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Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 & Cryorig H5 Universal Coolers

Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 & Cryorig H5 Universal Coolers

February 8, 2015 by Lawrence Lee

Product
Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3

CPU Cooler
Cryorig H5 Universal

CPU Cooler
Manufacturer
Be Quiet! Cryorig
Street Price
US$90 US$50

The Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 and Cryorig H5 Universal are larger than average CPU coolers but they each play a different angle in a bid to win enthusiasts over. The Dark Rock Pro 3 is Be Quiet!'s top of the line model, a generously sized dual tower heatsink with two fans that hopes to deliver premier performance. The H5 Universal isn't as ambitious, utilizing a slim fan and a smaller single tower structure shaped in such a way as to improve memory compatibility compared to a typical cooler.



Cryorig H5 and Dark Rock Pro 3 boxes.

Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3



Dark Rock Pro 3.

Since the landmark launch of the Noctua
NH-D14
, the dual tower design has become the standard for most manufacturers'
flagship CPU (air) cooling solution. The Dark Rock Pro 3 follows suit, a massive
hunk of nickel-plated copper and aluminum with a seven heatpipe design and a
pair of fans, making it deeper than it is wide. Be Quiet!'s fans are rather
interesting as the mounting holes are located on frames that stick out along
the center of the perimeter. Unfortunately this means the clips are not designed
for any aftermarket case fans. Oddly, and like the NH-D14, the two fans are
also of differing sizes, a 120 mm model in the middle and a 135 mm variant on
the outside. The top is covered with a substantial metal plate which may impede
heat dissipation or help air to flow in the right direction (probably a little
of both).



Dark Rock Pro 3 package contents.

The cooler ships well packed in thick foam inserts. Inside a thin cardboard box are the accompaniments, separated into different bags to prevent any confusion during installation. Aside from the required mounting hardware, the accessories include an assembly guide, an extra set of fan clips for a standard 120 mm case fan, a tube of thermal compound, and a small wrench.

Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3: Specifications

(from the product
web page
)
Overall dimensions without mounting material (L x W x H), (mm) 150 x 137 x 163
Total weight (kg) 1.197
TDP (W) 250
Socket compatibility Intel: LGA 775 / 1150 / 1155 / 1156 / 1366 / 2011(-3) Square ILM



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
Warranty (Years) 3
Heatsink Specifications
Dimensions (L x W x H), (mm) 123 x 133 x 163
Number of fins 90
Fin material Aluminum
Base material Copper
CPU contact surface CNC machined
Heatpipe number / Diameter (mm) 7, 6
Surface treatment Aluminum / Dark nickel-plated
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
Connector 4-pin PWM
Cable length (mm) 200mm (135mm); 250mm (120mm)
Lifespan (h / 25°C) 300.000

Cryorig H5 Universal



The H5 Universal.

The H5 Universal is much smaller than the Dark Rock Pro 3 and has a more modest
design, but a few notable features stand out. The heatsink body is asymmetric,
shifting some of its bulk to the back compared to a typical tower. A stock fan,
half the thickness of a standard case fan, keeps the cooler far away from the
memory slots. Most Cryorig coolers put an emphasis on superior compatibility,
perhaps to differentiate from competitors. For a newer company trying to establish
itself in the industry, it's not unwise to seek a niche. It's not a huge niche,
as memory clearance is less of an issue on Intel motherboards, but the DIMM
slots on AMD models are often very close to the socket. Compounding this issue
is the popularity of RAM with tall heatspreaders among enthusiasts.



H5 Universal unpacked.

The H5 Universal is compactly packaged with the accessories housed in two slim compartments on either side of the heatsink. The pieces are more diligently segregated than the Dark Rock Pro 3, but the bags are not resealable. Along with the mounting gear, the heatsink ships with a tube of thermal interface material, a screwdriver, documentation, an alcohol cleaning pad, and an extra set of fan clips for a standard 25 mm thick fan, and rubber damping pads (designed for Cryorig fans only).

