Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro 3

Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro 3

This is certainly an impressive looking cooler, with an ominous black metal look throughout. And this reasonably large heatsink and fan set has pretty much everything you could ask for. The heatsink measures 150 x 137 x 163mm, weighs 1.1kg and is comprised of 90 aluminium fins mounted on a copper, machined CPU contact surface. Seven 6mm heatpipes lead from each side of the CPU contact, up through the split aluminium fins.

At the front of the heatsink, there’s a 120mm Be Quiet SilentWings fan, which spins at a maximum of 1700rpm and produces noise levels of roughly 22dbA. This first section of the heatsink houses one batch of heatpipes and is broken down the middle by another fan, with a small gap between. The second fan is a larger 135mm Be Quiet SilentWings model, spinning at a reduced 1400rpm and producing a quieter 20dbA.

The two heatsink sections are joined together at the top of the unit with a brushed aluminium effect plate complete with the Be Quiet logo and 14 raised rivet-like studs. It’s a decent enough looks, and in some way it probably aids the heat dissipation to a small degree.

This is a large cooler, and as a result there’s naturally going to be a little interference with the surrounding memory and VRM heatsinks. However, Be Quiet has thought of this and have allowed the front fan to be mounted slightly higher, using the clips to fasten to a ridge in the heatsink. This gives just enough clearance for taller than normal RAM sticks, but any stick that tops 40mm needs to be carefully measured before you commit to buying the cooler.

Fitting the cooler is easy enough. The backplate for the rear of the motherboard is a good large plate, with an added bonus of some antivibration foam that fits snugly on the motherboard. There's even a set of four plastic locknuts that keep the backplate in place when you attach the posts, which make the process of fitting and manoeuvring the motherboard significantly easier than normal.

The kit comes with fittings for both Intel and AMD CPUs, and there’s a tiny tube of thermal paste included as well. Overall, the fitting of the cooler went well, although it did get a little fiddly as tightening the screws while keeping the rather heavy cooler in place could have done with another pair of hands. The advised method of fitting is to turn the cooler upside down and fit the motherboard onto the cooler, instead of the cooler onto the motherboard. Naturally, since we rarely read instructions, we didn’t find this out until later.

Our idle temperature was measured at 27ºC and the under stress temperature at 65ºC. Noise levels rarely topped the 40dbA mark, which is very good indeed.

The Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro 3 is a great CPU cooler. It’s a little big, but it does a fine job and is certainly quiet enough as well.

Intel: LGA 775 / 1150 / 1155 / 1156 / 1366 / 2011(-3)
AMD: 754 / 939 / 940 / AM2(+) / AM3(+) / FM1 / FM2(+)