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be quiet! Dark Rock 3 CPU Cooler Review


Thermal Performance Test Procedures:

  • Idle temperatures are obtained after sitting at the desktop for 15 minutes.
  • Load temperatures are obtained after running Prime95 in the ‘Small FFTs’ mode for 15 minutes.
  • We tested with our CPU set at 3.9GHz (typical multi-core turbo speed of most motherboards) using a BIOS-set voltage of 1.200V (in the region of most common MCT voltages).
  • We repeated testing with our CPU overclocked to 4.5GHz (45x multiplier, 100MHz base clock) using a BIOS-set voltage of 1.325V.
  • The cooler’s fan is set to 100% to eliminate inaccuracies due to dynamic PWM fan speed adjustments.
  • The supplied thermal paste is used to provide an accurate interpretation of the cooler’s out-of-the-box performance.
  • We use HWMonitor to measure the CPU temperature.
  • CPU temperature recording is accurate to +/- 0.5°C. Ambient temperature recording is accurate to +/- 0.05°C.
  • Ambient temperature was maintained at 22°C.

Acoustic Performance Test Procedures:

  • We measure the noise output of our entire system from a distance of 1m while the CPU cooler’s fan operates at 100% (indicating the maximum noise output).
  • We set the case fans to minimum speed (hence noise) and avoid using a discrete GPU to isolate the CPU cooler’s noise output.

Test System:

Comparison Coolers:


  • CPUID HWMonitor.
  • Prime95.
  • Windows 7 Professional with SP1 64-bit.

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