In the lab: a case, cooler, and power supply from be quiet!

TR has covered news of various products from be quiet! for some time now, and I'm pleased to welcome a raft of the company's hardware into our labs for testing. The company sent us its Silent Base 800 case, its Dark Rock Pro 3 CPU cooler, and its Dark Power Pro 11 850W PSU for evaluation. Let's take a quick look at these in turn.

First up, we're looking at the Silent Base 800 full-tower in black and silver with a windowed side panel. This is a big, distinctive-looking case that's full of silencing features, including a unique double-glazed side window on the left panel and thick foam behind the drive door, front fan cover, and right side panel. At $150 on Newegg right now, this case isn't cheap, but its distinctive feature set might make it worth the price. We'll have to find out in our review.

Next, have a gander at the Dark Rock Pro 3 CPU cooler. This huge dual-tower heatsink draws air through its front face using a 120-mm Silent Wings fan, and the two towers hide a second, 135-mm Silent Wings spinner inside. At 2.6 pounds (1.2 kilograms), the Dark Rock Pro 3 is a massive thing to hang off a motherboard, but its dark nickel plating and brushed-aluminum cap will probably class up any build. We strangely can't find a retail price for this monster online right now, but be quiet! says the Dark Rock Pro 3 carries a $90 suggested price.

Finally, we have be quiet!'s Dark Power Pro 11 850W PSU. My case-and-cooling test rigs needed a PSU upgrade, and be quiet! had just the thing. Not only can this PSU provide more power than one could conceivably need for anything short of a multi-GPU setup, the Dark Power Pro 11 is also built with the same 135-mm Silent Wings fan as the Dark Rock Pro 3 above.

This unit comes stock with rubber isolators on its front and rear edges to minimize vibration transfer. Even though it doesn't have a semi-silent mode, I can't imagine the Dark Power Pro's fan will ever need to spin up much past idle thanks to its 80 Plus Platinum rating. We'll have to see how it performs when it's actually plugged in, but I have high hopes for this unit. At $180 right now, this PSU is a bit spendy, but high power and Platinum certification don't come cheap.

Our thanks to be quiet! for this cool hardware. Stay tuned for our reviews of the Silent Base 800 and Dark Rock Pro 3.

Comments closed
    • anotherengineer
    • 4 years ago

    Another big ass 850W PSU!!

    Sigh……….

    I have an old ‘inefficient’ 45nm 955BE cpu, and an old 40nm, ‘inefficient’ HD6850 video card, all power saving features in the BIOS turn OFF, and windows 7 power options set to Hi PERF.

    And my total system consumption at the wall is 90W, about 140W gaming and about 245W with P95 and furmark running together.

    Where are our 200W to 450W gold, and platinum PSU’s???

    *end rant*

      • Sargent Duck
      • 4 years ago

      I’d upvote you a thousand times, but alas, my single upvote will have to do.

      My gaming machine (Ivy Bridge Core i5 and Radeon 7950) has more than enough juice with it’s 430 watt power supply, but think it’s possible to easily find a gold or platinum powersupply at that rating? My media machine draws even less, likely around 20 watts under load. That’s chugging along on a 250watt.

      • Dezeer
      • 4 years ago

      For platinum rated PSUs there is Seasonic fanless SS-400FL2 400W.

      For gold rated PSUs there are Corsair CS450M and RM450 both 450W, Super Flower golden Green HX 350W and 450W, Seasonic G-series 360W and 450W models. And there are even few more gold rated 400W or 450W models from different manufacturers.

        • NeelyCam
        • 4 years ago

        And this is it. Seasonic/Corsair high-efficiency PSUs don’t get enough attention from mainstream review sites. Those are perfectly sized for most of the systems actual people use, but 800W and above get all the glory.

          • Jeff Kampman
          • 4 years ago

          I have a SeaSonic SS-660XP2 in my main machine. It’s great, but it’s overkill for my relatively modest system.

          We recommend the 550W, 750W, and 850W EVGA Supernova G2s in the System Guide because they’re efficient, affordable, and built on a high-quality platform (Superflower Leadex). Nice as it is to have, Platinum certification still carries a significant premium over Gold units, and we don’t think it’s worth it for most builders.

          It’s worth noting that be quiet! offers 550W and 650W versions of the Dark Power Pro 11, too. They seem reasonably competitively priced for 80 Plus Platinum PSUs for their power classes.

