be quiet! Dark Rock Elite Review (Page 1 of 4)

be quiet! Dark Rock Elite Review

By: Aaron Lai
December 8, 2023

If you have ever encountered the birthday problem, you might be staggered at the result. Basically, if you have a room of a random number of people, what is the likelihood that that at least two of them share the same birthday. Without any math, you would probably think this requires quite a large number of people, especially since there are 365 days in most years. However, if you work out the math, it actually only takes 23 people to reach a 50% probability of this happening. In real life, once you get to know enough people, you will likely know several people that share the same birth date. I know I share my birthday with a couple of people, and the same can be said for many of my friends and family. Obviously, the birthdays are often separated by years, but it is still pretty neat. As well, the probability may change for certain days, especially ones like February 29, but the 50% just accounts for finding a matching date between two people and not for a specific one. When be quiet! announced their latest set of coolers, you could say both of them shared the same birth date. Their latest set was the Dark Rock Pro 5 and the cooler we have today, which is the Dark Rock Elite. I really liked the Dark Rock Pro 5 for its quiet and capable performance, so I was excited to see what we would get with this cooler. However, I have to wonder if they share anything else. Are there similar pieces between the two coolers other than their launch date? Will the Dark Rock Elite be quiet too? Let us read on to find out!

Today's review unit of the be quiet! Dark Rock Elite came with theDark Rock Pro 5. This parcel took a pretty interesting journey. First of all, this box traveled with USPS in the United States and TForce in Canada. There were two shipping labels, with the first one showing it originated from Walnut, California. The second label shows an intermediary address in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, so there was some sort of transfer to get to our APH Networks offices here in Calgary, Alberta. There are no real bumps or bruises to be concerned about with the shipping container. Inside, be quiet! has packaged quite a bit of packing air pockets too to ensure the products here are safe.

From the retail container, you can see the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 5 and Elite both come in similar looking boxes, which match up with other recent be quiet! products we have seen. As such, we have a fully black box with relatively minimal graphics. On the front panel, we have the be quiet! logo found on the top right corner. The middle shows off the cooler in a shadowy presence, which really emphasizes the "Dark" in its name. At the bottom, we have a tagline of "Peak Performance, Legendary Cooling." Around the box, we have some features and specifications for this cooler, but it is pretty simplistic.

Before we continue on, I have grabbed the specifications from the manufacturer's website for your viewing pleasure:

General data
Model: Dark Rock Elite
TDP (W): 280
Color option: Black
Overall dimensions without mounting material (L x W x H), (mm): 146 x 136 x 168
Total weight (kg): 1.34
Socket compatibility Intel: 1700 / 1200 / 1150 / 1151 / 1155
Socket compatibility AMD: AM5 / AM4
Overall noise level (dB(A)) @ 50/75/100% (rpm): 11 / 19.5 / 25.8
Number of fans: 2
Lighting connector: ✓

Heatsink specifications
Dimensions (L x W x H), (mm): 120 x 136 x 168
Fin material: Aluminum
Surface treatment: Ceramic coating
Base material: Copper
CPU contact surface: CNC machined
Heatpipe number / Diameter (mm): 7 / 6

Fan specifications
Fan model: Silent Wings
Fan dimensions (mm): 135 x 135 x 25
Speed @ 100% PWM /12V (rpm): 1500 / 2000
Bearing technology: Fluid Dynamic Bearing
Motor technology: 6-pole fan motor
Rated Voltage (V): 12
Input current (A): 0.40
Input power (W): 4.8
Connector: 4-pin PWM
Cable length (mm): 120 / 80
Lifespan (h / 25°C): 300,000
Y-Cable: ✓

Thermal grease (Type): Included
Mounting set: Intel & AMD

Out of the box, the be quiet! Dark Rock Elite is sandwiched in between two white foam brackets to cushion the metal heatsink. This foam is soft and does not break apart easily, which is good to see. There are copious amounts of foam in between the parts to ensure a reduction of damage. Wedged in one of the brackets is a magnetic screwdriver. This screwdriver is much appreciated and an upgrade over the simpler L-shaped metal screwdriver. Next, we have a cardboard box that holds some mounting documentation, warranty information, and a bag of all of the mounting accessories. It also includes a small tube of thermal paste for multiple applications and installations.

As mentioned in the specifications, the be quiet! Dark Rock Elite can be mounted on both AMD and Intel sockets. For AMD, this includes the most recent AM4 and AM5 sockets. For Intel, this includes LGA1700, LGA1200 LGA1150, LGA1151, and LGA1155. The only notable omission from this list is the Threadripper TRX40 socket, although those processors have much larger integrated heatspreaders. Therefore, it is not surprising these coolers are not intended for those processors.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware; Installation
3. Test Results
4. Conclusion