Be Quiet! Dark Rock 4 Review

April 10, 2018 | 12:00

Tags: #air-cooler #am4 #be-quiet #cpu-cooler #lga-1151 #lga-2066 #silentwings #tower-cooler

Companies: #be-quiet

Performance Analysis

The Dark Rock 4 gets off to a good start on Intel LGA 115x, which is good news given the popularity of this socket family. The delta T result of 46°C matches that of the Cooler Master Seidon 120V V3, which is a basic all-in-one liquid-cooler, and it does so at a far lower noise level. At full speed, the sub-1,400 RPM of the SilentWings 135mm fan here is decidedly quiet, and a real testament to the company’s name. Even the mighty Corsair H150i Pro RGB and H115i Pro RGB have to be at full speed before they can better this temperature, although differences would likely be exaggerated by heftier overclocks.

Moving to AMD’s mainstream socket, AM4, we see the Corsair liquid-coolers stretching their lead. That said, the delta T of 58°C isn’t bad; it beats a more basic air cooler by 4°C and again does it while being noticeably quieter, and even the aforementioned AIOs can’t keep up on their quietest profiles.

With 18 cores all overclocked, the LGA 2066 system is the only one that proves too much for the 200W-rated Dark Rock 4. The Core i9-7980XE is a 165W CPU at stock speeds, so this was always going to be a challenge. Despite great contact with the heatspreader, the Be Quiet! cooler wasn’t able to shift heat fast enough to prevent thermal throttling. There’s a fair bit of metal on this cooler, so we suspect the issue is mainly airflow. We won’t hold this too much against the Dark Rock 4, though; it looks like this system will only be tamed by all-in-one liquid-coolers with fast pumps and maybe the very biggest air coolers.

Conclusion

For £65, we’re very happy with what the Dark Rock 4 offers. The all-black colour scheme and brushed aluminium top plate help to jazz up what can be a very boring component while keeping it neutral at the same time. The build quality is great, and little extras like the braided fan cable, the integrated rubber strips, the all-metal mounting brackets and arms, and even the fact that you get a screwdriver all help the Dark Rock 4’s case. The mounting process is without major flaws, too.

You’ll probably want to restrict usage to mainstream sockets (LGA 115x and AM4), as LGA 2011/2066 could prove a bit much – if you’re overclocking, that is. You could also find better value cooling (i.e. similar temperatures for a lower price), but the Dark Rock 4 has enough quality to elevate it, and you’ll struggle to find coolers that do this well at so low a noise level – this is, suitably, the best part of Be Quiet!’s latest as far as we’re concerned. Overall the Dark Rock 4 slots into the market nicely for those who’d rather get premium air-cooling rather than budget AIO cooling.


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