be quiet! Shadow Rock LP test – Still recommendable after 8 years?
The German hardware manufacturer be quiet! has become known worldwide primarily for its high-quality and particularly quiet power supply units. However, be quiet! has also been a major player in the CPU cooler segment for many years and has already won a few awards with products from the “Dark Rock”, “Shadow Rock”, “Pure Rock” and “Silent Loop” series. Today, we are testing the be quiet! Shadow Rock LP, a more compact cooler that is particularly suitable for small form factor systems.
The be quiet! Shadow Rock LP has been around for almost eight years now, which is longer than the AM4 platform, for example. We are taking this and our review of its smaller brother Pure Rock LP as an opportunity to take a closer look at the Shadow Rock LP. The most important selling points of the be quiet! Shadow Rock LP are its compact size combined with very good cooling performance and low noise. For this total package be quiet! demands a purchase price of € 50.49 *.
be quiet! Shadow Rock LP review: technical details
|Dimensions (with fan)||122 x 75 x 134 mm (W x H x D)|
|Weight (with fan)||390 g|
|Material||Copper (heat pipes), aluminum (fins)|
|Heatpipes||4x Ø 6 mm|
|AMD compatibility||AM5, AM4|
|Intel compatibility||LGA1700, LGA1200, LGA115x, LGA2011-3|
|Price||€ 50.49 *|
|Fan designation||be quiet! Pure Wings 2 120mm PWM|
|Dimensions||120 x 120 x 25 mm|
|Speed||max. 1500 rpm|
|Loudness||max. 25.5 db(A)|
|Delivery volume||max. 83.1 m³/h|
|Current consumption||0.2 A|
|Power consumption||2.4 W|
Packaging & Scope of delivery
Typical for be quiet! the CPU cooler is packed in a black printed cardboard box, which also shows all technical data, the most important features as well as some product images. All information has been written in English and German. When you open the box, you will find a separately packed fan, the heatsink, the installation instructions and all installation accessories in another box. Overall, the packaging seems well thought out and should thus be able to protect the product from damage without any problems.
Design & Workmanship
Since the Shadow Rock LP is a top-blow cooler, the aluminum fins are aligned vertically. Of these fins, there are a total of 54 larger ones and 26 smaller ones, as well as a brushed aluminum heatpipe cover plate. That’s a good keyword at this point, because the Shadow-Rock LP has a total of four 6-millimeter heatpipes that transfer the emitted heat from the CPU to the fins via a smooth cooler base. Conveniently, be quiet! has equipped the base with a perfect amount of thermal paste right from the factory. In return, the manufacturer foregoes anodizing or nickel plating of the heatsink in favor of the price.
The included fan of the type “Pure Wings 2 120 PWM” from our own company is completely black and has a 4-pin PWM connector and a frame width of 120 millimeters. The nine fan blades of the rotor are also black and rotate with a maximum of 1500 rpm. The fan does not have decouplers or lighting.
The fan is mounted on the heat sink in the classic way using two silver retaining brackets, with which the fan is clipped to the cooling fins. This brings the be quiet! Shadow Rock LP to a total weight of 390 grams in our test. Although this total weight is lower than that of some competing products, it does not necessarily mean that the cooler performs worse. With a height of only 75 millimeters, the be quiet! Shadow Rock LP is also quite flat. This makes it particularly suitable for small form factor cases.
The workmanship of the heatsink, fan, and mounting hardware are very good and there are basically no bent fins or other workmanship flaws. However, compared to the competition, there is no anodization or use of nickel.
be quiet! Shadow Rock LP review: mounting
For the review, we use a test system mounted on a benchtable. This allows us to rule out factors such as heat buildup in the case. The test system consists of the following components.
- AMD Ryzen 5 1400 @ 3.8 GHz at 1.25V
- MSI B350 PC Mate
- Crucial Ballistix Sport LT gray 32 GB DDR4-3000
- Corsair Force Series MP510 960GB Nvme
- Gigabyte AORUS GTX 1060 6G
- LC-Power LC550 V2.31 Platinum Series 550W
In the assembly area, you notice directly that the Shadow Rock LP already has a few years under its belt. However, let’s start at the beginning. For our AM4 system, the front plastic brackets of the AMD retention module had to be removed first. Then, four plastic sleeves were slipped onto the backplate, the two matching mounting brackets made of metal were put on and screwed with four screws. Since the Shadow Rock LP was already equipped with thermal paste at the factory, this step is omitted in this case.
