bequiet Dark Rock 3 Review

Performance and Testing

bequiet Dark Rock 3 Review

Performance and Testing

Intel i7 3960X [email protected] 1.1v (undervolted) 4.0GHz @ 1.25v 4.4GHz @ 1.35v 4.6GHz @ 1.45v Gigabyte X79 UD3 Corsair Vengeance LP Memory Corsair HX850 V2 Corsair Force GT 60GB Coolermaster Storm Trooper. 

The graphs are now in jpeg format for all the mobile device users out there and are placed in order with the best performing at the top so as to help better visualise where the cooler we're testing comes in the pack.

As usual we'll be testing our coolers at varying levels of overclock and increasing levels of voltage.  This in turn of course means increasing levels of heat which the coolers need to dissipate.  To begin with we start with the undervolted stock speed.  Why undervolted? well if you have things set on "Auto", you may well be using more volts than are actually required to run at the chosen frequency, for example our 3960s will run quite happily at just 1.1volts, solid as a rock, 24/7, and as such we use this as our starting point.

Continuity is very important in testing, and for this reason we keep as many of the potential variables as locked down as possible.  We will be using OCCT in Linpack X64, AVX compatible with all logical cores tested and 90% free memory utilised. The test is set up to run automatically with just a few clicks to set it going.  A 10 minute idle followed by 30 minutes of testing and a 5 minute cool down is the order of the day and brings the total test time per clock speed to 45 minutes.  So as to remove subjectivity in determining whether a CPU has failed, OCCT is set to stop the test and register a fail should the max temp exceed 80 degrees.  In testing we noted that if even just one of the cores exceeds 82 degrees OCCT halts the test and a fail is recorded.

The Dark Rock 3 comes in about mid chart which is about par for the course for a cooler of this size. Although it is actually quite close in performance terms to its bigger, twin fanned brother, the Pro 3.  Onwards and upwards then...

bequiet Dark Rock 3 Review

 

Turning now to the 4GHz test we up the voltage to 1.25 volts, this is what is deemed normally as stock volts. Something we are always harping on about on the forums is AUTO does not mean stock volts, and normally if you overclocking with "auto" volts the motherboard will be upping the volts much more than needed if you were to do it manually. By whichever means it happens, upping the volts (especially from our 1.1v undervolt) does have a big impact on temps, with an average increase of 10-15 degrees seen in the results.

At the higher levels of heat generated by the increase in voltage required for the 4.0GHz overclock, fan performance, although still a factor becomes less critical, replaced instead by a coolers ability to conduct the heat up the heat pipes and more crucially the total surface area of the fins enabling convection to the atmosphere.  In the case of AIOs and water cooling the surface area of the radiator and the efficiency of the contact plate begin to play more of a factor. 

Still only a degree or so separating the Rock 3 from the bigger Rock Pro 3, and only 2 degrees off the recently tested D15 at its lower RPM.  Apart from the other Noctua it's beating every other air cooler in the charts and quite a few of the smaller AIOs

bequiet Dark Rock 3 Review

 

 Upping the volts still further we achieve a stable 4.4GHz overclock at 1.35 Volts. It's here we start to separate the wheat from the chaff, with lesser coolers not able to disperse the increased heat effectively. Again we see a jump of 10 degrees or so from the figures at 4GHz. Both the H100 and the well-respected D14 are creeping into the 70s here, indicating that only the cream of the crop will excel at this level. 

We're not expecting it to get to 4.6GHz.  For air coolers this 4.4GHz test is where the action's at.  Very surprisingly it's only a few fractions of a degree off the pace of its bigger brother, the Pro 3.  Now we thought the Pro3 was a good cooler with its twin stack towers, and it came about where we would have expected it to in the charts.  So either the Rock3 is a cut above or the Pro 3 should have done better.  Either way, the Rock 3 has performed very well.

  bequiet Dark Rock 3 Review  

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Most Recent Comments

25-06-2014, 16:33:56

roelst
Is it just me or are those fins on the baseplate mounted the wrong way? If they turned them 90 degrees, the fan would have more influence on those.

Anyway, it is a nice looking cooler!Quote

26-06-2014, 01:35:47

Yoda/Gaz
Love the look of the Be quiet Dark Rock 3 but wish they would sort out the poor mounting system :PQuote

26-06-2014, 02:35:13

demonking
temps don't look right on the 4.4 test.
pro3 has 67.7c with delta of 47.1c and rock3 67.3c with delta 47.3c but both have an ambient of 20c??????.
Am i missing something as that math dos not seem correct or is the rock3 actually outperforming its big bro?Quote

26-06-2014, 12:07:26

looz
Sorry for moaning but would it be possible to upload those charts in .PNG?

Surprisingly good results!Quote

26-06-2014, 12:36:17

Wraith
Very nice offering from Be Quiet! Quality review Gary.
Pros: Colour, nicely lapped base, fins have nice spacing, multi socket brackets, 6x heat pipes.
Cons: Only 1x set of fan mounts leaving out push pull option.Quote
Reply
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