be quiet! Dark Power Pro 430 PSU - first 240VAC test

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MikeC
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be quiet! Dark Power Pro 430 PSU - first 240VAC test

Post by MikeC » Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
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jaganath
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Post by jaganath » Fri Oct 13, 2006 1:57 am

Thanks SPCR for reviewing a product even though it's not available in NA; I suspect if it was available it would sell quite well; modular, quiet, efficient, (relatively) low-wattage PSU's are a rare commodity.

Calculon
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Post by Calculon » Fri Oct 13, 2006 3:28 am

Thanks for the review. And I'm really looking forward to further 120V/240V comparisons. That's what makes reading SPCR so sweet! Keep up the good work. :-)

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Post by Tibors » Fri Oct 13, 2006 3:41 am

Another thumbs up from Europe. Choice is good.

It is nice now to finaly have some hard data as to how it compares to other SPCR favorites. Opinions I read on German forums are one thing, but this is better.
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Post by wundi » Fri Oct 13, 2006 4:30 am

Thank you very much for an excellent article! I was really looking forward to this, and you sure didn't disappoint. ;)

Here's PDF brochures for those interested in the differences between the various Dark Power PRO models: 430W | 530W | 600W
Note the different fan speed curves.
The files used to be available on the english webby, until they recently changed the site design.

Btw, 28" cable for AUX12V 4-pin and 8-pin +12V EPS AUX connector -- that's longer than average, right? Good for P180 cable routing! :)
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Techno Pride
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Post by Techno Pride » Fri Oct 13, 2006 6:13 am

i think that's a low speed Globe, not a medium speed as stated in the review.
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jojo4u
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Post by jojo4u » Fri Oct 13, 2006 6:24 am

Hooray, 240 V :)
Topower derived brands were also used by me in the last years. This was the time when Seasonic was not available in Germany. One did not start and had to be replaced. No problems otherwise.

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Post by MikeC » Fri Oct 13, 2006 7:57 am

Techno Pride wrote:i think that's a low speed Globe, not a medium speed as stated in the review.
Yup, typo fixed. ;)
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merlin
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Post by merlin » Fri Oct 13, 2006 10:02 am

jaganath wrote:Thanks SPCR for reviewing a product even though it's not available in NA; I suspect if it was available it would sell quite well; modular, quiet, efficient, (relatively) low-wattage PSU's are a rare commodity.
Everything looks good except the efficiency, I'd be a bit more critical than mike regarding that as some of the seasonic psus would probably hit 86-87% efficiency on 240VA and this Topower based psu barely made it over 80%. It would definitely be under 80% at all wattages using 120VA, that doesn't compare at all to Seasonic, FSP, and Enhance.

At best I'd call it below average efficiency as was hinted at in the review. But at low power, I doubt that will make much of a difference, and all other aspects of the psu are positive. The M12 and Corsair PSU look like they have an advantage comparing straight up, course it seems the Dark power is more available and possibly cheaper.
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Post by MikeC » Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:25 am

merlin wrote:...I'd be a bit more critical than mike regarding that as some of the seasonic psus would probably hit 86-87% efficiency on 240VA and this Topower based psu barely made it over 80%.
81.3% at 200W output seems like better than "barely over 80%." The curve is fairly flat between 200 & 300W.

The Seasonic S12-430 is the closest match in terms of power & price. This would reach ~85% at 200W w/240VAC. What does that mean in watts? 235W vs 248W measured for the BQ: 13W.

How many people who use 430W PSUs actually reach 200W? HOw often? Not many and not often.

As you said later...
But at low power, I doubt that will make much of a difference, and all other aspects of the psu are positive.
My own main system (P4-2.8G) will pull nearly 200W AC from the wall for a few seconds when I am doing something intensive on Photpshop. Most of the time, it pulls ~95W AC. This P4-2.8 is a Northwood, which is about on par with some of the 89W rated AMD A64s, and mabe a bit higher than the Core 2 duos at idle. The rest -- 1GHz of DRAM, two 7.2k 3.5" HDDs, a fax/modem card, a Matrox p650 dualhead vidcard. The PSU is a Seasonic Super Silencer 350, modded with a Panaflo 80M fan. At 95W AC input, its output is about 70W.

So... let's look at the difference in power draw at 65W load and 240VAC between the S12-430 and the BQ430. Our corrected efficiency test shows the S12 at 83W or 78%. Add 3% for 240VA -- the input should drop to 80W. The BQ was measured at 85W or 76.3.

That's a 5W difference. That's the difference you'll see most of the time for most "quiet" systems run by SPCR readers.

Thermally, energywise -- I think it's really not that big a difference.
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Nemioke
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Post by Nemioke » Sun Oct 15, 2006 2:56 pm

I own the be quiet! Dark Power Pro 530.

