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be quiet! Dark Rock TF Review

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be quiet! Dark Rock TF Conclusion:

One word really sums up this cooler - Wow! Just a simple wow! Designed for low profile case applications, the Dark Rock TF hits the mark for a case of any size. You get style and performance in a fairly compact package. It looks good from any angle, and really begs to be shown off in a case with a large side window. It would be a shame to cover it up!

Performance was impressively in the range of a few larger dual-tower air coolers, and not far from a few higher-end liquid coolers. The Dark Rock TF is perfect for your daily driver or an overclocked gaming rig. It easily tackled the heat generated from overclocking in my Phanteks Enthoo Primo test case, which is a very large case with plenty of airflow. I would expect to add a couple degrees for a small case with less airflow. Regardless, the Dark Rock TF proved that it is a worthy opponent in the battle against heat.

An additional benefit of a top flow cooler is that all the air that gets pulled and pushed through the heat sinks gets directed down to the motherboard. The motherboard components, especially the RAM and VRM, get cooled without extra fans. I call that a free ride. A problem often encountered with large tower-style coolers is the interference with the RAM slots. Not with this cooler. The top flow design allows space for RAM with tall heat spreaders in all four slots.

The two SilentWings® 135mm PWM fans move the air quietly. You may not think there can be much in the way of fancy technology in a fan, but a SilentWings® fan is full of advanced engineering that includes a fluid dynamic bearing with a copper core, an advanced six-pole motor, airflow-optimized fan blades, and a dynamically-balanced impeller. Add to that the anti-vibration rubber inserts along the sides of the top heat sink, and you have the recipe for a whisper-quiet system.

The installation is really the only area that I think could use some improvement. While you get compatibility with all the latest AMD and Intel sockets, the cooler mounting is a bit involved and could use a refresh in my opinion. But as I mentioned earlier, most people install a cooler as a one-and-done process. So taking a few extra minutes to install is probably not a big deal for most users.

The low-profile Dark Rock TF proves that reliable air coolers are still relevant. be quiet!'s philosophy of "No Compromise Silence and Performance" highlights its commitment to delivering quality, style, and performance. Coming with a three-year warranty and priced at just under $80, I would say that this cooler is a smart choice.

 

Pros:

  • Great cooling performance
  • Compact, low-profile design
  • Top flow design helps cool motherboard components
  • Quiet, SilentWings® PWM fans
  • Attractive, dark nickel finish
  • Memory clearance
  • Reasonable price
  • Three-year warranty

 

Cons:

  • Installation could be a little easier
OCC Gold



  1. be quiet! Dark Rock TF: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. be quiet! Dark Rock TF: Closer Look (Continued)
  3. be quiet! Dark Rock TF: Specifications & Features
  4. be quiet! Dark Rock TF Testing: Setup & Results
  5. be quiet! Dark Rock TF: Conclusion
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