We have reviewed be quiet! Shadow Rock 3 White recently. This time we are testing the Shadow Rock 3 White. The Shadow Rock 3 is the highest offering in the Shadow Rock series of the cooler and offers good performance in this price range with be quiet!’s superb build quality. We are spinning the white edition of this cooler.
Here are the salient features of the cooler:
- Impressive cooling performance of 190W TDP
- White heat sink is a highlight in every system
- Five 6mm high-performance copper heat pipes with HDT technology
- Decoupled Shadow Wings 2 120mm PWM high-speed fan
- Emits only 24.4dB(A) at maximum fan speed
- Asymmetrical construction avoids blocking memory slots in front of the cooler
- Bi-Color aluminum top cover with elegant white surface
- Easily installable installation kit that can be mounted from above
- 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
The cooler comes with an MSRP of Euro 59.90.
Packing and Unboxing
The product is shipped inside a cardboard box in a black color theme.
Shadow Rock 3 White is a Premium cooling solution from the be quiet!
The salient features of the cooler are highlighted.
- High RAM Clearance due to asymmetrical design
- 190W TDP
- Quiet Cooling Solution
The heatsink, fan, and mounting hardware are separately placed inside the packing box.
The elegance of the cooler can be spotted after removing the Styrofoam pad.
The fan and the mounting hardware are provided in separate boxes.
There is a pictorial-based user guide included in the box.
- 4x Standoff Screws for Intel LGA115x
- 4x rubber washers for Intel LGA115x
- 4x AMD plastic spacers
- 4x AMD Long Screws
- 4x Screws for Mounting Brackets
- 4x Metallic Nuts
- 4x Standoff Nuts
- 4x Thumb Nuts
- 1x Intel backplate
- 2x Intel Mounting Brackets
- 2x AMD Mounting Brackets
- 2x Screws
- 1x Cross Bar
be quiet! has provided 2x sets of metal clips for the installation of the fan.
- 1x Thermal Paste
- 1x Philips Screw Driver
Let’s start with what be quiet! is saying about this cooler. “The be quiet! Shadow Rock 3 White offers impressive cooling and quiet operation. Perfect for performance beyond the standard for a good price.”
It is time to take a look at the cooler.
The dimension of the cooler is 121x130x163mm (LxWxH) where 163mm is the overall height of the cooler. The weight of the cooler is 710g with the fan. The be quiet! Shadow Rock 3 White is compatible with Intel: LGA 1200 / 1150 / 1151 / 1155 / 1156 / 2011(-3) Square ILM / 2066 and AMD: AM4 / AM3(+). The cooler is rated to handle the TDP of up to 190W.
The above picture shows the top view of the heatsink. The top cover is in bi-color in an elegant design that speaks for itself. There is a black color faceplate with be quiet! branding. The inlay is in white color. This black and white color scheme is further complimented by using the black edition 120mm fan. My personal opinion is that the white color fan with black color touch would be more pleasing.
There is a hole on the top plate that goes down to the base of the heatsink. The user is required to pass the screwdriver through this hole to access the screw on the crossbar. We need a long tip screwdriver and be quiet! has taken care of this requirement as they have included a screwdriver in the accessories.
The front and rear of the heatsink are identical in layout. The rear side has a large inset in the middle to make provision for the tip of the screwdriver. We have protrusions all around on this side. The fins are in a white color coating. We have a total of 30 fins in the heatsink and they have much wider space among them. This makes the heatsink less dense hence relaxing the static pressure requirement on the fan. The lesser gap would not pose that high an airflow restriction as can be on the dense heatsink. be quiet! has taken advantage of this design and used a silent 120mm fan on the cooler.
The above picture is a see-through view of the heatsink clearly showing the layout of the heat pipes inside the heatsink.
The left and right sides of the heatsinks are identical. There is a cutout area on the fins on both sides which is where the handle of metal clips of the fans are inserted to secure the fan on the heatsink.
