Specification and Test Methodology
To put CPU cooler performance into perspective we're benchmarking using a high-end Intel Haswell test platform. A detailed description of the CPU cooler being reviewed, our test platform and all comparison coolers can be found in the tables below.
be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 Specification
|Overall dimensions without mounting material (L x W x H), (mm)||150 x 137 x 163|
|Total weight (kg)||1.197|
|Socket compatibility||Intel: LGA 775 / 1150 / 1155 / 1156 / 1366 / 2011|
|AMD: 754 / 939 / 940 / AM2 (+) / AM3 (+) / FM1 / FM2 (+)|
|Fan model, number||1 x SilentWings PWM 120mm, 1 x SilentWings PWM 135mm|
|Overall noise level (dB(A)) @ 50/75/100% (rpm)||13.2 / 19.5 / 26.1|
|Dimensions (L x W x D), (mm)||123 x 133 x 163|
|Number of fins||90|
|CPU contact surface||CNC machined|
|Heatpipe number, Diameter (mm)||7, 6|
|Surface treatment||Aluminium / Dark nickel-plated|
|General fan specifications|
|Fan dimensions (mm)||135 x 135 x 22 / 120 x 120 x 25|
|Speed @ 100% PWM (rpm)||1400 / 1700|
|Air flow @ 12V (cfm, m3/h)||67.8, 113.8 ; 57.2, 93.3|
|Air pressure @ 12V (mm H2O)||2.1 / 1.23|
|Bearing type||Fluid Dynamic Bearing|
|Rated voltage (V)||12|
|Input current (A)||0.11 / 0.20|
|Input power (W)||1.56 / 2.40|
|Cable length (mm)||200mm (135mm); 250mm (120mm)|
|Lifespan (h / 25°C)||300.000|
|Thermal grease (g)||Corning TC-5121 / 1|
|User manual languages||DE, EN, FR, ES, PL|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-4770K|
|Memory||16GB Corsair Vengeance Pro (2x8GB) DDR3 @ 1,866MHz|
|Graphics Card||Palit GeForce GTX 770 OC 2GB|
|Storage Device||Crucial M500 240GB SSD|
|Power Supply||Corsair AX760i|
|Chassis||Corsair Graphite Series 600T|
|Monitor||Philips Brilliance 272P (2,560x1,440)|
|Operating System||Windows 8.1 (64-bit)|
|Fan(s)||Fan speed||Radiator dimensions||Heatsink dimensions (inc. fans)||Warranty|
|be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3||1x SilentWings 120mm
1x SilentWings 135mm
|Up to 1,700 RPM||-||Height: 163mm
|Corsair Hydro Series H75||2x Corsair SP120L 120mm||800 RPM - 2,000 RPM|| Width: 120mm
|Corsair Hydro Series H105||2x Corsair SP120L 120mm||800 RPM - 2,700 RPM||Width: 120mm Height: 270mm Depth: 35mm||-||5 Years|
|Deepcool GamerStorm Lucifer||1x GamerStorm 140mm||700 RPM - 1,400 RPM||-||Height: 168mm
|Intel Reference E97378-001||Intel PWM 92mm||1,200 RPM - 2,800 RPM||-||Height: 50mm
To get a feel for how well all of the above coolers compare, we start by running our Core i7-4770K at its default frequency and use HandBrake to encode a large 4K video clip, putting full load on all four cores/eight threads. Temperature is logged throughout the duration of this workload and in order to provide a stabilised reading we then calculate an average temperature across all cores from the last few minutes of encoding.
We then repeat the same test, only this time with the Core i7-4770K processor overclocked to a modest 4.4GHz, with voltage increased from 1.175V to 1.225V.
Actual CPU temperature is recorded, but to take into account any temperature fluctuations in our lab, we also graph the delta temperature - that's CPU temperature minus ambient temperature. And, last but not least, to give you an idea of cooler acoustics, we use a PCE-318 noise meter to measure overall system noise in both idle and load states.
Our Corsair Graphite Series 600T chassis is set to run with all three pre-installed fans; a 200mm front intake; a 200mm top exhaust; and a 120mm rear exhaust. All chassis fans are set to run as 'silent' from within the Gigabyte BIOS, while the CPU cooler is set to a 'normal' profile.
Each cooler is configured for optimum performance as per the manufacturer's recommendations, and any fans connected to a radiator are configured to draw air in from outside the chassis (hereby ensuring that the delta between the air temperature and the temperature of the radiator is maximised).