be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 CPU Cooler Review




/ 5 years ago

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Final Thoughts


Price

There is no easy way of swallowing the price of the Dark Rock Pro 3, be quiet! know their product is superb and it’s priced to reflect its quality. At just under £75 from Overclockers here in the UK, it’s more expensive that some all in one water cooling solutions. Of course it’s performance is on par with most of them and it’s quieter than virtually everything else we’ve tested, so you do get a good return on investment. You can pick up the Dark Rock 3 Pro from Amazon.com in the US for $89.99 and in the EU for 75 EUR.

Overview

I love the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3, fortunately for be quiet! I love it just a little more than I hate it. I still can’t forgive the fact that this was easily the worst installation process for any component that I’ve ever experienced. It feels like such an afterthought, although I suspect it’s more a case of this being the price you pay for such awesome performance from an air cooler. be quiet are going to have to think really hard to improve this cooler mounting system, as I can see many users going for something easier to install before they start dismantling their motherboard just to gain access to a bolt. With that out-of-the-way, let’s get onto the good stuff.

The overall design of the cooler looks fantastic and the special top plate adds a nice touch of style. The general aesthetics are great and combined with two high quality fans and sleeved cables, the Dark Rock Pro 3 should look superb in virtually any system build. The only downside is the size, this cooler is huge, so best make sure you can even fit it in your chassis. be quiet! say they’ve made this new model a few millimeters less tall to improve compatibility with more cases, but it’s still pretty big.

Acoustic performance is what be quiet! products are known for, the Dark Rock Pro 3 is one of the quietest cooling products on the market and short of getting something passive you will struggle to find anything quieter. Actually that’s not true, you may find something quieter, but it’s doubtful you’ll find something this quiet while also offering some of the best air cooling performance on the market. This is a stunning cooler in terms of performance, it was keeping our overclocked i5 very comfortable and there was barely a whisper from those superb SilentWings fans.

I’ve awarded the Dark Rock Pro 3 our extreme performance awards, it’s certainly earned that in our benchmarks. The installation process may be difficult, but it does prove to be a rewarding experience thanks to the excellent thermal and acoustic performance that it offers.

Pros

  • Gorgeous aesthetics
  • Rock solid build quality
  • Trusted brand name
  • Class leading cooling performance
  • Incredibly quiet fans
  • Great for overclocking

 

Cons

  • Terrible mounting system
  • High price tag treads into water cooling price ranges

eTeknix says: “be quiet! may not know how to design a CPU cooler mounting system, but they can certainly take care of the rest of the components better than anyone else.  This is without a doubt the best performing air cooler I’ve ever tested.”

Extreme-Performance

be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 CPU Cooler Review

Thank you be quiet! for providing us with this sample.

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Comments

4 Responses to “be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 CPU Cooler Review”
  1. Wayne says:

    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.

  2. tomekkk1 says:

    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.

  3. Guest says:

    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.

  4. tomekkk1 says:

    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.

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