Today we will be looking at our latest upgrade to our older, but still efficient, Z77 build, by swapping out our all-in-one CPU cooler for the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3. From our past experience with be quiet! we can guarantee one thing before we even open the packaging, that is this product is going to be near-silent.
This is our first be quiet! CPU Cooler review, as in the past we have provided in-depth reports of Noctua, Cooler Master, Phanteks and more.
PACKAGING, PRICING AND SPECIFICATIONS
Taking a look at the exterior of the packaging, this giant cube provides us with a quick view of the key features and specifications. On the front of the box, be quiet! has even included a sleek first-look at the CPU cooler.
The backside of the cube is fairly straightforward, breaking down each key specification of the cooler.
Inside the cube, you will find a smaller cardboard box that holds the screws, mounting brackets, fan brackets and thermal paste. One thing we found in the past with Noctua CPU Cooler’s is that the mounting brackets are split up in different packaging, labelled for Intel versus AMD. This would have been nice to see with the Dark Rock Pro 3, but it’s not a big deal and can be sorted out. In another component of the cube you will also find the installation manual.
As we keep digging, we reveal the Dark Rock Pro 3. When we take a look on Amazon, we see that this CPU cooler comes in priced at $97.41 at the time of writing this article. This is a little pricey, but is mostly in-line with other high-end CPU coolers.
Once we start to look closer at the Dark Rock Pro 3, we see that the heatsink itself is comprised of 90 aluminum fins, a very dense design. The heatsink measures in at 123mm in length, 133mm in width and 163mm in height.
As you throw on the 135mm and 120mm SilentWings fans, the size of this beast increases to 150mm in length, 137mm in width and height stays the same. The SilentWing PWM fans feature a top speed of 1400 or 1700 rpm (120mm or 135mm), a max noise output of 26.1 dB(A) and a max airflow of 67.8 and 57.2 cfm accordingly.
The heatsink features a fairly square/cube design that is asymmetrical. There are seven aluminum /dark nickel-plated heat pipes at a diameters of 6mm each. All of which stem to the copper CPU base. Be warned, there is a plastic sticker on the bottom protecting the mirror finish for the CPU base. It is far to easy to leave this on, which is highly unrecommended.
The top of the cooler features the be quiet! logo, stamped into the black brushed aluminum finish.
Installing the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 was very easy, thanks to the installation manual. Once you install the mounting bracket onto the base of the CPU cooler, and slap the back plate onto the motherboard, the Dark Rock Pro 3 nearly falls into place.
It does cover your memory slots, and just creeps down far enough to leave you with very little room on top of your first PCIe slot. We can just barely get a screwdriver in once installed to unlock the PCIe slot and remove our graphics card.
be quiet! has done an excellent job at supplying you with the tools necessary to do the job. Our install took less than 15 minutes and that included playing with the cables to keep a hidden look.