Be quiet! Straight Power 11 850W PSU review: Reliable German engineered power

German engineering continues to bring the world some of the best automobiles around, and the same techniques are employed by Germany-based Be quiet! for its PSU line-up. The Straight Power 11 (our review unit here is the 850W 80 Plus Gold variant) takes everything the company has learned over the years in creating silent, efficient and reliable PC components, but commands quite the price.

System builders will love the Be quiet! Straight Power 11 850W

Be quiet! Straight Power 11 850W

The Be quiet! Straight Power 11 series of power supplies all sport 80 Plus Gold certification and come in capacities ranging between 450 and 1000 watts. This certification is essential in understanding just how efficient a PSU is with 80 Plus Gold being a solid middle ground and a great balance between value and efficiency.

Be quiet! made a PSU with excellent power efficiency and low fan noise.

The Plus certification can help you select better PSUs, but it shouldn't be relied upon. Generally, more pricey PSUs such as this Straight Power 11 850W unit from Be quiet! are all similar in reliability and efficiency. What sets power supplies apart is component quality, noise generation from the fan, and size.

The Straight Power 11 family only uses Japanese capacities for maximum stability even when under high load. Combine this with the German over-engineering, and you've got a solid-looking PSU that can last longer than other components. Even the packaging is flawless.

As well as the PSU itself, Be quiet! bundles in the manual and plenty of cabling to hook up all your components.

  • 24-pin ATX
  • 2x 12v P8 (2x P4)
  • 4x PCIe 6+2-pin
  • 4x SATA (11x SATA, 4x HDD)
  • 1x HDD to FDD

There are more than enough connectors on four cables for all your storage drives, as well as a full four 6+2-pin leads for GPUs and other PCIe accessories. While most modern hardware won't make use of Molex or FDD connections, it's great to see Be quiet! continue to include them just in case.

You'll barely hear the fan, even when stressing the PC.

So what makes this PSU worth considering aside from the included cabling and certification? Be quiet! boasts high-quality internals with the aforementioned four independent 12v-rails, but there are some additional features like a synchronous rectifier for enhanced efficiency and a wire-free design for the DC side of the PSU.

The latter aids airflow to keep the PSU cooled without requiring the fan to ramp up and produce noise, as well as reducing signal disturbance, aiding in prolonging the life of the unit. How this all translates to using the PC with a Be quiet! Straight Power 11 installed is a clean, reliable power delivery.

Be quiet! Straight Power 11 850W

Putting the PSU and a test bench under strain saw barely any movement from the expected power draw on connected rails. Rocking a Ryzen 5 3600X, GTX 1070 and 32GB of RAM, the Straight Power 11 had no issue providing all the electricity required without spinning up the fan much at all. Even without headphones, you'll barely notice it.

To keep everything running within temperature thresholds, Be quiet! uses a 135mm Silent Wings 3 fan and it's ridiculously quiet. Not powering up until you fire up a game or put some severe loads on your PC, you'll forget the PSU is even there, and the fan curve is one that won't be obnoxious, unlike other brands.

Should you buy the Be quiet! Straight Power 11 850W?

Be quiet! Straight Power 11 850W

Be Quiet PSU (Image credit: Windows Central)

Be quiet! is a reliable brand to use in building your dream PC and the Straight Power 11 family of PSUs are of high-quality, which is among the most important factors when putting together a PC — reliable power delivery. This 850W version of the PSU may be a little pricey, but it can supply enough power for even systems running multiple GPUs.

There's also a whole host of cables included, allowing you to install two GPUs or other PCIe cards that require dedicated channels. The quiet operation and quality components make for a brilliant German-engineered design. This is a recommended purchase if you can overlook the price tag and happen to be searching for a PSU.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.