PC Components

be quiet! Shadow Rock 3 review – How well does the third generation CPU cooler cool?

The German cooler brand be quiet! recently unveiled the third generation of the Shadow Rock Tower cooler – we took a closer look at the CPU cooler.

Unlike its predecessors, the Shadow Rock 3 is not symmetrical. The asymmetrical design is said to have improved compatibility with high memory modules. The fan has also been improved, a Shadow Wings 2 in the high-speed version is now included. But there are also some shadow sides which the new version brings along.

For example, the number of cooling fins has been reduced from 51 to 30, and the entire heat sink has also become more compact. The resulting reduced weight should relieve the mainboard – is that really necessary? We doubt it. For us it sounds more like economy measures, just like the modified heatpipes: on Shadow Rock 2 there were four 8mm heatpipes, on Shadow Rock 3 there are five 6mm heatpipes. In addition, be quiet! saves on the copper base plate and now uses direct touch.

All in all, the “improvements” sound rather negative, so we are curious if the be quiet! Shadow Rock 3 can still convince – after all, the TDP has been increased from 180 to 190 watts, so according to be quiet! the new generation should offer better cooling performance than its predecessor. The result of our be quiet! shadow rock 3 test can be found in this review. We didn’t make a comparison with the Shadow Rock 2, but with the be quiet! silent loop water cooling system with 240 mm radiator.

Technical details

General data
Model Shadow Rock 3
Overall dimensions without mounting material (L x W x H), (mm) 121 x 130 x 163
Total weight (kg) 0.71
TDP (W) 190
Socket compatibility Intel: 1200 / 2066 / 1150 / 1151 / 1155 / 2011(-3) Square ILM, AMD: AM4 / AM3(+)
Fan model, amount 1x Shadow Wings 2 120mm PWM high-speed
Decoupled fan mounting
Overall volume @ 50/75/100% (rpm) 11.5 / 17.5 / 24.4 db(A)
Price € 43.90
Cooler specifications
Dimensions (L x W x H), (mm) 96 x 130 x 163
Number of cooling fins 30
Fin material Aluminum
Base material aluminum / copper
CPU contact area Heatpipe-Direct-Touch
Heatpipe Number, diameter (mm) 5 / 6
Surface treatment Aluminum
Fan specifications
Fan dimensions (mm) 120 x 120 x 25
Speed @ 100% PWM /12V (rpm) 1,600
Bearing technology Rifle
Engine technology 4-pole fan motor
Rated voltage (V) 12
Rated current (A) 0.20
Power consumption (W) 2.4
connecting plug 4-pin PWM
Cable length (mm) 220
Life expectancy @ 25 °C (hours) 80,000

Packaging & scope of delivery

The Shadow Rock 3 is delivered in a black cardboard box, which is printed with numerous information. Unfortunately only in English, but don’t worry: The assembly instructions are in English and German.

Besides the heat sink, the mounting material (backplate, screws, spacers, brackets) for all common Intel and AMD sockets is included. Only the Threadripper platform is not supported. Also included is a fan as well as mounting brackets for two fans – so you can mount another fan later. Thermal paste and a screwdriver with a magnetic tip complete the package.

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Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Berlin.

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