Be Quiet Dark Power Pro P8 1000w Review
Cables & Connectors
As with the previous Dark Power Pro P7 series, Be Quiet! have stuck largely to a PCI-e style connector interface. The only minor difference in the case of the P8 is that most of the connectors clip together at the sides rather than at the top. This prevents any potential issues where a cable being stretched to the side may lift the edge of the plug, partially loosing connection with the first few pins. As I've already mentioned, the 1000w model is fitted with a total of 14 connectors. Five of these are dedicated to SATA/Molex connectors, three are for PCI-e graphics card power, two are for P4/EPS motherboard power and the remaining four are for powering case fans.
Much like the Enermax MODU87+ I reviewed recently, the Dark Power Pro P8 also uses a 12-Pin connector layout for PCI-e graphics card power. The only issue with this is that it is often quite hard to get the plug on the end of the modular cable to mate with the connector due to the sheer number of pins that must align correctly inside. This was particularly apparent during the testing stages, where excessive force, manoeuvring and swearing was required to get the cables properly clipped into position.
|Be Quiet! Dark Power Pro P8 1000w Connectors|
|ATX Connector||Hard Wired||1x 20+4 Pin|
|EPS-12v / P4-12v Connector(s)||Hard Wired||2x 4+4 Pin, 1x 8 Pin, 1x 4 Pin|
|Floppy Disk Connectors||Modular||2x|
|PCI-E Connectors||Modular||3x 6+2 Pin, 3x 8 Pin|
A decent amount of connectors are provided, but I really can't understand why manufacturers think it necessary to include so many SATA connectors. Seriously, does anybody really have eleven SATA Hard disks or DVD-RW drives in their PC's? I think not. Give us some more Molex connectors instead any day of the week.
The Dark Power Pro P8 pretty much has backward (and forward) compatibility nailed, with support for both P4-12v (4 pin), EPS-12v (8 Pin) and dual EPS-12v standards along with a 20+4 pin ATX connector. On the PCI-e connector front three of the six connectors are interchangeable between 6 and 8 pin standards ensuring support for dual and triple graphics card configurations.
It would also seem that Be Quiet! have also been listening to the needs of 'neat freak' enthusiasts by providing a small collection of short, single plugged Molex and SATA connectors. This avoids those situations where you're forced to use one of those 6ft long modular cable with multiple connectors sprouting out of it everywhere, when all you needed was to power the DVD-RW drive situated a couple of centimetres away from the PSU.
Lifting off the lid we get our first look at the internals. More importantly though, we get to see that the internal chassis of the Dark Power Pro P8 is made from steel. Hopefully this will help to settle the nerves of anybody who thought that Be Quiet! were silly enough to make the entire PSU from plastic.
Rather than opting for a budget 3rd party fan to cool the PSU, Be Quiet! have gone with one of their very own Silent Wings USC models. Despite 'only' being a 120mm model as opposed to the 135mm fans using in various other PSU's, it still manages to put out a reasonable 50.32CFM at 17dBa (according to sources!).
The internals are fairly tightly packed with three black aluminium heatsinks spanning the length of the unit. Two large transformers sit in the middle, and considering there are no VRM's anywhere to be seen, I'd hazard a guess that one of these provides the juice for the +12v rails while the other deals with the +3.3v and +5v outputs. A little bit more over to the right we can also see the ickle little +5vSB transformer that deals exclusively with +5v output when the PSU is in stand-by mode.
Capacitors are plentiful inside the P8, with a couple of Teapo 420v / 470uF / 85°C jobbies being used over on the primary (high voltage) side of the unit. Swinging round to the secondary side I can just about see some CapXon electrolytic caps mixed in with a handful of unidentifiable solid state ones. All in all, a bit of a mix-and-match affair.
If you're mad enough to stick your screwdriver in a powered on PSU *raises hand* there are also a selection of adjustable pots situated over on the secondary side (left pic) for fine tuning the voltage outputs of the unit. Of course, this can only be done reliably while the unit is powered on and under load, so be sure to wear rubber shoes (no, seriously...don't try it). Oh, and the picture on the right shows the input filtering, that isn't anything to shout about - but should still keep the nasties out.
Now to take her for a spin...