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be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 CPU Cooler Review - A winner in terms of performance and quietness?

By: Chad Sebring | CPU Air Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Feb 15, 2014 5:59 am
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: be quiet!

be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 CPU Cooler




Our first view of the Dark Rock Pro 3 stares the cooler right in the face. At this point, what we see is the 120mm SilentWing PWM fan that initiates the airflow into this cooler. The seven grooved blades allow for the rated specification of flow and pressure, yet still allow the fan to run in near silent operation.




With that fan removed, we see the face of the fins feature a saw-tooth pattern, and at the top there are an additional three fins that are smaller, but lend to the shape of the top plate. You also find rubber strips on either side, to keep the fan isolated from the cooler, and remove vibrations and chatter.




Looking at things from the right, we see that the fans attach with wire clips via groves in both towers. There are actually two grooves in each tower to allow you to reverse the air flow, or even add a third fan to this beast.




The back of the cooler is very interesting as well, with the staggered pattern of groups of three fins. While this doesn't not offer much of a benefit with just two fans on the cooler, if a third is added, it does offer spacing to allow the fan to use all of its potential, rather than being cut short by a flat, even layering of fins.




Looking at it from the left side, we can see that at the top there are screws running through the fins to hold on the top plate, rather than closing off the sides. There are only tabs to equally space the fins, and the 135mm fan in the middle just barely fits from the top of the base to the top plate.




From this view, you can get a good look at the black brushed aluminium top plate. You can also see that the center is raised to go around the smaller set of three fins. You should also notice that instead of the previous triangle arrangement of the pipes on the sides, this time around they are more evenly spread across its width for more efficient heat transfer from all of the pipes.




After removing the center fan, and looking at things much closer, you can see that the top of the heat sink (the aluminium section) has been formed into a passive heat sink. While this does not do a tremendous amount of pre-cooling, any pre-cooling is advantageous to the thermal results.




Here, we can see that there are seven pipes coming from the base, and just how tight they have to bend or twist to get in this alignment, which is better spaced than the alignment the Dark Rock Pro 2 had. Also, we can now see the dimpling applied to each of the fins in the stack to create better airflow across their surfaces, and raise the efficiency in this design.




The base of copper has been machine milled, and is very flat across the majority of its surface where it will be making contact with your processor. Once it is milled, it is then nickel plated, and the user is left with a very finely polished surface to work with.

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