be quiet! Shadow Rock 3 CPU Cooler
Looking at the face of the shadow Rock 3, our gut reaction is that this looks like a lot of other tower coolers out there, but then we looked a bit closer. The base of the cooler is thick and beefy, and the pipes are plated and take gently bends from the base and into the fin stack. What we found most unusual was the fan, and its open frame corners, not something we recall from them in other samples.
Once the fan is removed, we see that the Shadow Rock 3 is much different than the standard offering. With four channels running top to bottom, we also see that the edges of the fins are angled inward, which reminds of the Megahalems design, but Be Quiet kept it a single tower, rather than removing the middle bits of fins.
From the side of the tower, we see a few things right away. The tower is offset for memory clearance, and all of the fife pipes are shifted as well so that they can utilize the thickness of this fin array. We can see that the fan clips attach to the side of the tower, and we can see that there is a cover plate atop the tower.
From the back, we see the open edge of the top cover made of thicker aluminum than the fins. As to the fins, the shape is the same as we saw on the front, but the center is cut a bit deeper to allow a screwdriver to pass through the stack.
There are thirty fins in the stack, including the top plate, and each of them is kept equidistant with the use of two rows of supporting tabs on either side of the tower. While you may have to go back to the image above for comparison, you will notice that the pipes go to different locations in the tower than they did in our other side view.
While we are a huge fan of the Be Quiet "murdered-out" look on many of their towers, this view does it for us when it comes to aesthetic appeal! The entire top cover can be removed with the four Allen screws in the corners, but it is designed not to be needed. All of that brushed aluminum sexiness and the contrast of the natural with the black is terrific. Also, notice the hole, which allows the screwdriver to go through the tower, as we mentioned earlier.
The base of the cooler is made of aluminum, left in its natural state, and is machined to be a pre-cooler, which is grooved in the middle to allow a cross-bar mounting bracket.
The contact area is made up of the thin aluminum strips between the heat pipes, which have thermal paste between them and the aluminum. Once together, the entire surface is machined in a semi-circular pattern, which is left as the finished surface. It is nearly dead level, and we see no significant gaps as we do with other manufacturers' products at times.