Cryorig H5 Universal: Specifications

(from the product
web page
)
Dimensions (with fan)
L98 mm x W143 mm x H160 mm
Weight (with fan)
853 g
Weight (without fan)
764 g
Heat pipes
6mm heatpipe x 4 units
Fin
T = 0.4 mm ; Gap = 2.8 mm
Fin Pcs
38 PCs
Copper Base
C1100 Pure copper nickel plated
RAM Height Limit
Limitless
Fan Specifications
Model XT140
Dimension
L140 mm x W140 mm x H13 mm
Weight
89 g
Rated Speed
700 ~ 1300 RPM ±10 %
Noise Level
20 ~ 24 dBA
Air Flow
75 CFM
Air Pressure 1.49 mmH2O

PHYSICAL DETAILS: Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3

The Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 has a conventional design for a high-end dual fan tower cooler. It's equipped with a copper base, seven 6 mm thick copper heatpipes, and 42 aluminum fins, all nickel-plated. According to my measurements, it weighs 940 grams with the two stock fans adding an additional 260 grams to its bulk, and the heatsink body's dimensions are 16.3 x 13.2 x 12.2 cm (H x W x D).



According to my measurements, the Dark Rock Pro 3's fins are 0.40 mm thick fins and spaced 2.24 mm apart, on average, giving it a looser than typical arrangement. The smaller center fan is positioned lower than the outer fan as it is squished between the plate at the top and a small tertiary heatsink sitting atop the base.



The back of the heatsink has a flat but patterned face which is typically used to reduce turbulence. As the darker color suggests, the fins are nickel-plated, as is the rest of the cooler.



The sides where the fans mount have a different shape, gradually tapering inward at the center. Be Quiet! claims this wavelike contour and the dimples on the fins serve to increase air circulation. Rubber strips on the sides help dampen vibration effects from the fans and create a bit more separation.



Each tower is 46 mm thick and the gap in-between them is about 27 mm wide,
leaving 3 mm of clearance behind the center fan.



The two stock fans come from the Silent Wings 2 family, sporting ridged blades and nonstandard housings. These are higher speed models than the retail versions they offer.



The 120 mm has a second connector so one motherboard fan header can power both (only the 120 mm fan's speed will be reported).



The last big cooler from Be Quiet! we tested, the Dark Rock 2, had an uneven/concave base that hurt its performance. This time around, the base is slightly convex so it should make better contact with the CPU heatspreader. The surface has a fine, almost mirror-like finish.

PHYSICAL DETAILS: Cryorig H5 Universal

The Cryorig H5 Universal is comprised of a nickel-plated base and heatpipes, four in total, and 38 aluminum fins. According to my measurements, it weighs 810 grams (900 grams with the stock fan attached), and the heatsink body measures 16.1 x 14.5 x 8.4 cm (H x W x D).



The H5 Universal's asymmetric design and thin outer fan allows it to fully clear the DIMM slots on both AMD and Intel motherboards. According to my measurements, the fins are 0.40 mm thick and spaced 2.47 mm apart, on average. More emphasis has been placed on lowering impedance rather than increasing the overall heat dissipation area.



Plastic shrouds are attached to both the top and bottom of the cooler, presumably to help hold the fins in place. They aren't as noticeable as on the Cryorig C1 and R1, but they are still of dubious value and I personally find the white color an unflattering complement to the silver body.



Two holes running down the entire heatsink provide screw driver access to the bolts secured to the heatsink base.



Most of the heatsink has a straight fin layout but the side where the fan mounts has a small honeycomb-like section. Cryorig calls this their "Jet Fin Acceleration System" which they claims reduces turbulent and passes air out of the heatsink faster by having a larger intake and narrower exhaust area.



The stock fan is the Cryorig XT140, the same 13 mm model that graces the R1 Universal and C1. Incidentally, the clips holding the fan on are incredibly tight, requiring pliers to free them from the heatsink.



The base has a less refined surface than the Dark Rock Pro 3, with a lackluster finish and more visible machine marks. The slightly convex shape is similar however.

INSTALLATION: Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro 3

The most critical aspect of installation is firm, maximum contact
between the base and the CPU heatspreader for efficient heat conduction. Ideally
it should also be a simple procedure with the user having to handle as few pieces
of hardware as possible.

