bequiet Dark Rock 3 Review
Up Close: The Cooler
The Dark Rock 3 comes with a 135mm Silent Wings fan already fitted, Experience has shown these fans to be more than a bit effective, and certainly very quiet indeed. The fan overlaps the fin stack very slightly at the bottom, but as we'll see when we come to look at the base plate there's good reason for this. The fan is also de coupled from the fin stack by rubber isolations which should serve to reduce Noise vibration harshness. bequiet also supply an additional set of spring clips which combine with the grooves on the fin stack to enable an additional fan to be added as an extract at the rear
The Aluminium fin stack comprises of 51 elements with bequiet claiming that "Improved dynamic wave-contour cooling fins with enhanced cooling area and small dots on the surface increase air circulation and contribute to high convection efficiency without raising overall noise" We've heard marketing talk like this before and to be honest tend to roll our eyes somewhat when we hear it. Still, they may be onto something so best we try to keep a slightly open mind. bequiet have also opted for an open fin stack design unlike the semi closed system seen on the recently reviewed Noctua D15.
As with the Pro 3 the top of the Rock 3 is resplendent in it's billeted Aluminium glory. bequiet have also waved goodbye to neat heat pipe crimps, upping the ante with milled effect caps to each of the pipe ends. They've also added their logo to the centre of the plate, again, unfortunately in such a way as it will appear on its side when the cooler is mounted.
The Dark Rock 3 has a total of 6 x 6mm heat pipes running up through the fin stack. The quality of work down here is good, with no evidence of solder spatter or bad Nickel plating of the highly reflective Copper base plate. In an attempt to wring every bit of cooling out of the Dark Rock3 bequiet have also added cooling fins directly to the upper side of the Contact plate. These, when combined with the slight overlap of the 135mm fan should serve to add more to the party than simple decoration. As a certain supermarket says, every little helps.