What’s goin on guys, Jerry Neutron here and I’m finally back with some PC hardware. Today we’re gonna take a look at this new CPU cooler by be quiet! This is the Dark Rock TF. A high-end top-flow cooler designed for compact systems where you can’t quite fit that tower cooler but still want a good mix between performance and noise.
As you can see, this is a dual heatsink design with 6 nickel plated heatpipes and two 135mm Silent Wings fans. I actually like the look of this cooler a lot. The nickel plating and aluminum caps really give this thing a premium feel.
Both fans have sleeved cables and 4-pin connectors, there’s also these anti-vibration mounts to help keep noise at a minimum.
be quiet! also provides all of your mounting hardware for pretty much all modern day consumer boards so it’ll work with socket 1150, 1155, 2011(-3) on the Intel side and AM3+ and FM2(+) for AMD.
Dimension-wise this thing with fans included is 162.6mm x 140 x 130.8. So you aren’t going to go putting this into a small home theatre PC case but if you have like a cube shaped case that’s wide but doesn’t have a lot of height clearance this may be something to consider. And just for comparison-sake, a Hyper 212 EVO is 159mm in height.
Moving on to the installation, the actual install process went fine for the most part. I do highly recommend removing your motherboard from the case though to make it easier. The one big issue I had is some of the heat pipes hang over the RAM slot closest to the CPU. Luckily I only have two sticks of RAM so I was able to move them over one slot but if you have a micro-ATX board with all 4 RAM slots full this may cause problems for you. Also rotating the cooler 90* degrees didn’t work either because the cooler would block the first PCI-E slot.
Now in terms of RAM clearance, I have plenty of room with my G.Skill Ares sticks although they are low profile. Somewhat taller RAM should be okay to use here too. And if for any reason you still have clearance issues you can remove the lower fan although be quiet! only rates the cooler for 150W TDP with a single fan installed vs 220W with both installed.
So anyway, with this thing installed lets check out the temps. Right now this is installed on a 95W AMD A10-5800K which is overclocked to run at 4.2GHz @1.41V at all times. I know it’s not the greatest CPU but that’s okay because we’re just comparing temps here.
So at idle we can see it was resting nicely at 42*C which is not bad, as you can see I had the same results with the Dark Rock Pro 3.
And after about 25min. of Prime95 the highest load temp I saw was 59*C. Also keep in mind that it’s summer time where I live so temps of course will be a little lower in cooler climates.
Noise was not much of an issue at idle or load either. I like what be quiet! has done here which is throw in two larger 135mm fans running at a relatively low RPM rather than a single 120 running at a high RPM. It’s a good way to keep up the airflow and cooling without annoying the hell out of you.
Overall, I’m pretty impressed with this cooler. It’s perfect for someone who prefers a good balance between noise and performance. I actually kinda like the way this looks over a large tower cooler as well because I can actually see my motherboard. The only thing they need to do is tighten up the radius on those heat pipes and they’ll be good.
So that’s about it guys! Let me know what you think of this style cooler down below. Would you run one of these over a tower cooler? If so, why or why not?
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