I'm just a small-time guy working a normal job as a physician assistant. My passion is building PCs and testing/reviewing PC hardware.
be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 CPU Cooler
Hello everyone, Will here. Today I am very excited to bring to you my review of the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4. I have been wanting a premium air CPU cooler for some time now as I’m not very keen on keeping my system water cooled, even though I know it is not too likely for the water cooling system to fail. At any rate, I was torn between this and Noctua’s NH-D15 cooler. So, as you can tell, the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 won out in my shopping experience. But how did the Dark Rock Pro 4 hold up? Let’s find out.
First, let us talk about some specifications of this cooler. The Dark Rock Pro 4 comes to us courtesy of the German company be quiet! It is a sleek, all black cooler and is massive. The Dark Rock Pro 4 measures 162.8mm x 136mm x 145.7mm and comes with plenty of hardware and accessories to mount this cooler to just about any motherboard and socket on the market currently, and even for some last generation boards. The heatsink itself has 7 of the 6mm heat pipes. The heatsink is made of aluminum while the base and heat pipes are copper. The entire heatsink and heat pipes are painted in a black ceramic coating that is conductive to heat. The cooler comes with two SilentWings 3 fans, a single 120mm PWM fan that can hit 1500RPM, and a single 135mm fan that can reach 1200RPM. The Dark Rock Pro 4 is rated for 250 watts TDP.
What's in the box?
The Dark Rock Pro 4’s packaging is quite stellar. Included in the packaging is the following:
- 6x Fan clips
- 4x Backplate screws
- 4x Backplate screw o-rings
- 4x Screw pillars
- 4x AMD screw pillars
- 4x AMD washers
- 4x AMD screws
- 4x LGA2011 screw pillars
- 4x Mounting bracket screws
- 2x Mounting arm screws
- 2x AMD mounting brackets
- 2x Intel mounting brackets
- 1x Mounting arm
- 1x Backplate
- 1x Y-cable
- 1x Screwdriver
- 1x Tube of thermal grease
- 1x Instruction booklet
- 1x 135 mm SilentWings 3 fan
- 1x 120 mm SilentWings 3 fan
- 1x Dual tower heatsink
I love the fact that be quiet! gave us a nice little, magnet tipped screwdriver. It’s actually a really nice screwdriver too.
Installation of this cooler was quite easy, in my opinion. The directions were straightforward and was provided in multiple languages ranging from German to French to English and a few others. The included magnetic-tip screwdriver was a nice addition and made installing the cooler quite easy. The mounting system was a breeze to install onto the motherboard over the AM4 socket. The cooler was mounted quite easily on the bracket and the crossbar support bar was screwed very easily as well onto the mounting bracket. The installation of the cooler onto the motherboard from start to finish with double checking every single step in the instruction manual was under 15 minutes. After putting the motherboard into the case with the cooler installed, it was a little difficult to get the 8-pin CPU power connector into place but nothing terrible. My main complaint with the cooler has nothing to do with the mounting system and is actually more of a motherboard complaint is that once I installed the GPU, it was next to impossible to remove the GPU because you just could not get to the PCI-e release latch. Again, that is mostly the motherboard component spacing.
So, with the specifications and installation out of the way, how did this CPU cooler perform? Well, let’s find out. To test this cooler, I installed it onto my AMD Ryzen 5 2600 system. The system consists of the Ryzen 5 2600 processor overclocked to 4.0GHz on the MSI B350 Mortar motherboard. There is 16GB of 3200MHz of G.Skill TridentZ RAM in dual channel configuration. For the display, I used the fairly warm running PowerColor RX Vega 56 (though it really doesn’t run too hot) just to add a little extra heat inside of the Fractal Design Meshify C Mini TG case to help add a little stress to the Ryzen 5 2600. I have 4 x 120mm fans in intake configuration, a single 120mm fan in exhaust, and the power supply fan is installed with the fan exhausting air from the case.
