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Review: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3

by Parm Mann on 15 April 2014, 17:30

Tags: be-quiet

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacddj

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Specification and Test Methodology

To put CPU cooler performance into perspective we're benchmarking using a high-end Intel Haswell test platform. A detailed description of the CPU cooler being reviewed, our test platform and all comparison coolers can be found in the tables below.

be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 Specification

Main Specification
Overall dimensions without mounting material (L x W x H), (mm) 150 x 137 x 163
Total weight (kg) 1.197
TDP (W) 250
Socket compatibility Intel: LGA 775 / 1150 / 1155 / 1156 / 1366 / 2011
AMD: 754 / 939 / 940 / AM2 (+) / AM3 (+) / FM1 / FM2 (+)
Fan model, number 1 x SilentWings PWM 120mm, 1 x SilentWings PWM 135mm
Overall noise level (dB(A)) @ 50/75/100% (rpm) 13.2 / 19.5 / 26.1
Heatsink specifications
Dimensions (L x W x D), (mm) 123 x 133 x 163
Number of fins 90
Fin material Aluminium
Base material Copper
CPU contact surface CNC machined
Heatpipe number, Diameter (mm) 7, 6
Surface treatment Aluminium / Dark nickel-plated
General fan specifications
Fan dimensions (mm) 135 x 135 x 22 / 120 x 120 x 25
Speed @ 100% PWM (rpm) 1400 / 1700
Air flow @ 12V (cfm, m3/h) 67.8, 113.8 ; 57.2, 93.3
Air pressure @ 12V (mm H2O) 2.1 / 1.23
Bearing type Fluid Dynamic Bearing
Rated voltage (V) 12
Input current (A) 0.11 / 0.20
Input power (W) 1.56 / 2.40
Connector 4-pin PWM
Cable length (mm) 200mm (135mm); 250mm (120mm)
Lifespan (h / 25┬░C) 300.000
Thermal grease (g) Corning TC-5121 / 1
User manual languages DE, EN, FR, ES, PL
Warranty (Years) 3

Test Bench

Processor Intel Core i7-4770K
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD3H
Memory 16GB Corsair Vengeance Pro (2x8GB) DDR3 @ 1,866MHz
Graphics Card Palit GeForce GTX 770 OC 2GB
Storage Device Crucial M500 240GB SSD
Power Supply Corsair AX760i
Chassis Corsair Graphite Series 600T
Monitor Philips Brilliance 272P (2,560x1,440)
Operating System Windows 8.1 (64-bit)

Comparison Coolers

  Fan(s) Fan speed Radiator dimensions Heatsink dimensions (inc. fans) Warranty
be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 1x SilentWings 120mm
1x SilentWings 135mm
Up to 1,700 RPM - Height: 163mm
Width: 137mm
Depth: 150mm
3 Years
Corsair Hydro Series H75 2x Corsair SP120L 120mm 800 RPM - 2,000 RPM Width: 120mm
Height: 152mm
Depth: 25mm
- 5 Years
Corsair Hydro Series H105 2x Corsair SP120L 120mm 800 RPM - 2,700 RPM Width: 120mm Height: 270mm Depth: 35mm - 5 Years
Deepcool GamerStorm Lucifer 1x GamerStorm 140mm 700 RPM - 1,400 RPM - Height: 168mm
Width: 140mm
Depth: 136mm
2 Years
Intel Reference E97378-001 Intel PWM 92mm 1,200 RPM - 2,800 RPM - Height: 50mm
Width: 92mm
Depth: 92mm
1 Year

Benchmark Process

To get a feel for how well all of the above coolers compare, we start by running our Core i7-4770K at its default frequency and use HandBrake to encode a large 4K video clip, putting full load on all four cores/eight threads. Temperature is logged throughout the duration of this workload and in order to provide a stabilised reading we then calculate an average temperature across all cores from the last few minutes of encoding.

We then repeat the same test, only this time with the Core i7-4770K processor overclocked to a modest 4.4GHz, with voltage increased from 1.175V to 1.225V.

Actual CPU temperature is recorded, but to take into account any temperature fluctuations in our lab, we also graph the delta temperature - that's CPU temperature minus ambient temperature. And, last but not least, to give you an idea of cooler acoustics, we use a PCE-318 noise meter to measure overall system noise in both idle and load states.


Our Corsair Graphite Series 600T chassis is set to run with all three pre-installed fans; a 200mm front intake; a 200mm top exhaust; and a 120mm rear exhaust. All chassis fans are set to run as 'silent' from within the Gigabyte BIOS, while the CPU cooler is set to a 'normal' profile.

Each cooler is configured for optimum performance as per the manufacturer's recommendations, and any fans connected to a radiator are configured to draw air in from outside the chassis (hereby ensuring that the delta between the air temperature and the temperature of the radiator is maximised).