be quiet! Shadow Rock LP Review 0

be quiet! Shadow Rock LP Review

Value and Conclusion

  • The be quiet! Shadow Rock LP has an MSRP of $49.99.
  • Extremely quiet
  • Good build quality
  • Flexible mounting orientation
  • Easy to install
  • Solid warranty
  • Performance on overclocked system is lacking
  • Overhangs DIMM slots in its default orientation
  • Documentation makes no note of the cooler's other possible orientations
The Shadow Rock LP from be quiet! is without a doubt a solid option for a small form factor system, and all the better if that system also happens to be a HTPC since be quiet!'s cooler is extremely quiet. With a maximum of 39 decibels with the fan at its maximum RPM, it ties for the quietest cooler tested. It doesn't hurt that be quiet! followed up on the low noise with solid build quality. While not advertised, the cooler can also be installed in a few different orientations, making it rather flexible in that regard, at least on socket LGA1150 boards. Thanks to its small size, installing it is also rather quick and painless, which is always a huge bonus. No one likes cooler's that are hard to seat properly. Finally, the solid three year warranty, while not the longest, is a nice touch as well. Overall, there is a lot to like.

I can only think of a few glaring issues that come to mind. The first is the Shadow Rock LP's performance with the CPU overclocked. Granted, this is more of a CPU/IHS issue than a cooler issue, but it is still a problem since LGA1150 is the mainstream socket. The only other issue that comes to mind is the lack of memory clearance in the cooler's default configuration. This, however, can somewhat be compensated for by changing the cooler's orientation. Still, perfect clearance is not guaranteed, so stick to standard-height memory to be safe.

Overall, the be quiet! Shadow Rock LP is a solid low profile cooler for small form factor and home-theater PCs. It does, however, fail to hold up against cheaper single-tower designs. While they may not be as small-form-factor friendly, which will also depend on the case, they are more economical. While I liked the inclusion of a standard 120 mm x 25 mm fan, I would have liked to see greater surface area via larger fins for better cooling, which I know to be possible. That said, I still like the be quiet! Shadow Rock LP; it just doesn't manage to wow me.

If you are looking for ultra-low noise levels and better-than-stock performance for an SFF or HTPC, the be quiet! Shadow Rock LP could just be what you are looking for.