The above picture also highlights the asymmetrical layout of the heatsink. This is done to ensure that the heatsink does not overhang the DIMM slots to provide universal clearance for the RAM.
The above picture shows the cross-dimensional view of the heatsink.
The be quiet! Shadow Rock 3 White packs 5x 6mm high-performance copper heat pipes. The heat pipes are also in the white color coating.
There is a protective sticker pasted on the base of the cooler with a warning note to peel this sticker off before the installation. The base measures 39x40mm approximately. It is finished in nickel plating. The heat pipes are making direct contact with the CPU surface. Please note that this is not a continuous direct contact method as there is a gap between any two heat pipes on the base.
The above picture shows the base of the cooler with the protective sticker removed.
The crossbar is not pre-installed on the base of the cooler. This would make the installation somewhat cumbersome.
The be quiet! has provided a 120mm Shadow Wings 2 fan with this cooler. Here are the specifications of the Fan:
|Fan Power Connector||4-pin PWM|
|Motor Technology||4-pole fan motor|
|Lifespan (h / 25°C)||80,000|
The fan has 7 blades. Each blade has channels to help with the directed airflow. The center has a be quiet! branding on it. The frame is quite sturdy and is in a circular design. The mounting edges are a different design from the conventional layout.
There are arrow symbols that help identify the direction in which the blades spin and the direction of the airflow through the fan.
There is a be quiet! branding on one side of the frame.
The fan has a 4-arms assembly on the backside holding the motor and blades to the frame. One of the arms is wider as it has a channel for wires passing. There is a latch as well to stop the wires from falling off the channel.
The fan is using a 4-pin PWM connector to power the fan’s motor.
We have tested the cooler on the Intel LGA1200 socket using the MSI MAG Z490 TOMAHAWK motherboard. Here are the steps:
Install the Intel LGA1200 standoffs by passing these through the mentioned holes on the backplate. Secure them using the rubber washer.
Place the backplate on the motherboard socket area and install the standoff nuts.
Install the Intel mounting brackets on the standoffs using 4x screws.
Apply the thermal paste on the CPU surface. Remove the protective cover from the base of the cooler. Place the mounting bar on the base of the heatsink so that it snuggles in perfectly. Pass both screws on the mounting bar’s mounting holes. align the screws on the mounting bar with the mounting holes on the brackets and place the heatsink on the CPU. Use the screwdriver to complete the heatsink’s installation.
Install the metal clips on the fans and secure them on the heatsink. Connect the 4-pin PWM connector to the CPU_Fan header. This would complete the installation.
The be quiet! Shadow Rock 3 White has an asymmetrical design. It does not overhang the DIMM slots and provide universal clearance on the dual-channel DIMM slot design.
The upper portion of the cooler is not taking much space either and there is no limitation recorded with respect to the top of the PC case.
Similarly, we did not observe any clearance issue with respect to the IO cover of the motherboard.
There is no obstruction or clearance issue with respect to the first PCIe 30/4.0 x16 slot of the motherboard.
The height of the cooler is 163mm. Keep that in mind when selecting PC case for this cooler.
The following test bench is used: –
- Intel i7 10700k
- MSI MAG Z490 TOMAHAWK
- T-Force NightHawk RGB 16GB @ 3200MHz
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 FE
- addlink S70 256GB NVMe SSD
- Fractal Design ION+ 860P PSU
- Open-air test bench
Here is the settings table for testing:
|Clock (MHz)||3800 All Cores|
|Clock (MHz)||4700 All Cores|
|Clock (MHz)||5100 All Cores|
|Thermal Paste||Noctua NT-H1|
|Thermal Paste Application||Dot Method in the center.|
|Test Run Time||30 minutes|
|Idling Time||10 minutes|
|Fan Speed||100% PWM Duty Cycle and Auto PWM|
|Pump Speed||Connected to the AIO Pump header to run at 100% speed|
|Header||CPU_Fan header for the fans and Pump_Header for the pump|
|Software||AIDA64 6.3 Extreme [FPU]|
We are using Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste for cooler testing. Using the same thermal paste for all coolers would ensure standardization. Delta temperatures are reported on the graphs. The testing is done on an open-air bench system. Once inside the chassis, the temperatures are expected to rise and would largely depend upon the optimal airflow inside the chassis.
