going to recommend a PSU in this price class I'd go for a pure-breed Seasonic unit or a PC Power and Cooling unit while you can still find them...

    But EVGA's 10-year warranty is killer, especially since the only PSU failure I've had was after 5 years.
    Reply
  • E.Fyll - Monday, February 2, 2015 - link

    Actually, you should not be. All those brands are readily available in Europe as well. Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, February 3, 2015 - link

    Actually, on the whole, the only thing European Consumers have more choice in is cell phones and possible automobiles. Electronic choices reign supreme in North America, especially computer component selection. Corsair only markets three of their eight models in the EU because only 3 were certified by the restrictive regulatory requirements. Reply
  • SmokingCrop - Thursday, February 5, 2015 - link

    One can buy all the Corsair series in Belgium/Netherlands: CX, CXM, RM, CSM, HXi, AX, AXi, VS Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Monday, February 2, 2015 - link

    The G2 is noisy and its temperature performance is worse than the Corsair RM 850. Reply
  • tabascosauz - Monday, February 2, 2015 - link

    I own a G2 750 and it's perfectly quiet under heavy OC.

    Temperature performance is worse than the RM? How so? In cooling? I don't believe that, considering the extremely agressive passive fan profile of the RM. Performance at temperature? Perhaps. The RM does feature good vreg on some rails and efficiency is not bad. Not that I'd spend even a second of my time looking at the RM750 though, with those horrible electrolytics.
    Reply
  • Antronman - Monday, February 2, 2015 - link

    Except the RM has had terrible user ratings because of generally terrible quality on that line of PSUs. Whereas the EVGA G2 PSUs and P2s are Superflower made. Reply
  • SmokingCrop - Thursday, February 5, 2015 - link

    Depends what wattage you take, the 750W is excellent.
    No fan till about 375W as well, without having to worry that your cheap ass capacitors will fail after 5 years because of the heat..
    Reply
  • darkfalz - Monday, February 16, 2015 - link

    I've had 4 of 5 Antec supplies eventually die on me (2 SmartPower 350, 2 Earthwatts 380). All died gracefully (usually the standby voltage ie. failing to turn on or resume from standby the first symptom). I think the shortest lived one was maybe a year and the longest lived about 4 years. My Earthwatts 500 still works and powering my E8500 based system. I'm not convinced they are a quality brand, especially at the lower end (the kind that are bundled with their cases). They are a rebrander too, so you really don't know what you're getting. TBH I don't expect power supplies to last forever, you just hope when they go they go peacefully. Reply

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