The Be Quiet! Dark Power Pro 1500W PSU review: High power

Be Quiet! is a German manufacturer that mainly produces PC cases, power supply units (PSUs) and cooling related products. As the company name suggests, their products are designed with primarily quiet operation. The company is no stranger to North American markets, which has been slowly but steadily increasing its presence in recent years. Their commitment to continue to increase their presence in the United States became apparent with the recent establishment of a U.S.-based California-based service center for flawless after-sales support.

Be Quiet’s main market focus! currently lies on PC PSUs, with the company offering more than three dozen different designs divided into eight different series. Although most of their products are aimed at ordinary users, and are therefore designed to balance cost-effectiveness and performance, the company is expanding its product range every few months, offering some impressive cutting-edge designs to round out its product lines.

In today’s review, we look back at the climax of Be Quiet! power supply design, Dark Power Pro 12 1500W (BN647). Dark Power Pro has a long list of features, the most important of which are 80Plus Titanium efficiency, a patented Silent Wings cooling fan and a monstrous 1500 W continuous (and 1600 W peak) output, balanced with a colossal $ 450 label. Be Quiet! clearly aims to take over halo products from several reputable manufacturers who have released products> 1.5 kW in the last few years, setting a very high bar for our expectations.

Dark Power Pro 12 1500W power specifications (name at 50 ° C)
AC INPUT 100 – 240 VAC, 50 – 60 Hz
RAIL + 3.3V + 5V + 12V (combined) + 5Vsb -12V
MAX OUTPUT 25A 25A 125A 3.5A 0.5A
150W 1500W 17.5W 6W

Packing and package

Be Quiet! delivers the Dark Power Pro 12 1500W PSU in a large, sturdy and aesthetically minimalist cardboard box on the outside. Despite the simple appearance, the packaging is very solid and of high quality. Practically nothing is printed on the front of the box, but a lot of details can be found on the sides and back.

A rich package can be found inside the box, as expected from halo products like this one. Inside the box we found a standard AC power cord, four typical mounting screws and four screws for the user to choose whatever they want, ten cable strips, several cable ties, wire combs and a PCI slot switch. The PCI slot switch can be used to turn overclocking mode on and off. When turned off, the PSU has multiple virtual 12V rails, monitoring them individually for excessive current. When overclocking mode is on, it monitors the entire 12V line as a single bus, preventing the PSU from shutting down when one connector consumes a little too much power. The catch is that the latter mode cannot detect critical faults in one wire and such a fault could lead to a large current across one wire, irreversibly damaging it.

The Dark Power Pro 12 is a fully modular design, which allows the removal of every DC power cord, including the 24-pin ATX connector. All cables are black, with black connectors and individual wires. We also found not one but two floppy disk power adapters inside the package, which is a fun but very strange thing for such a product in 2021.

Dark Power Pro 12
Connector type Hardwired Modular
ATX 24 Pin 1
EPS 4 + 4 Pin 1
EPS 8 Pin 1
PCI-E 6 + 2 Pin 10
PCI-E 8 Pin
Molex 8
Floppy 2

The Be Quiet! Dark Power Pro 12 1500W PSU


The Be Quiet! Dark Power Pro 12 is visually impressive, with a unique layered case. The exterior is almost completely black, with very smooth sanded surfaces and sharp edges. The chassis is very long, 200mm deep, which makes it incompatible with a large number of smaller cases, but that shouldn’t be a problem for the type of large computer where you’ll need (and be able to cool) 1kW to start with.

Chrome fonts form a series and company logos on one side of the device. The other side is covered with a sticker with the electrical specifications and certificates of the unit. The top of the case is almost perfectly clean, with a few exceptions on the warranty label. A huge on / off switch can be seen on the back of the unit, just below the IEC C19 connector, which was necessary given the high power consumption when the PSU needs to be powered from a 115V AC source.

The front of the Dark Power Pro 12 is filled to the top with modular cable connectors. Be Quiet! uses a true 5-pin connector for SATA / Molex cables, a two-line 10-pin cable for CPU cables, and a dual 12-pin connector for PCIe cables. The ATX cable connects to two connectors on the PSU side, a large 20-pin connector and another 8-pin connector. The printed legend shows which virtual 12 V bus corresponds to each connector. Although each group consists of physically identical connectors, users should be careful not to connect cables randomly, but as recommended in the manual, as the default mode is Dark Power Pro 12 with multiple 12V OCP rails, which means the PSU will turn off. down if the load is not properly balanced.

Internal design

We usually find Be Quiet! using its own fans to cool its PSUs, and the Dark Power Pro 12 is no exception, using the Silent Wings 135mm fan under the finger guard. The only difference is that the Dark Power Pro 12 uses a frameless version of the fan. This design supposedly reduces vibration intensity and increases airflow, but there is a downside – if the fan ever breaks, finding a replacement will be a challenge for anyone but the manufacturer. The maximum speed of 135 mm fans with fluid-dynamic bearing (FDB) is 2600 RPM, which is an extremely high speed for a fan of this size.

Be Quiet! employs several OEMs to design and manufacture their PSUs. The OEM behind the creation of Dark Power Pro 12 is Channel-Well Technologies or CWT. Many experienced enthusiasts could have guessed this earlier by the presence of multiple virtual 12V lines, a design tactic often used on their platforms.

The platform that Dark Power Pro 12 can be a very interesting topic for discussion and research. It is not a fully digital platform, but a hybrid. In particular, it uses digital controllers on critical parts and analog controllers on secondary rails derived from DC-to-DC converters.

Diving deeper, there was nothing special about the filtering stage, which consists of a total of six Y capacitors, two X capacitors and two filter inductors which led to the configuration of a two-input rectifier bridge. The bridges do not have their own heatsink, but are attached to a large heatsink that holds most of the active primary side components. There is no one, not two, but three APFC capacitors that will handle the huge power requirements of the unit. Two capacitors are manufactured by Nichicon and one is supplied by Nippon Chemi-Con.

The four transistors form a full inversion topology on the primary side of the unit. There are two transformers, but one output, most likely because there was no room for one transformer that was powerful enough – or one transformer powerful enough to fit into this design was too expensive. Twelve MOSFETs that generate a 12V bus on the secondary side are all attached to vertical daughter boards with their own cooler.

The 3.3V and 5V lines are generated via DC-to-DC converter circuits located on a vertical PCB near the front of the unit. All secondary lines, including the 5VSB line, are controlled by an analog controller. There are a number of electrolytic and polymer capacitors that can be seen in Dark Power Pro 12. Nichicon, Rubycon and Nippon Chemi-Con power the electrolytic capacitors, while FPCAP and United Chemi-Con power all the polymer capacitors. And although five different capacitor suppliers are involved in creating this specific PSU, they are all known for their high quality products.

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Naveen Kumar

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