Best For Power Users?!
The be quiet! Dark Power Pro 13 1300W excels in cable management, offering a sleek aesthetic for even tightly packed PC cases that lack cable management features. It caters to overclocking enthusiasts with a single 12V rail option and a frameless fan for silent operation. Overall, if you are looking for a high-performance 1300W PSU to offer rock-solid power with ultimate reliability, the Dark Power Pro 13 1300W is the way to go.
Build Quality - 9.5/10
Performance - 8.5/10
Value - 7/10
Future Proofing - 9.8/10
- Frameless Fan Design
- Individually Sleeved Braided Cables
- Single 12V Rail Option
- Silent Operations
- Slightly Outdated Platform
- Huge Size
The German company be quiet! has unveiled its new Dark Power Pro 13 series of high-end computer PSUs. With two power classes of Dark Power Pro 13 1300W and 1600W, complete ATX 3.0 compatibility with next-generation latest GPUs with PCIe 5.0 12VHPWR connectors, this next-generation of the already outstanding Dark Power Pro 12 series offers a future-proof option for upgrading your system.
be quiet!’s portfolio has long been a source of great pride for the company, representing the technical excellence of its engineers and the greatest specs they could come up with. Consequently, this level of technical precision has not only resulted in long-lasting PSUs but also in a platform that can withstand the rigorous power delivery standards set by ATX 3.0. As a consequence of these improvements, the Dark Power Pro 13 1300W, the newest model in the series, is what I am reviewing today.
While maintaining the 80Plus Titanium certification and outstanding features of the previous generation, the thirteenth version of be quiet!’s flagship PSU series expands upon its already remarkable design for the Dark Power Pro 12 by adding compliance to Intel’s ATX 3.0 design standard. Furthermore, a frameless fan with a complete mesh fan grill and fully digital control of LLC, PFC, and SR using full bridge topology are all highlights of Dark Power Pro 13.
- Positioned as an upgrade to its predecessor, the Dark Power Pro 12 series, the Dark Power Pro 13 1300W boasts ATX 3.0 compatibility with PCIe 5.0 connectors for the latest GPUs.
- The things I liked about the be quiet! Dark Power Pro 13 1300W are its cable management aesthetics, individually sleeved braided cables, and single 12V rail option.
- The things I disliked about the be quiet! Dark Power Pro 13 1300W are its slightly outdated platform, huge size, and higher price point.
- The be quiet! Dark Power Pro 13 1300W is a perfect fit for enthusiasts and overclockers with a single 12V rail option and catering to extreme overclocking, this PSU meets the power demands of users pushing their systems to the limits.
Moreover, for overclocked CPUs or GPUs, an overclocking key combines all six 12V rails into a single, high-power output. The question that has been woggling in my mind is that with its completely modular architecture, single-sleeved wires, and beautiful aluminum housing, this power supply unit could be an excellent pick for high-end systems both now and in the future, but could it pass our rigorous testing at Tech4Gamers, let’s find out.
Packaging and Unboxing
The cardboard box that my Dark Power Pro 13 1300w came in was both elegant and simple. For a premium PSU from a trusted brand like be quiet!, the packaging is right on target. Coated to give the impression of velvet, the outside of the box is almost entirely simple, reflecting the minimalist aesthetic of its manufacturer. In addition to the high-density packing foam that protects the PSU, the box is very heavy and multi-layered.
The outside packaging for the Dark Power Pro 13 1300w PSU includes a sleeve that displays specs and a QR code that provides a comprehensive overview. Removing the top half of the box and sleeve shows remarkable workmanship. Inside, you can see all the cables neatly arranged on the right side. On the left side, you can see the Dark Power Pro 13 1300w ATX 3.0 PSU, covered in a protective fabric sleeve, which is the main attraction.
Box Content and Cables
The accessories that come with it show that Be Quiet has opted to complement the Dark Power Pro 13 1300w and completes the PSU admirably. be quiet! provides an extensive set of extras with Dark Power Pro 13. The set includes everything from a complete set of cable combs to the Overclock key connector PCI slot covering bracket, hexagonal head Phillips screws, four standard mounting screws and four thumbscrews, zip ties, and ten cable straps printed with the be quiet name.
