Comparison Coolers, Testing Results and Conclusion
We compared the Noctua be quiet! Dark Rock Pro TR4 against other coolers on our 32-core 2990WX Threadripper CPU, which runs at 3.4Ghz and 1.20v on our Gigabyte X399 Aurous Xtreme motherboard. The system is mounted inside our standard Corsair Graphite 760T chassis. We’ll take a look at the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro TR4 alongside the DeepCool Gamer Storm Fryzen, the Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3 and the Cooler Master Wraith Ripper.
The Dark Rock Pro TR4 doesn’t give us the lowest thermal results of the group, but does fall in line with the GamerStorm Fryzen and the Wraith Ripper. All three fall behind the 140mm Noctua NH-U14S.
Equipped with a pair of cooling fans (one 120mm & one 135mm), the Dark Rock Pro TR4 provides the slowest fan speeds of the group, while still maintaining the same performance of others in the testing comparison.
Low fan speeds usually translate directly into lower decibel levels, and that holds true here, as the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro TR4 provides whisper-quiet cooling over a large heatpipe framework.
We define acoustic efficiency by how well a specific cooler handles the thermal load testing against registered relative sound levels compared to the other hardware in the comparison test group. The Dark Rock Pro TR4 and Noctua NH-U14S are the only two coolers of the quartet which manage to post positive efficiencies.
Performance value assesses our acoustic efficiency chart while also evaluating individual product cost against average cost. Once again, the Dark Rock Pro TR4 and Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP4 manage to post positive value at both 50% and 100% fan speeds, while also posting below-group-average price tags.
Thermal imaging from our FLIR ONE Pro camera shows similar thermal loading across both 50% and 100% fan speeds, showing slight increases from the middle of the Dark Rock Pro TR4 and almost diagonally upwards to the back of the case. This indicates that as airflow moves the thermal load through the cooler laterally toward the back to the rear discharge, it also shows a slight incline due to the natural tendency for heat to rise. Upper and lower thermal discharge shows minimal turbulence, most likely due to lower fan RPM and shaped ducting stamped into the tower’s cooling fin stack.
With the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro TR4 retailing right around $90 (£69), it’s slightly lower than the group average but still a bit more than the Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3’s $77 (£59). Like the Noctua, the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro TR4 is aimed at system builders that desire a specific look and personality which specifically avoids RGB lighting focus and hinges on sleek and calculated and offers a welcome relief to excessive visual blitz.
Silence, paired with the signature be quiet! dark design makes the Dark Rock Pro TR4 a welcome alternative to a world of noisy, high-RPM fans and RGB over-stimulation. To go along with that, its premium, large heatpipe cooler pricing aligns with nearly all high-end Threadripper-dedicated solutions we have tested so far, and similar to other premium high-end desktop (HEDT) coolers as well.
If you prioritize absolute silence in your Threadripper build, and you like its dark looks, the Dark Rock Pro should be at the top of your cooling options list. But with a slightly lower price, significantly lower temps in our testing, and noise levels less than 2dBA higher than be quiet!’s cooler in our tests, the Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3 remains our air cooler of choice for all the threads you plan on ripping.
Image Credits: Tom's Hardware
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