Unfortunately, Be Quiet!'s mounting system is subpar, utilizing mounting clips that attach underneath the heatsink base, which reduces the amount of pressure/tension it can apply. Also, the bolts that finishing the installation are inserted through the back of the motherboard, a real pain compared to more modern systems.



For Intel installs, the backplate is placed on the trace-side of the board with four bolts sticking through the mounting holes and plastic fittings are used to partially-immobilize them. On the heatsink, metal slips are screwed into the base and four sets of nuts are attached to the current mounting points. Finally, the bolts are screwed into the nuts and the nuts should be tightened with the wrench as well.



Fully installed on our LGA1366 testing platform.



There is 45 mm of clearance beneath the bottom fin, but the stock fan position puts it right on top of our bare DDR3 DIMMs. The fan hangs over the first three memory slots.



The thermal compound residue left behind indicates much better contact than previous Be Quiet! models but it's still not ideal. There are still some moderately sized branch patterns close to the center.

INSTALLATION: Cryorig H5 Universal

The mounting system is the same on all the Cryorig models we've examined thus far and is discussed a bit more in detail in my R1 Ultimate/Universal review. Essentially it's the same top-notch scheme used by high-end coolers from the likes of Noctua, Prolimatech, and Thermalright.



The H5 installed.



On Intel boards, the fan doesn't even come close to the RAM, and even a standard thickness fan would not hang over the first memory slot. There is 42 mm of clearance underneath the H5, enough to stay clear most VRM heatsinks with ease.



The TIM pattern is much more promising on the H5. The very faint residue near the center is a definitive sign of strong contact.

TESTING

Before thermal testing, we took some basic physical measurements of the product(s) for comparison.

Approximate Physical Measurements
Model Dark Rock Pro 3 H5 Universal
Weight
940 g (heatsink only)

1200 g (with both stock fans)
810 g (heatsink only)

900 g (with stock fan))
Height 163 mm 161 mm
Fin count 42 38
Fin thickness
0.40 mm 0.40 mm
Fin spacing
2.24 mm 2.47 mm
Vertical Clearance*
45 mm 42 mm
* measured from motherboard PCB to bottom
fin of heatsink


Large Heatsink Comparison:

Average Fin Thickness & Spacing
Heatsink
Fin Thickness
Fin Spacing
SilverStone Heligon HE02
0.52 mm
3.30 mm
Thermalright HR-01 Plus
0.45 mm
3.15 mm
Thermalright HR-02 Macho
0.34 mm
3.12 mm
Thermalright HR-22
0.53 mm
2.74 mm
Scythe Ninja 3
0.39 mm
2.64 mm
Noctua NH-U12P
0.44 mm
2.63 mm
Noctua NH-C12P
0.47 mm
2.54 mm
Cryorig H5 Universal
0.40 mm
2.47 mm
LEPA LV12
0.51 mm
2.38 mm
Noctua NH-D14
0.43 mm
2.33 mm
Thermalright Archon SB-E
0.49 mm
2.33 mm
Phanteks PH-TC12DX
0.39 mm
2.30 mm
GELID Tranquillo Rev.2
0.40 mm
2.30 mm
GELID GX-7 Rev.2
0.31 mm
2.25 mm
Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3
0.40 mm
2.24 mm
be quiet! Dark Rock 2
0.38 mm
2.22 mm
Phanteks PH-TC14PE
0.40 mm
2.21 mm
Prolimatech Armageddon
0.51 mm
2.08 mm
Cryorig R1 Ultimate/Universal
0.42 mm
1.78 / 2.37 mm
Zalman CNPS10X Quiet
0.40 mm
2.00 mm
Prolimatech Megahalems
0.50 mm
2.00 mm
Scythe Ashura
0.43 mm
1.97 mm
NZXT Havik 140
0.41 mm
1.91 mm
Scythe Mugen-2
0.31 mm
1.89 mm
SilverStone Tundra TD03 (radiator)
0.43 mm
1.86 mm
SilverStone Argon AR01
0.30 mm
1.85 mm
Thermalright Venomous X
0.53 mm
1.84 mm
Scythe Mugen 4
0.30 mm
1.82 mm
Noctua NH-C14
0.38 mm
1.79 mm
Enermax ETS-T40
0.40 mm
1.79 mm
Noctua NH-D15
0.46 mm
1.79 mm
Scythe Yasya
0.32 mm
1.78 mm
Enermax Liqtech 120X (radiator)
0.46 mm
1.76 mm
be quiet! Shadow Rock Slim
0.42 mm
1.73 mm
SilverStone Argon AR03
0.42 mm
1.72 mm
Noctua NH-U14S
0.42 mm
1.72 mm
Cogage TRUE Spirit 1366
0.40 mm
1.70 mm
Scythe Kotetsu
0.35 mm
1.66 mm
Scythe Grand Kama Cross
0.38 mm
1.66 mm
Zalman CNPS9900 MAX
0.16 mm
1.59 mm
Thermalright Silver Arrow
0.32 mm
1.57 mm
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
0.43 mm
1.54 mm
Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme Rev.C
0.56 mm
1.52 mm
Swiftech H240-X (radiator)
0.13 mm
1.80 mm
NZXT Kraken X31/X41 (radiator)
0.15 mm
1.07 mm
NZXT Kraken X61 (radiator)
0.13 mm
1.02 mm

