be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 2 Reviewccokeman - June 30, 2013
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be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 2 Conclusion:
Looking at the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 2, it presents an imposing stance with its massive dual tower design and black out color scheme. Just from a looks standpoint the Dark Rock Pro 2 is as good looking a CPU cooler as you will find on the market. The top of each of the seven heat pipes are capped with a cover to eliminate the crimped and soldered ends of the heat pipes that invariably stick up from the top of most of the current generation heat pipe-equipped cooling solutions. If you have a chassis with a windowed side panel the view is improved drastically.
Looks are one thing, but when you get down to it a heat sink needs to do one thing really well, dissipate the thermal load generated by the processor and discharge it out into the case airflow to be carried out of the chassis by the case fans. This the Dark Rock Pro 2 does well. The current crop of heavy hitter CPUs from AMD are in the 125 to 130 watt TDP range at stock speeds. We all know this tends to skyrocket as additional voltage is added to stabilize the target clock speed on the CPU. Be quiet!'s Dark Rock Pro 2 comes with a massive 220W capacity to deliver a solution that can keep up with today's CPUs. Again it does this without the noise impact of many high end air cooling solutions, keeping temperatures better than just about every heat sink I have tested with cooling performance bordering on the thermals delivered by some high end self-contained liquid cooling solutions.
Installing the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 2 is fairly simple for a large by huge dual tower heat sink. The robust back plate is insulated and can be used with all the socket types supported, including those from AMD as well as Intel. I have seen a myriad of mounting solutions and this one is a little bit unique in that it uses spacers to clip on the mounting screws to hold them in place during installation. The clips also act as the spacer so that you get a good repeatable solid mount rather than having to guess if you got the tension on the CPU correct. Once installed it is not going anywhere. The two SilentWings PWM fans are staggered with a 120mm on the front with a 135mm fan used between the towers to help with memory compatibility. Unfortunately my Mushkin test memory feature the Ridgeback heat shields that are just tall enough to create a clearance concern. Putting in a set equipped with the lower profile Frostbyte heat shield eliminates the installation concern, allowing the user to populate all of the DIMM slots. You may see different results depending on the motherboard and DRAM modules used depending on the slot and socket placement on the PCB.
Be quiet!'s SilentWings PWM fans feature a unique wave pattern that is said to reduce turbulence and the associated noise signature to deliver superb cooling and a low noise profile. In my testing the fans were inaudible, leading me to verify they were running before throwing a Prime 95 load on the Dark Rock Pro 2. Each fan features a rubber ring around the circumference of the air tunnel that isolates the fan to further reduce the noise signature. All in the name of quiet performance.
Be quiet! provides the user with a three-year warranty to go along with the stunningly good looks and impressive engineering behind the performance. Priced at around $100, it is at the upper end of the spectrum but has the performance and engineering to back it up, much like a few of the other leading dual tower designs on the market. If water cooling is outside your comfort zone the Dark Rock Pro 2 should be able to handle the load.
- Dead silent
- Massive size
- Fan design
- Cooling capacity
- Three-year warranty
- AMD & Intel socket compatibility
- Memory clearance