be quiet Dark Rock TF Top Flow Review

The Build

be quiet Dark Rock TF Review

The Build

Although the instructions weren't that helpful, the build process was simple enough.  Having selected the correct hardware from the bag of AMD and Intel brackets, it's a simple case of attaching them to the flanges at the base of the heat sink.  The corresponding bolts are then either screwed to the motherboard itself, or passed through to the supplied universal back plate.

be quiet Dark Rock TF Review     be quiet Dark Rock TF Review


Big tower coolers, and in particular top down coolers usually fill us with a sense of dread, as by their bulky nature they can be a pain in the anus to fit.  As suspected, access to the nuts was severely limited and although a spanner is provided it's quite flimsy and in the end we found ourselves heading off to the garage to get a proper one.  With this done, and with the little bit more reach and better fit a proper spanner provided the cooler actually went on quite easily, although we did have to remove the RAM and access the upper nuts and bolts through the top of the case.  If you're doing a fresh build, we'd highly recommend fitting the cooler to the motherboard before fitting the motherboard into the case.

be quiet Dark Rock TF Review     be quiet Dark Rock TF Review


Although not tall, as a result of the 135mm fans and heatsink bulk, the TF is quite wide.  Thankfully it's designed so as to expand upwards from the base which enables it to clear standard RAM by quite a margin.  The width might be an issue though depending on the location of your first PCI slot.  If however you're using the TF as part of an integrated graphics solution this won't be a problem.

be quiet Dark Rock TF Review     be quiet Dark Rock TF Review


With the TF in our trusty Cooler Master "Test Trooper" it's time to start the famous torture test process.  A TDP of 220W should see us getting some great results, but we still have a niggling feeling that although there's plenty of fan, there's just not enough fin stack to get the job done

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Most Recent Comments

25-06-2015, 14:19:37

It's a shame it performs poorly out of the box. Mainly due to the fans? I wonder how the single fan configuration performs, these down-draft coolers are great for height restricted HTPC / SFF builds.

I've got a NH-C14 that matches the NH-D14 nearly step for step on a 3960X workstation at work. Wouldn't the Be Quiet TF cooler look nice with some Noctua NF-A14's or NF-P14's strapped on there? I bet those temps would drop a tad too.

They should have followed Noctuas lead and put in some fin stack pass-throughs to allow easy access to the mounting kit.

25-06-2015, 14:30:54

Well most of these top down units are not realy for ultamate oc'ing there more for the budget mobo's that dont have mosfet heatsinks such as a lot of the budget FM2/+ mobos that can overclock, but you will still see in the manufactures notes that a top down heat sink is recommended.Quote

25-06-2015, 15:39:33

I'd say the price range of these places it out of the budget territory that something like the Zalman CNPS series or CM GeminII cover.Quote

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