Not every run of the stress test may yield the same result. This could well be due to many factors like mounting pressure, thermal paste application, varying ambient temperature. Not to mention the silicon differences even among the same category of the chips. Hence, it is pertinent to mention the testing methodology along with the specifics.
The coolers are also tested using the Auto PWM function. MSI is using Smart Fan mode in the UEFI/BIOS which is not pure Auto PWM but it is what is available to us. The above picture shows the MSI default fan curve for the Smart Fan mode. Since all the coolers will be tested using the same configuration and settings, same margin of error applies to all.
Let’s take a look at the results.
3.8GHz All Cores
4.7GHz All Cores
4.7GHz Auto PWM
Auto PWM Speed
The fan is rated for 1600 RPM. The attained speed on Auto PWM was 1477 RPM.
5.1GHz All Cores
The cooler could not handle the 5.1GHz all-cores synthetic stress load and after a few minutes, two cores hit the 100°C mark and the CPU started thermal throttling. Still, this is no complaint as the cooler has handled the 4.7GHz all cores load quite fairly.
We have maintenance work going on near the place due to which the environmental noise is quite high. We are not measuring the noise level at the moment. The cooler was running silent.
For those who have asked, be quiet! carries three lines of the air coolers. Their top-of-the-line is the Dark Rock series with Dark Rock Pro 4 being the high-end air cooling solution. The Pure Rock series is covering eh budget segment and the middle range of the market is covered by the Shadow Rock series coolers. Coming back to the main topic, we have tested the Shadow Rock 3 White air cooler which is the top offer in the Shadow Rock series. be quiet! is aiming at the perfect balance of good performance with silent operations.
The cooler stands at 163mm in height. Keep that in mind if really deciding on a compact build! The cooler comes with a Shadow Wings 2 120mm fan. The cooler is compatible with the Intel LGA 1200/115x/12xx and AMD AM4 and AM3(+) sockets. be quiet! has rated this cooler for a 190W TDP. The cooler has a dimension of 120x130x163mm.
We have a single tower design comprising 30 aluminum fins. be quiet! is using 5x 6mm thick copper heat pipes. The white color coating on the assembly is speaking for itself. The paintwork is up to the mark and the overall finish remarks the top-notch build quality of be quiet!. The top of the heatsink has a bi-color cover. Since this side will be visible once installed in the case, the elegant design would look quite nice.
The be quiet! has provided a Shadow Wings 2 120mm fan. The fan has a 25mm thickness. The fan is using Rifle bearing and is rated for 80,000 hours life span. There is no airflow and static pressure rating provided in the specification. The noise level at 100% fans speed is 23.7 dB(A) at full speed.
When it comes to the installation, we are dealing with 22 mounting hardware items for the installation. The cross-bar is not pre-installed which would make the installation somewhat inconvenient. I would suggest installing this cooler out of the PC case as installing it inside the case (in a standing position) would be challenging. The cooler is not obstructing the DIMM slots and gives a good enough clearance to the high-profile RAM. We did not observe any clearance issue with respect to the RAM height, PCIe x16 3.0 slot, and IO cover of the MSI MAG Z490 TOMAHAWK.
The be quiet! Shadow Rock 3 White has an MSRP of Euro 59.90. The cooler has performed quite well during the testing though we get the feeling that be quiet! has opted for the silent operations over the cooling potential and that by using a bit more aggressive fan, we can even get better thermal performance. With the beautiful white color, an elegant design, performance and silence, and 3 years warranty, the Shadow Rock3 White comes recommended by us.
We are thankful to be quiet! for giving us the opportunity to review their Shadow Rock 3 White CPU Air Cooler.