Sitting atop our Intel Core i7-5930k running at 4.20 Ghz and 1.20v, the be quiet! Shadow Rock 3 gets an ample dosing of thermal load in watts from our test system sitting within a Corsair Graphite 760T chassis.
The be quiet! Shadow Rock 3 makes a big impact by narrowly beating out some of the most notable midsize heatpipe coolers, including one of our long-time favorites, the Cooler Master MasterAir MA410M and Arctic Freezer 34 eSports Duo. While these performance numbers are incredibly close and within mere fractions of percentages, it does show the level of performance of the new Shadow Rock 3 – it certainly hangs with good company, here.
The be quiet! Shadow Rock 3 is the test cooler to utilize just a single 120mm cooling fan while the others make use of a pair of them. Interestingly enough, the Shadow Rock 3 has a deeper cooling fin stack, while the remaining three use a more compact cooling tower design, allowing for greater surface area to handle dispersion of thermal load.
While rotational fan speed often indicates greater noise levels, we see less disparity across the quartet of coolers with the exception of the Cooler Master, which does not have the fastest fans, but certainly does turn in the highest decibel levels. The be quiet! Shadow Rock 3 lives up to its moniker by turning in nearly inaudible registered sound pressure levels.
Having the lowest recorded decibel levels along with the lowest thermal load temperatures puts the Shadow Rock 3 in great position for our acoustic efficiency chart. We are seeing highly effective cooling performance at nearly inaudible levels with this cooler.
With a price of $50 upon release, the be quiet! Shadow Rock 3 becomes a budget-friendly, uber-performer in our all-star roundup, costing about 50% less than the impressive Noctua NH-U12A. It should be noted that due to how well all coolers in the grouping perform, the graph offsets provide an amplified set of evaluations from the closest of performance margins.
Thermal imaging from our FLIR ONE Pro thermal camera shows only minor differences between 100% and 50% fan speeds on the Shadow Rock 3 under load. The larger heatsink cooling fin stack looks to be more efficient overall, regardless of fan speed.
be quiet! typically provides system builders with high quality cooling products for nearly any build size, spec or budget, and its new Shadow Rock 3 is no exception. Priced at $50 and designed for the midsize PC market, the Shadow Rock 3 is a nearly-silent, high performer with enough style to impress those with even the most scrutinizing eye.
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