Cold Test Results (~22°C Ambient)

For the testing of PSUs, we are using high precision electronic loads with a maximum power draw of 2700 Watts, a Rigol DS5042M 40 MHz oscilloscope, an Extech 380803 power analyzer, two high precision UNI-T UT-325 digital thermometers, an Extech HD600 SPL meter, a self-designed hotbox and various other bits and parts. For a thorough explanation of our testing methodology and more details on our equipment, please refer to our How We Test PSUs - 2014 Pipeline post.

The “Overclocking mode” of the PSU that combines all virtual 12 V rails into a single 12 V rail was active throughout our testing, with the exception of the preliminary OCP tests that we perform routinely, which the Dark Power Pro 12 passed without issues.

The efficiency of the Be Quiet! Dark Power Pro 12 1500W PSU is very high but not as high as we would have liked it to be. Although it meets the 80Plus Titanium certification requirements while the unit is powered from a 115 VAC source, it does so only only barely, with an average nominal load range (20% to 100% of the unit's capacity) efficiency of just 92.3%. When powered from a 230 VAC source, in our testing the Dark Power Pro 12 1500W PSU does not even get near the 80Plus Titanium certification requirements.

As the load increases beyond 1000 Watts, the thermal control circuitry will start increasing the speed of the fan at an exponential rate. That is a very reasonable design approach, as a gaming PC drawing more than 1000 Watts isn't going to be able to remain quiet anyhow. Especially as the noise from the fans of power-hungry components will most definitely overshadow the single 135 mm fan of the PSU.

Dark Power Pro 12 1500W : Inside & Out Hot Test Results (~45°C Ambient)
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  • Speed-o - Monday, January 10, 2022 - link

    Given that SLI is basically dead, what's the primary market for a 1500W PSU these days?

    The 3090 is a total porker. But even that and a 12900K is below 1000 watts, isn't it?
  • meacupla - Monday, January 10, 2022 - link

    maybe RTX3090+12900K will be under 1000W on sustained loads, but when it comes to transient loads, 1000W is unlikely to be enough.
    RTX3090 transient load spike is reported by seasonic to be upwards of 550W. If you want to leave a bit of headroom with a 12900K, you're probably looking at, at least, 1200W PSU.

    And then we also have the RTX3090Tie incoming, which is even known to be more power hungry than RTX3090. So maybe 1500W will be the new 'norm' for high end gaming desktops.
  • austinsguitar - Monday, January 10, 2022 - link

    usually a 1200w psu has an ocp of up to 1500w or so. how they deal with that is different, but 1200w will still probably be the maximum needed.
  • Showtime - Friday, January 14, 2022 - link

    How are you mixing transient loads with sustained loads? If transients are 550w according to you, how are the sustained loads 1k? The issue with transient loads is the spike/speed, and any decent 850w PSU will cover it. Problem is too many people have a little bit of information, but understand the whole picture. For a gaming there is no situation where the GPU, and 12900k will be under full load. You are either GPU, or CPU limited, and there are no games fully utilize 16 threads. That's why you can use power consumption (GPU+CPU) as measured by 3rd party sites, give yourself 100w of headroom, and can be fine with any decent PSU. The only people who had issues after that, were using cheap PSU's, or unit's with design, or QC issues, like those EVGA's a couple years back.
  • satai - Tuesday, January 11, 2022 - link

    SLI may be dead but multiple GPUs for computation are not dead.
  • shabby - Tuesday, January 11, 2022 - link

    Or mining...
  • lilkwarrior - Wednesday, January 12, 2022 - link

    mGPU is not dead. The 3090 and up have NVLINK for a reason. You're talking like you're a gamer. Productive GPU users use mGPU all the time; even the 2019 Mac Pro has 1400W and optimized for mGPU rendering.
  • lilkwarrior - Wednesday, January 12, 2022 - link

    Note that all that happened in gaming is that Microsoft in a consumer-first move delegated mGPU mode to game software engineers instead of allowing Nvidia, AMD, or any new player like Intel from dominating mGPU rendering in games by the means of drivers.

    DX12 mGPU even allows you to use iGPU and dGPUs together, pool the memory of multiple GPUs, and use GPUs from different vendors together.

    Game developers haven't elected to leverage it; that said, a single GPU could do 4K@60hz which was last gen's optimal target being the max for HDMI 2.0 for the highest tier consoles; gaming is a console-oriented business.

    With current-gen consoles and HDMI 2.1, it can be more feasible again to pursue mGPU gaming support by game developers to accommodate 4K@120hz which will be the standard for the highest end version of PS5 (PS5 Pro) and Series X (who knows what that will be called).
  • lilkwarrior - Wednesday, January 12, 2022 - link

    I will emphasize SLI is dead because it's deliberately replaced by DX12 mGPU mode which makes much more sense–especially now that Intel is also making dGPUs.

    It should stay dead because it's 2022. Current gen games should be permanently making the transition to DX12 and Vulkan that both support DX12 mGPU mode.
  • Xajel - Thursday, January 13, 2022 - link

    Multi GPU for compute is not dead, PS. some people try to not fully saturate their PSU, this keeps their PSU cool, lengthen it's life time, and maybe even give it more efficiency.

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