be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 1200W Power Supply

Now, here’s a name we don’t see anywhere near often enough here in the lab. BeQuiet is in the house today with their brand new Dark Power Pro 11 1200W model… this bad boy is a semi-modular 80 Plus Platinum beast of a unit that promises to put out a ton of power without making a lot of noise doing so. I always enjoy looking at units from this company, because they’re one of the few companies out there really making an effort to stand apart from the crowd. Let’s see what this unit’s all about.

SUPPLIED BY: be quiet!
PRODUCT: Dark Power Pro 11 1200W
PROD LINK: Dark Power Pro 11 Product Page
PRICE: $249.00 @ NewEgg
Price is at the time of testing!

A lot of power supplies on the market come out of the gate promising to be quiet. Some have FDB fans to reduce noise. Some have semi-fanless or even completely fanless operating modes to do the same. But there’s one company that’s so driven by being seen and not heard that they’ve named the whole company BeQuiet. I can only assume the decision to do so was preceded by a lengthy board meeting in which one unfortunate soul shouted out, “Shaddap, I’m talkin,’ here!” and was promptly fired.

At any rate, BeQuiet is something of an unusual presence in the industry. These guys don’t let the market sway them too easily. When the rest of the industry was swallowing the “single 12V is better” myth, BeQuiet resisted. When the rest of the industry went to semi-fanless modes to keep fans from making noise as long as possible, BeQuiet went out and tried to improve the fans themselves so that they would always live up to the company name.

Today, we’ll be looking at the Dark Power Pro 11 1200 watt unit. This will be my first BeQuiet unit since the Straight Power 10 I tested a bit over a year ago, and I’m anxious to get started.

Like most power supplies, there is some marketing on the box. There’s also a full diagram of the cables and connectors. The main bullet points I’m concerned about would be the 80 Plus Platinum efficiency and a full array of protection circuits including overtemp.

That said, I do see a feature listed that I don’t see often – an integral fan controller. Antec used to offer units with that feature back in the day… basically, the internal fan controller would also power one or two other case fans outside the power supply. It was a good idea in theory, but in Antec’s case, they didn’t quite get it right back then. People would plug these mega screamer fans that pulled a lot of juice, or use a bunch of splitters and plug in more than a couple case fans, and burn out the internal fan controller. When that happened, the cooling fan for the power supply also ceased to work. One hopes that BeQuiet thought about that before designing this unit.

BeQuiet’s custom fan solution, in this case, goes by the name Silent Wings, just in case you thought this unit came with a CD of a German metal band with an ironic name. Cable management… that has to be their term for modularity. But is it fully modular? We’ll see.

Let’s unpack so we can find out. Good – I see lots of padding for the power supply in this box.

Ah, yes… the power supply is only semi-modular. Aside from it, we also have two bags of goodies, a user guide, a 14 gauge power cord, and some modular cables.

The user manual is excellent. Not up to Silverstone’s level of excess, but better than most manuals I see.

One of the accessories bags contains these little doodads. What are they? Well, this power supply has a feature called “OCK,” or “overclocking key.” Basically, it’s a way to disable the multi-rail overcurrent protection in the unit. You’re not actually overclocking something. You can either use the little jumper on the left to permanently disable OCP, or plug in the expansion bay switch so that you can switch it on and off at will.

Folks, I’m telling you right now… this is a 1200 watt unit. Enough power to just about arc weld with. Try it with the multi-rail on first. Only use these doohickeys if the unit keeps shutting down on you no matter what cable combo you use.

See, this is why the “single 12V is better” thing is a myth. Sometimes, the bigger units of that ilk don’t shut down when they should. They have too much current capacity. That’s why my mining rigs are all running multi-rail when possible, even though they all have up to six video cards. If you plug things in right, and the power supply was designed correctly, you should never have an issue with multi-rail OCP shutting the unit down on you. But I’ve ranted enough about that before… I don’t feel like getting into it again.

Inside the other bag of goodies, there are two sets of screws (one knurled), some zip ties, some cable ties, and four fan cables for the fan controller.

You know, those bags of screws each have five of them. Yes, this company is giving you extras in case you lose one. Gotta love that.