be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 Review
The be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 is a fantastic CPU cooler built for pure performance, with impressive silent fans even at full load, and recommended from our side for your clean stealthy builds.
Performance - 9.5/10
Design - 9/10
Value - 9.5/10
Features - 9/10
Quality - 9.5/10
- Good Thermal Performance
- Silent Operation
- Amazing Stealth Look
- Easy To Install
- A Bit Pricer
- No Support For The AMD Threadripper platform
be quiet! is a high-quality German manufacturer of desktop computer power supplies, chassis, fans & cooling solutions for the PC market. be quiet! Dedication is towards quality and accuracy that enables very quiet and highly effective products. Moreover, quality and attention to detail are prioritized in their products.
The company was established in 2001, and since then, its headquarters have been in Germany, where a team of professionals is in charge of all product planning, development, and quality assurance. They were kind enough to send us the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 to review.
Be quiet! The Dark Rock series is the pinnacle of the company’s air-cooling offerings. Featuring a sleek, all-black design, the CPU coolers known as the Dark Rocks seem undeniably attractive. The flagship of this series is the Dark Rock Pro 4, designed for enthusiasts and overclockers that need every last bit of cooling capacity from a heat pipe-based tower cooler.
Be quiet! When they initially appeared on the scene of CPU coolers, they caused quite a stir. The success of the name itself contributes significantly to its fame. Their coolers have grown in popularity due to their remarkable performance, beautiful design, and low noise levels. And more, since the Dark Rock Pro 4 has them all covered.
This thorough review of the Dark Rock Pro 4 CPU Cooler will cover all the bases, including functionality, size, aesthetics, benchmarks, and overall value, so if you’re in the market for a new CPU cooler, you won’t want to miss it. We’ll be comparing the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 to other high-end coolers to see how it performs and whether it’s worth the price increase over the previous iteration, the Dark Rock Pro 3.
The Latest Iteration of the Dark Rock Series
The coolers in the Dark Rock Pro series have been on the market for some time. Be Quiet has evolved gradually through time. The best available hardware, more astonishing size, fan, and coating technologies have each been evaluated and included in the Cooler’s design.
A 250W TDP and a TR4 variant are unique features of this version of the reviewed Dark Rock Pro cooler. To keep the Cooler’s noise minimum, be quiet! Uses a range of Silent Wings PWM fans of varied sizes. The be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 is unparalleled in terms of cooling capacity. Seven high-performance copper heat pipes are included, and a dual-tower layout accommodates two Silent Wings fans.
The Dark Rock Pro 4 comes with a 120mm and 135mm fan from Be Quiet, known as Silent Wings Fan 3. They produce almost little audible noise while yet doing a superb job. These fans include an innovative fluid bearing, a six-pole motor, and blades designed to maximize airflow. The cooler, fans, pipes, and heat exchanger plate are all black for the Be Quiet trademark. Multiple levels of quietness have been included in this design. The Cooler is compatible with both AMD and Intel processors. Here is the list of all the compatible sockets.
- AM5 & AM4
- LGA 1700, 1200, 2066, 1150, 1151, 1155 & 2011
We’re going to see the present zenith of what this line of coolers would do. We believe these coolers are designed to last and are quieter than many other alternatives. After receiving the site’s specs, there is a great deal of data to sort through. These specs include a length of 146mm, a width of 136mm, a height of 163mm, and a weight of 1.13kg.
Along with the compatibility and 250W TDP. After that, we can see that Silent Wings 3 fans are being used, they are removable, and their dB(A) values have been determined via in-house testing. If we now examine the heat sink, we can observe that the Cooler’s width is less than that of the 135mm fan, which explains why the length is shorter. Approximately ninety aluminum fins are arranged in a stack above the heat pipes.
A copper base is covered in nickel plating. Seven copper heat pipes, each 6mm in diameter, carry heat from the Cooler’s base to its fins. In terms of the tower’s aesthetics, black ceramic spray adhesive has been applied to each fin and heat pipe instead of anodization to give it a metallic sheen.
Let’s examine the fan’s specs to learn about its cooling capacity. We see two fans, one measuring 120mm and the other measuring 135mm. The bigger fan is mounted in the middle of the two towers, while the smaller one directs air from the front and has more area for RAM beneath it.
