be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 1200W Power Supply

REVIEW INFORMATION
SUPPLIED BY: be quiet!
MANUFACTURER: 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!

Another thing I like? Oh, just the whole appearance of this beauty, that’s all. So many of these companies use the OEM’s off the shelf enclosures that it’s refreshing to find one doing their own thing. BeQuiet goes further than most, and it shows. The whole exhaust side panel on this unit is one big silicone damper. Kind of like the deal Thermaltake sometimes does, only, in this case, BeQuiet has actually incorporated it into the actual housing. It’s not something extra you need to attach, because it’s part of the design itself.

It all goes back to the company name. They want this unit to BE QUIET, and whatever it takes to do that, they’ll do it. And make it look good in the process.

At first glance, it seems like they’ve added the silicone treatment to the back of the unit, too, but here it’s more decorative than anything. If nothing else, it gave BeQuiet a good way to hide the screws holding the unit together.

The exhaust grille. Looks nice and open to me, all the better to avoid extra wind noise.

That… has to be one of the sexiest side panels in the industry. And the other side looks just like it.

I like the way it looks, is what I’m saying in case you can’t quite interpret my ever so subtle remarks.

On to the modular cable panel. And… we have an issue. A minor one. You can plug a fan into the OCK socket. Don’t do that – it’s not compatible, the manual says not to. Personally, I think BeQuiet could have used a connector that wouldn’t allow that to happen. Will I dock points for it? Probably. We’ll see. I’m not scoring yet.

Wire grilles are better for silence than stamped steel, so that’s what BeQuiet did for this unit. It also looks like the top panel is formed in such a way as to work in harmony with the special fan BeQuiet went with.

Moving on to the label, we find that this unit has quad 12V implementation that actually makes sense. Part of the reason we have that “single 12V is better” myth now is because some companies did it wrong. They adhered too rigidly to Intel’s 240VA limit, put too many connectors on certain rails, and then had trouble with their units shutting down too soon. But rather than fix it, one company (who shall remain nameless) decided to abandon the whole idea in the name of using single 12V for a marketing advantage.

Other companies soon followed, and now you’ve got most of them doing it. There’s just so much misinformation out there even now that it drives me batty… people still think multi-rail causes instability. It can’t. It’s literally impossible for overcurrent protection to cause instability. It’s like saying “my stereo isn’t getting loud enough, clearly it’s the fault of that 15A circuit breaker back in the panel.” It’s on or it’s off. There is no in between.

Sorry… I know I wasn’t going to rant about it again.

Dark Power Pro 11 1200W – DC Output
DC Output +3.3V +5V +12V1 +12V2 +12V3 +12V4 -12V +5VSB
25A 25A 35A 35A 45A 45A 0.5A 3A
Max Power @ 40°C 150W 1188W 6W 15W
1200W

Maximum power output is given by the manual as being possible at up to forty degrees. That’s a little short of what I like to see from a high-end top of the line unit, but still acceptable.

There it is, people – the one and only hardwired cable on this unit. I always say if you’re going to go semi-modular, the hardwired cables should be kept to a bare minimum. BeQuiet’s listening. You can do a lot of listening, I find, when you’re being quiet and not yelling at the clouds like I did yesterday evening.

Stupid clouds. Get me out there for lightning and then stop doing it. I’ll show them, one day, you’ll see.

There are four fan cables for the fan controller, and they all look like this. You have a traditional Molex and a three pin motherboard header type connector. Use only one per cable… remember, these internal fan controllers aren’t intended to power a whole wind farm. BeQuiet is adamant in the manual about it supporting up to only four case fans.

And I know what some of you are probably wondering – what about if my case fans don’t start from too low an initial voltage? Well, BeQuiet actually thought of that. They have apparently engineered the unit to send a quick start-up pulse through the fan controller to get them moving before pulling back on the voltage to slow them down. I like that… they were thinking, these people being quiet. Some people don’t even think when they’re quiet. I’d call those people “congressmen,” but I’m pretty sure they’re never quiet.