Larger heatsinks are tested on our
LGA1366 heatsink testing platform
, while smaller coolers tackle our
LGA1155
heatsink testing platform
. A summary of the test system and procedure follows.

Key Components in LGA1366 Heatsink Test Platform:

Key Components in LGA1155 Heatsink Test Platform:

The systems are silent under the test conditions, except for the CPU cooling
fan(s).

Normally, our reference fans are used whenever possible, the measured details
of which are shown below.

Reference Noctua 140mm fan

Anechoic chamber measurements
Voltage
Speed
12V
1250 RPM
28~29 dBA
9V
990 RPM
21 dBA
8V
880 RPM
18 dBA
7V
770 RPM
15~16 dBA
6V
660 RPM
13 dBA


Reference Nexus 120 mm fan

Anechoic chamber measurements
Voltage
Speed
12V
1080 RPM
16 dBA
9V
880 RPM
13 dBA
7V
720 RPM
12 dBA


Reference Nexus 92 mm fan

Anechoic chamber measurements
Voltage
Speed
12V
1470 RPM
17 dBA
9V
1280 RPM
14 dBA
7V
1010 RPM
12 dBA

Measurement and Analysis Tools

  • Extech 380803 AC power analyzer / data logger for measuring AC system
    power.
  • Custom-built, four-channel variable DC power supply, used to regulate
    the fan speed during the test.
  • PC-based spectrum analyzer:
    SpectraPlus with ACO Pacific mic and M-Audio digital
    audio interfaces.
  • Anechoic chamber
    with ambient level of 11 dBA or lower
  • Various other tools for testing fans, as documented in our
    standard fan testing methodology
    .
  • SpeedFan,
    used to monitor the on-chip thermal sensors. The sensors are not calibrated,
    so results are not universally applicable. The hottest core reading is used.
  • Prime95,
    used to stress the CPU heavily, generating more heat than most real applications.
    All instances are used to ensure full stress.
  • CPU-Z,

    used to monitor the CPU speed to determine when overheating occurs.

  • Thermometers to measure the air temperature around the test platform
    and near the intake of the heatsink fan.

Noise measurements are made with the fans powered from a separate, fanless system. Load testing was accomplished using Prime95 to stress the processor, and the
graph function in SpeedFan was used to ensure that the load temperature is stable
for at least ten minutes. The temperature recorded is the highest single core
reading. The stock fans were tested at various voltages to represent a good
cross-section of airflow and noise performance.

The ambient conditions during testing were 10~11 dBA and 21~23°C.

