be quiet! Dark Rock TF Reviewred454 -
Category: CPU Cooling
» Discuss this article (0)
be quiet! Dark Rock TF Introduction:
be quiet! has an established line of traditional tower style coolers that share the "Rock" name across the product field. The Dark Rock series is at the top, being the most robust and capable, followed by the Shadow Rock and finally the Pure Rock. Down flow (or top flow) coolers are certainly nothing new, and be quiet! has expanded the Dark Rock series to include the Dark Rock TF, which is of course, a top flow cooler. These low profile coolers are an attractive option for anyone who needs maximum cooling, but has space limitations. In addition to the reliability of an air cooler, another big plus is that this style of cooler pulls air down through the fin stack(s) and directs it to the motherboard and all the components. This goes a long way toward keeping your chipset, RAM, VRM, and other motherboard components cool without adding extra fans.
The Dark Rock TF is a brute of a cooler, boasting 220W TDP (Thermal Design Power) and using two nickel-plated aluminum heat sinks and two SilentWings® 135mm PWM fans to remove the heat. This opens the door for those who would like to overclock in a smaller case. Built for low profile computer cases, the Dark Rock TF steps up where typical tower coolers just can't fit. And be quiet! knows how to get the job done while keeping the noise to a minimum, as the company name suggests.
be quiet! Dark Rock TF Closer Look:
The packaging for the be quiet! Dark Rock TF comes in the standard be quiet! black background with orange text highlights, showing a nice view of the cooler on the front panel. At the top right there is the easily recognizable be quiet! logo. Below the image is: the name of the cooler, "Dark Rock TF"; the catch phrase, "No Compromise Silence And Performance"; and finally that this cooler is rated for an impressive 220W thermal load.
The side panels follow through with the same black background and show the general features in six languages and a brief listing of awards. The top of the box is somewhat basic - no pictures; just the model, TDP rating, and logo standing out. The rear of the package is really packed with information. It shows a technical drawing of the cooler, the specifications, and descriptions of the pertinent features, such as cooler and fan specs and some interesting information about the 6-Pole fan motor.
There is also a note about be quiet! that I think is worth repeating here because it summarizes what be quiet! is all about: "be quiet! is a premium brand of PC power supplies, PC cases and cooling solutions as well as the consistent PSU market leader in Germany since 2007. All conception, design and testing is done with a German passion for quality and precision at our headquarters in Germany. Innovative engineering concepts, premium materials and world-class quality make be quiet! products among the most silent, reliable and powerful available."
When you open the box, the first thing you see is the box containing one of the two included 135mm SilentWings® fans. After you get the first fan out of the box, you can see the cooler, which is enclosed in a soft, protective foam shell. be quiet! does an excellent job of packaging its products. Below the cooler is the second fan and hardware box.
Here is a better look at the foam enclosure that keeps the Dark Rock TF in pristine condition. Rough handling during shipment? Not a problem. It looks like it can take a beating from any direction and come out unscathed. It is actually composed of several pieces of soft foam strategically glued together to form the protective shell. Like I said, be quiet! put some real effort into its packaging.
Inside the hardware box is a full array of components for either an AMD or an Intel installation across all the current sockets. Included are four fan clips for the two SilentWings® fans, a small syringe of thermal paste, a fan splitter, and the back plate. Expanding a bit on the mounting brackets, be quiet! supplies some very nice, top-notch components. The stamping quality of the brackets and machining quality of the fasteners are excellent. You also get a little wrench to help out with the installation.
Now it is time to look at the cooler in more detail and see how it stacks up against the heat!