The six-pole motor that drives the 120mm fans may reach speeds of up to 1500 RPM as they spin on fluid dynamic bearings. Power consumption, 4-pin PWM control, and an expected lifespan of 300,000 hours follow the revelation that the 135mm fan would run at 1200 RPM on the same motor and bearing. Specifications for the 120mm fan indicate that it can circulate air at a rate of 50 CFM while exerting a pressure of 1.79 mmH2O.
The packaging of Dark Rock Pro 4 is top-notch, though our box was damaged thanks to the Customs inspection team. The Dark Rock Pro 4 and other text are written in white and orange on a primarily black background with a silver stripe. The company, as usual, strongly emphasizes a dark tone. You can proudly display this box on a shelf or a workstation. Moreover, we can see the cooler on the front. These elements work well together, especially the logo and the short description.
There is a complete rundown of all the technical specifications on the back. Here you’ll find four pictures that represent the various options. Be Quiet opted to feature the system’s near-silent operation, exceptional cooling capabilities, spacious dual-tower layout, and user-friendly elegance. It’s something that be quiet! Feels accomplished after all of this effort
One side of the box gives us the technical data of the complete cooler unit. Moreover, technical data on Silent Wings PWM Fans and the accessories included is mentioned, which we will discuss later in the review. This is a brief rundown of features and specs. However, if you go on their official website, you may get a lot more information. If you are unfamiliar with Be Quiet, their mission is the factor that makes a cooler outlined in the top premium category.
The quality of the packaging doesn’t stop with the outside. The hardware and documentation may be pushed into a notch in the foam that lines the Cooler’s inside, and the Cooler itself is surrounded by thick, dense foam to prevent any damage. Mounting tools, thermal paste, brackets, and a two-way PWM splitter are all included in the retail packaging’s meticulous attention to detail.
A lengthy magnetic Phillips screwdriver is included, which is a nice touch since it will be helpful throughout the installation process. It may easily be overlooked since it’s shoved against the rear of a single styrofoam piece keeping everything orderly. Even if the installation may be done with any conventional screwdriver, be sure not to overlook it, as its length undoubtedly assists throughout the installation procedure. As a bonus, six alternative language installation guides (English, Russian, German, French, Spanish, and Polish) each provide comprehensive instructions for installing most Intel and AMD CPUs.
After seeing it, I’m optimistic about the Intel mounting kit since it seems much more straightforward to set up than the Dark Rock Pro 3. All precautions taken are appreciated. Be Quiet went above and beyond with the packaging, and the Cooler’s build is as high-quality as one would hope for at this price.
First Look at the Dark Rock Pro 4
Since the Noctua NH D15 is also a dual-tower CPU air cooler, the Dark Rock Pro line of coolers has been on the market as a direct response. Be Quiet has made minor adjustments throughout time. There has been extensive research into the hardware, cooler size, fan configurations, and coating techniques, with the best solutions being implemented. The Dark Rock Pro 3 was already a big cooler in terms of size.
Compared to the preceding Dark Rock Pro 3, not much has changed. The performance, of course, is an exception. Compared to previous Dark Rock products, the Pro 4 is a seamless extension of the brand’s established design aesthetic. Many enthusiasts like this all-black aesthetic. The premium Dark Rock Pro 4 is the pinnacle of this product category since it represents the most advanced design ever.
This Cooler is as straightforward as they come in appearance and functionality. Heavy, performance, and robust would be three adjectives to characterize it. This CPU cooler is not recommended for those with small PC cases or needing a space-saving solution. Users who often relocate their PC cases, such as when taking the chassis to a LAN or other gaming event, may find working with a massive air cooler challenging.
The Dark Rock Pro 4 has two fans, one 120 millimeters and the other 135 millimeters in diameter, sandwiched between two aluminum fin cooling towers. The first tower has a 120 x 25mm SilentWings fan at the front, which pushes air through to the first tower, which is met by a 135 x 22mm SilentWings fan. Air is driven from the second tower by the second fan and exits the Cooler’s back. Dual fans provide a push-and-pull air movement, and the Cooler’s open design ensures that hot air may escape from the Cooler’s four vents.
