There really is no denying the limited audible noise that comes from these be quiet! coolers, and they have definitely shown how well they can take on a market flooded with solutions from other companies. Not only do you get great thermal results, but once inside of a closed chassis, you will never hear the cooler. You also get a cooler that is very appealing to admire through the window in the side door of the chassis.
I like that they didn't just make lame changes, like a fan swap, or just by adding the number 3 to the box. In this design, they really went to work to deliver things like fin dimples, offset fins, and even an extra set at the top just to squeeze a "little bit more" out of the dual-tower cooler design. On top of that, with all of the brushed aluminum and black nickel plating, what is there not to like about this cooler in both aesthetics, and performance?
What stick out in my mind as to where be quiet! could improve is in the hardware. While I know my test system board is more restrictive than others on the market, some of the issues I had do cross over to any motherboard. While cutting the back plate to fit is a specific issue to my setup, I can't really hold that against be quiet!. What I can hold against them is the system of studs, nuts, and a wrench that is just tough to use. It's also a pain in the rear end to get the top left nut on the cooler. I don't care if you are dealing with a plastic cover like I have, or if you just have a normal overclocking motherboard, having to slide a nut onto that stud with such limited room makes me wish I had three hands just to line things up.
Also, that doesn't take into account the balancing act you have to perform to screw the studs in while you hold that tiny wrench, and hope for the best. While in reality, you should tighten all the studs in an X-pattern, I can assure you that once you get that wrench ion place, and are screwing them into place, you are not going to want to remove it as you add equal tension to all four corners; you are at least sending that top left screw home in one fail swoop.
With the pricing as it is, in combination with the level of efficiency and low audio results afforded to users who buy the Dark Rock Pro 3, the memory of the hassle of mounting it are soon forgotten. Besides, most people don't change coolers nearly as often as I do. What is left in my mind is that the cost may seem a bit on the pricey side for air coolers.
However, when you think about how handily it beat out the H75 (and with much less noise), and just how attractive the Dark Rock Pro 3 is with that black brushed aluminum top to stare at, in the end I have to give it to be quiet!. They do truly deliver a cooler that delivers on their tag line of "no compromise silence and performance".
They deliver in both of those aspects, and while it is large, the cooler is aesthetically pleasing. While it's not the most economically friendly solution out there, it does everything be quiet! promised, and then some.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [Specifications, Availability and Pricing]
- Page 3 [Packaging]
- Page 4 [be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 CPU Cooler]
- Page 5 [Accessories and Documentation]
- Page 6 [Installation and Finished Product]
- Page 7 [The Test System and Thermal Results]
- Page 8 [Noise Level Results]
- Page 9 [Final Thoughts]
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