be quiet! delivers us a cooler that tested best in its category, against many others, including the likes of coolers from Noctua. At roughly the same price as the Noctua as well, but this time you are given a fair bit more style than what Noctua has ever offered. This does bring us to the only downfall of this kit that comes to mind, though. All the attention to detail with the nickel plating and the black anodized bits, even the nameplate that adorns the lower section, unless the chassis horizontally mounts the motherboard and has a window on both sides, much of that effort is taken down to looking at the striped blade of the top SilentWings 135mm fan.
Mounting the cooler is nowhere near impossible, but it is nowhere near the easiest to use either. The backplate is fine for anyone outside of motherboards with restrictive thermal armor or those with power bits behind the socket, but the rest of the gear is over complicated. Rather than a stud, a clip, then a standoff on top of that, why not one screw to go in from the front. This is accepting the fact that in many instances accessing the nuts to mount the cooler is typically complicated by motherboard heat sinks.
Performance is as good as it gets so far with coolers that offer a top flow design. Besting all other candidates in their genre as well as not doing half bad against all the rest is really saying something for those with space issues, and are looking for a cooler like this in the first place. Most of the time this cooler is in operation, sound levels will be much closer to our idle results, with PWM in control of them in other testing, we found they rarely spooled to full speed, and our GPU was usually much louder than the CPU cooler.
While we feel the pricing for this cooler is definitely justified with everything we have covered here, we do feel that the masses will tend to pass on this cooler just based on this fact alone. Most users out there do not allow themselves to invest in a cooler. With coolers like this as well as those from other manufacturers, though, you have to think about it a bit differently. Do you want to buy one cooler that is more of a "professional grade" tool for the job that can last through many builds, or would you rather pick up three or four sub-par coolers in the same period? You know where our advice is going to lead. Even at near $80 to obtain the be quiet! Dark Rock TF, in every aspect, is it very much worth the wait for it to arrive, and certainly in our eyes worth the asking price.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Quality including Design and Build||99%|
|Bundle and Packaging||96%|
|Value for Money||95%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||97%|
The Bottom Line: Any way you slice it when you bring forth class leading supremacy like be quiet!'s Dark Rock TF does, the cost is irrelevant. With hardly any noise and great results from a top flow designed cooler, we see no reason that you should pass on a cooler such as this.
PRICING: You can find the be quiet! Dark Rock TF CPU Cooler for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United States: The be quiet! Dark Rock TF CPU Cooler retails for $130 at Amazon.
United Kingdom: The be quiet! Dark Rock TF CPU Cooler retails for £61 at Amazon UK.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging]
- Page 3 [be quiet! Dark Rock TF CPU Cooler]
- Page 4 [Accessories and Documentation]
- Page 5 [Installation and Finished Product]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup, Thermal Tests, and Noise Results]
- Page 7 [Final Thoughts]
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