A 120mm Silent Wings 3 fan on the front of the Dark Rock Pro 4 can be seen primarily. This fan completely encircles the fin stacks from top to bottom but leaves some of the width uncovered. There are seven heat pipes under the fins and the fan, but two are curved behind the other pair, making them hard to notice from this perspective.
The Cooler’s top is built from metal that has been brushed and anodized black. There are sixteen caps total, but only fourteen cover the heat pipe tips, and the “be quiet.” logo in the middle stands out. The two attached to the nameplate’s detachable parts serve as mounting access holes for the cooler.
From the side, we can see a 90-fin tower alongside another 90-fin tower and a 120mm fan. At the base, we can see how seven pipes are utilized and get a clearer sense of the heat pipes’ bends.
If we turn the Cooler around, we can see the fin stack, and, more interestingly, we can observe that the fins themselves have varied shapes at different points, a feature also present in cutting-edge coolers. This modification “boosts” the capability of the CFM fans to cool a set of fins by allowing them to generate substantial pressure in specific locations.
The Cooler’s base is equipped with seven copper heat pipes. These extend from the Cooler’s top and are capped at both ends with aluminum to maximize efficiency. This contributes to the Cooler’s overall utilitarian aesthetic. The nickel-plated base, now covered by a plastic sticker, is revealed as the last visible component. Upon removing the covering, we see that the base has been expertly machined, with just the barest indication of a cyclical pattern.
This foundation, like many others, is elevated in the center, facilitating the distribution of increasing pressure and productivity. The Pro 4’s twin fans work together to flow air more efficiently through the system’s two fin stacks, allowing more heat dissipation surface area and Heatpipe separation.
That’s preferable to having a giant cooling-fin tower with a single fan. In addition, This base’s top is slightly elevated, making it seem like a heatsink. In general, the Dark Rock Pro 4 stays loyal to the spirit of the previous versions. It’s an elegant way to keep your CPU cool that’s both effective and stylish.
Installation of the Dark Rock Pro 4 is quite comparable to that of other Heatpipe tower coolers. For this, you’ll need mounting bars, a crossbar, and threaded standoffs. Since the fans are attached after the Cooler has been installed, we require a solution for securing two screws into the mounting crossbar between the two rows of cooling fins. Moreover, a thin screwdriver comes with the be quiet! Package.
Its magnetic tip aids in holding the screws in place while they are maneuvered into a position, which amounts to surgical precision. Setting up the be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 is a relatively straightforward process. Even if you have no experience putting together components, you should have no trouble with the mounting mechanism. This method is clear whether you’re using an AMD or Intel processor. Nonetheless, let’s keep things simple and cover the procedure one by one.
On AMD Platforms
A Motherboard manufactured for the AMD platform requires the removal of black retaining brackets. Once the black spacers are in place, we can position the AMD retention brackets above it and secure them with the included screws. When installing the retention brackets, be sure the center component is facing the CPU.
Applying thermal paste allows the central mounting bridge to be positioned on top of the Heatsink Base and remain flat. After the Cooler has been carefully placed over the CPU, ensuring that the bridge’s holes line up with the retaining brackets, we may tighten the screws. Remove the two Thumbscrews from the Cooler’s top plate and insert the lengthy Be Quiet! Screwdriver underneath them.
On Intel Platforms
When installing on an Intel Plattform Motherboard, there are a few extra measures to take throughout the setup process. If the motherboard you’re using doesn’t have a backplate already attached, you can utilize the one offered by Be Quiet! Place the silver Intel screws into the appropriate holes on the backplate according to the Socket you’re using and secure them with a rubber o-ring from Intel’s mounting bag.
We may now screw the spacers in from the opposite side once the backplate is in place. The Intel Backplate screws are easily put on the boards with a backplate attached. We may now secure the top retention brackets into place using screws. The retention bracket must be screwed in with the outwards pointing orientation. Applying thermal paste allows the central mounting bridge to be positioned on top of the Heatsink Base. After the Cooler has been carefully positioned over the CPU, ensure that the bridge’s holes line up with the retaining brackets’, and tighten the screws.
