Despite the fact that we’ve tested several Be Quiet coolers over the years, it’s finally time to see how they stack up against coolers on the most recent system. We’ve seen coolers before, so we know what to expect this time.
Noctua has long been regarded as the best high-end CPU cooler manufacturer.
Even if you’re willing to pay a premium for a long-lasting, high-quality product, you won’t be disappointed because the Austrian company’s cooling solutions have consistently set the bar high for others to follow.
The Noctua NH-D15/15 dual-tower CPU air cooler is a direct competitor to the long-running Dark Rock Pro cooler series. Be Quiet has undergone a few changes. Everything from the cooler’s hardware to its size, fans, and coating technology has been researched and applied to it.
TR4 is the latest version of the Dark Rock Pro cooler with a TDP of 250W. To keep the cooler quiet, Silent Wings PWM fans in various sizes are still used. So, while the Cooler will take up the majority of the top half of the motherboard, we can’t help but appreciate what Be Quiet has to offer in terms of noise reduction and the all-black aesthetic we’ve admired for years.
According to the company’s website, Noctua released chromax. Black variants this year that offer “the same characteristic quiet cooling performance with a sleek stealth design.” Even if some fans think it’s heresy, we think the all-black NH-D15 is stunning, and Noctua’s effort in bringing this model to market was well worth it.
Outstanding Design and Development
Be Quiet’s Dark Rock Pro 4 CPU Cooler is of the highest quality, joining Noctua, Phanteks, and Thermalright in this exclusive club. A few motherboards have had usability issues in the past, but this has been resolved, and a company called Be Quiet should not be making any noise from their coolers.
Noctua NH is also mentioned. As a result, the Noctua series is well-known for its outstanding performance, high build quality, silent operation, and extensive bundles. The coolers and fans, on the other hand, were only available in a brown-and-beige colour scheme that stood out like a sore thumb. “Do they come in black?” has been a frequently asked question from readers, and we’re pleased to finally respond, “Yes, they do.”
About Fan of Noctua
Because the company does everything in-house, from fan design to bearing design, Noctua fans undergo extensive testing and R&D. Most manufacturers use a stock model OEM fan after slightly adjusting the RPMs.
Noctua’s PWM impellers have suction side Flow Acceleration Channels, which they have integrated into their A-Series fans to improve airflow at critical outer blade regions by changing the flow distribution on that side. For completely automatic PWM speeds, the NF-A15 PWM fan employs a Noctua second generation SSO bearing with a metal bearing shell and a custom-developed PWM IC. The CNC milled brass bearing shell ensures long-term stability and durability.
When it comes to fan models, Noctua invests heavily in research and development, and it shows in the high level of craftsmanship that goes into each one. Most fans have an MTBF of 50,000 to 100,000 hours, and most of them stop working before reaching that limit; some even emit high-pitched noises. There’s no need to keep buying new Noctua fans if your old ones stop working because their MTBFs are all greater than 150,000 hours.
Dark Rock Pro cooler packaging is consistent with other coolers from the same manufacturer. The Dark Rock Pro 4 is predominantly black with a silver stripe and white and orange letters above its moniker. The TDPs are also clearly displayed, while the features are provided in smaller font sizes. The image panel below contains four photos that correspond to each of the features. Be Quiet chose to emphasize these features due to its dual-tower architecture, large cooling capacity, and almost silent operation.
Because of our careful packing, our Noctua arrived in excellent condition. A similar retail store can be found in your neighbourhood. The branding and main features of the cooler are prominently displayed on the front of the package, with an artistic shot of the cooler in the background. The “NH-D15” is an updated version of last year’s extremely popular NH-D14. The cooler’s specifications are displayed on the right side. The device’s features and drawings are located on the backside.
In addition, a brief description of the cooler can be found on the left side of the page in multiple languages. However, the top of this section contains an aesthetically pleasing shot that I can’t get enough of. This is what I discovered when I lifted the top flaps. I’m impressed with the quality of a product’s packaging for the first time since the Thermalright Archon and Silver Arrow. The first three boxes contain the NH-D15 accessories and the Securefirm 2 mounting kits.