Now you have to position the modular aluminum mounting bracket underneath the heatsink (orientation by matching retaining lugs) and place the two loose mounting screws in the holes provided. Then place the CPU cooler on the CPU and screw the two screws to the mounting brackets on the mainboard. The last step is to attach the fan to the heatsink with two retaining clips.
As mentioned at the beginning of the chapter, mounting the be quiet! Shadow Rock LP is unfortunately a bit awkward and requires a higher level of concentration. The loose mounting bracket as well as the loose screws tend to slip or fall out. There are better mounting systems available in the meantime. Furthermore, compatibility problems can occur with tall RAM or VRM cooler modules. Even with normal height modules, it already gets very tight and removing the RAM is no longer possible when the longer side protrudes over the RAM slots. There are no problems on the heatpipe side.
Loudness and cooling performance
As pointed out in the previous chapter, we are using an AM4 system based on the Ryzen 5 1400 and the MSI B350 PC Mate as our test hardware. The Ryzen runs at 3.8 GHz at 1.25V. To warm up the processor, it was loaded with Prime95 for 15 minutes. The CPU’s temperature was then read out with the CPUID hardware monitor and the room temperature was around 20 °C during the measurements.
|wdt_ID||CPU-Kühler||Temperatur 50% PWM (in °C)||Temperatur 100% PWM (in °C)||Minimale Lüftergeschwindigkeit (in U/min)||Lüftergeschwindigkeit bei 50% PWM (in U/min)||Lüftergeschwindigkeit bei 100% PWM (in U/min)||Minimale Pumpengeschwindigkeit (in U/min)||Pumpengeschwindigkeit bei 50% PWM (in U/min)||Pumpengeschwindigkeit bei 100% PWM (in U/min)|
|77||Enermax AQUAFUSION ADV 360||50,20||50,10||1.460||2.100||2.230||3.200|
|78||DeepCool LS520 SE||51,40||50,00||1.460||2.200||2.100||3.020|
|79||Alphacool Core Ocean T38 360mm||52,20||49,30||1.600||2.500||1.800||3.200|
|80||DeepCool Castle 280EX||53,00||52,00||1.050||1.600|
|81||Raijintek Scylla Elite CA360 ARGB||54,00||51,00||850||1.000||3.200||4.000|
|83||SilentiumPC Fera 5 Dual Fan||55,00||53,00||730||1.300|
|84||ENDORFY Navis F360||55,50||49,40||1.200||1.975|
|85||Thermaltake CNPS10X Performa||56,00||53,00||700||1.500|
|86||ALSEYE Xtreme X360||57,00||53,00||1.100||1.600|
|CPU-Kühler||Temperatur 50% PWM (in °C)||Temperatur 100% PWM (in °C)||Minimale Lüftergeschwindigkeit (in U/min)||Lüftergeschwindigkeit bei 50% PWM (in U/min)||Lüftergeschwindigkeit bei 100% PWM (in U/min)||Minimale Pumpengeschwindigkeit (in U/min)||Pumpengeschwindigkeit bei 50% PWM (in U/min)||Pumpengeschwindigkeit bei 100% PWM (in U/min)|
As can be seen from the table or the diagram, the CPU of our test system reaches a maximum of 76.3 °C (at 50% PWM fan speed) or 66.80 °C (at 100% PWM fan speed) at full load. Considering the design of the CPU cooler and the fact that the CPU was overclocked, the performance is good. At the same time, the Pure Wings 2 fan remains noticeably inconspicuous in terms of volume at full speed.
Summary of the be quiet! Shadow Rock LP review
Despite its age, the be quiet! Shadow Rock LP can still convince in several areas in our test. First of all, there is the good workmanship as well as the decent combination of performance and volume. Even at full fan speed, the CPU cooler is not particularly obtrusive. In addition, the Shadow Rock LP is compatible with all current mainstream sockets.
Compared to the competition, however, the mounting system in particular takes a backseat, and the performance is now also better in similarly tall top-blow coolers. In addition, the manufacturer does without an anodized finish on the Shadow Rock LP, which makes the cooler look a bit less appealing than other products.
With a purchase price of € 50.49 *, the be quiet! Shadow Rock LP is in the typical price range for top-blow coolers with 120 mm fans. Therefore, if the dimensions of the CPU cooler fit the motherboard and RAM with a high heatspreader does not necessarily have to be used, the be quiet! Shadow Rock LP could still be worth a look.
be quiet! Shadow Rock LP
Value for money
Even in 2023, the be quiet! Shadow Rock LP is still quite a high-performance top-blow cooler that convinces with a compact design as well as high socket compatibility. However, depending on the motherboard and RAM height, mounting conflicts might occur and the mounting system can also be fiddly.
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