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Be quiet! takes on Noctua with the Dark Rock Slim

By mongeese · 17 replies
Jan 12, 2019
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  1. German PC hardware manufacturer be quiet! had the Dark Rock Slim on display at CES and they weren’t shy about showing it off. It’s capable of cooling even Threadrippers with up to a 180W TDP, using four copper heat pipes and one be quiet! Silent Wing 3 fan.

    Silent Wing fans are used across all of their lineup and they provide an impressive 50.5 CFM (cubic feet per minute) of airflow at just under 1500 rpm, generating 1.79mm H20 of pressure with 7 fan blades. What they’re known best for, however, is a near silent peak maximum sound output of 16.4dB.

    Also read: The Best CPU Coolers 

    According to the Tech Report, the Slim will cost about $50 and arrive in Q2, to some very interesting market conditions. There are only two real competitors with similar form factors at that price point: Cooler Master and Noctua.

    Cooler Master launched the Hyper 212 Evo Black Edition back in November, which looks almost exactly like the Dark Rock Slim. Performance-wise, however, the 212 is no match using a 45 CFM fan that runs shockingly louder at 26dB.

    On paper, Noctua seems to stand more of a chance. Its NH-U12S is about $60, and it uses a more powerful 55 CFM fan that will surely control temperatures better. It’s still noticeably louder at 22.4dB, but that is still impressively quiet. As you’re probably already thinking, however, Noctua has one serious weakness: they paint all their fans a very ugly brown.

    be quiet! says they’re aware that its immense size is what drives the performance of the Dark Rock 4 but remain firm that the Dark Rock Slim will be able to handle almost any processor silently. If their competitors don’t shake things up in the next few months, they could be onto a winner.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  2. Daniele 00

    Daniele 00 TS Member Posts: 22   +17

    It's not true there are just two competitors. I like thermalright more, infact I have bought one of them to cool my ryzen 2600x.
    ... and I dont mind brown color of noctua if it's a better fan.
    rpjkw11 and Reehahs like this.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,390   +3,779

    A welcome addition and the price won't break the pocket book ..... now we'll just have to see how it really performs.
  4. dirtyferret

    dirtyferret TS Evangelist Posts: 510   +528

    You have to be really gullible to believe brand cfm and db on fans.
    imdarkbreeze likes this.
  5. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 607   +1,222

    Article is about 3 years out of date. Noctua have had grey colored Redux, black industrial or Chromax (black with red / blue highlight) fans since 2015...
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,964   +3,999

    The problem is, they don't come stock on their coolers. The pro fan models are 3K rpm, instead of 2K.

    I have a Noctua on my most recent build, I found that if you don't dwell on it, the tan color of their fans becomes a non issue.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
    Forebode likes this.
  7. Forebode

    Forebode TS Booster Posts: 191   +44

    Some of us don't like having a window into our case and much rather opt for cases with sound dampening. In those cases.. If they found that color affected the performance of the the fan, and the best fan had to be 100% Opaque Couché ... fine.

    I'm happy with my nh-d15...

    just offset the fans to other sides to avoid tall ram.

    There have been similar posts in the past.. and I'm surprised it hasn't occurred yet. Where are the PC dyson fans? best performance and sound no? As prices for fabrication tools are dropping.. might be worth trying dyi your own dyson'esque fan. It's patented.. but Dyson does allow others to use the patent.. might be worth trying to downscale it to pc cooler.
  8. toooooot

    toooooot TS Evangelist Posts: 821   +403

    Lovely, I also like when fans have textures. One thing I d change would be adding chrome line on top and one side. Or one golden line.
  9. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,999   +3,483

    Be quiet's fans are very good. I purchased a few of the higher RPM case fans and they move a lot of air for being so quiet. Now it's a bit too obvious that my hard drives make too much noise XD.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,964   +3,999

    Exactly. There are questions that need to be answered. For example was the loudness measured in an anechoic chamber. Which sort of amounts to revving you car or motorcycle's engine in a wide open space, or 2 feet away from a solid brick wall, which is more like a fan operating inside a case.

    What's the noise center frequency? Were the test results weighted? Which is in tune with what we can hear at any given frequency, and-or any given volume. (See "Fletcher-Munson loudness contour).

    Once upon a time the FTC was all over Hi-Fi manufacturers if their equipment didn't meet its published specs. But, "once upon a time", was a long, long, time ago.
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,392   +5,018

    As long as the texture doesn't cause the blades to collect more dust than normal. Or restrict air flow by causing the blades to spin slower.
  12. toooooot

    toooooot TS Evangelist Posts: 821   +403

    I have 2 fans from cougar with texture like that and they collected very little dust in 8 months. The strange thing is that I installed 2 cheap Aigo fans with standard shape and no texture and they have collected some dust already even though it has just been a month. Idk what to make of this observation beside the fact that Cougars fans material seems to be made of "slippery" plastic. It reflects light and is very smooth to the touch. meanwhile, Aigo's fans are made of that rigid black plastic which almost feels like micro sand paper.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  13. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,478   +3,036

    My desktop is with Noctua NH-D14, for almost 5 years now, and remains every bit as quiet as it was new.
  14. imdarkbreeze

    imdarkbreeze TS Enthusiast Posts: 36   +24

    Agreed. And BeQuiet is nearly as bad as Thermaltake and Cooler Master when it comes to padding their specs favorably. BeQuiet's fans usually achieve low db levels by reducing maximum RPM, not by spending months and sometimes years developing them like Noctua and Thermalright.

    If Noctua would simply offer an NH-U14S option with the chromax.black.swap fans on it rather than the standard brown fans, they'd practically eliminate any chance BeQuiet has of competing in this price range.
  15. imdarkbreeze

    imdarkbreeze TS Enthusiast Posts: 36   +24

    Not on their CPU coolers though. That is the one thing that many builders won't look past and if they'd simply DO that, Noctua would be a lot more appealing to those users who value aesthetics as much as performance.
  16. Maxwell Jenner

    Maxwell Jenner TS Rookie

    They do sell a specific replacement black chromax fan for the NH-D15 cooler now, plus some black aluminium covers for the heatsinks - https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07654B9MR/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2smid=A38F5RZ72I2JQ&psc=1

    Seems Noctua have started to give a **** about users who care about aesthetics, at long last. Whoop
    rpjkw11 likes this.
  17. pcnthuziast

    pcnthuziast TS Evangelist Posts: 587   +196

    BQ wins the aesthetics crown for sure, but Noctua still wins on performance across their entire product line. Looks matter to me so I'd choose BQ every time even for slightly more money and less performance.
  18. getitright

    getitright TS Rookie

    "Noctua has one serious weakness: they paint all their fans a very ugly brown."

    They separate with nice retro color. Probably looks ugly for millenials.

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