*As per our title, this will be an “overview” since we don’t have access to a load tester anymore, which as you know, is a must for any complete PSU review.* With that out of the way, let’s continue.
The Power Zone PSU lineup from Be Quiet! has been introduced in 2014 but since then has been updated. Despite the fact that it’s only certified for Bronze efficiency, it is still worth a look given its 5 years warranty, full modular design and other neat tricks.
Be Quiet! is a premium brand manufacturer of power supplies and cooling solutions for your desktop PC. With numerous awards under their belt and are considered the best German power supply manufacturer from Germany since 2006 – proved by being awarded with no less than nine times in a row with “Manufacturer of the Year” in the power supply category by the readers of the well-known German hardware magazine PC Games Hardware. In the category “fans”, be quiet! earned the first rank for five consecutive times and belongs to the Top 3 CPU cooler brands for more than three years in a row. The community of Hardwareluxx also voted be quiet! as “Manufacturer of the Year” in the PSU category for four consecutive years.
Prices and Availability
The ‘Power Zone’ line up from Be Quiet! is marked as their ‘Advanced’ tier, just one down from the top tier one, the ‘Dark Power Pro’. The Power Zone has 4 wattage models – 650W, 750W, 850W and 1000W. Today we will have a look at the 750W one which goes for £105.80.
Presentation and Specification
* Courtesy of their website
* Massive 12V-rail design, Active Clamp and Synchronous Rectifier (SR) technology (for 12V and 5V), DC-to-DC (for 3.3V and 5V) voltage step-down for rock-solid power stability and minimal signal noise
* Designed for powerful operation even at 50° C
* ATX12V 2.4 & EPS12V 2.92 compatibility supports the latest generations of processors from Intel® and AMD
* Excellent voltage regulation under 2% on the 12V-rail
* AC and DC side for maximum performance, high reliability, and longer PSU life under high load
* Winner of the prestigious Red Dot Design AQuiet Zone
* Installed variable speed 135mm Silent Wings fan includes a wide array of electronic and mechanical optimizations for best-of-class air flow with very low noise production
* Unique airflow-optimized fan blade design reduces noise-generating fan turbulence
* Advanced fluid dynamic bearing with copper core provides greatly reduced operating noise and super-long life
* Special 6-pole motor reduces power consumption and vibration
* Silent Wings fan reduces transmission of vibration and noise
* Variable fan speed is optimally governed to strike the best balance between proper cooling and deep quiet
* COOL*OFF feature runs fan for three minutes after system shutdown, protecting valuable components at their time of maximum heat stress
* Connect up to three case fans for optimized system cooling that is thermally controlled by the PSU, quieting your whole system
* Modular cables with quality sleeves simplify component installation, reduce annoying clutter, maximize build flexibility, and improve cooling due to increased airflow
* System supports up to 28 connectors for massive system builds
* Up to six PCI express connectors supported for powerful multi-GPU configurations
* Excellent compatibility for past, current and future components
* Sleeved cable lengths up to 115cm also promote cooling and are perfect for large PC cases
* Individual P4 and P8 plugs support all common motherboard types
* Clearly labeled plugs and clever accessories promote simple installation
* Top protection for components against over-currents, over- and under-voltages, short circuits, overheating and overloads
* Built-in surge protection included
* 80PLUS® Bronze certification for high efficiency of up to 90 %
* Active Power Factor Correction with an PF of up to 0.99
* Standby power drain 0.15W
* Meets Energy Star 6.0 guideline
* ErP 2014 Ready
* Zero Load design supports Intel’s Deep Power Down C6/C7 mode
* High quality 105°C-rated capacitors onward 2014
* 5-year manufacturer’s warranty
What’s really interesting to point out is the COOL*OFF feature; basically the fan will run for another 3 minutes to make sure the components are truly cooled down. Also another neat trick is the fact that you can connect up to 3 case fans to the PSU itself, which will also control them. The rest of the highlights are mostly what you would expect for a PSU in this price range.
As for the specs, we have:
Visual Inspection & Installation
The box has an all black background with the PSU’s model name in the middle and the wattage just below. Be Quiet!’s logo is in the top right corner.
The back holds a lot of important information like this is a modular PSU, the output wattage distribution chart, the efficiency certification and the fact that is multi-GPU compatible.
Then this side has a schematic of all the available connectors along with their cable length.
Contents wise, everything is nicely arranged and compartmentalized. The PSU is in the middle in a cloth bag while the two boxes have all of the cables.
The upgraded versions of this ‘Power Zone’ line-up will come with the new all black fully modular cables. They are all secured in Velcro straps and you get some extra zip-ties on top.
Very important fact to point out is that the included screws are longer than the standard ones – this is because of this particular PSU having a bigger plastic frame on the outside. So don’t loose them.
