bequiet! Dark Power Pro 10 550W Power Supply

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7. COOLING & NOISE

The fan in the bequiet! Dark Power Pro 10 550W started up at very low speed and a noise output which, at one meter distance from the microphone, did not change the 11 dBA SPL ambient in the anechoic chamber. A very soft whirring could be heard from close up, say about a foot away, but in any normal operating situation, this PSU would be silent to over 400W, where a rise of just 1 dBA, to 12 dBA@1m, was measured. At 500W load, the fan sped up enough for it to register 13 dBA, and full power finally brought us to 15 dBA@1m. This is quieter than many power supplies at minimum load, and such power supplies are considered very quiet by most users. The sound was never more than a gentle broadband woosh, and there was no audible whining or buzzing electronic noise at low loads, although at full load, a bit of buzzing could be heard at a low level beneath the broadband whoosh of the fan, but again only from a very close distance. In normal use, this DPP 10 550W could be easily mistaken for a fanless unit.

The exhaust air temperature was not unduly high, reaching a maximum of just 41°C at full load with room ambient at 23°C. This is about average for a PSU at this power load. We can only conjecture about the temperature of actual components inside the PSU, but this comment holds true for all PSUs tested by all computer hardware review sites.

IN THE HOT BOX

When exposed to the heat of the hotbox, the bequiet! Dark Power Pro 10 550W fan started to spin up at a lower power level, and ran considerably faster, but the overall noise profile remained very smooth and benign. Even in an old-style case with poor fresh air intake for the PSU, the DPP 550W will remain quiet to over 400W load. This is very good performance.

bequiet! Dark Power Pro 10 550W SPL: In Hot Box vs. Out
Power load
<250W
300W
400W
500W
550W
out
<11
<11
12
13
15
in hot box
<11
<11
13
17
22
Measurements are in dBA@1m


8. FAN HEADERS

One of the four external fan headers was used during the testing to drive a 120mm fan rated at 1500 RPM — like the internal PSU fan — with its RPM lead monitored by a fan header on our lab test PC. Voltage could also have been monitored, but this is probably just as informative.

DC Output (W)
Exhaust
SPL* (dBA@1m)
2nd Fan RPM
On test bench, 23°C ambient
299.7
34°C
<11
620
400.5
38°C
12
660
499.6
41°C
13
720
550.0
41°C
15
780
In hot box
299.7
40°C
<11
620
400.5
43°C
13
720
499.6
51°C
17
950
550.0
54°C
22
1080

What the above information tells us is that one to four smooth sounding case fans rated for 1500 RPM (or perhaps as low as 1200 RPM, for reliable startup) could be mounted in the system, and unless your case configuration is terrible, those fans would probably not become significantly audible until past 400W load (or 450W measured at the AC outlet). This is a perfectly useful fan control profile for silent PC enthusiasts.

COMPARISONS

The comparison table below shows the SPL versus Power Load data on PSUs tested in ambient room temperature, typically 20~24°C. It is most relevant when PSUs are used in cases that provide wide open access to cooler outside air for the PSU cooling fan. The bequiet! Dark Power Pro 10 550W jumps to the top of the list. It probably belongs at the very top — the 15 dBA at 500W cited in the table is not strictly accurate; at 500W it's 13 dBA, and reaches 15 dBA at 550W, but it would have been awkward to insert another column at 550W.