          [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA68V39G8981[/url<] [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA68V39G8952[/url<]

        • anotherengineer
        • 4 years ago

        Alas I am having trouble finding those Super Flower’s in Canada. But they look nice.

        The CS450M seems decent, and a 5 yr warranty.

      • Welch
      • 4 years ago

      Damn you and logic! Yeah I never saw the sense is going above the current 550w ish mark for golds. The only benefit seems to be manufacturers holding out the quality components for the higher wattage units.

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 4 years ago

      Enjoy:
      80+ Platinum models start at 400 watts (33 amperes @+12V). I have purchased several of the SS-660XP2 model (55 amperes @+12V). They have worked well.
      [url<]http://seasonic.com/product-category/consumer-products/?filter_80plus=75[/url<] 80+ Gold models start at 360 watts (30 amperes @+12V) in the ATX form factor: [url<]http://seasonic.com/product-category/consumer-products/?filter_80plus=74[/url<]

      • Chrispy_
      • 4 years ago

      Well, I agree with you to an extent, but only to an extent.

      You’re admitting that your consumption at the wall is 245W, which means your ~85% effecient PSU is delivering 210W.

      If you had a 250W power supply it would be running almost flat out the whole time at maximum fan noise and missing the efficiency peak. Ignoring the obnoxious noise of loud fans, this would end up costing you money over the long term.

      Trying to favour your argument, peak efficiency is usually somewhere around two-thirds load, and that’s coincidentally where the fan-speed curves are usually at their sweet spot in a PSU too, so your 125W processor and 127W graphics card actually *need* a 350W PSU if you’re being smart about it, rather than running it at the upper limit and hoping that everything meets spec perfectly and that you never upgrade without changing the PSU.

      If you’re willing to accept that a 350W PSU is reasonable (and I ran a Core2Quad with a 150W GTX460 on a 380W supply for years, so I do) then you should also be willing to accept that modern GPU’s draw three times more power than your 6850. In fact, some of the single-GPU options like factory OC’d 390X cards pull [url=http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/R9_390X_Gaming/28.html<]over 400W[/url<] for the card alone. That's not even the hungriest model, but it's representative of several single-GPU, single card solutions like the TitanX, 980Ti, Fury, FuryX etc. So: [b<]A 600W PSU is the reasonable, sensible, correct choice of PSU for a system that peaks at 400W, and that's remarkably 'vanilla' as far as DIY PC building goes - A 90W CPU, a mid-range 225W graphics card, some drives, some RAM, some fans and a motherboard. Those things don't add a lot of power draw, but they don't run on fairy dust either. That's 600W for a single CPU, single midrange GPU basic system running at stock speeds. Is it any wonder there are so many PSUs in the 500-1000W range? This is a market segment full of gamers, overclockers, dual-GPU enthusiasts and more. By contrast, the market segment that used to be served by 200-400W PSUs have defected to tablets, laptops and wall-wart powered NUCs, BRIXes, ZBOXes and AIOs.[/b<]

        • Bauxite
        • 4 years ago

        Hes also ~5 generations behind on power efficiency, and wal-warts get ‘interesting’ past 150W or so, though I’ve definitely seen some beefy ones with outputs much like ATX: 12V + subrails etc instead of laptop 19V.

        There is a compelling need for 200~400W ATX output with high efficiency, even if only mostly OEMs benefit.

        • anotherengineer
        • 4 years ago

        I have a seasonic 460W fanless platinum in there now. However it has one coil that whine I can hear it from my seat, and I find it annoying. It is still under warranty and I could RMA it, but will the next one be better or worse, or will it be a refurb, will I have to pay shipping?

        So I just bought an EVGA G2 550W, one of these days I will get around to putting it in and hopefully no coil whine. Now if I could have gotten the EVGA G2 in a 350W or 400W model I would have.

        I am aware there are some gold rated lower wattage PSU’s out there, but the selection is pretty dismal compared to the 550W and larger psu’s though.

        As for your first paragraph yes running P95 and furmark together at the same time, playing a game is about 140W, so I would expect a similar midrange skylake/maxwell system would use about 1/2 of 140W while gaming.

        • jensend
        • 4 years ago

        Dual-GPU is a tiny tiny part of the marketshare, as are people taking GPUs designed for 250W or less and overclocking them to use 400W like that ridiculous setup. Sure they may be the loudest spendiest part of the market but they are hugely outnumbered. And the money spent on that stuff is waaay past the point of diminishing returns.