Noise Measurements: Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3

Specifications: Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 135 mm Stock Fan
Manufacturer Be Quiet! Power Rating 1.56 W (4.8 W according to label)
Model Number BQ SIW3-13525-MF-PWM Airflow Rating 67.8 CFM
Bearing Type Fluid Dynamic Speed Rating 1400 RPM
Frame Size 137 x 135 x 22 mm Noise Rating ?
Hub Size 46 mm Header Type 4-pin PWM
Blade Diameter 129 mm Starting Voltage 4.0 ~ 4.5 V
Cable Length 24 cm Weight 140 g
Corner Type Open Retail Availability No
Data in blue cells provided by the manufacturer
or observed; data in the green cells were measured.

Physically, the Dark Rock Pro 3's larger stock fan appears identical to that of the Shadow Rock Slim, a higher speed version of the Silent Wings 2. It has the same large hub, slightly curved struts, and blades ridged on both sides. The round interior frame has a soft/rubberized surface that presumably gives it some anti-vibration properties. The only difference appears to be the use of fluid rather than rifle bearings.

Be Quiet!'s fans have a nonstandard housing and the unconventional mounting
points make them non-interchangeable with aftermarket fans. The bigger fan even
has a nonstandard size with dimensions of 137 x 135 x 22 mm according to my
measurements. Be Quiet's retail box fans have fittings for the corners that
make them cross-compatible but these are not included with their heatsinks.

Specifications: Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 120 mm Stock Fan
Manufacturer Be Quiet! Power Rating 2.40 W
Model Number BQT T12025-MF-PWM Airflow Rating 57.2 CFM
Bearing Type Fluid Dynamic Speed Rating 1700 RPM
Frame Size 120 x 120 x 24 mm Noise Rating ?
Hub Size 44 mm Header Type 4-pin PWM
Blade Diameter 113 mm Starting Voltage 4.0 ~ 4.5 V
Cable Length 26 cm Weight 120 g
Corner Type Open Retail Availability No

Data in blue cells provided by the manufacturer
or observed; data in the green cells were measured.

The smaller 120 mm model is also a higher speed variant of their Silent Wings 2 120 mm model. It has a similar construction, but the blades are much shorter and stubbier. The frame size is slightly thinner than standard, measuring 1 mm thinner than the standard 25 mm.

Stock Fan Measurements
PWM Setting
120 mm Fan Speed
135 mm Fan Speed
100%
1620 RPM
1410 RPM
30 dBA
70%
1130 RPM
1020 RPM
21 dBA
60%
840 RPM
890 RPM
16~17 dBA
50%
740 RPM
750 RPM
13 dBA
0%
360 RPM
12 dBA
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle from
the center of the heatsink.

Ambient noise level: 10~11 dBA.

Interestingly, the smaller fan has a much higher minimum speed, staying at 740 RPM and it stays at this speed at PWM settings between 0% and 50%. The larger model starts off at a mere 360 RPM an increases in speed normally. As a tandem, they are exceptionally quiet at PWM levels of 50% and lower. At top speed they generate 30 [email protected], which is actually fairly low for a two fan combination.

Like most fans, at full speed, the stock fans are turbulent and whiny, but mellow out at lower speeds. The profile smoothens out somewhat at lower speeds but the pair produces a droning sound (~300 Hz) which doesn't start to dissipate until about 840 RPM (60%). There's also a a persistent, underlying hum that is present starting below 900 RPM. This defect is caused by the smaller fan, which otherwise sounds quite similar to the larger model. Surprisingly, there aren't any undesirable noises caused by intermodulation even though the two fans don't share the same design or speed.

Noise Measurements: Cryorig H5 Universal

Specifications: Cryorig H5 Universal Stock Fan
Manufacturer Cryorig Power Rating ?
Model Number XT140 Airflow Rating 65 CFM
Bearing Type High Precision Low Noise (Sleeve) Speed Rating 700 ~ 1300 RPM
Frame Size 140 x 140 x 13 mm

(120 mm mounting holes)
Noise Rating 20 ~ 24 dBA
Hub Size 44 mm Header Type 4-pin PWM
Blade Diameter 131 mm Starting Voltage 4.0 ~ 4.5 V
Cable Length 30 cm Weight 90 g
Corner Type Open Retail Availability Yes

Data in blue cells provided by the manufacturer
or observed; data in the green cells were measured.

