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Review: be quiet! Dark Rock TF 2

by Parm Mann on 10 August 2021, 12:01

Tags: be-quiet

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaeqxv

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Conclusion

...the top-flow orientation simply doesn't play well with our mid-tower configuration.

Top-flow coolers seem to have fallen out of favour in high-performance builds, and on this showing it is clear to see why; they struggle to match the effectiveness of traditional tower coolers or liquid all-in-ones when it comes to cooling a modern, many-core CPU.

Though we had high hopes for be quiet!'s Dark Rock TF 2, real-world performance on our Ryzen 9 5950X test platform leaves plenty to be desired, and the top-flow orientation simply doesn't play well with our mid-tower configuration. So much so that be quiet! takes away the unwanted accolade of being the first air cooler to fail our customary overclocking test.

That isn't to say the cooler is without merit, mind. Enthusiasts planning to squeeze high-end parts into a low-profile chassis may appreciate Dark Rock 2's 134mm height (107mm if you remove the top fan), the all-black build does look smart, and true to the manufacturer's name, noise levels are kept very low at all times.

Bottom line: Dark Rock TF 2 serves a niche corner of the market but for most users a traditional tower heatsink and fan will be a safer bet.

The Good
 
The Bad
Tidy all-black aesthetic
Ample clearance for RAM
Keeps quiet at all times
 
Disappointing cooling performance
Only a three-year warranty
Fiddly to remove


HEXUS.where2buy*

The be quiet! Dark Rock TF 2 CPU cooler is available to order from Scan Computers.

HEXUS.right2reply

At HEXUS, we invite the companies whose products we test to comment on our articles. If any company representatives for the products reviewed choose to respond, we'll publish their commentary here verbatim.



*UK-based HEXUS community members are eligible for free delivery and priority customer service through the SCAN.care@HEXUS forum.



HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

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A rather surprising misfire from be quiet!.
Disappointing cooling performance thats a shame
Great review! That's why we need this kind of thing so we don't have to find out for ourselves!
So much so that be quiet! takes away the unwanted accolade of being the first air cooler to fail our customary overclocking test.

I was tempted to dump the custom loop I have when it came to system rebuild time next year, and was a toss-up between this and Noctua's D15S. Always liked be quiet! stuff but heh, now chromax is a thing…
foolishlywise
So much so that be quiet! takes away the unwanted accolade of being the first air cooler to fail our customary overclocking test.

I was tempted to dump the custom loop I have when it came to system rebuild time next year, and was a toss-up between this and Noctua's D15S. Always liked be quiet! stuff but heh, now chromax is a thing…

Noctua just can't be beat. I'm still rocking a D14 I bought in 2011 and I can't imagine changing it for at least another decade. Absolutely silent, 60c idle, 65c while gaming. Only time I hear the fans spin up is instances like game loading on Civ, where the whole CPU is used at once, otherwise the fans stay at their minimum of around 300rpm