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MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS
Each of these recording have 10 seconds of silence to let you hear the ambient
sound of the room, followed by 10 seconds of the product's noise.
Sound Recordings of PSU Comparatives
HOW TO LISTEN & COMPARE
These recordings were made
with a high resolution, studio quality, digital recording system, then
converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard
to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files
to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during
the review. Two recordings of each noise level were made, one from a
distance of one meter, and another from one foot
The one meter recording
is intended to give you an idea of how the subject of this review sound
in actual use one meter is a reasonable typical distance between
a computer or computer component and your ear. The recording contains
stretches of ambient noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness
of the subject. For best results, set your volume control so that the
ambient noise is just barely audible. Be aware that very quiet subjects
may not be audible if we couldn't hear it from one meter, chances
are we couldn't record it either!
The one foot recording is
designed to bring out the fine details of the noise. Use this recording
with caution! Although more detailed, it may not represent how the subject
sounds in actual use. It is best to listen to this recording after you
have listened to the one meter recording.
In the noise generated by all those who wish to grab a bite out of the expanding quiet computing pie, it often seems that the number of really quiet products hasn't grown that much. There's just a lot more "quiet" marketing BS to wade through. Thankfully, this Be Quiet! Dark Power Pro power supply is an addition to the genuinely quiet group.
The product is well packaged, well made, and is very quiet. There is not much to quibble about. The suggested price (approximately US$100 by today's exchange rate) does not seem out of line with other quality products of similar power rating, either. The modular wiring and extensive outputs for thermal fan control are nice touches. Efficiency could be higher, but for most users in most applications, we're really talking only about a few watts.
One possible downside is the small size and tight fins of the heatsinks along with the rather substantial vents on the output cable side. The ambient temperature in the lab was a modest 21°C during testing. In hotter weather, the fan might end up spinning up considerably quicker to maintain the same internal temperature, given the relatively small size of the heatsinks. This would mean a substantial amount of heat being blown back into the case, which would increase the need for cooling airflow in the system. This is a conjecture, however.
About the single biggest quibble is that the unit is not available in a 120VAC version. Almost every generic PSU has a 120/240 VAC switch; is that such an added expense?
In any case, our thanks to Be Quiet! for these review samples, for providing another valuable addition to the slowly growing family of quiet PSUs for system builders, and last but not least... for giving us a good motivation to finally get our 240VAC power source set up.
SPCR Articles of Related Interest:
Power Supply Fundamentals & Recommended
Power Distribution within Six PCs
Seasonic S12 Energy Plus
Antec NeoHE 430
Silverstone Element Plus ST50EF-Plus
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this article in the SPCR Forums.
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