Page 1: Test: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3
With the Dark Rock Series, power supply specialists be quiet! have been satisfying even the most demanding users who are looking for a very quiet but also the best possible cooler for CPUs. We had the Dark Rock Pro 3, the new top model of the Dark Rock Series, in our test lab and will thoroughly test this new cooler.
Already at CES 2014 in Las Vegas, be quiet! granted a brief outlook on the new, third generation of the Dark Rock series - more specifically, the two models Dark Rock Pro 3 and Dark Rock 3.
Both coolers are said to be up to 5°C cooler than their predecessors. The design has changed a bit, the coolers are now 3 mm lower than their predecessors. This change was made due to customer feedback and to ensure greater compatibility with smaller case types. To ensure that no cooling surface and thus power gets lost, the cooler of Dark Rock 3 is slightly wider and the Dark Rock Pro 3 even received an extra heatsink on the bottom plate.
The Dark Rock 3 has six, the Dark Rock Pro 3 even seven 6mm heatpipes passing through the cooler, manufactured in this form exclusively for be quiet!. It therefore is a be quiet! exclusive unique feature.The supplied fan of the Silent Wings series got a new motor, with six instead of four poles. The new engine is to increase the efficiency with less wear. According to be quiet!, the noise level of the fan has been reduced thanks to the use of this new engine. Also included are additional metal clips for installing the full two (three for the Dark Rock Pro 3) fans.
Both coolers will be available in stores as of 14 January, the Dark Rock Pro 3 for a MSRP of 74 EUR, the Dark Rock 3 for a MSRP of 55 EUR.
We will focus on the new top model of Dark Rock Series and find out whether it is able to hold its own against the competition.
The direct competition of the Dark Rock Pro 3 consists mainly of renowned air coolers and classics such as the Noctua NH-D14 SE2011, Phanteks PH-TC14PE and the EKL Alpenföhn K2 - as well as some compact AIO water cooling systems. Furthermore, normal tower cooler like the Akasa Venom, the Prolimatech Megahalems, the Arctic Cooling Freezer i30 or the Alpenföhn Brocken 2. At the special request of our readers we have included the Thermalright Macho 120 in its new revision A. The bigger brother Thermalright Macho BW will follow soon. It should be noted that our test database has grown considerably since the relaunch of the CPU cooler tests and our test system is now running in the new and larger NZXT Phantom 820 case. The new test system is thus perfect for all kinds of coolers, including larger AIO water cooling systems up to 280 mm, and is therefore much more future-proof..
Before we go on with the actual test, here is the data of the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 in the usual quick overview:
|Cooler name||be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3|
|Street Price at release||74,99 EUR (MSRP)|
|Mass||14.3 cm (L) x 13.4 cm (W) x 16.3 cm (H)|
|Material||Bottom panel: Nickel plated copper
Heatpipes: nickel-plated copper
|Cooler Type||Twin-Tower cooler|
|Standard fans||1x 120mm be quiet! Silent Wings (PWM)
1x 135mm be quiet! Silent Wings (PWM)
|Socket||AMD AM2 (+), AM3 (+), FM1, FM2, 754-940
Intel: 775, 1150, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011
|Manufacturer Warranty||3 years|