Be Quiet Dark Power Pro P8 1000w Review
Let's not beat about the bush. The Dark Power Pro P8 comes in a bloody large box that looks more disproportionate to the size of the PSU than a midget driving a Land Rover. However, over-sized packaging is certainly nothing new with many manufacturers using it as a way to make buyers feel like they've got more for their money, and to be honest If I was to fork out a handful of notes on a new PSU I'd want it to come in something more substantial than a small brown recycled cardboard box.
At the front of the box Be Quiet! have kept things rather simple with a oscilloscope/heartbeat spanning the length of the box (I hope that's not a snapshot of the PSU's ripple output!!) and a light brown stripe down the side that contains the product name and power output details. Round the back we get a list of all the PSU's features in English and German along with a cable layout diagram, power distribution chart and lots of media awards....but AHEM, no Overclock3D's ones. tut tut tut!.
Lifting the lid we can see why this box is so damn huge. Be Quiet has separated all of the accessories and modular cables into three cardboard boxes and positioned them around the outsides of the main box in a way that will protect the PSU sandwiched in the middle. Additionally the PSU has also been encased in a medium thickness layer of styrofoam ensuring that there is absolutely no way on earth that a courier could cause damage to the unit short of running it over with a 12 wheeler.
Emptying contents of the various boxes reveals several unusual accessories, the most intriguing of which being a PCI slot cover fitted with a switch. While this may look like somebody accidentally slipped part of a cathode lighting kit inside the box, this switch can actually be used to alter the Dark Power Pro's +12v rail configuration from multiple rails to a single rail. However, should you not want a switch taking up a PCI slot at the back of your case, a small plug with a looped piece of wire has also been included to achieve the same effect.
As for the more ordinary accessories, you get a collection of cable ties (both velcro and plastic), some case screws, a power cord and a mass of modular cables that we'll cover in more detail on the next page.
On to the appearance now, and at first glance you'll be forgiven for labelling the P8 as 'just another black box'. Interestingly though, Be Quiet! have opted to construct the outer casing of their latest PSU from plastic. Now normally my first response would be to go "eugh....tacky" and take a few steps back, but in Be Quiet's defence the plastic is actually very rigid and almost indistinguishable in appearance to a painted metal box.
One of the advantages to using plastic is that you can pretty much design the outer casing however you like. Plastic is a lot easier to work with, and makes it easier for manufacturers to bridge the gap between form and function. This is exactly what Be Quiet! have managed to do with the Dark Power Pro P8's fan grill. Employing a low air resistance design, while also making it one of the focal points in the PSU's appearance.
For the most part, the rest of the PSU is fairly normal. There's a large specification sticker spanning one side of the unit, the top of the unit has some ugly bar-code stickers and round the front we have the usual honeycomb mesh fan grill along with a standard kettle lead socket and power switch. Due to the use of the plastic casing the grill is actually inset slightly meaning that slightly longer screws are required to attach the PSU to a PC case.
As I've come to expect from BE Quiet, the back of the PSU is awash with modular connector plugs. Not only do you get the usual SATA/Molex and PCI-E ones, but there's also a total of four fan connectors should you not want to waste other valuable modular cables for simply hooking up your case fans. Another interesting feature is the pivoted surround on the main ATX cable outlet that protects the cable from damage due to over-bending.
Now the basics are covered let's move on to the next page.