Chad's CPU Cooler Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus VIII HERO (Intel Z170) - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- CPU: Intel Core i7 6700K - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Memory: Patriot Viper 4 3000MHz 4X4GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Graphics Card: MSI GeForce GTX 1060 6GB OC - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Storage: Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Case: INWIN D-Frame - Read our review
- Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower DPS 1050W - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit - Buy from Amazon
- Software: RealTemp 3.70, AIDA64 Engineer 5.75.3900, and CPU-z 1.77.0 x64
To see our testing methodology and to find out what goes into making our charts, please refer to our CPU Cooler Testing and Methodology article (October 2016) for more information.
Visually, at 59-degrees, it looks bad for the Shadow Rock 3, but looking at the company it keeps in the chart, it adds a brighter note to the outcome. While not the best $50 solution we have tested, it still beats many more expensive options and is only 4 degrees behind the Ninja 5, which is the current top place holder in air cooling.
Again, near the bottom of the chart, but at 75-degrees, we have 25-degrees before the throttle point. It will do! Compared to the best air cooler in this chart, the Le Grand Macho RT, we are now 5.25 degrees out of the top spot.
Allowing the fans to spin freely with maximum voltage, we did gain a bit of efficiency, and this is with just 38 or 39 CFM of airflow through the tower, with little pressure to back it. We feel this design has more to give, but the choice to stay silent with the fan we have, it is not easily accessible.
Noise Level Results
Our fan idled at 500 RPM with stock settings, but during the testing, it climbed to 870 RPM. At this time, we took a reading and saw 27 dB, which is inaudible to most users, and when inside of an enclosure, hard to discern from chassis cooling or the PSU fan.
At the higher-end of the PWM curve, while running the overclocked test, we saw the fans turning at 1160 RPM. This time the noise increased slightly to 30 dB, still at the low-end of audibility, and will be perfect for anyone looking for a silent air cooling option for their CPU.
We found out why the PWM curve stopped so low in the range of RPM, and it was due to noise levels. Hard to sell a cooler built by BE Quiet and allow the fans to deliver the 39 dB we saw powering the fan with 12V. While not a horrible amount of noise to deal with, for us, we should note that the fan was also spinning above spec, at 1750 RPM, which does fall within the plus or minus ten percent, or 200 to 300 RPM swings mentioned with fan specifications.