Be Quiet’s Dark Rock 4 coolers fly under the radar

We wrote about Be Quiet's Dark Rock 4 and Dark Rock Pro 4 CPU coolers when they were on display at CES in January. The pair of plus-sized tower coolers is now available, and we have the full details on them. Let's take a deep look.

be quiet! Dark Rock 4

The Dark Rock 4 has six copper heat pipes connected to a dense array of aluminum fins. Everything except the mounting surface has an elegant-looking black coating with ceramic particles that Be Quiet says improves heat transfer. A 135-mm SilentWings fan with a six-pole motor pushes air through the fin stack.

be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4

The Dark Rock Pro 4 has the same construction as the regular model, but adds a seventh heat pipe and splits the fins into two separate stacks. A 120-mm SilentWings fan mounts to the outside of the assembly and a 135-mm spinner sits in between the fin arrays. Buyers can remove the 120-mm fan or add another as needs and desires dictate. Be Quiet says the Pro 4 can dissipate the heat from CPUs with TDP ratings as high as 250 W, compared to "only" 200 W on the standard version.

be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 underside

Both coolers come with mounting hardware for Intel desktop LGA sockets with anywhere from 1150 to 2066 pins. On the AMD side, the coolers can saddle up on any desktop chip going back to the ancient AM2 sockets, except for the tiny AM1 and the titanic TR4 sockets. Be Quiet provides detailed dimensions on its product pages, but for brevity's sake we'll say only that the Dark Rock 4 is 6.3" tall (159 mm) and Dark Rock Pro 4 needs at least 6.4" (163 mm) of vertical space. The company says the coolers mount easily from above, and the product packages include a special nut driver that should help simplify the installation process.

Be Quiet's Dark Rock 4 and Dark Rock Pro 4 CPU coolers are available now from Newegg. The single-fan Dark Rock 4 costs $75 and the larger Dark Rock Pro 4 requires the surrender of $90. These prices are exactly the same as the company's previous-generation Dark Rock 3 and Dark Rock Pro 3 offerings. The company backs the coolers with a three-year warranty.

Comments closed
    • Shinare
    • 2 years ago

    Everyone knows black painted turbo intercoolers increase speed so black painted CPU coolers must do the same.

    Pro tip I learned from Mighty Car Mods!

    • wabbit
    • 2 years ago

    I’d say that they run under the sonar, just because they are quiet.

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    This definitely exceeds the mass*distance-from-fulcrum rule that I apply to air coolers.

    I’m sure it’s good at cooling, I’m not sure I’d want it hanging off my motherboard in a vertical orientation though.

    [i<]Edit: Yeah, 1130g at a whopping 163mm from the top of the CPU, probably 175mm from the mounting bracket. Intel increased the maximum heatsink mass from 400g to 500g with LGA1150 and the socket specifications state a 108mm tall cooler at that maximum mass. This cooler must be violating the LGA specification by a factor of 4 or 5. That's two and a half pounds hanging off something seven inches long, in ironically-named freedom units.[/i<]

      • DavidC1
      • 2 years ago

      I haven’t heard of heavy heatsinks causing long term issues, but I didn’t know the max limit was only 500g. There are 2-in-1 ultrabooks nowadays that weigh the same as the HSF combo.

      I wonder the stress involved when unaware users install such larger HSF combo and ship them. I wonder how many computer stores do that. What about carrying your computers to LAN parties? Lots of gaming systems there, and high chance of a very heavy heatsink installed.

      The 500g limit is reached dangerously close by the BeQuiet Pure Rock “Slim” line HSF.

        • Chrispy_
        • 2 years ago

        With two decades of PC hardware maintenance across several thousand devices, I have seen large, aftermarket heatsinks fitted to a few hundred machines that have crossed my workbenches (many of them use OEM or stock cooling).

        Around ten have been dead motherboards with no visible damage, no capacitor failures, no burn marks or cracked ICs but they did have large heatsinks that had visibly warped the board. I’m guessing the stresses of very tight clamping forces required for these 2-3lbs monsters with years of thermal cycling from low/high load and power on/off.

        I had a premature death of my own Asus board using a Noctua NH-12 (not even that heavy) but the board did not work vertically, only horizonally. When I took it out and put it on a test bench I could only get it to POST if I turned the board upside down and pressed inward on the CPU backplate to try and counter the curvature caused by the clamping force of the heatsink. That left no doubt in my mind that the bend was the cause of the board failure, and a lot of these giant heatsinks cause an alarming amount of board-bend when installed.

      • MEATLOAF2
      • 2 years ago

      Interesting, Makes me worry slightly about my massive hunk of aluminum. Not too worried, though, these things are always underrated significantly (and for good reason).

      Long term stress is really where their ratings make sense most likely. By that time, I’ll have donated my board to another system that I really don’t care too much about 🙂

      Definitely something I’ll be thinking about in the future, maybe I’ll finally grow a pair and put some water in there.

      Edit: Also, I like the look of that cooler; Purdy, and from looks alone, seems like it could compare nicely to the NH-D15 from Noctua.

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 2 years ago

        TPU did a review that was posted today. It did almost as well as the nh d15.

        • EndlessWaves
        • 2 years ago

        Alternatively, just go for CPUs clocked at the sweet spot and enjoy silent cooling from a 50mm high cooler weighing a few hundred grams.

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 2 years ago

      Personally, the only heavy heatsinks I’ve used were some Zalman coolers back in the day. My rule of thumb was another over 500g should be used only in a horizontal configuration. Anything under that was ok in a vertical orientation.

      • moose17145
      • 2 years ago

      I wonder what the 2011 sockets are rated at. I have a fairly large Zalman heatsink on my 6900K. Hopefully it’s not stressing the board too much. It does seem like the 2011 sockets were built a bit sturdier than their consumer oriented brethren though…

        • Chrispy_
        • 2 years ago

        There aren’t really any mass limits – Intel specificies maximum dynamic compressive force and Intel’s recommendation for smaller sockets is 500g based on a reference cooler’s dimensions.

        Obviously larger coolers result in the centre of mass being further from the fulcrum (the lowest contact point of the IHS) so actually a large cooler should weigh less than 500g.

        [url=https://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/guides/core-i7-lga2011-3-tmsdg.pdf<]This document from Intel[/url<] shows that the maximum dynamic compressive force on the socket must not exceed 588N, and their 600g, 92mm reference cooler exerts 441N. Even if you ignore the increased leverage of a larger cooler, extrapolating that mass to reach 588N means that a 2011 cooler should not be heavier than 800g. Interestingly enough, the document also lists the maximum permissible board strain, expressed as a strain ratio (ue). That implies that across the 100mm between mounting holes, the board must not bend more than 400ue and although I'm not familiar with strain calculations, I believe this means 'not very much'. Perhaps someone more mathematically minded can translate that into a deflection in mm for us 😉

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