The following system was used to test the cooler:
– Processor: Intel i9 9900K @ 5GHz
– Motherboard: ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X
– RAM: Ballistix Tactical Tracer 16GB DDR4 @ 2666MHz
– GPU: MSI GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gaming X Trio
– SSD: Crucial MX500
– HDD: WD 1 TB Blue
– PSU: Seasonic Snow Silent 750W Platinum
– Case: Phanteks Enthoo Luxe White
– Thermal compound: Noctua NT-H2
Software used for testing the cooler:
– AIDA64 Extreme Version: 6.20.5300
– Intel Burn Test v2.54
– Prime95 29.1
The cooler was tested with the CPU at the default turbo frequency of 4.9 GHz and overclocked to 5 GHz with a core voltage of 1.261 V.
Also, the included fans have been used at their maximum speed.
The room temperature was approximately 26°C (78°F), with 2°C margin of error.
The idle test consists of the CPU sitting idle at the desktop for 30 minutes, the temperature was measured at the end of the test.
The settings of the software used are the following:
Intel Burn Test v2.54 – Stress level: Maximum
Prime95 29.1- small FFT
AIDA64 Extreme Version – FPU Benchmark & Temperature monitoring.
Each test was conducted for 40 minutes.
Full Load – IntelBurnTestV2
Full Load – AIDA64 CPU, FPU & Cache
The noise level was measured at three different distances from the fans (10cm, 20cm, 30cm.) the noise was measured with a margin of error of ± 2 db.
The Dark Rock 4 only covers the first RAM slot of the motherboard, while in terms of height, most medium sized RAM modules will be compatible. The design of the heatsink and the mounting system, allow for the fan to be moved upwards, to gain more space & use taller RAM modules.
The PCIe expansion slot clearance is good, with plenty of space left to access either a PCIe x1 slot or a M.2 socket, things which are often found under the CPU socket.
The Be Quiet! Dark Rock 4 is available for a price of approximately 60 USD or EUR. The main advantage of the Dark Rock 4 is not only the elegance of its design, but the performance as well, especially when considering the size of the heatsink.
The performance of the cooler is good and it will handle most CPUs available on the market with ease. However, the Dark Rock 4 is not suitable for overclocking high TDP CPUs such as the Intel i9 9900K, as the temperature will raise over 90°C.
The build quality is very good, the edges of the aluminum fins are smooth and straight, while the black ceramic coating that covers everything except the baseplate is evenly applied.
In terms of noise, the included Be Quiet! Silent Wings 135mm fan is silent, having a maximum noise output of just 38 db. In addition, the fan has no unwanted bearing or vibration noises.
The mounting system has been improved over the previous generation, and the whole installation process takes no more than a few minutes. The mounting system uses mostly metal components, with the exception of the spacers, which are plastic.
In conclusion, the Be Quiet! Dark Rock 4 is an ideal CPU cooler for a powerful gaming system that also needs to be silent and look good. The only issue is the price of this cooler, at approximately 60 USD, it is not cheap. However, the higher price can be justified by the simple to use mounting system and the overall build quality of this cooler.