Dark Rock Pro 4 Fans,
Mounting the fan comes next once you’ve attached the Cooler to the CPU. However, setting up and putting down the fan has not been the most pleasant process we have completed. Once the 120mm fan is on the heatsink’s rubber-pad side, we can insert the clips into the Fan-Screw holes and push firmly on the sides to secure the clips.
While this may appear simple, removing the fan is a rather difficult task. We found that pressing the fan and pulling the fan-clip hook out of the fan hole was the most straightforward method. This will prevent you from scratching the heatsink’s protective layer.
The identical method, but with a little more effort, must be used for the 135mm fan in the center of the unit. The center fan of the Dark Rock Pro 4 must be pushed to the side. The next step is to wiggle the fan clips through into corresponding holes. When it comes to complex tasks, installation of the central fan is at the top, and removing it is even more of a nuisance.
Moreover, removing the Cooler is our only option if we need to upgrade the RAM in the system. It’s also worth mentioning that the wire fan clips may be easily unclipped with a pair of needle-nose pliers if the cooling fans’ replacement is necessary. Viewing the Dark Rock Pro 4 through a casing reveals a sleek cooler and premium and takes up very little vertical space. The Cooler has sleek metal, a company logo, and a view of the front-mounted fan.
Dark Rock Pro 4 Testing & Benchmarks
It might seem today that testing a cooler is less complicated than it is. The following parameters and an ambient temperature of 24.4 degrees Celsius are used for the test. Using Cinebench, the I7 12700k has no difficulty reaching 4.8 GHz. The fans and pump are at full speed. It’s been a while since the release of the Dark Rock Pro 4. But when you check it out alongside other coolers, you’ll see some differences.
Tech4Gamers makes a great effort to clarify all aspects of the benchmarking process so that readers may double-check the results and attempt to imitate them on their systems if they want. The results of our benchmark tests on the Dark Rock Pro 4 are relatively self-explanatory. Remember that the outcomes may differ based on the Processor, GPU, and many other components you utilize and that there is often some margin for error when using the software.
Specifications for the test build are as follows:
- Intel i7 12700k
- be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
- Gigabyte Z690 Aero D
- Sabrent Rocket 32GB DDR5 @ 4800MHz
- MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio
- be quiet! Straight Power 11 1000W Platinum
- Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 2TB PCIe 4 NVMe SSD
- Praxis Wetbench
We’re using Dark Rock Pro 4 thermal paste to test the cooler. It would be easier to standardize if all coolers used the same thermal paste. On the graphs, normal temperatures are shown. The testing is performed on a bench system in the open air. Temperatures are predicted to climb once within the chassis, with the ideal airflow inside the casing significantly mitigating the expected temperature increase.
The stress test’s outcome may vary across repetitions. Several variables, including mounting pressure, thermal paste use, and ambient temperature changes, might be the reason. Even within the same family of chips, there might be noticeable variations due to the silicon used. Therefore, the testing procedure should be mentioned with the specifics.
OK, then, let’s examine the result.
The processor’s load temperatures are shown in blue, while the idle temperatures are in orange. The graph above shows the average temperature of the P-Cores. As we can see, the Dark Rock Pro 4 performs quite well compared to the other coolers. The Dark Rock Pro 4 keeps the I7 12700k at 26°C on idle. On the other hand, it reaches 78.6°C on load.
Suppose you don’t feel safe utilizing water near your electronics. In that case, effective air coolers can be affixed to a 12-core CPU and provide sufficient cooling even under heavy load. Test results show that the Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 is among the top air coolers on the market today. The same holds for overclocking; provided you don’t overburden your system and have sufficient case airflow, this Cooler should work fine.
Some may find the choice of “be quiet” to be overwhelming. That is, after all, the brand’s whole point. The outcomes justify their word in the quality of their products. This implies that it functions effectively and does so with little noise.
Price is a significant factor, and if there is anything that may encourage a shift away from such a cooling option, it would be the cost. While $89,90 seems fair, given what we’re holding, most people don’t buy this approach. From what we can tell from the market, cheaper choices provide superior thermal performance but at the cost of bringing a great deal of additional noise into the system.
