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: 6.30.5500
– 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 Shadow Rock TF 2 will interfere with the first and second RAM slots of the motherboard. However, thanks to its symmetrical shape, the cooler can be rotated to gain more clearance. With the cooler installed facing up, the space left for the RAM modules is approximately 48mm.
The PCIe expansion slot clearance is good, with approximately 60mm of space between the heatsink and the graphics card. In this position, the heatpipes might interfere with the top M.2 socket of the motherboard, however it will not completely block access to it.
The be quiet! Shadow Rock TF 2 is a good CPU cooler that will also provide a good airflow for the VRM components of the motherboard. The cooler is available for around 60 USD or EUR, which is not cheap for a cooler that will work best with medium TDP CPUs.
The design of this cooler is simple, with no RGB LEDs or a matte black coating present. The Shadow Rock TF 2 has a functional design, and a great build quality.
The performance of the cooler is good, especially for the size of the heatsink. In normal usage and testing, the CPU temperature reached a maximum of 64 degrees Celsius. However, when a high load was introduced, and the CPU was overclocked to 5GHz, the temperature reached a maximum of 90 degrees Celsius.
The installation process is simple, thanks to the revised mounting system. The user manual is thorough and easy to understand, and most components used are made out of metal, apart from the plastic C clips.
In terms of clearance, the Shadow Rock TF 2 offers plenty of space for both the graphics card and the RAM modules. While the first and second RAM slots are covered by the heatsink, the space left under the cooler is plenty for most RAM modules.
In conclusion, the be quiet! Shadow Rock TF 2 is a good air CPU cooler that has as its main advantage the low noise output and active cooling of the VRM. The cooling performance is good for a cooler of this size, however overclocking a high TDP CPU is not recommended. The only inconvenient with the Shadow Rock TF 2 is the price, at 60 USD, the cooler is too close in pricing to better models, such as the Dark Rock TF or the Noctua NH-C14S.