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be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 & Shadow Rock Slim CPU Cooler Review

Manufacturer: be quiet!

Introduction and Technical Specifications


be quiet! is a relative new comer to the US computer component market with an award-winning reputation for high quality power supplies and components in their native Germany. Recently, they have branched out into the highly competive cooling space with their Dark Rock and Shadow Rock cooler lines. The Dark Rock Pro 3 is the newest member of their Dark Rock cooler line, featuring a massive dual tower radiator and dual fan design. The Shadow Rock Slim is a recent addition to their Shadow Rock line, featuring a smaller footprint single radiator design to maximize motherboard compatibility with the cooler. The Dark Rock Pro 3 comes with a premium MSRP of $89.99, while the Shadown Rock Slim is available at an MSRP of $49.99.

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As a flagship solution, the Dark Rock Pro 3 cooler has most of the nice to haves to find on top-end coolers from other manufactures - copper base plate and heat pipes, nickel plating on all copper surfaces, thick dual radiator construction, dual fans, and a massive amount of heat pipes to wick the heat away from the CPU surface as fast as possible. be quiet! developed the cooler using dual fans, a 120mm front fan and a 135mm inner fan. Heat is transfered from the copper base plate to the dual aluminum radiators by a dense array of seven copper heat pipes. All surfaces are nickel coated for corrosion protection and scratch resistance with the nickel plating black colored to give the cooler a sleek and menacing appearance.

Continue reading our review of the be quiet! CPU air coolers!

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The Shadow Rock Slim CPU cooler consists of a thick radiator cooled by a single 135mm fan. The cooler's radiator is aluminum, fed via four copper heat pipes threaded through the unit's copper base. While the heat pipes are bare copper, the base plate if nickel plated for corrosion and scratch resistance.

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Both coolers contain be quiet's standard cooler mounting kit, compatible with both Intel and AMD systems. Also included are a wrench to install the mounting kit to the motherboard and thermal paste for the CPU surface.

Technical Specifications (taken from the be quiet! website)

Cooler Specifications
  Dark Rock Pro 3 Shadow Rock Slim
Overall dimensions without mounting material (L x W x H), (mm) 150 x 137 x 163 74 x 137 x 161
Total weight (kg) 1.197 0.73
TDP (W) 250 160
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
1 x SilentWings PWM 135mm
Overall noise level (dB(A)) @ 50/75/100% (rpm) 13.2 / 19.5 / 26.1 11.5 / 18.7 / 23.7
Warranty (Years) 3
Heatsink specifications
  Dark Rock Pro 3 Shadow Rock Slim
Dimensions (L x W x D), (mm) 123 x 133 x 163 52 x 130 x 161
Number of fins 90 52
Fin material Aluminum
Base material Copper
CPU contact surface CNC machined
Heatpipe number, Diameter (mm) 7, 6 4, 6
Surface treatment Aluminum / Dark nickel-plated None
General fan specifications
  Dark Rock Pro 3 Shadow Rock Slim
Fan dimensions (mm) 135 x 135 x 22
120 x 120 x 25
135 x 135 x 22
Speed @ 100% PWM (rpm) 1400
Air flow @ 12V (cfm, m3/h) 67.8, 113.8
57.2, 93.3
67.8, 113.8
Air pressure @ 12V (mm H2O) 2.1 / 1.23
Bearing type Fluid Dynamic Bearing Rifle
Rated voltage (V) 12
Input current (A) 0.11
Input power (W) 1.56
Connector 4-pin PWM
Cable length (mm) 200mm (135mm)
250mm (120mm)
Lifespan (h / 25°C) 300,000 80,000


October 7, 2014 | 04:45 PM - Posted by Lance Ripplinger (not verified)

Great review Morry! I always like looking at reviews on after market CPU coolers. I hate stock CPU coolers, so it is nice to see detailed reviews such as these. I use the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO in my client builds. Its a bummer you didn't have one to test against the Shadow Rock Slim, but that would just be to satisfy my selfish curiosity anyway.

October 7, 2014 | 05:32 PM - Posted by pdjblum

Thanks Morry. Only wish you would have included the recent noctua performance numbers in the tables. Don't you think it makes sense to include the numbers from all the previous coolers tested in each subsequent review?

October 7, 2014 | 05:38 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

That's a good point that I'll take under advisement.  Can't include all previously tested coolers b/c the data get overwhelming, but can include additional air coolers in the comparison list.


October 7, 2014 | 10:10 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'd be happy to see that. 20 would be too much, but you could definitely add a few more, especially comparably priced coolers.

October 7, 2014 | 10:22 PM - Posted by StewartGraham (not verified)

I too would like to see a few "competitive" air coolers and perhaps the inclusion of ONE CCL cooler (for reference and benchmark comparison) - something like an H100i 240mm radiator or something.


Stewart Graham

October 7, 2014 | 10:26 PM - Posted by StewartGraham (not verified)

When I say "a few" I suppose I really mean more like 5-6.

October 7, 2014 | 07:12 PM - Posted by Mav'Erik

Just want to add my voice to the Noctua comparison recommendation. It seems as though Noctua's products are the main competition for these coolers.

October 8, 2014 | 11:58 AM - Posted by fade2blac

I agree with providing some additional coolers to provide a better sense of scale and perspective. Any results obtained depend on the specific testing methods used and are therefore inherently relative. This makes it hard to place the relative merits of a given cooler without a bit more context.

I like that you included the SilverArrow which has remained a benchmark for what I would consider high-end air cooling. Since this site is geared towards enthusiasts, I don't know that I would add stock coolers, but perhaps one or two aftermarket solutions in the $40 or less range? For example, it seems like every time I have seen the Hyper 212 EVO included in a list of results it displays respectable performance even compared to these high end coolers. I would suggest a couple of "baseline" reference points, such as the Hyper 212 EVO, which represent more mainstream and pragmatic cooling solutions.

December 7, 2014 | 10:41 AM - Posted by Topjet (John) (not verified)

Yes you always need a CM Hyper 212 EVO in the bench marks, lets us low end boy know where we stand, lol
The slim looks like a good entry level cooler like the 212 but only cost $30 right now a newegg.

August 3, 2015 | 04:20 PM - Posted by biogon (not verified)

It's too late. I bought the slim version and mounted on a cpu AMD AM3+ you have to turn it 90º upwards. Thus the "slim" function does not take advantage and can not be used the first two positions of the RAM. You ought to have warned us. What a mess!

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