be quiet! Dark Rock 3 Review 8

be quiet! Dark Rock 3 Review

(8 User Comments) »

Value and Conclusion

  • The be quiet! Dark Rock 3 retails for $69.99.
  • Very quiet
  • Great cooling performance
  • Visually stunning
  • Exceptional build quality
  • Ability to mount second fan
  • Good warranty
  • High price
  • Looms over one DIMM slot
  • Sits extremely close to the primary expansion slot
The be quiet! Dark Rock 3 is an exceptional traditional tower cooler. The design may be nothing new, but this is an example of taking it to another level. Let us start with noise levels, or should I say lack thereof? This is the tower cooler to get if silence is your prerogative. Even more impressive is that cooling performance did not suffer in order to keep noise levels down. The Dark Rock 3 offers best-in-class cooling that beats out every other single-fan tower cooler I have tested, which is no small feat, I assure you. Let us not forget that be quiet!'s latest offering does all this while being visually appealing. The attention to detail its dark nickel-plated aluminum fins, brushed aluminum top-plate, and heatpipe caps exhibit make this an attractive design. This is a cooler that can go with any theme a user may have in mind. The Dark Rock 3's build quality is also exceptional and easily on par with the likes of Noctua. Add to that its three year warranty and ability to take a second fan and you have a winning combination.

The issues that come to mind with this cooler are rather generic. At $69.99 / €59.90, its price is a bit rough. It may be best-in-class and have killer looks, but is only 1°C better than Scythe's Ashura cooler, which is far cheaper and comes with better memory clearance. That leads us on to our next point: memory clearance. While decent, it again falls short as the cooler looms over one of the motherboard's DIMM slots. Standard-height memory will fit, but users looking to install flashy memory, like Corsair's Dominator Platinums, will want to stick to two DIMMs instead. The cooler also sits extremely close to the primary expansion slot, which may have the fan clip touch the back of the graphics card, although that depends on the card and your motherboard. Motherboards with a PCIe x1 slot as their first expansion slot should not run into this issue, but it is something to keep in mind.

I am, ultimately, impressed by what the Dark Rock 3 offers. If be quiet! were to only somehow curtail cost a bit while also coming up with a low-profile fan clip, I would recommend the cooler to anyone looking for a mid-range, high-quality cooling solution.
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