The Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3

Be Quiet! is a German manufacturer of cooling, case and power PC-related products and one of the few European companies that has managed to push their way into the North American markets. We have checked a few of their power supplies in recent months and most recently saw their new cases and fans at Computex. For this review the company supplied us with the best and largest cooler they currently offer, the Dark Rock Pro 3.

The Dark Rock Pro 3 is supplied into a bizarrely shaped, deep cardboard box, well protected within thick layers of polyethylene foam and cardboard walls. A very basic black and white leaflet with installation instructions and the absolute necessary parts for the mounting of the cooler are supplied, nothing more, with the sole exception of two wire clips for those that want to install a third fan on the cooler.


Much as its name suggests, the Dark Rock Pro 3 is a very large, dark cooler. It is a symmetric dual tower design, meaning that the seven 6 mm heatpipes run through the base and to a separate cooling tower on either side. A metallic black top cover extends across the entire cooling body, covering both towers and the middle cooling fan but leaving the front fan exposed. With the exception of the black top cover, everything else is nickel-plated.

The front of each tower forms a jagged saw tooth design facing the fan that inclines inwards toward the center of the tower, while the rear forms a geometric pattern fashioned from half-octagons. The jagged front is supposed to reduce harsh airflow state transitions and aerodynamic noise, but the rear is most likely shaped for aesthetic purposes only.

The company is using their own SilentWings series fans on the Dark Rock Pro 3. The dimensions of each fan differs, with a 135 mm fan installed between the towers and an 120 mm fan at the front of the cooler. Still, both fans share the same features, such as the decoupling frames, wavy blades and six pole engines with fluid dynamic bearings. They are very high quality and expensive models, yet they are optimized for low noise operation, not high static pressure, which we will see the results of in the testing.

Be Quiet! paid a lot of attention to the base of the Dark Rock Pro 3. It is a very solid construct, forming a small heatsink, possibly to aid the overall performance of the cooler a little bit. The base has been polished to a perfect mirror finish, with no imperfections to be found.

Introduction The Cryorig R1 Ultimate
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  • AssBall - Tuesday, July 7, 2015 - link

    No it isn't. The mounting mechanisms on these higher priced sinks are, as, had you read the article, solid. If you are missing an arm and wanted to mount a 100$ heat sink in your 25$ case, you might care about the weight, in which case, the manufacturer's website is a one armed lazy click away.
  • Schickenipple - Monday, July 6, 2015 - link

    Cheaper still, at under $50, is the ZALMAN CNPS9500A. I use it on almost every build due to it's all-copper design and razor thin fins. I can keep the fan on the lowest speed without my Core i7 going over 40 Deg. C under load. It's silent no matter what I'm doing.

    My only complaint is that the fan is not PWM. Quibbles.
  • meacupla - Monday, July 6, 2015 - link

    The only thing I haven't liked about Zalman, is that the fans they use in their heatsinks aren't exactly the quietest and are usually not easily swappable. At least, not when compared against manufacturers like Scythe and Noctua.
  • Nfarce - Monday, July 6, 2015 - link

    I have the 9700LED variant of that design for my old Core 2 Duo E8400 build. It does okay for medium overclocks (running my 3.0GHz E8400 at 3.4GHz), but that was about it. And considering I paid $55 for it back in 2009 when I built that rig (about $60 in today's money), it wasn't exactly a cheap option. I would have spent a little more for a better cooler so I could get a higher overclock, but the new Sandy Bridge chipset was coming out soon and I decided to just keep it as a backup rig.
  • Eidigean - Monday, July 6, 2015 - link

    The conversion from Euro to Dollar for the Reeven Okeanos is incorrect. 60€ != $54. 60€ == $66. I think you divided instead of multiplied.
  • GeekTech - Monday, July 6, 2015 - link

    I just want to mention that the Cryorig R1 Ultimate CPU Cooler that you listed and said was currently available only through a foreign store registered in that ships from Korea is currently being sold at PC Case Gear here in Australia for AU$89 (US$66.82).

  • letmepicyou - Monday, July 6, 2015 - link

    I would have liked to see the Noctua's real arch nemesis included in this shootout, the Thermalright Silver Arrow. Crushes the Macho Zero. I have a Silver Arrow on my i7 4790k running seti@home, and it owns.
  • Innokentij - Tuesday, July 7, 2015 - link

    The Phanteks PH-TC14PЕ is a better cooler using noctunas own fans on it and even better if u add AF140 fans to it . Is why i took it over the Noctua for myself.
  • UltraWide - Monday, July 6, 2015 - link

    There is an updated version of the noctua:
  • Eidigean - Monday, July 6, 2015 - link

    It's not so much as updated, as it is an off-center version of the same NH-D15. I would need the NH-D15S that you linked to on my MB as the former would hit my GPU in the first slot. I was considering modifying the D15 to move it up and away until I saw the D15S. A good link none the less.

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