A very interesting fact is that you can connect up to 3 external fans to the power supply via these adapters which in turn will be thermally controlled by the PSU.
Each model has a wattage tag in the middle of the fan grille, which doesn’t follow the classic honeycomb style.
The sides have these industrial patters with a big sticker of the PSU model’s name.
Here is a sticker with the wattage output and rail distribution.
The exhaust side has the typical ON/OFF button and the inlet power port. This is why you need the extra included longer screws because of that extra plastic frame.
As you fill the the modular panel with all of the included cables, you will notice that you can order a second CPU 8-pin (4+4) plug for even higher end motherboards.
Here is the Power Zone 750W PSU being installed in our test system. The all black powder-coating finish with the full modular cables also in black, give it such a professional and cool look. The cables are long enough to reach anywhere in this particular ATX case.
Without a proper load testing PSU machine, we cannot call this a full review. However that doesn’t stop us from trying to stress test as best we can, trying to squeeze as much wattage from the PSU to see if it will bulge.
Then we will measure the total wattage from the wall via our wattage monitor and then record the load noise coming from the PSU fan.
The most power hungry card we have with a rated TDP of +250W is an KFA2 GeForce GTX 480 Anarchy 1538MB DDR5 flagship, with a must needed custom Accelero EXTREME Plus 3-fan cooling setup from Artic Cooling. This is already overclocked from factory to an extra +60 MHz on the cores and +200 MHz on the memory.
The CPU was overclocked to 3.8 GHz with a stable voltage of 1.30v.
A standard 3D benchmark will be run as well, in UNIGINE Superposition. Then to fully stress the system we will run a stability test for 3 minutes long in AIDA64.
– CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 AM4 – 8c/16t
– CPU Cooler: Be Quiet! Dark Rock SLIM 120 mm
– Motherboard: ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Extreme X370 E-ATX
– RAM: Team Group T-Force Vulcan Z DDR4 3200 MHz
– Boot M.2 SSD: XPG SX6000 Pro 512GB NVMe
– Case: Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Window White
– GPU: KFA2 GeForce GTX 480 Anarchy OC 1538MB DDR5 Accelero EXTREME Plus
– Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 1903
– NVIDIA GeForce WHQL 391.55
– MSI Afterburner v4.50 – To OC the video card(s) and monitor the GPU(s) temperatures
– CPU-Z v1.89 – To verify the CPU’s and RAM’s statistics
– CoreTemp v1.15 – To see in real time temperatures of all the CPU’s cores and threads
– AIDA64 Extreme v5.99 – Total system stability test
– UNIGINE Superpositon – The latest 3D system benchmark
Testing, Results and Analysis
Let’s see how much power can we make the system consume in order to utilize the PSU’s potential. As you can see, even with an OC’d CPU and already hungry GPU, we never saw above 380 W. This means we can even comfortably SLI another 250W TDP card with a problem.
As for noise, at max total system load, we are barely at half of the power supplies total rated output. So the Power Zone 750W at 50% usage is silent. We need another GPU to fully stress the PSU but until then, these are the numbers.
The main highlight and unique feature for this PSU range, is that the fan will spin for an additional 3 minutes after you have turned down the PC to ensure an even longer component life. It is a FSP subcontracted unit which is a very good company so nothing to worry on the internal quality. This is backed up by a 5 years warranty. Another trick up its sleeve is that fact that it can thermally control 3 addition case fans. Love that it uses a 135 mm FDB fan (Fluid dynamic bearing) which will ensure a very long usage even at hot temperatures. The aesthetics are very good having this industrial rugged feel to it. Price wise it has big competition coming from Corsair with their RMX series and from EVGA with the SUperNOVA G1+ which both are fully modular at 750W and have the Gold certification. Which unfortunately counts big in the eyes of the buyer so this is a negative in regards to the Power Zone series.
The Power Zone series is made by Fortron Source hence the 5 years warranty tag that should give you piece of mind. It is a mainstream line with great looks and it is aimed at being a transition line-up from the Pure Power and the Dark Power Pro generations. Unfortunately is only has the Bronze certification and also has a lot of competition from Corsair and EVGA for example. To conclude, the Power Zone 750W at 50% load is very silent (that’s as far as we tested) and having those two tricks should at least make you consider it – the fact that you can attach case fans to it and that it keeps the fan working for an extra time to prolong component life.
+ Silent operation (At least at 50% load)
+ Industrial design and good build quality
+ High quality cooling fan with fluid dynamic bearings
+ Fully modular cable management
+ Unique COOL*OFF feature
+ Can power/control three case fans
+ 5 years warranty
– Lacks at least the Gold certification
– Hard to find even in the US market
– Big competition from Corsair and EVGA