So far: No problems. The PSU is practically inaudible in any use I've put it under (Orthos, desktop use, gaming - Oblivion included etc.). The wires were a bit stiff and hard to route nicely inside my case (well, the case is small-ish anyway), but the fact that I didn't need to find a place to unused wires helped a lot.

The "aftercooling" system is inaudible (even at night), so it won't be bothering anyone. It may or may not prolong the life of the components inside - at least the air gets cooler (not measured how much, just feeling it by hand) during the 3 min. time after shutting the system down.

The first PSU I got had some problems (5V and 12V lines were giving seriously low voltage - 5V line was running around 4.5V, while 12V line ran around 10.8V), so I had to send it back to the retailer. The new one is running perfectly and keeping the system stable.


Ah, and yes...the setup is Intel C2D E6600, Radeon X1900XT (with AC Accelero X2), Asus P5B Deluxe and 2*HDD (SATA and PATA). Processor is cooled passively with Scythe Ninja, two 120mm Nexus fans are providing the airflow inside the case (running at around 700rpm). Case is Thermaltake Tsunami (yes, I will be switching it to P180 or Solo soon - I should have read SPCR before buying my case), HDD:s are suspended on bungee cord. The loudest component of that setup is the CRT monitor I'm using.

Even when listened right next to the PSU the rear Nexus fan (no fan grill) is more audible than the PSU - I think that it can be stated that the PSU is quite acceptable when it comes to noise levels.

When running, the system cannot be heard from the distance of 1.5m in my bedroom in the silent night.



That all being said, though, I have one question for SPCR-reviewers: Are the cables of the BQ! Dark Power Pro long enough to be easily used in Antec P180 -case? The 24 pin connector and the 4/8 pin connector are the main questions, especially when using the P5B Deluxe MoBo (which has the 4/8 pin connector located at its upper left corner).

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Post by nici » Sun Oct 15, 2006 3:31 pm

If you dont feel like hanging around wating for someone to provide an answer, you could check the P180 reveiw and what PSU they used in that, then look up how long the cables on that thing is, and compare it to the BeQuiet! :wink: Aim tuu taierd tu duu dät, aim ååf zu bed nau.

btb73
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Post by btb73 » Mon Oct 16, 2006 12:59 am

I bought the dark power pro 430 2 weeks ago when i built my new system(before i read this review).

I am very pleased with it, and it seems very quiet to me, but it is my first 120mm fan PSU, so I dont have alot to compare it with. Its certainly alot quieter than my old Enermax PSU(which had a 80+92mm fan).

When you turn off the computer it continues to exhaust air in the back for a little while, but its inaudible so you dont notice it. I doubt that feature is worth anything though, and it wasnt the reason why I bought it.

I bought it primarily because it was modular so I could avoid cable mess, and also because here in Denmark its alot cheaper than comparable seasonics(the modular ones cost almost twice as much).

I also thought the 5 included velcro table strips was a very nice unexpected touch which allowed me to tidy up my case.

All in all I think it was good value for the money and I can recommend it.

ATWindsor
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Post by ATWindsor » Mon Oct 16, 2006 1:05 am

A nice PSU-review as always, you guys really are the best when it comes to PSUs, keep up the good work, I'm also looking forward to the 1000-watt-test hinted at in the article, could be a useful PSU for my fileserver.

AtW

jaganath
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Post by jaganath » Mon Oct 16, 2006 1:36 am

I'm also looking forward to the 1000-watt-test hinted at in the article, could be a useful PSU for my fileserver.
Your fileserver needs 1000W?! :shock:

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Post by ATWindsor » Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:37 am

jaganath wrote:
I'm also looking forward to the 1000-watt-test hinted at in the article, could be a useful PSU for my fileserver.
Your fileserver needs 1000W?! :shock:
To be honest, I'm not quite sure, my assumption is that a HD at spinup uses about 25 watts, and 30 disks then need about 750 watts, factor inn that its not 1000 watt on the 12V-line, and the rest of the system, it might be needed, I have tried to measure the power-draw with 12 disks, the machine then used about 12 W per disk (when i corrected for an assumed 80% efficeny in the PSU), but Im not sure the meter-thing updates wuick enough (its a device similar to kill-a-watt i think).

So it might be just me who are overrating my needs.

AtW

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Post by MikeC » Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:49 am

ATWindsor wrote:To be honest, I'm not quite sure, my assumption is that a HD at spinup uses about 25 watts, and 30 disks then need about 750 watts, factor inn that its not 1000 watt on the 12V-line, and the rest of the system, it might be needed, I have tried to measure the power-draw with 12 disks, the machine then used about 12 W per disk (when i corrected for an assumed 80% efficeny in the PSU), but Im not sure the meter-thing updates wuick enough (its a device similar to kill-a-watt i think).