Surprisingly, plastic cable management combs can really make cable management a lot easier to manage, and you guys can be a bit artistic in routing those cables however you like. After taking the cables out of their packaging, you’ll see that the majority of them are black in color, with black connectors and wires that are individually wrapped. This is the only PSU I have tested so far that comes with 2 12VHPWR connectors. Both of them are the only ones that don’t follow this pattern.
They are standard black cables with an outside nylon sleeve. I would have loved to see these cables as individually sleeved braided cables as well. Having an AC cable was essential for a PSU with such a high output, as it may exceed the current capacity of conventional C13 connections when the input voltage is 115V or below. The 24-pin ATX connection and all of the DC power cables are detachable thanks to the Dark Power Pro 13’s completely modular architecture.
You can activate or deactivate the “overclocking” option using the PCI slot switch. While turned off, the PSU keeps an eye out for overcurrent on each of its several virtual 12V rails. When turned on, it treats the whole 12V line as a single rail. Thus, the power supply unit won’t trip if even a single connection uses a little more power than it should. Problematically, the second mode is unable to detect single-wire critical failures, which may cause an enormous current to flow across a single wire, permanently destroying it. In exchange for more overclocking options, there is a little compromise in product safety.
This PSU has one of the sturdiest designs that I have ever seen. It is unique compared to other PSUs in the market. However, it seems that more attention was given to the outside rather than the inside because an outdated CWT platform, which is not commonly used in the market anymore, was used.
CWT has already shifted to a newer platform, but they only modified the older design for this PSU to comply with the ATX 3.0 standards. The reason behind this is that be quiet! wanted to implement their fan in this PSU due to its frameless design, which is directly mounted on the top of the PCB. For this reason, the fan needed a bigger platform to be attached to, which made the overall size of the PSU massive.
After taking the Dark Power Pro 13 1300w PSU out of its packaging, you can see a spotless black brushed metal surface on top of the chassis. It has a brushed metal surface on both sides. The distinctive aluminum chassis of the Dark Power Pro 13 series maintains the same sharp edges and exceptionally soft brushed surfaces as its predecessor. Its dimensions of 86 x 175 x 150mm make it somewhat longer than a typical ATX power supply unit. However, with a big enough PC case, this shouldn’t be an issue, but with a smaller build, it might be a problem.
On one side of the PSU, you can see the chrome-lettered logos of the brand and the series. On the other side, you can see a label that lists the electrical parameters and certifications of the PSU along with the output data. Right above it, you can see tiny representations of the series and the manufacturer.
Lastly, there is a big power button on the back of the device, just below the AC power cord connection that you can use to turn it on and off, along with a heavy-duty rectangular-shaped NEMA 5-15P to IEC 60320 C19 cable, measuring slightly more than 4 feet in total length are located on the power input side. Furthermore, the Dark Power Pro 13 1300w is rated to run at 100-240Vac. Once again, note that there are a total of six 12V rails, the last two of which are powered by 55A each.
The Dark Power Pro 13’s modular cable connections, as one would imagine, take up the whole front side. Beginning on the left side, the 12V1 rail supplies power to the HDDs, SSDs, and peripherals through a set of six inputs called DRIVES. Furthermore, the OCK input, which enables the installation of a switch in a PCI slot to produce a single, massive 12V rail for much improved overclocking stability, is the next input that is becoming increasingly common for be quiet!.
Underneath and to the right side of the OCK input are the two separate motherboard connectors, organized in a 20 by 8-pin layout. Moreover, two P8 CPU cable inputs are located underneath the 8-pin motherboard connector and, by default, work on the second 12V rail. 12V3 and 12V4 are two more 12V rails that distribute PCIe power.
Finally, 12V5 and 12V6 were the labels for the two inputs of the two PCIe 5.0 12VHPWR 600-watt cables, each with its own 12V rail. The SATA/Molex cables used by be quiet!! have a straight 5-pin connection, the CPU cables have a dual-row 10-pin connector, and the PCI Express cables have a dual-row 12-pin connector.