        Your claim that people who could use a 400W PSU or less are moving to laptops and NUCs is absolutely ridiculous. A system with a GTX 980 plus any reasonable CPU will pull under 300W at load (even TR’s 980 review test system, using a 130W TDP CPU, came in at 293W) and will therefore be comfortable with a good 400W PSU.

        With more careful component choice [url=http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1439-page4.html<]you can build a fast GTX 960 system that draws roughly 200W even under Prime95+Furmark[/url<]; even a 300W PSU could be overkill for that if the alternative was a well-designed ~275W PSU. (But where would one find such a thing, given that most PSU manufacturers are so focused on the high-wattage ricer scene?) There's absolutely zero reason why fan noise should be higher at the same system load using a lower-wattage PSU. That just means you're looking at poorly engineered low wattage PSUs.

          • Chrispy_
          • 4 years ago

          -1 for blurting what you think I’m saying and not actually reading.

          That 424W graphics card was not a ridiculous setup, nor was it overclocked. It’s increasingly difficult to find a stock-clocked reference card these days Some vendors, notably ASUS, try to keep noise levels and power consumption in check with minimal overclocks. Most of the vendors opt to sell cards at higher voltages and higher clocks. These “factory overclocked” cards are [b<]the norm[/b<]; Not only do they use more power, most of them have more power connectors than the elusive reference models. Secondly, the 960 is an efficiency outlier. It has poor value in terms of performance/dollar which is why several reviewers, including Scott in the TR review recommended the 390-series or a 970 instead. People buy cards in the sweet spot, because they want the best gaming experience for the least money. I hate to spoil the party but that's factory-overclocked GTX970s with two 6-pins or an 8-pin and Hawaii/Greneda cards with anything up to two 8-pin connectors. If you read my post you'll see that I agree a single GPU system can get by with low power - both anotherengineer's setup being comfortable on a 350W supply and my own long-term experience with a more power-hungry system on a 380W supply. If, on the other hand you are asking for a 400W supply for TR's GTX980 test system, I challenge you to find a 400W supply with two 8-pin power connectors. Sure, the reference model has only two six-pins which is feasible with the better 400W PSUs but references models are [i<]not[/i<] what people are buying. It's things from MSI and Zotac and Gigabyte that have two 8-pin connectors. Finally, fan noise should be higher at the same system load using a lower-wattage PSU because the heatsinks and components are chosen in the PSU to operate at those temperatures for that price; If you don't understand that you don't understand much about PSUs work at all and this entire argument is moot.

      • Bauxite
      • 4 years ago

      I’ve seen 350W plat atx in minitower servers and 250W in 1U formfactor, they are definitely not a design problem. Make marketing sober up for a day or two and maybe it will happen.

    • EndlessWaves
    • 4 years ago

    The case it fair enough, the looks along could appeal to anyone, but having both other parts be stuff only of interest to high end system builders is a shame. Substituting one of them for one of Be Quiet!’s small form factor power supplies (TFX 300W) or low profile CPU coolers would have made a more rounded trio of hardware to review.

    • Mourmain
    • 4 years ago

    Are there any cases nowadays that don’t have cheesy transparent side panels?…

      • ImSpartacus
      • 4 years ago

      The fractal design r4 cases are going for like $60 nowadays. That feels like a steal.

      • anotherengineer
      • 4 years ago

      It seems windowed sides are making a comeback?

      My old Lian-Li PC-7FNW has a window panel, I wish I would have bought a spare solid panel for 20$ back in the day too. Sigh.

        • Welch
        • 4 years ago

        Yeah with all of the RGB craze and the fact that Asus and MSI are putting them on their “Gamer” boards, it’s no wonder. I guess the interior lighting all us geeks wanted when we were younger is now possible, smaller, less power, no bulky cathodes or UV sensitive sleeves. Oh and they come in 16.8 million color options too 😛

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 4 years ago

      You can get a version of the Silent Base 800 without a window, too 😉 In fact, most of the cases we review can be had without windows.

        • Mourmain
        • 4 years ago

        Oh, I didn’t realise there were multiple versions of case panels… I keep seeing the windowed ones, probably because they’re the “plus” version. This changes things, thanks!

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