be quiet! has impressed me with just about every product I have checked out so far, and their emphasis on silence has held up to their claims each time too. The Dark Rock TF I reviewed last summer was part of their high end Dark Rock series of CPU coolers, with a top-bottom style cooler for small cases but still having two separate heatsink stacks. There was something bigger that be quiet! offered at the time, and it was (and still currently is) their current flagship CPU cooler- a twin tower, dual fan cooler intended to go up against other coolers including the Cryorig R1, the Phanteks PH-TC14PE, and the Noctua NH-D15 along with dual radiator style liquid coolers. Enter then the Dark Rock Pro 3, and thanks again to be quiet! for sending the review sample.
Let’s begin by taking a look at the specs from the product page:
I have mentioned this before, and I will say it again- everyone needs to learn from be quiet! and offer extensive specifications and details on their products online. Adding to all the textual information is also a technical drawing with dimensions listed for those wanting to check for case and component compatibility with the cooler. This is a massive cooler, there is no denying that. It is in the ~160-180 mm height category and weighing ~1.2 Kg which means a lot of mid-tower cases will not be able to accommodate this. On the flip side, be quiet! rates the Dark Rock Pro 3 for a cooling capacity of 250 W TDP and so this is a case of you wanting to match up your cooling needs with the heat generated by your CPU. Do not bother using this for a ~65-90 W TDP CPU as there are other offerings from be quiet! and others that will do the job well and at lower prices/better compatibility. This is for higher power 4-6-8-10 core systems with room for overclocking as well. This is not a replacement for the Intel stock cooler as much as it being a be all, need all type cooler that will carry on from system to system provided socket compatibility is not a concern.
Speaking of which, the Dark Rock Pro 3 is compatible with every mainstream socket from Intel and AMD that you can still buy parts for (no, LGA 2011 narrow ILM is not a mainstream socket). It comes with two fans, but not the same type which is interesting and definitely something we will check out soon. With aluminum fins, copper base plate and heatpipes (all 7 of them) it is a beefy product and the two included fans have FDB bearings (although the exact type would have been nice to know) which end up being the sole points of failure. As such, be quiet! provides 3 years of warranty here which I feel is understated and would merit an increase to 5 years considering the nature of the product. be quiet! is proud of their fans, and rates them with a life span of 300, 000 hours at 25 °C. Is 5 years (<50, 000 hours non stop) too much to ask? Let’s see if the cooler as a whole makes up for this as we begin with a good look on the next page.