So it might be just me who are overrating my needs.

AtW
Hitachi (IBM) HDDs have the most detailed specs around, and some of them cite startup current at 2A/12V and 1.1A/5V, which is around that 25W number you mention. This load is extremely brief, however, probably a second or two at most. Once the motor/platters has spun up, the power demand drops to <10W. However, if you are using 30 HDDs, surely, you have a controller/motherboard that will stagger the start sequence to reduce the surge not only on the PSU but also the AC line?
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ATWindsor
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Post by ATWindsor » Mon Oct 16, 2006 10:55 am

MikeC wrote:
ATWindsor wrote:To be honest, I'm not quite sure, my assumption is that a HD at spinup uses about 25 watts, and 30 disks then need about 750 watts, factor inn that its not 1000 watt on the 12V-line, and the rest of the system, it might be needed, I have tried to measure the power-draw with 12 disks, the machine then used about 12 W per disk (when i corrected for an assumed 80% efficeny in the PSU), but Im not sure the meter-thing updates wuick enough (its a device similar to kill-a-watt i think).

So it might be just me who are overrating my needs.

AtW
Hitachi (IBM) HDDs have the most detailed specs around, and some of them cite startup current at 2A/12V and 1.1A/5V, which is around that 25W number you mention. This load is extremely brief, however, probably a second or two at most. Once the motor/platters has spun up, the power demand drops to <10W. However, if you are using 30 HDDs, surely, you have a controller/motherboard that will stagger the start sequence to reduce the surge not only on the PSU but also the AC line?
Not really, I have found that cheap sata-kontrolers and software-raid seems to be a cheap and good solution (although at the moment i only have 2 * 12 disks in two cases), maybe boards with 8 or more sata-ports have staggered spin-up, and it might be that several controler-cards more or less by chance spin up disks at diffrent times, to be honest, again I'm not sure.

I think the AC-line is fine, an normal fuse is maybe 12-14 A on 230 vots, which is more than enough, even a watercooker uses 1000 watts plus, and that seems to work fine.

AtW

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Post by nici » Mon Oct 16, 2006 12:43 pm

The normal fuse for 230V, at least in Finland, is either 10A or 16A. Lines going to the kitchen or garage usually have the 16A fuses, the rest is usually 10A. You have to short something or have a shitload of powertools running to blow a fuse really.

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Fan swap possible?

Post by Chaendler » Sat Aug 25, 2007 6:57 am

Ey Mike, could you please tell me if the fan of this unit can be swapped?

Based on the pictures I would say it is not possible, but could you confirm it, please?

Thanks very much!
Case: Antec P180 Mini fully isolated with Acoustipack.
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CPU: E8500 + HR-01 (passive).
VGA: 9800gt + Accelero S1 (passive).
PSU: Silverstone ST60F PSU modded + Noctua.
Motherboard: Asus P5Q-EM (passive).
Case Fan: 3 Noctua NFP-12 + T-Balancer.

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Re: Fan swap possible?

Post by MikeC » Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:43 am

Chaendler wrote:Ey Mike, could you please tell me if the fan of this unit can be swapped?

Based on the pictures I would say it is not possible, but could you confirm it, please?

Thanks very much!
Any fan in any PSU can be swapped. This one has multiple output connectors (2 pins) for fans, so it should be easy. The stock fan is quite good, btw.
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Post by thejamppa » Sat Aug 25, 2007 9:02 am

Yeah, fan is pretty good. Mine keeps small flapping sounds, not audiable over 10 cm's. Its very good unit. I have used one for almost over a year. First one was with me in 2 days and had faulty fan. I RMA'd it and got this one that works well.

Unfortunately when my system got more quiet in case change, I started to hear PSU again. Its very hard to find some PSU even quieter....
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Chaendler
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Post by Chaendler » Sat Aug 25, 2007 11:10 am

Thank you very much Mike,

Yes I know that every fan can be swapped (by cutting and joining cables), but I don't wan't to mess up welding.

I know the fan is good too, based on your review, but I want to make all the fans in my system to be of the same maker in order to have a more "constant" sound. That's what I want to bet for a PSU that has an easy two or three pin plug to swap the fan if needed.

Thanks again!
Case: Antec P180 Mini fully isolated with Acoustipack.
Disk: Velociraptor in Scythe Quite Drive on foam.
CPU: E8500 + HR-01 (passive).
VGA: 9800gt + Accelero S1 (passive).
PSU: Silverstone ST60F PSU modded + Noctua.
Motherboard: Asus P5Q-EM (passive).
Case Fan: 3 Noctua NFP-12 + T-Balancer.

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