The cooler and an additional fan, the NF-A15 PWM, are located in the following two boxes. I “reassembled” the packaging outside of the box to demonstrate how the contents fit together.
Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro 4 was tested on the ASUS ROG Strix X470-F Gaming Motherboard with an AMD Ryzen 9 3900X. (opens in new tab). The Be Quiet Dark Base Pro 900 Rev. 2 was an obvious choice for a case for the CPU cooler. Prior to testing, the PC was left running for 30 minutes.
We pushed the CPU and GPU to their limits in Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Prime 95 was eager to do the same with the Ryzen 9 3900X to see how it fared. Even when compared to AIO water coolers, the CPU maintained a temperature of around 57 degrees Celsius (around 135 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 10 minutes of taxing components in Prime 95.
The fan’s sound was barely audible through the Be Quiet Dark Base Pro 900 Rev. 2 case, even with the side tempered glass pane removed. The highest temperature reading from each test was included, but these should be interpreted with caution because they were only recorded at the start of the test.
There are air coolers that can handle a 12-core CPU under heavy loads without the use of water. The Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro 4 air cooler performed admirably in our tests. These figures are likely to be produced by Noctua NH-D15 cooling solutions.
The Noctua NH- D15’s Performance
The new Noctua NH-D15 CPU Air Cooler features two large aluminium heat sink towers with six copper heat pipes each, a smooth copper baseplate, two 140mm fans, and a slew of other design enhancements over the previous model. All of this culminates in a spectacular performance.
Because of the recessed lower fins, Noctua claims 64mm of clearance, but this is only in single-fan mode. When a second fan is added, the maximum memory heatsink height is reduced to 32mm. The G.Skill Trident Z Neo prompted us to raise the front fan higher than usual, which detracts from the overall appearance and is not optimal for performance.
The obvious disadvantage of the NH-most D15 is its size, but if you can squeeze it in, installing it with the tried-and-true SecuFirm2 mounting kit is very simple. The mounting bars from Noctua are used to replace the motherboard’s pre-installed cooler retention module, and thermal paste is applied before screwing the heatsink into place. Noctua also provides video guidance for AMD AM4 and Intel LGA115x and LGA2066 installations.
No, I’m afraid there’s nothing else I can say. Despite Noctua’s excellent work with the black appearance, we’re perplexed by the presence of part numbers on the tops of the fans. The fan cables must be rotated to conceal the oversight.
Dark Rock Pro 4 Vs Noctua NH-d15: Final Verdict
Be Quiet, as the name implies, manufactures components that are both efficient and quiet. The Ryzen 9 3900X’s performance at 36 degrees Celsius astounded us (97 degrees Fahrenheit). If you don’t want to use water cooling on your PC, this is an option to consider.
The CPU cooler is near-silent even when loaded, thanks to two massive fans and plenty of thermal capacity (as indicated by the 250W TDP rating on the box). Apart from the price, there’s not much to dislike about it, but high-end CPU coolers like this come at a premium.
When comparing the NH-D15 to Be quiet Dark Rock pro, you’ll notice a significant reduction in noise due to the inclusion of dual ultra-quiet Noctua fans. It’s a piece of cake to install Noctua’s SecuFirm2 mounting kit. The Noctua NT-H1 thermal compound is also included in the package. The TIM is thicker and heavier than the Artic Silver 5, but it is thinner and lighter. Noctua thermal compounds are as well-known as their CPU coolers and fans. Noctua’s customer service, in my opinion, is an asset because it will replace any failed fans at no cost to the buyer.
Other popular closed-liquid-coolers with which the Noctua NH-D15 competes include Antec’s KUHLER H2O 1250 and Cooler Master’s Nepton 140XL/Seidon 240M. As good as this air cooler is for the price, some may find the Noctua NH-D15 a little pricey. Anyone looking for the best air cooler with the best cooling performance should give the Noctua NH-D15 serious consideration. The Noctua NH-D15 is an excellent choice in terms of performance.