be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 CPU Cooler Review



/ 1 year ago

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Introduction


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When it comes to CPU coolers there are no shortage of options, in fact it can be quite a headache trying to find the right one for your system. With water cooling now cheaper than ever, and air cooling still pushing forward with innovative designs that have pushed performance up and prices down, not to mention the wide range of sizes, shapes and a dozen other factors that can make each one unique from the last. be quiet! have one important focus on their coolers that sets them apart from the crowd, and they’re already a world-renowned brand for their ultra quiet performance products. It’s their ambition for quiet performance that has earned them a solid reputation among system builders, gamers and many other sections of the PC building / owning world. Offering up some of the quietest products on the market has long been their goal and they’ve succeeded time and time again, especially since their quiet performance is often backed up by superb cooling capabilities, pretty much the two best qualities you could ask for from a CPU cooler.

When it comes to picking your new CPU cooler, thermal performance is obviously a top priority, having a cooler that is also quiet is a welcome second priority, followed by build quality and aesthetics. be quiet! have proven before that they can tick all these boxes with their products, so they’re a premium choice for any system builder and that’s often reflected in the premium price tag of the be quiet! product range, but as they saying goes “you get what you pay for”. The Dark Rock Pro 3 cooler that we have in the office today is the new top dog of the be quiet! range, intended to be their best ever cooling product and today I’ll be expecting nothing short of excellence from this cooler. With prices edging over £70 from most major online retailers, this is a premium class product and it’s already treading into water cooling territory at this price range, so it’s going to have to be pretty special to compete with that market.

As you can see from the specifications below, it’s rather well equipped with support for a wide range of AMD and Intel socket types, two SilentWings fans (1 x 120mm & 1 x 135mm), aluminium construction and 7 x 6mm heat pipes.

Screenshot 2014-04-23 13.42.53

The packaging is packed full of specifications (as above) and details about the product compatibility, but we’ll take a closer look at all of this shortly.

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It’s really well packaged thanks to some soft foam blocks which cover each side of the cooler, which should be more than enough to keep it protected in transit.

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In the box you’ll find a small bag of components, an installation guide and of course the cooler its self, which comes with the two fans pre-installed.

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In the bag you’ll find an extra set of fan clips, handy for those who want to add a third fan to the cooler, all the screw bolt and brackets for both Intel and AMD sockets and a very durable metal backplate with two soft foam pads on the back of it.

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  • Wayne

    No man it’s just too gargantuan, it’s probably better suited to something like a test bench, not a common 9 to 5 PC case.

  • tomekkk1

    Great test, and clearly detailed info – even when I have one myself already, here is still loads of info to find & learn. Thank you.

    However guys, the assembly isn’t bad for everyone. Imagine, there’s possibility of fitting this one, even without removing the motherboard. How come? Ask AMD CPU users. Fitting this one on my Phenom II x4 960T BE 3,0GHz – 3.4GHz Turbo (currently OC 3,8GHz – 4.0GHz Turbo) without any hassle at all takes about 15-20 minutes including fitting the thermal compound. And not in huge case, but in budget Zalman Z3 Plus – which has been chosen by me for great look and it’s great potential for modifications I’ve made already :)

    So I rather way much love than hate – this incredibly easy assembly (for AM2, AM3 & AM3+ sockets), this silence, this temperatures (29*C Idle 45-46*C Stress), and also love it’s appearance in this case:
    http://images68.fotosik.pl/551/00e6f98092efe467.jpg

    http://images66.fotosik.pl/550/3de8356e3d540333.jpg

    Ten fans in total in my case, which both in this cooler runs around 1325 RPM (smaller) / 925 RPM (bigger) and rest of them never exceed 800 RPM – late night, when all sounds at home and on the outside gone my working on this PC is still pleasant.
    This block of cooling engineering even partly visible through side panel window still looks respectful. Very.

    I didn’t found any info about maximum TDP of CPU this cooler can manage – and this one is quite big, as it will does his job with huge 250W of Thermal Design Power. And that’s make it as a very universal choice for any CPU on the market.

  • Guest

    Great test, and clearly detailed info – even when I have one myself already, here is still loads of info to find & learn. Thank you.

    However guys, the assembly isn’t bad for everyone. Imagine, there’s possibility of fitting this one, even without removing the motherboard. How come? Ask AMD CPU users. Fitting this one on my Phenom II x4 960T BE 3,0GHz – 3.4GHz Turbo (currently OC 3,8GHz – 4.0GHz Turbo) without any hassle at all takes about 15-20 minutes including fitting the thermal compound. And not in huge case, but in budget Zalman Z3 Plus – which has been chosen by me for great look and it’s great potential for modifications I’ve made already :)

    So I rather way much love than hate – this incredibly easy assembly (for AM2, AM3 & AM3+ sockets), this silence, this temperatures (29*C Idle 45-46*C Stress), and also love it’s appearance in my case (see pic.).

    Ten fans in total in my case, which both in this cooler runs around 1325 RPM (smaller) / 925 RPM (bigger) and rest of them never exceed 800 RPM – late night, when all sounds at home and on the outside gone my working on this PC is still pleasant.
    And this block of cooling engineering even partly visible through side panel window still looks respectful. Very.

    I didn’t found any info about maximum TDP of CPU this cooler can manage – and this one is quite big, as it will does his job with huge 250W of Thermal Design Power. And that’s make it as a very universal choice for any CPU on the market.

  • tomekkk1

    Great test, and clearly detailed info – even when I have one myself already, here is still loads of info to find & learn. Thank you.

    However guys, the assembly isn’t bad for everyone. Imagine, there’s possibility of fitting this one, even without removing the motherboard. How come? Ask AMD CPU users. Fitting this one on my Phenom II x4 960T BE 3,0GHz – 3.4GHz Turbo (currently OC 3,8GHz – 4.0GHz Turbo) without any hassle at all takes about 15-20 minutes including fitting the thermal compound. And not in huge case, but in budget Zalman Z3 Plus – which has been chosen by me for great look and it’s great potential for modifications I’ve made already :)

    So I rather way much love than hate – this incredibly easy assembly (for AM2, AM3 & AM3+ sockets), this silence, this temperatures (29*C Idle 45-46*C Stress), and also love it’s appearance in my case (see pic. below).

    Ten fans in total in my case, which both in this cooler runs around 1325 RPM (smaller) / 925 RPM (bigger) and rest of them never exceed 800 RPM – late night, when all sounds at home and on the outside gone my working on this PC is still pleasant.
    And this block of cooling engineering even partly visible through side panel window still looks respectful. Very.

    I didn’t found any info about maximum TDP of CPU this cooler can manage – and this one is quite big, as it will does his job with huge 250W of Thermal Design Power. And that’s make it as a very universal choice for any CPU on the market.