be quiet! Dark Power Pro 1500 W Review - Better than Corsair AX1600i? 22

be quiet! Dark Power Pro 1500 W Review - Better than Corsair AX1600i?

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Introduction

Be Quiet! Logo

We would like to thank be quiet! for supplying the review sample.

Popular German brand be quiet! has a new flagship PSU line, the Dark Power Pro 12 consisting of only two members with capacities of 1200 W and 1500 W. Both use a platform provided by Channel Well Technology (CWT) and are 80 PLUS Titanium certified. The 1500 W model has also been certified by Cybenetics, as ETA-A+ in efficiency and LAMBDA-A- in noise output with 115 V input. With 230 V, it doesn't manage the ETA-A+ efficiency and drops to ETA-A.

Both Dark Power Pro 12 units are fully modular and have several +12 V rails, which can all be combined through an "overclocking key"—basically a jumper. Another notable feature is the frameless fan, which allows for higher airflow and lower noise. Lastly, at ten years, the provided warranty is long compared to most competing offerings—only Seasonic provides longer warranties with its Prime models.

The Dark Power Pro 12 with 1500 W maximum power output is suitable for workstations that include multiple graphics cards and power-hungry processors. Given the NVIDIA RTX 3090 can consume up to 400 W, you can use this PSU to power two of these cards along with an AMD Threadripper and have plenty of headroom left for your other devices. After all, it is not wise to fully utilize a PSU—10%–20% headroom should always be available, even for your worst-case scenario. You see, PSUs age as well, so performance under severe conditions won't stay the same as they do.

be quiet! marketing dubs this a digital platform, which is indeed the case for the APFC converter, primary switching FETs, and FETs that handle the +12 V rail. However, it is not a fully digital design as it doesn't allow you to monitor or control any of the PSU functions in software, which is the case for the Corsair AX1600i. Moreover, the platform doesn't use cutting-edge technology, so it cannot compete with the Corsair AX1600i, which utilizes GaN MODFETs in its bridgeless totem-pole PFC converter.

be quiet! let me know that these PSUs utilize fan-failure protection. An auto-restart function in the fan's circuit has it restart automatically if it fails to spin up. However, every PSU out there includes such a feature. They also mentioned that the fan has Over Temperature Protection (OTP), with another, similar protection circuit inside the PSU. That said, there is no actual fan-protection circuit since I removed the fan to shoot the IR images and the PSU was operating normally. With fan-failure protection, the PSU wouldn't even start with its fan disconnected. Someone could argue that OTP makes sure there won't be any problems with the fan removed, but fan-failure protection and OTP are two different protection features.


In its PR kit, be quiet! mentions that semi-digital PSUs only use an MCU for the APFC converter, while fully digital PSUs control the PFC, LLC, +12 V circuit, and protection features. I don't entirely agree on this as a fully digital PSU should have all of its significant circuits controlled by MCUs, including any protection features, the PFC, LLC, +12 V, DC-DC converters for the minor rails, and 5VSB circuit. Unfortunately, today's market does not include a fully digital PSU.

Specifications

be quiet! Dark Power Pro 12 1500 W
Features & Specifications
Max. DC Output1500 W
PFCActive PFC
Efficiency (115 V)80 PLUS Titanium, ETA-A+ (91%–94%)
NoiseLAMBDA-A- (25–30 dB[A])
ModularYes (fully)
Intel C6/C7 Power State SupportYes
Operating Temperature0–50 °C
ProtectionsOver Voltage Protection
Under Voltage Protection
Over Power Protection
Over Temperature Protection
Over Current Protection
Short Circuit Protection
Cooling135 mm fluid dynamic bearing fan (BQ SIW3-13525-HF)
Semi-passive OperationNo
Dimensions (W x H x D)150 x 85 x 200 mm
Weight2.37 kg (5.22 lb)
ComplianceATX12V v2.4, EPS 2.92
Warranty10 years
Price at Time of Review (excl. VAT)$449
be quiet! Dark Power Pro 12 1500 W
Power Specifications
Rail3.3 V5 V12 V112 V212 V312 V412 V512 V65 VSB-12 V
Max. Power25 A25 A40 A40 A40 A40 A45 A45 A3.5 A0.5 A
150 W1500 W17.5 W6 W
Total Max. Power1500 W
be quiet! Dark Power Pro 12 1500 W
Power Distribution
12V1ATX, Peripheral
12V2EPS1, EPS2
12V3/4/5/6PCIe
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