The Dark Rock Pro 4 is less expensive than an AIO but is significantly heavier on the Socket. Although most motherboards can take either, it’s just a personal opinion. The Dark Rock Pro 4 can compete thermally with AIOs unless you have a very compact chassis, Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 is an excellent contender for your next build, balancing the many factors that should be considered when selecting a new cooler. The impressive performance is matched by its attractive design.
Should You Buy it?
be quiet! delivers again with the excellent Dark Rock Pro 4. From what we can tell of their performance in the past, they met or went beyond all of our expectations. Some of us might find the aesthetics of a big cooler made of brushed metal without any LEDs glaring at us within the chassis dull, but we can still enjoy it. While the tower is of high quality, we cannot overlook the importance of the fans.
The Dark Rock Pro 4 uses a 120mm and 135mm fan, which are almost inaudible under test and real-world conditions and nearly impossible to detect when run under PWM Control. Since Be Quiet no longer provides the bulky backplate they formerly did, mounting is much more convenient. The fact that we weren’t confronted with unsightly holes after installation is a further benefit, as are the top covers that can be removed for easy installation.
A high-end computer will typically perform after you install this. It performs well in workstations and is particularly well-suited for overclocking. There’s a justification for why and how the Dark Rock Pro 4 is regarded in the tech community. Unboxing is as enjoyable as using it since the product is well-designed from top to bottom. If we had picked apart every detail, we might say that the installation might have gone more smoothly.
Last but not least, the Dark Rock Pro 4 is near enough to the top of the thermal rankings to be considered a serious contender. be quiet! has consistently released innovative products, and its most recent Cooler isn’t any different. Other than that, this cooler works as intended. This is the best choice to treat yourself to something spectacular. According to our review of the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 CPU Cooler is one of the best options for cooling CPUs by using the air cooling option.
You’d unlikely find reasons to skip pass on such a Cooler for your CPU, with its low noise profile, above-average performance, and enhanced mounting hardware. The Cooler’s size may indeed prevent some people from purchasing it, but because Be Quiet supports all modern CPUs (including a TR4 variant of this model) and the Dark Rock Pro 4 has a 250W TDP to use, we think it’s a good choice for any system in which it can be installed.
The Cooler’s all-black appearance and reasonable price are hard to beat. The gloomy aesthetic of the Dark Rock 4 series is a big part of why we enjoy it so much; the coating of the fins, the dark black upper cover, even the heat pipes, and yeah, the fans are all black. This Cooler is a good fit for most modern motherboards, which use a black PCB. As far as looks go, then, they are top-notch. We think we gave so many insights away in the upper sections of the review. Now, it just feels like we are overstating ourselves.
Despite this, the two silent-wing fans do an excellent job at low RPM, and the coolers cool well and quietly. This Cooler is so quiet you barely notice it when you overclock it. Moreover, we are relieved to find that the mounting system of the Dark Rock Pro 4 has been improved. Installing this Cooler is far less complicated and time-consuming. It can be seen that the Dark Rock Pro 4’s improved cooling capacity and overall performance are apparent upgrades over the previous generation’s Dark Rock Pro 3.
Regarding efficiency, It’s no exaggeration to say that Dark Rock Pro 4 is a powerhouse. While it may not be the best cooling option, it certainly doesn’t lag when comparing the coolers to those that make less noise. However, not everything that glitters is indeed gold. The installation process is, at best, challenging, but the noise reduction, performance, and cost are all top-notch. The Dark Rock Pro 4’s permanently connected top plate is our main complaint about the product. We think the top plate should have been modified so that it may be detached using thumb screws in the same places as the two mounting holes.
You must slide the fan from the side to install the central fan, which might be an overwhelming issue if you put the cooler inside a case, even for a simple update. But despite the annoyance of these minor installation issues, the cooler is a powerhouse once it’s set up, running silently even when operating at full speed. If you’re looking forward to heated overclocking moments, we strongly suggest you pick this Cooler.
Awards Received By Dark Rock Pro 4:
- Best Overall CPU Cooler For Ryzen 7 7700X
- Best Air Cooler for LGA 1700
- Best Overall CPU Cooler For i9-13900KF
- Best Silent CPU Cooler Under $100
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