The H5's stock fan is the same 13 mm thin XT140 model that ships with the R1 Universal and C1. Like most low profile fans, its cooling power is spread out over many more slimmer blades (13 in total) than a 25 mm variant. The rubber pads at the corners help limit vibration and creates a bit of separation between the fan and the heatsink, which can reduce turbulence.

Stock Fan Measurements
PWM Setting
Speed
100%
1430 RPM
30 dBA
60%
1090 RPM
26~27 dBA
50%
980 RPM
24~25 dBA
40%
850 RPM
20~21 dBA
0%
730 RPM
16~17 dBA
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle from
the center of the heatsink.

Ambient noise level: 10~11 dBA.

Being a thin fan, the XT140 has to work a little harder than 25 mm thick equivalents.
To ensure adequate cooling, its minimum speed on PWM is a rather high 730 RPM.
Most large aftermarket tower coolers are equipped with fans that can hit near
inaudible (12~13 [email protected]) noise levels, but the H5 can only go as low as 16~17
[email protected] This isn't great by our standards, but a typical user will find this
setting very quiet.

As for the quality of the noise, it's a bit of a mixed bag. At high speeds,
it sounds buzzy and turbulent, but consistent and not unpleasant. Starting at
about 1000 RPM and below, it becomes rather smooth, but at close proximity,
our sample's bearing starts to rattle and chuffing is intermittently audible.
That being said, at distance and inside a case, it should sound innocuous.

Test Results

Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 w/ Stock Fans
PWM Setting
Fan Speeds
CPU Thermal Rise
100%
1620 / 1410 RPM
30 dBA
38°C
70%
1130 / 1020 RPM
21 dBA
39°C
60%
840 / 890 RPM
16~17 dBA
40°C
50%
740 / 750 RPM
13 dBA
44°C
0%
740 / 360 RPM
12 dBA
49°C
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle from
the center of the heatsink.

Ambient noise level: 10~11 dBA.

The Dark Rock Pro 3 performs reasonably well, with thermal rise results varying from 38°C at top fan speed to 49°C using the minimum PWM level which is effectively inaudible. Its cooling proficiency weakens dramatically at lower fan speeds, with the CPU heating up by an additional 4°C when moving from 60% to 50% speed. At minimum speed, it experiences an additional 5°C hit, even though the reduction in speed results in only a 1 dB difference in noise produced.

Cryorig H5 Universal w/ Stock Fan
PWM/Volt. Setting
Fan Speed
CPU Thermal Rise
100%
1430 RPM
30 dBA
37°C
60%
1090 RPM
26~27 dBA
38°C
50%
980 RPM
24~25 dBA
41°C
40%
850 RPM
20~21 dBA
41°C
0%
730 RPM
16~17 dBA
42°C
Cryorig H5 Universal w/ Ref. Noctua NF-P14 140 mm Fan
12V
1250 RPM
30 dBA
35°C
9V
990 RPM
23 dBA
36°C
8V
880 RPM
19 dBA
37°C
7V
770 RPM
16~17 dBA
40°C
6V
660 RPM
13~14 dBA
42°C

By comparison, the Cryorig H5 Universal is a poorer performer, but the difference
is surprisingly small considering the physical differences between the two.
The stock fan bottoms out at 16~17 dBA so it can't get as quiet as the Dark
Rock Pro 3 on PWM control, but it performs well enough, holding the thermal
rise between 37°C at top speed and 42°C at minimum speed. Despite the
fan's small size, there is little difference in cooling capacity between 250
RPM spread between the 0% and 50% levels.

Swapping the stock fan for our reference 140 mm fan results in a noticeable uptick in performance, especially at medium-high speeds. For example, at 990 RPM/23 [email protected], the NF-P14 produces a rise of 36°C compared to 41°C for the stock fan at 980 RPM/24~25 [email protected] At lower speeds, the reference fan enjoys a lead of of about 2°C at equivalent noise levels.

