be quiet! Dark Power Pro 430 power supply

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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 away.

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.

More details about how we make these recordings can be found in our short article: Audio Recording Methods Revised.

CONCLUSIONS

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.

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SPCR Articles of Related Interest:
Power Supply Fundamentals & Recommended Units
Power Distribution within Six PCs
Seasonic S12-430
Seasonic S12 Energy Plus
Antec NeoHE 430
Silverstone Element Plus ST50EF-Plus

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