Home / Tech News / Featured Announcement / BeQuiet Dark Power Pro P10 550W PSU Review

BeQuiet Dark Power Pro P10 550W PSU Review

Additional technical assistance: Peter McFarland and Jeremy Price.

Correctly testing power supplies is a complex procedure and KitGuru have configured a test bench which can deliver up to a 2,000 watt DC load. Due to public requests we have changed our temperature settings recently – previously we rated with ambient temperatures at 25C, we have increased ambient temperatures by 10c (to 35c) in our environment to greater reflect warmer internal chassis conditions.

We use combinations of the following hardware:
• SunMoon SM-268
• CSI3710A Programmable DC load (+3.3V and +5V outputs)
• CSI3711A Programmable DC load (+12V1, +12V2, +12V3, and +12V4)
• Extech Power Analyzer
• Extech MultiMaster MM570 digital multimeter
• SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa)
• Digital oscilloscope (20M S/s with 12 Bit ADC)
• Variable Autotransformer, 1.4 KVA

We combine all +12V output for the results below.

DC Output Load Regulation

Combined

DC Load

+3.3V
+5V
+12V
+5VSB
A
V
A
V
A
V
A
V
110W
1.19
3.39
1.17
5.09
8.01
12.17
0.50
5.05
220W
2.08
3.37
2.06
5.05
16.12
12.12
0.50
5.04
340W
3.03
3.33
3.04
5.03
25.11
12.07
1.00
5.04
445W
4.13
3.32
4.07
5.01
33.21
12.04
1.50
5.03
550W
5.11
3.28
5.02
4.98
41.02
12.01
2.50
5.02

Load regulation is very impressive, holding steady on all rails, right up to full load.

BeQuiet Dark Power Pro P10 550W Maximum Load
624W

The power supply delivered 624watts of power before it would shut down, safely.

Next we want to try Cross Loading. This basically means loads which are not balanced. If a PC for instance needs 500W on the +12V outputs but something like 30W via the combined 3.3V and +5V outputs then the voltage regulation can fluctuate badly.

Cross Load Testing +3.3V +5V +12V -12V +5VSB
A V A V A V A V A V
493W 1.0 3.38 1.0 5.07 40.5 11.99 0.2 -12.07 0.50 5.02
153W 15.0 3.30 15.0 5.00 2.0 12.17 0.2 -12.15 0.50 5.03

The power supply is well designed, it coped well with our demanding Cross Load tests. When hit with 40A on the +12V rail it held close to a reference result at 11.99V. Other rails delivered good results.

We then used an oscilloscope to measure AC ripple and noise present on the DC outputs. We set the oscilloscope time base to check for AC ripple at both high and low ends of the spectrum. ATX12V V2.2 specification for DC output ripple and noise is defined in the ATX 12V power supply design guide.

ATX12V Ver 2.2 Noise/Ripple Tolerance
Output
Ripple (mV p-p)
+3.3V
50
+5V
50
+12V1
120
+12V2
120
-12V
120
+5VSB
50

Obviously when measuring AC noise and ripple on the DC outputs the cleaner (less recorded) means we have a better end result. We measured this AC signal amplitude to see how closely the unit complied with the ATX standard.

AC Ripple (mV p-p)
DC Load +3.3V +5V +12V 5VSB
110W 5 10 15 10
220W 10 10 20 15
340W 15 10 25 15
445W 15 15 35 20
550W 20 20 45 20

Noise suppression is very good, peaking at 45mV on the +12V under full load, well within tolerance specifications.

Efficiency (%)
110W
88.21
220W
89.57
340W
92.32
445W
91.31
550W
89.16

Efficiency is excellent, peaking over 92 percent at around 50 percent load. At full load this drops to 89 percent efficiency.

We take the issue of noise very seriously at KitGuru and this is why we have built a special home brew system as a reference point when we test noise levels of various components. Why do this? Well this means we can eliminate secondary noise pollution in the test room and concentrate on components we are testing. It also brings us slightly closer to industry standards, such as DIN 45635.

Today to test the Power Supply we have taken it into our acoustics room environment and have set our SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa) one meter away from the unit. We have no other fans running so we can effectively measure just the noise from the unit itself. That said, measuring lower than 28dBa proves very difficult, unless in strict laboratory conditions.

As this can be a little confusing for people, here are various dBa ratings in with real world situations to help describe the various levels.

KitGuru noise guide
10dBA – Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA – High Quality Computer fan
40dBA – A Bubbling Brook, or a Refrigerator
50dBA – Normal Conversation
60dBA – Laughter
70dBA – Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA – City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA – Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA – MP3 Player at maximum output
110dBA – Orchestra
120dBA – Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA – Threshold of Pain
140dBA – Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA – Instant Perforation of eardrum

Noise (dBA)
110W
28.0
220W
28.0
340W
28.0
445W
28.0
550W 28.0

The above isn’t a mistake, the fan rated below our lowest accurate measuring point at all times – 28 dBa. Even with our ear close to the power supply it was basically impossible to tell it was spinning at all. The fan speed was well below 700 rpm at all times, even at full load. Incredible results.

Temperature (c)
Intake
Exhaust
110W
36
39
220W
38
43
340W
41
49
445W
44
53
550W
46
58

The high efficiency of the unit allows the fan to spin very slowly at all times. Temperatures rise to a 12c above ambient intake at full load – when factoring in the almost silent performance this is truly excellent.

Maximum load
Efficiency
624W
87.4

Pushing the PSU above its rated limits generates an efficiency level of around 87.4%. This is not a viable ‘real world’ situation, but its interesting nonetheless.

Become a Patron!

Check Also

Last day to enter: Win a 16TB NAS system worth almost £900!

We have another competition for you all this week! This time around, we have teamed up with Seagate, QNAP and broadbandbuyer.com to give away a pro-grade storage setup worth close to £1,000...