COMPARISON TABLE

CPU Thermal Rise Comparison (°C)
22
21
20
19
18
17
16
15
14
13
12
11
NZXT Kraken X61
 
33
34
35
 
37
           
Prolimatech Genesis*

(reference fans)
35
   
36
   
37
   
39
   
Thermalright Silver Arrow
   
35
       
38
40
 
Noctua NH-C14
 
36
   
37
   
39
 
41
 
Scythe Kotetsu
35
         
38
 
41
 
42
 
Thermalright HR-22*

(reference fans)
37
   
38
 
39
       
Swiftech H240-X
33
35
36
  39              
Noctua NH-D15
 
38
   
39
   
40
   
Thermalright Archon SB-E
   
39
         
40
   
43
Phanteks PH-TC14PE
 
38
   
39
   
41
     
Thermalright HR-02 Macho
38
   
39
     
40
41
 
43
 
Scythe Mugen 4
           
40
   
42
 
45
Cryorig H5 Universal
(reference fan)
     
37
 
40
 
42
   
Noctua NH-U14S
     
38
 
40
   
43
   
NZXT Kraken X41
   
38
                 
Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3
 
39
     
40
   
44
49
 
NZXT Havik 140
   
39
   
41
         
Be Quiet! Shadow Rock Slim
     
40
   
41
 
42
   
Cryorig R1 Ultimate
 
37
   
41
 
42
     
Scythe Yasya
       
40
       
43
   
Cogage TRUE Spirit 1366
         
41
 
43
 
46
 
Cryorig R1 Universal
   
39
   
41
           
Zalman CNPS10X Quiet
   
40
       
42
 
47
 
Scythe Grand Kama Cross
 
40
     
41
   
44
 
49
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
       
41
       
44
54
 
Cryorig H5 Universal
 
41
   
42
         
Scythe Ashura
     
42
     
44
     
Phanteks PH-TC12DX
 
41
       
44
         
Silverstone Argon AR03
41
     
43
         
48
Scythe Ninja 3
       
44
       
46
   
SilverStone Argon AR01
42
     
44
         
50
Titan Fenrir
 
43
   
45
 
47
     
Cooler Master Seidon 240M
     
40
 
43
   
53
     
SilverStone Tundra TD03
   
40
                 
SilverStone Heligon HE02*

(reference fans)
     
44
     
46
       
Antec Kühler H20 620
42
   
44
     
47
     
LEPA LV12
         
45
48
52
 
Zalman CNPS9900 MAX
   
45
     
47
 
49
     
NZXT Kraken X31
 
43
 
44
 
47
         
Enermax Liqtech 120X
 
44
 
45
               
GELID Tranquillo Rev.2
     
48
 
49
   
50
     
Be Quiet! Dark Rock 2
     
48
     
52
 
55
61
 
Zalman CNPS9900DF
   
48
   
50
   
53
     
GELID GX-7 Rev.2
49
       
51
     
56
   
Core i7-980X Stock Cooler
             
53
   
62
 
Enermax ETS-T40
   
49
         
55
 
64
Core i7-920 Stock Cooler
64
FAIL
22
21
20
19
18
17
16
15
14
13
12
11
Single/dual fan air-cooled heatsinks in light/dark green.

Single/dual fan liquid coolers in light/dark blue.

*Fanless models tested with dual reference Noctua NF-P14 fans.

The Dark Rock Pro 3 is a huge improvement over the Dark Rock 2, landing in a position in the top third of our CPU cooling chart. However, like many other large, dual fan heatsinks, it's a bit of an underachiever, surpassed by many smaller models. It's about as effective as the more compact, single fan Shadow Rock Slim.

The H5 Universal finds itself nearly dead smack in the middle, making it an average aftermarket cooler. However, if the slim stock fan is replaced with a full-sized model, its performance perks up considerably. With our reference 140 mm fan, it outpaces the larger dual fan Cryorig R1 and the Dark Rock Pro 3.

MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS

These recordings were made with a high
resolution, lab quality, digital recording system
inside SPCR's
own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber
, then converted to LAME 128kbps
encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation
from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of
what we heard during the review.

These recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the product sounds
in actual use — one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer
or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient
noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware
that very quiet subjects may not be audible — if we couldn't hear it from
one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!