Each connector’s corresponding virtual 12 V rail can be found in the printed legend. Considering the speed at which the overcurrent protection would activate in the event of an incident and how likely it is to prevent catastrophic damage, this design achieves its purpose admirably in terms of reliability as well as security. However, there are some drawbacks to consider.
For example, powerful components may not be able to reach their full overclocking capability because of the restricted maximum power per connection. Also, the Dark Power Pro’s default mode has numerous 12V OCP rails, so if the load isn’t balanced, the PSU will shut down. So, users should be cautious not to connect cable connections randomly but according to the manual’s instructions.
Let’s additionally take a moment to admire the 135mm fan’s mesh fan intake before we disassemble the Dark Power Pro 13 1300w PSU. Notably, the two shroud sections of the Dark Power Pro 13, like with previous Dark Power models, help guide airflow to the most critical components of the PSU, namely the three premium Japanese capacitors. Most of the time, be quiet! uses its own fans to cool its PSUs. The same case applies to the Dark Power Pro 13 as well.
It makes use of a SilentWings 135mm fan that has been modified to remove the frame. Therefore, the fluid-dynamic bearing allows these fans to run quietly and reliably for a long time. Remarkably, the 135 mm fan can reach an astonishingly high speed of 2600 RPM on just .56A of power, which is rather remarkable considering its small size. Moreover, the fan and the PSU body were fine-tuned by the company’s experts to reduce vibrations and maximize airflow. Overall, I think this strategy which be quiet! executes on its Dark Power Pro PSU line, is fantastic.
First and foremost, dismantling this PSU proved to be a formidable task, given its intricate design, and I couldn’t complete the teardown entirely due to safety concerns. be quiet! has executed an exceptional design with this colossal PSU, collaborating with CWT to modify their platform to accommodate the be quiet!’s Silent Wings 135mm fan, enhancing airflow for optimized and silent operation.
However, this modification significantly increases its size compared to more compact designs offered by other brands, which could impact convenience and ease of installation. A potential improvement lies in BeQuiet reconsidering the design of its PSU shroud/chassis, providing an opportunity to incorporate CWT’s latest and most capable ATX3.0 platforms. The current platform appears to be a bit older and somewhat lagging behind.
The bridge rectifier and interleaved PFC’s MOSFETs share a robust heatsink. Furthermore, an NTC thermistor, accompanied by its bypass relay and a MOV for protection against power surges, is neatly enclosed in heat shrink tubing. In the full-bridge topology, four MOSFETs reside on a separate heatsink.
Moreover, the PSU also features a DC-DC converter dedicated to the minor 5V and 3.3V rails. Additionally, two meticulously crafted transformers are employed, a strategy often seen in higher-wattage PSUs to evenly distribute heat. However, this approach may lead to slightly more voltage ripples if not meticulously engineered.
Last but not least, to ensure longevity, the PSU incorporates primary capacitors from Nippon-Chemicon, exclusively using 100% Japanese-branded top-tier capacitors. Coupled with improved cooling, this configuration suggests a potential durability that could endure for an extended period.
How Did We Test Dark Power Pro 13 1300W
At Tech4Gamers, we stand apart by taking a hands-on, practical approach to evaluating PSUs. Instead of relying solely on certifications or synthetic load testing, we put PSUs to rigorous real-life stress tests. Having said that, our custom PSU load tester, designed with high-density power MOSFET modules similar to those in reputable SunMoon/Chroma load testers, allows us to assess PSU performance accurately.
Our focus is on understanding the diverse demands and challenges that PSUs encounter in gaming systems. We evaluate aspects such as voltage regulation, efficiency, temperature performance, and noise levels to provide comprehensive insights into a PSU’s capabilities. This approach empowers users to make informed decisions when selecting a PSU for their specific gaming needs, whether it’s for a high-performance rig or a budget-conscious build.
PSU Load Testing
12V & Minor Voltage Rails Regulation
Although voltage regulation is not particularly impressive according to most professional PSU reviewers, including myself, it is not bad either. However, it did not meet my expectations given that, nowadays, ATX 3.0 PSUs with much lower costs are providing better results in this test. Nonetheless, an end-user will not encounter any issues as tight voltage regulation primarily indicates how well-designed a PSU really is.
