Inside be quiet!

Air inlets and fan grills in a PSU

Power supply units are the hearts of the computer. Without them nothing is going to work - where there's no power, there's no activity. But PSUs are more than just highly complicated technology and complex abbreviations such as „LLC + SR + DC/DC“ (which we’ve already highlighted here: They also consist of elements like air inlets and fan grills – which might not seem to be as technologically sexy as other components but are just as essential for a PSU’s functionality as everything else.

A fan grill – how can that be any complicated? Well, it might look trivial, but you can make a lot of mistakes here already! Sharp edges inevitably lead to loud drift noises, the distances between the railings are extremely important - micrometers make all the difference here! To balance this perfectly takes a lot of trial-and-error - literally. Our engineers spent weeks working on combinations of forms, designs, distances and patterns. Before ending up with aluminum the prototypes used materials such as birch wood, cardboard and plastic - pretty much everything that can be experimented with.
Even more important than fan grills are the air inlets. And these also usually invite to asking: why? It’s just a hole that lets the air inside! Is it though? Once again you can make many mistakes by treating it as just a hole. In earlier times, as the air inlet was pretty much just a hole in a box, the air came in without any control. These days our engineers spend months to channel the airflow properly so that the air lands at the exact right spots and can work its cooling magic with highest efficiency.

By now the development of air inlets is so important that the layout of the PCB inside the PSU is being developed alongside the inlet so that both work in perfect sync! Which means that you can not just take one PSU’s air inlet and re-use it on another PSU as the latter’s technology doesn’t match the inlet. By merely “copypasting” you waste significant amounts of precious cooling efficiency. With be quiet! power supply units the air inlet and PCB always fit one hundred per cent!

To bring you one example: The development of the frameless fan inside the Dark Power Pro 12 has cost us more than one year! Its air inlet is split into two parts which makes it bigger and flatter, which in turn allows us to take in air much more cleanly and more defined and be directed into specific directions. This does not only mean a considerably increased cooling efficiency but also lower noise emissions as its intake area is bigger.