Installation and Finished Product
If you recall, the screws needed with the Intel backplate had square shapes just under the heads of them, which was followed by a groove, and then the threads. Taking those screws, align the heads of them, so they fit in the cutouts, and then using the rubber O-ring, they are held in place. Not only does it make placement on the motherboard easier, but the O-rings are also the isolation from the motherboard.
Since the screws are captured at this point, you flip over the backplate and slide it through the motherboard holes. Attention to orientation is of no concern, and the plate can be installed in all four directions without an issue.
Flipping the motherboard back over, we took the standoffs with the nylon washer on the bottom of them and tightened them to the screws protruding through the motherboard. We then set the top mounting brackets into place on either side of the socket and used the provided Phillips head screws to lock all of this hardware securely together. At this time, noting should be moving around.
We put some paste on the CPU, set the cooler onto the CPU, and slid the cross-bar through the base. The screws in front are accessible with removal of the fan, but to get to the screw, near the rear I/O panel, the screwdriver has to pass through the tower to affix the tower securely.
After clipping the fan back onto the tower, we are ready to look at what we have going on. We found that the cooler stands tall, and without the need for the fan to be installed absurdly high on the tower, we cleared the RAM on our system without the slightest issue.
For those with RGB RAM, or those with fancy designed heat spreaders, they will be in full view while using the Shadow Rock 3. Not only does it ride taller, but the offset design has everything lined up well outside of the "no-no" zone for memory clearance and access.
As we step back, we see that adding a second fan is feasible, but will infringe on access to the 8-pin connector, especially in a typical mid-tower chassis. As it sits, it is doable, but if you have the option, connect that 8-pin to the motherboard, then install it into the chassis. The bent fin at the bottom is no fault of Be Quiet, we tried to stand the tower without the fan on it, and it fell. We did realign it before testing!
Finally, back to what we feel is the money-shot for the Shadow Rock 3! We are back to all of that brushed aluminum with the high contrast of natural aluminum and black, and the added angles and bends take it beyond what we typically see. We had full access to the motherboard screws, and it stays away from the first PCI-e slot, even with the fan clips considered.