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It's not as quiet as you’re expecting!

The Dark Power 13 ATX Power Supply unit offers an 80+ Titanium efficiency rating for premium builds. However, the grinding and rattling fan on this ‘premium’ PSU makes it unbearable.

Published: 1/31/2024, Updated 2/23/2024

be quiet! Dark Power 13 850W 80 PLUS Titanium Power Supply

1.5/5
Dislikes
  • Lack of a ZERO-RPM mode
  • Constant grinding and rattling from the fan

Verdict

The absence of a ZERO-RPM mode and the intolerable rattling and grinding from the fan renders it unsuitable for individuals requiring minimal sound disturbance. Nothing else really matters if the fan is noisy.

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review

Unboxing

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Contents

  • PSU
  • UK and EU Power Cord
  • Leaflet
  • Modular Cable inside a box
    • 24-pin (20 + 4 pin) - 600mm Long
    • 12v P8 connector (2 x 12v P4) - 700m Long
    • 12v P8 - 700mm Long
    • PCIe 5.0 (12VHPWR) - 600mm Long
    • 4 x PCIe 6+2 pin - 600mm Long
    • 4 x SATA Cables & Molex Cables combo cables (various lengths)
    • Overclocking Key

Cables

The 24-pin cable's length of 600mm should suffice for most cases but it is on the shorter size. The longer 700mm 12V P8 CPU power cables are a nice thought but cable routing is something to bear in mind with buying this PSU for a BIG case. 

The included cables are longer than what you would expect on ITX PSUs but these shorter cables could prove advantageous, especially in compact builds like my 15L MATX case with limited cable management options. The flexibility and shorter length of the cables are beneficial, contributing to reduced bulk and enhancing portability, a notable feature for smaller PC setups.

The modular interface has me considering potential custom-length cables, offering an avenue for personalization and reducing cable weight.

Initial Impressions (Design and Build)

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The PSU's block body design with a prominently placed DARK POWER 13 Logo imparts a sleek look, albeit marred by the presence of technical and legal stickers on one side. Such placement detracts from the overall aesthetic and flexibility in PSU orientation within a build. Other PSU brands often feature stickers on the top side, ensuring a cleaner appearance under varied orientations or cases.

The 80+ Titanium efficiency rating coupled with a 10-year manufacturer's warranty reflects a commitment to quality and reliability. However, the PSU is slightly long and may require consideration for space-conscious builds.

This PSU supports the ATX 3.0 standard which gives you confidence in futureproofing for the latest next-gen GPUs. The Included OC key allows you to switch between quad rail and single rail for overclocking or high-power draw.

Setting up

Upon integrating the PSU into the system, its visual appeal and cable flexibility stood out positively. The modular design facilitated a tidy system appearance by connecting only necessary cables, reducing clutter and enhancing visual appeal.

The Test setup is an AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D, MSI Motar B650m and 32gb DDR5 RAM build housed in a MATX MetalFish G5 MAX case. 

Loud, Rattling Fan even at Idle.

Turning on the system, the initial loud grinding sound upon startup, had me worried something was broken but this quickly subsided as RPM decreased, which was an unexpected and concerning behaviour.

The PSU's fan exhibits a consistent rattling noise even during idle usage. Notably absent was a ZERO-RPM mode, a feature commonly found in competing PSUs at lower price points and lower efficiency ratings. 

The fan is protected by a mesh screen that allows for good airflow. The fan uses a frameless 135mm silent wing 3 and with the marketing and ‘patented fan technology’ I was expecting this to be virtually silent even with the lack of a ZERO-RPM mode. The ‘virtually inaudible’ claim the marketing department will have you believe is false.

The persistent grinding and rattling noise, distinct from typical coil whine, became a notable distraction, particularly in a quiet environment. Attempts to mitigate the noise by altering the PSU's orientation yielded marginal improvement, if any.

I initially thought this was coil wine but coil wine at idle and I had never heard coil wine matching this sound profile before. I did not want to open the unit up but I noticed that the mesh flexes when pushed down. I decided to push down on the mess to stop the fan from spinning and that grinding rattle goes away.

In practical usage, this PSU's fan emerged as the most audible and bothersome component in my build, notably disruptive even during idle system states. Despite prior tolerance to fan noise from prolonged use of a gaming laptop, the persistent rattling became intolerable, severely impacting concentration during work hours, particularly with the PC placed on my desk nearby.

To mitigate the disturbance, relocating the PC to a far corner underneath my desk effectively dampened the sound, albeit at the expense of optimal accessibility. A deeper investigation online uncovered corroborating instances of similar noise issues experienced by other users on YouTube and Reddit.

Conclusion

Don’t trouble yourself with this PSU. The Dark Power 13 ATX Power Supply fails to meet expectations. The absence of a ZERO-RPM mode and the incessant rattling and grinding of the fan make it intolerable.

Despite its premium price and patented fan technology, the PSU's operational noise renders it unsuitable for environments requiring minimal sound disturbance. Potential buyers should reconsider investing in this product given its misleading marketing claims and persistent operational flaws.

Technical Details:
Tags:

be Quiet!, Power Supply, PSU

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Disclaimer: The following article reflects the personal viewpoint of the author Bilal Khan and is not intended to serve as professional financial guidance. Its primary purpose is to provide educational and engaging content. Please be aware that investing in cryptocurrency involves significant risks, and there are no assured returns. Always conduct thorough research before making any financial decisions.