...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.
Tidy all-black aesthetic
Ample clearance for RAM
Keeps quiet at all times
Disappointing cooling performance
Only a three-year warranty
Fiddly to remove
The be quiet! Dark Rock TF 2 CPU cooler is available to order from Scan Computers.
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