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be quiet! Dark Power Pro 12 1500W Power Supply Review

be quiet! clearly is after Corsair's AX1600i, with its new, digitally controlled, Dark Power Pro 12 power supply with 1500W max capacity.

be quiet! Dark Power Pro 12 1500W
Editor's Choice
(Image: © be quiet!)

Protection Features

Check out our PSUs 101 article to learn more about PSU protection features.

Protection Features

OCP (Cold @ 25°C)

12V1: 60.2A (150.5%), 11.991V 12V2: 56.3A (140.75%), 11.822V 12V3: 58.9A (147.25%), 11.720V12V4: 59.6A (149%), 11.7V12V5: 60.2A (133.78%), 11.774V12V6: 66.6A (148%), 11.771V 5V: 35.7A (142.8%), 5.027V 3.3V: 36.7A (146.8%), 3.301V 5VSB: 5.2A (148.57%), 4.827V

OCP (Hot @ 41°C)

12V1: 59.7A (149.25%), 11.978V
12V2: 56.2A (140.5%), 11.834V
12V3: 58.8A (147%), 11.748V
12V4: 59.2A (148%), 11.732V
12V5: 59.8A (132.89%), 11.782V
12V6: 66.6A (148%), 11.774V
5V: 35.2A (140.8%), 5.029V
3.3V: 36.6A (146.4%), 3.302V
5VSB: 5.2A (148.57%), 4.826V

OPP (Cold @ 28°C)

1846.62W (123.11%)

OPP (Hot @ 43°C)

1826.56W (121.77%)

OTP

✓ (90°C @ 12V Heat Sink)

SCP

12V to Earth: ✓
5V to Earth: ✓
3.3V to Earth: ✓
5VSB to Earth: ✓
-12V to Earth: ✓

PWR_OK

Proper operation

NLO

SIP

Surge: MOV
Inrush: NTC Thermistor & Bypass relay

Evaluating the protection features of this PSU was a daunting task because of the high number of 12V rails. Moreover, according to our new testing protocol, we evaluate OCP and OPP under both hot and cold operation to have a clear view of the protection features circuit under different environmental conditions. 

Keeping the same triggering points at both high and low temperatures can be a problem for PSUs that utilize analog controllers and passive parts like resistors and current transformers. These passive parts are affected by ambient temperature. On the contrary, this is not a problem for digital controllers where you can easily compensate for a possible drift, which is clearly shown in the OCP cold and hot rows, where the triggering points are identical. 

The OCP triggering points are higher than our ideal setting (130%), but in no case, this leads to high voltage drops or/and increased ripple. Moreover, the PSU was able to deliver a pretty high load before shutting down, something that it wasn't the case in our standard tests at 46 degrees Celsius, where anything close to 110% of the unit's max power led to shutting down, with both 115V and 230V input. Most likely, the high operating temperature played a role there. 

DC Power Sequencing

According to Intel’s most recent Power Supply Design Guide (revision 1.4), the +12V and 5V outputs must be equal to or greater than the 3.3V rail at all times. Unfortunately, Intel doesn't mention why it is so important to always keep the 3.3V rail's voltage lower than the levels of the other two outputs.

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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

DC Power Sequencing Scope Shots

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The 3.3V rail is always lower than the other two, as the ATX spec requires. 

Cross Load Tests

To generate the following charts, we set our loaders to auto mode through custom-made software before trying more than 25,000 possible load combinations with the +12V, 5V, and 3.3V rails. The deviations in each of the charts below are calculated by taking the nominal values of the rails (12V, 5V, and 3.3V) as point zero. The ambient temperature during testing was between 30 to 32 degrees Celsius (86 to 89.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

Load Regulation Charts

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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Load Regulation Charts

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Efficiency Chart

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Ripple Charts

The lower the power supply's ripple, the more stable the system will be and less stress will also be applied to its components.

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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Ripple Suppression Charts

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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Infrared Images

We apply a half-load for 10 minutes with the PSU's top cover and cooling fan removed before taking photos with a modified FLIR E4 camera able to deliver an IR resolution of 320x240 (76,800 pixels).

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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

IR Images

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The highest temperature is recorded on one of the two coils of the DC-DC converters. The large electrolytic caps between the 12V board and the modular PCB take a bit of stress under the conditions we applied. Still, if the unit's fan is in operation, which will be the case in real life, their operating temperatures will be lower since nothing obstructs airflow in this area.

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