My method of testing was to stress the CPU as much as possible in various ways. I did a 12-hour measurement of temperatures while the system was mining Ethereum (GPU) and Monero (CPU). I ran Cinebench five consecutive times. I followed the Cinebench runs up with an Intel Burn Test on high for 10 runs. After that, I did miscellaneous computing tasks such as web browsing and word processing for one hour. Next up was gaming in which I gamed on Destiny 2 while running the Vega 56 at -12 on the core, -15% power limit which gave me a 1525Mhz Core and an 850MHz HBM2 memory. I ran a single run of 3DMark next and followed that up with two runs of Prime95 on the ‘blend’ setting and ‘Small EFTs’ setting. And finally, I tested one final time on Intel Burn Test on Maximum setting for five runs. There was a 30-minute cool down period between each test to allow complete heat dissipation from the previous test. So, how did the Dark Rock Pro 4 do? Well, fairly well actually.
First up, mining. I performed a 12-hour period of nonstop mining with the processor running on all 6 cores and 12 threads of the Ryzen 5 2600 at 100% usage. The maximum temperature the Dark Rock Pro 4 was just 65 degrees Celsius; a pretty good start to my benchmarking session. Next up was Cinebench, and the Dark Rock Pro did not disappoint yet again. After five consecutive runs of Cinebench, it was obvious that a maximum temperature had been reached and it was just 58 degrees Celsius. Again, impressive result. The first Intel Burn test was next running on the high setting for 10 runs just netted a maximum CPU temperature of just 66 degrees Celsius. This test is pretty hard on the CPU and I’ve had Intel Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake processors go well over 90 degrees Celsius on water while running this test. So, 66 degrees is really good (yes, I know Ryzen doesn’t run as hot as Intel). Over my hour of normal computing tasks, the Dark Rock Pro 4 kept the Ryzen to 48 degrees Celsius. I moved onto gaming next. After an hour of Destiny 2, the Ryzen reached 66 degrees Celsius at maximum. Then, in the 3DMark single run, I saw temperatures of 69 degrees Celsius. In my Prime95 run on the ‘blend’ setting over 10 minutes, the processor hit just 65 degrees Celsius and over the 20 minutes of the Prime95 run on the ‘Small EFTs’ setting, which is supposed to create maximum heat from the processor, the temperatures reached just 67 degrees Celsius. Finally, I went back to the Intel Burn test and put the setting on Maximum for 5 runs which allowed the temperature to reach 67 degrees Celsius.
Testing Results (Chart)
Maximum Temperature ( degrees Celsius)
Monero = 100% CPU Usage
Intel Burn Test
Intel Burn Test
Normal Computing Tasks
web browsing, word processor, etc
Vega 56 OC (-12 core, -15% power limit, 1525 Core, 850 memory)
Small EFTs (max heat, etc) Setting
Conclusions and Final Thoughts
So, there you have it. Not only is the Dark Rock Pro4 a very nice looking cooler, it is also a beast of a cooling solution. Installation took less than 15 minutes and probably could be done in less than 10 minutes; I’m just a little slow because of my OCD personality. This is by far one of the best air coolers I have tested and I highly recommend it to everyone. My only negative thought about it is the price as it is roughly $90. You do get what you paid for however and the performance is second to none in my testing thus far. So, what do you think? Does it look like this cooler is worth the $90? Do you think it could compete of other premium coolers like the Cryorig R1 Ultimate or the Noctua NH-D15? Well, we will be finding out in the very near future as I have plans to purchase myself an NH-D15 to pit it against the Dark Rock Pro 4. Stay tuned for that and check back soon for that comparison. Thanks again for stopping by and taking the time to check out my blog content. Drop me a comment below and let me know what you think, if there is anything you want to see me review/compare, and don’t forget to vote in the poll. Thanks again and have a great day! I hope to see you next time!
Greg at Science Studio Reviews the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.