The recording starts with 5 second segments of room ambiance, then the fan
at various levels. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that
the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume
setting again.

  • Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 stock fans at 1m
    — at 0% PWM, 740/360 RPM PWM (12 dBA)
    — at 50% PWM, 740/750 RPM (13 dBA)
    — at 60% PWM, 840/890 RPM (16~17 dBA)
    — at 70% PWM, 1130/1020 RPM (21 dBA)
    — at 100% PWM, 1620/1410 RPM (30 dBA)
  • Cryorig H5 Universal stock fan at 1m
    — at 0 PWM, 730 RPM (16~17 dBA)
    — at 40% PWM, 850 RPM (20~21 dBA)
    — at 50% PWM, 980 RPM (24~25 dBA)
    — at 60% PWM, 1090 RPM (26~27 dBA)
    — at 100% PWM, 1430 RPM (30 dBA)

FINAL THOUGHTS

Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3

The Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 is a big step up from Dark Rock 2 reviewed back
in 2012. The base shape has been addressed, resulting in a much needed upgrade
in performance. However, they haven't changed the mounting scheme, which is
tedious to install compared to the Noctua style adopted by most of the top tier
manufacturers. It's also not as effective at achieving good contact with the
CPU heatspreader as it doesn't exert enough tension over the base.

Be Quiet!'s odd fan design continues to be bothersome. The larger model is
not of a standard size, and neither has a standard frame, meaning they can't
be replaced with aftermarket models without improvising a mounting method. Clips
are provided for one regular fan, but this addition is meant for a third fan
rather than replacing one of the stock models. Some designs are so solid, they
are worth buying into a proprietary design, but this isn't one of them. The
fans can be very quiet thanks to their low minimum speeds, but the acoustic
quality is only average.

For most users, it ultimately boils down to performance and price. Like many oversized dual tower heatsinks, the Dark Rock Pro 3 underperforms in this regard. Not only are there several smaller and cheaper models that do just as well or better, most of them have superior mounting systems and standard fan compatibility. Unfortunately for Be Quiet!, nothing about the Dark Rock Pro 3 really stands out to outweigh its various shortcomings, and its US$90 price-tag doesn't help.

Cryorig H5 Universal

Despite its slim stock fan, the Cryorig H5 Universal is surprisingly competitive, even against its dual fan big brother, the R1 Universal/Ultimate. Like the rest of the Cryorig lineup, the mounting system is top-notch and the base makes excellent contact with the CPU, which undoubtedly plays a large role in the H5's strong performance.

My chief complaint that is that they could have easily made the H5 a better product by using a standard sized fan. The 13 mm thick stock fan was chosen to enhance its memory compatibility, which Cryorig touts heavily. However, it would've been easy enough to alter the heatsink shape to make it more lopsided in order to accommodate a standard fan while maintaining the same clearance. This is actually what they did with their budget cooler, the smaller H7. It's disappointing that this more expensive model doesn't employ the same strategy.

The Cryorig H5 Universal can be purchased for about US$50, making it
a decent value. Its superior compatibility is a selling point for some, but many practical users have opted for shorter DIMMs, opening up the number of aftermarket cooler candidates considerably.
Also keep in mind that there are thin tower models that provide similar or better
performance as the H5 and are only a few millimeters wider. Coolers like the
Noctua NH-U14S, Scythe Ashura, and Be Quiet! Shadow Rock Slim
won't hang over the memory slots on many Intel motherboards.

Our thanks to Be Quiet!
for the Dark Rock Pro 3 and Cryorig for the H5 Universal CPU cooler samples.

* * *



Cryorig H5 Universal is Recommended by SPCR

SPCR Articles of Related Interest:

NoFan CR-80EH & CS-60 Fanless Cooler & Case
Phanteks PH-TC14S & Cryorig C1 CPU Coolers
New 92mm-fan Tower Coolers from Noctua
Arctic Accelero Hybrid II-120 Liquid GPU Cooler
Cryorig R1 Ultimate & Universal CPU Coolers
Swiftech H240-X CPU Liquid Cooling Kit
Recommended Heatsinks

* * *

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