BeQuiet went with an interesting solution to the PCI-e cables on this unit. You have up to nine PCI-e connectors, and they all have their own cable all the way back to the power supply. This is a good thing, especially for power hungry video cards, even though nine is a bit of an odd number for a power supply. That said, using the cables to combine 12V3 and 12V4 might then result in extra cables hanging around, because they do all share connectors at the power supply, but the good news there is you can get rid of that issue by plugging in the “OCK” and making the unit single 12V.

Yeah, yeah… I know what I said about multi-rail being preferable on these big units. BeQuiet, you. You just have to be a little more careful when you go single 12V on these big ones, that’s all. Inspect every connector for damage before plugging things in, make sure everything’s plugged in properly, and you shouldn’t have a problem.

Two CPU cables come with the unit, and they are loooooong. Plenty long enough for the biggest cases, I can think of. Probably even long enough for one of my mining rigs, where the power supply is on one end of a 30″ shelf and the motherboard is on the other end.

This is the first truly odd cable I’ve seen with this unit. What you’re seeing is one cable with one single Molex. BeQuiet calls it a motherboard cable, but really I haven’t seen too many that call for a single Molex. That said, I do have two… one’s a Jetway XBlue-78GA3. And I have never used that connector once. It’s simply not necessary. There’s an Asrock BTC board in the mining room with Molexes too, but I don’t use them there either.

Yes, sometimes such connectors do help when running multiple high power video cards. But in those cases, newer enthusiast motherboards usually use an auxiliary 6 pin PCI-e connector instead to supplement the 12V power coming in via the ATX connector. See, it’s the additional 12V power these boards need, not that extra 5V wire from a single Molex.

I have two MSI boards with those PCI-e connectors in my mining rigs. I don’t use those, either. For cryptocurrency mining, USB risers are a far more elegant solution to your power needs, removing the obligation of the motherboard to provide any power at all to the video cards used with them. When you’re powering six video cards non stop for days, months, years; you simply must spread out your current draw between as many connectors as possible directly from the PSU to keep the heat down and reliability up. If you do it right, you don’t need the motherboard to put any juice at all to all those video cards, which lengthens its life span.

Really, though, I think this cable is best thought of as an auxiliary cable for those instances where you have only that one Molex you need and everything else is SATA. Looking at it that way, it’s definitely welcome to yours truly. You can use it to keep extra Molex connectors to a minimum.

Welp, it looks like BeQuiet didn’t get the memo about me not liking Berg connectors on the main cables, because there’s one right there.

And there’s another one, on the end of the only combined SATA and Molex cable BeQuiet threw in with this unit. Just… put those on adapters, BeQuiet. They lessen the utility of this cable in particular and all cables in general.

There are only two all SATA cables included with this unit. Thankfully, they add up to a total of seven connectors. That’s a mite low for a 1200W unit, but not so low I’ll score against it. You can, after all, go up to nine if you use that SATA/Molex/Berg frankencable I just showed you.

Dark Power Pro 11 1200W – Cabling
Type of Cable Length from PSU +12V Rail
Fixed Cables
20+4 pin ATX connector 610 mm 12V1
Modular Cables
SATA+SATA+SATA+SATA 600+160+160+160 mm 12V1
SATA+SATA+SATA 560+150+150 mm
SATA+SATA+5.25″+5.25″+3.5″ 600+150+150+150+150 mm
5.25″+5.25″+5.25″ 600+160+160 mm
5.25″+5.25″+3.5″ 600+160+160 mm
5.25″ 600 mm
4+4 pin CPU 700 mm 12V2
8 pin CPU 700 mm
Dual PCI-e 6+2 pin 600 mm 12V3/12V4
600 mm
Dual PCI-e 6+2 pin 600 mm
600 mm
Dual PCI-e 6+2 pin 600 mm
600 mm
Triple PCI-e 6+2 pin 600 mm
600 mm
600 mm
Auxiliary Cables
OCK switch 700 mm
5.25″ Fan + 3 Pin Fan 600+150 mm
5.25″ Fan + 3 Pin Fan 600+150 mm
5.25″ Fan + 3 Pin Fan 600+150 mm
5.25″ Fan + 3 Pin Fan 600+150 mm
Unit Dimensions (L x W x H)
193 mm x 150 mm x 86 mm

And there you have it – a nice confusing cable table. I don’t see any issues with lengths, so we’ll proceed with the load testing.