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PSU Efficiency & Temperature
PSU is efficient enough for a Titanium efficiency. We only tested this unit at 240V AC, hence why the efficiency numbers are even better compared to 120V AC. Almost all the high-end PSUs are now shifting to a much improved Totem Pole design & bridgeless topology using GaN MOSFETs for even greater efficiency numbers and extremely lower ripple performance. We would love to see BeQueit refresh this series with similar design changes.
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Voltage Ripple Performance
The voltage ripple is well-managed, but we were not impressed with the result, considering its price and features that are primarily attractive to overclocking enthusiasts. CWT’s latest design is now being adopted by several other brands, and it achieves slightly better figures in this test without being heavier on your wallet or in your hands (due to its compact size).
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The PSU has a massive size platform that provides adequate cooling space, resulting in excellent temperature control. Owing to the fact that all components are properly spaced and wired. The frameless fan used in this PSU is highly efficient and cools every component effectively. Plus, all heatsinks are adequate, leading to a low exhaust temperature. However, the only concern is that the side of the connectors reached a temperature of 53.1 degrees Celsius, which is slightly concerning. This is not a significant issue since the PSU is pulling 1300W, and the temperature can go that high.
Should You Buy the Dark Power Pro 13 1300W?
Buy It If
✅You need excellent cable management: The Dark Power Pro 13 1300W excels in cable management aesthetics. If you prioritize a clean and well-managed cable layout, this PSU could be an excellent choice.
✅You are planning extreme overclocking or using power-hungry GPUs for AI & machine learning tasks: The single 12V rail option and robust design cater to the power demands of high-performance systems, making it suitable for enthusiasts seeking top-tier performance.
✅Silent operation is a priority: While the PSU makes a slight grinding noise at start-up, the overall operation is impressively silent. That’s because the Dark Power Pro 13 1300W is designed with a frameless fan and Silent Wings 135mm fan technology. This combination allows for efficient cooling with minimal noise.
Don’t Buy It If
❌You are on a tight budget: While the Dark Power Pro 13 1300W offers advanced features, the price may be a limiting factor for users seeking more budget-friendly options.
❌You prefer a compact PSU: If you prioritize a compact PSU design for compatibility with a wide range of chassis sizes, other options with a more space-efficient form factor might be more suitable for your build.
The be quiet! Dark Power Pro 13 1300W is a testament to the brand’s commitment to quality and innovation. This PSU is a strong contender in the high-end PSU market, especially for those looking to future-proof their system with ATX 3.0 compatibility and support for the latest PCIe 5.0 GPUs. Its robust design, coupled with the highly efficient and silent operation, makes it a top choice for enthusiasts and overclockers.
However, it’s not without its drawbacks. The use of an older CWT platform, while reliable, does not stand at the forefront of modern PSU technology. The unit’s substantial size and the fan noise during startup might be points of concern for some users. Additionally, the higher price point could be a deterrent for budget-conscious buyers.
Despite these considerations, the Dark Power Pro 13 shines in many aspects. Its exceptional cable management system, with individually sleeved braided cables, and the inclusion of two 12VHPWR connectors, add to its appeal. The unit’s modular design, coupled with its high-quality components and impressive cooling capabilities, underscore its suitability for high-performance systems.
In summary, the be quiet! Dark Power Pro 13 1300W PSU is a well-rounded, high-quality power supply unit that delivers on performance and reliability. While it may not be the most cutting-edge option in terms of internal platform technology, its solid build, efficiency, and cooling prowess make it a worthy investment for those seeking a durable and powerful PSU for their high-end gaming or professional setups.
Coming Next: ENERMAX REVOLUTION D.F. X 1050W Review
After many years of exploiting various pieces of hardware, Abdul Hannan now serves as an editor at Tech4Gamers. He’s been in the PC hardware reviewing industry for almost a decade, and his staff of passionate geeks and reviewers is second to none.
Abdul Hannan is constantly seeking new methods, you will always see him running into New Computer Courses to improve the performance of his computer components since he is an ardent overclocker. He is well-known for providing the most extensive and unbiased analysis of the newest and greatest hardware for PC gaming, including everything from GPUs to PSUs.