PSU Noise (dBA@1m) vs. Power in Ambient Room Temperature
Model
90W
150W
200W
250W
300W
400W
500W
6-700W
850W
Kingwin Lazer Platinum LZP-550
<10*
<10
<10
<10
<10
<10
16
n/a
n/a
bequiet! DPP 10 550W
<11
<11
<11
<11
<11
12
15
n/a
n/a
Seasonic X-400 Fanless
<10*
<10
<10
<10
<10
<10
n/a
n/a
n/a
Enermax Platimax 60v0W
<10
<10
<10
<10
<10
12
18
24
n/a
Enermax Modu/Pro87+ 500
11
11
11
11
11
11
18
n/a
n/a
Corsair AX850
<10
<10
<10
11~13
12
13
17
24
35
Seasonic X-650
<10
<10
<10
<10
<10
16
27
32
n/a
Nexus NX-5000
11
11
12
12
12.5
14
19
n/a
n/a
Antec CP-850
12
12
12
12
12
14
20
24
40
Enermax Eco80+ 500W
<11
12
12
16
20
23
28
n/a
n/a
Antec TP-750
12
12
12
14
15
27
31
40
n/a
Seasonic G360
<13
<13
18
24
34
39
n/a
n/a
n/a
CoolerMaster Silent Pro M2 720W
15
15
15
15
15
16
22
31
n/a
Cougar GX-700
15
15
15
17
21
25
35
35
n/a

The comparison table below shows the SPL versus Power Load data on all the PSUs tested in the hotbox. It's difficult to rank them, as the measured SPL varies differently with power load. The units which are quietest at minimum load are not always the quietest at midload (100W~300W), which may make them louder in actual use. Then there's the noise level at 400W and up, which will determine the quietest PSUs for high power gaming rigs, during actual gaming. The bequiet! DDP 10 550W only falls below the fanless Seasonic X-400 (and X-460, if it was on this table) up to 400W. At full 550W output, its only competitor here is the Enemax Platimax 600W.

PSU Noise (dBA@1m) vs. Power in Hotbox/Anechoic Chamber
Model
90W
150W
200W
250W
300W
400W
500W
6-700W
850W
Seasonic X-400 Fanless
<10*
<10
<10
<10
<10
<10
n/a
n/a
n/a
bequiet! DPP 10 550W
<11
<11
<11
<11
<11
13
22
n/a
n/a
Enermax Platimax 600W
<10
<10
<10
<10
12
16
21
24
n/a
Kingwin Lazer Platinum LZP-550
<10*
<10
<10
<10
<10
16
22
n/a
n/a
Enermax Modu/Pro87+ 500
11
11
11
11
14
20
23
n/a
n/a
Corsair AX850
<10
<10
12
15
18
25
35
38
39
Seasonic X-650
<10
<10
12
14
16
31
31
32
n/a
Nexus Value 430
11
11
16
18
18
19
n/a
n/a
n/a
Nexus NX-5000
11
11
12
14
22
24
25
n/a
n/a
Antec CP-850
12
12
12
14
14
26
40
44
45
Enermax Eco80+ 500W
<11
12
16
19
26
32
33
n/a
n/a
CoolerMaster Silent Pro M2 720W
15
15
15
15
16
21
25
32
n/a
Seasonic M12D 850W
14
14
14
14
14
24
37
42
42
Antec TP-750
12
12
14
14
18
33
40
40
n/a
Chill Innovation CP-700M
15
15
15
15
17
30
34
34
n/a
Antec Signature 650
15
15
15
18
18
28
36
47
n/a
Coolermaster M700W
14
14
18
21
25
27
34
34
n/a
Seasonic G360
<13
17
23
30
39
39
n/a
n/a
n/a
Cougar GX-700
15
15
18
20
25
32
35
36
n/a
SilverStone DA700
18
18
18
18
23
32
35
41
n/a
Nexus RX-8500
14
14
17
22
28
32
32
33
33
NesteQ ECS7001
22
22
22
21
23
25
36
37
n/a
PCPC Silencer 610
20
24
24
24
24
30
40
50
n/a

The green boxes are >30 dBA@1m SPL.
*<10 or 11= below the ambient of our anechoic chamber; immeasurably low @1m in any environment

Caution: Please keep in mind that the data in the above table is specific to the conditions of our test setup. Change the cooling configuration, the ambient temperature and any number of other factors, and you could change the point at which the fans start speeding up, as well as the rate of the rise in speed. The baseline SPL is accurate, however, probably to within 1 dBA.



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