A good power supply is a crucial part of building a new PC, just as much as getting the best graphics card. If you don't get that right, you might as well give up before you begin. Not all power supplies are created equal, either, but fortunately, there's an easy-to-understand scale based on metals to help you understand how good yours is.
Did you know it went all the way up to titanium? Possibly not, you don't see many 80 Plus Titanium power supplies around.
That's what you get with the be quiet! Dark Power 12. If there was ever an ultimate power supply, this is as close as you can find. It isn't cheap, but for a serious PC build, you need a serious power supply like this.
Bottom line: Expensive, but the standard for high-end power supplies and a perfect choice for a top-spec gaming rig.
- Sleek design
- Massive capacity
- 80 Plus Titanium efficiency
- Multiple 12V rails
- High-quality components
be quiet! Dark Power 12: Price and availability
The be quiet! Dark Power 12 is available now for $200 for the 750W model reviewed here from be quiet! authorized resellers such as Amazon and Newegg. Other capacities are also available, including 850W and 1000W options for additional premiums.
be quiet! Dark Power 12: What you'll like
Much of what makes up the Dark Power 12 can also be found on the gargantuan Dark Power 12 Pro that we've previously reviewed. It's not exactly the same, with four 12V rails compared to six on the Pro, but otherwise, it's a very similar power supply.
And that's good news.
- Capacity: 750W, 850W, 1000W
- Type: Modular
- Fan: Silent Wings frameless fan, fluid bearing
- Efficiency rating: 80 Plus Titanium
- Rail 4 x 12V
- Manufacturer: be quiet!
The major selling point here is the 80 Plus Titanium rating for efficiency. If you don't fully understand what the rating system means, the table below can help. But what you need to know is that there's no higher rating. This is the most efficient power supply rating you can get. Why is this important? Because it means less wasted energy as the power supply converts the AC from your wall outlet into DC for your PC.
|80 Plus Bronze
|80 Plus Silver
|80 Plus Gold
|80 Plus Platinum
|80 Plus Titanium
Like the Dark Power 12 Pro, the actual figures are right on the money for the Titanium rating, between 95% and 96%.
So it's efficient, which is important. It's also incredibly quiet. The clue is in the company name, really. If you're not familiar with be quiet!, this is a brand that prides itself on silence. A little bit of noise simply isn't good enough. The Dark Power 12 uses the company's patented Silent Wings frameless fan. Not only is it whisper-quiet but its design funnels masses of air around helping everything stay nice and cool. Part of the trickery in keeping the sound down is the fluid bearing, another being mounted on a tripod instead of inside a frame. As far as fans go it's quite mad.
So, it's quiet and efficient. But why else might you want one? If you're into overclocking, be quiet! is here for you. In the box with the Dark Pro 12 is the company's overclocking key. Mounted to a metal plate that can take up one of the empty PCIe slots on the back of your case, it connects to a dedicated port on the power supply and with a flick of the switch can change from four 12V rails to one massive 12V rail. If you're into that sort of thing.
Being fully modular, accompanying the Dark Power 12 is a box full of cables. They're nothing particularly fancy, but they're good quality with durable feeling coverings. I particularly like the clear labeling as to what each cable is for because it makes rummaging through a box of black stringy things less of a pain. All I know about the cables in my own PC is they're made by EVGA.
There's not a lot else to say about the Dark Power 12 really. It's not quite as fancy as the Dark Power 12 Pro, but it's not as expensive either and is a better choice for the keen PC builder who doesn't quite need to get into that super-enthusiast space. If 750W isn't enough, there are two others that might suffice, at 850W and 1000W.
be quiet! Dark Power 12: What you won't like
The only thing not to like about the Dark Power 12 is the price. That's it. And maybe if you're trying to build a smaller, more lightweight build it's not for you either. It is a bit of a chunk.
And if I'm being really picky, I wish the motherboard power connector didn't require two connections on the power supply. It's already the most unwieldy cable in a build and even with plenty of room to work with it's an extra thing to plug in.
But it's mainly the price. It's worth it if you want the best, but it's probably overkill for most, even if you do need a 750W power supply for your system.
be quiet! Dark Power 12: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want the best power supply possible
- You're building a high-end PC
- You're into overclocking
You shouldn't buy this if ...
- You're on a budget
- You're not building with the most powerful CPUs or GPUs
It isn't exactly a smaller version of the Dark Power 12 Pro, but it's close. You still get the same premium design, superb and silent fan, fully modular design, Titanium rating, and the built-in overclocking control. It's a little less expensive, and for most people looking to get the highest-end power supply they can, this is the one to get.
But it is expensive, there's no getting away from that. Equally, you can't really put a price on a good power supply, because without one there's no point building a PC at all. What you get here is quality, reliability, power, and silence. All the hallmarks of a great power supply.
Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine