In our LGA1155 test rig
, the Dark Rock Pro performed magnificently, with a superb idle delta T of 14°C, only 1°C hotter than the Thermaltake Frio at its noisy high-speed setting. Under load, the Dark Rock Pro was just 1°C hotter than the Frio at its high-speed setting, with a Delta T of 50°C. This is a fantastic achievement considering that, unlike the Frio at its high-speed setting, the Dark Rock Pro was very quiet indeed.
Installed in our Socket AM3 rig
, the Dark Rock Pro again impressed us, with an idle delta T of just 2°C and a peak load delta of 23°C. While this is still 1°C warmer than the Frio with its fans at low-speed, it's again a great result considering the Dark Rock Pro was as quiet at its highest fan speed as the Frio at its lowest fan speed.
The Dark Rock Pro fitted to an LGA1155 (left) and AM3 (right) motherboard
The Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro manages to achieve the holy grail of CPU cooling by delivering superb cooling performance with very little noise. The pair of Be Quiet! SilentWings PWM fans - despite running at 1,500prm at full speed and shifting 50.5cfm each - were very quiet during our testing. We can certainly believe the 18.5dBA noise rating quoted by Be Quiet!, as we were only just able to hear the fans over the background hum of our lab. If you run the cooler with its PWM setting enabled, rather than at the full 12V we use for testing, the cooler is almost inaudible.
This glorious union of performance and acoustic splendour doesn't come cheap, though. At £54, the Dark Rock Pro is £10 more expensive than the Thermaltake Frio
and double the price of the similarly serene Gelid Tranquillo
. However, the Tranquillo doesn't have the same cooling ability and the Frio isn't as quiet. If you're trying to coax as much speed as possible from your PC while keeping it quiet, the Dark Rock Pro is excellent.
Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro