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be quiet! ShadowRock Topflow review

March 27, 2013 in Cooling, CPU, Intel, Overclocking, PC, Review



  • PSU: Antec Earthwatts 650W 
  • GPU: Galaxy GTX 465 underclocked with fan locked at minimum
  • MB: Gigabyte z77 UD5
  • CPU: Intel i5 3570K @4.4 base - turbo 4.6 3/4 cores active 4.8 1/2 cores active – speed step enabled

Is the  be quiet! ShadowRock Topflow quiet? You decide:

The ambient noise level of the room 20.9-21.9 db with the norm being 21.3 db with temperatures ~63º F
mini-100_4168db For a simple comparison a reasonably quiet tower HSF was tested (Phanteks PH-TC12DX) using OCCT Linpack to heat things up with respectable results (image on left) and  after a cool down period  idle sound pressure tests were run with good results as well:


After switching out the heat sinks a 24 hour burn in was run using OCCT Linpack again to allow the TIM to break in. The system was again allowed a cool down period and then booted with the android based monitoring software enabled. After the boot completed OCCT linpack was started and run for approximately one hour with the following combine results: Average topObserved here is quiet on the level of passive CPU cooling. The peeks are not system related (nor is the 59.8 db peak in the Phanteks image) and going by the numbers (10db = 2x as loud) the Phanteks cooler is 2.34567 times louder than the be quiet! ShadowRock Topflow. What is sacrificed to get these lower noise levels?mini-Be quietCool temperatures when overclocked! Though this OC is on the high end for air with the Ivy Bridge core it is within the range of good air cooling, but still higher than many people are comfortable with.

Comparing to the Phanteks PH-TC12DX Comp1Comp2From this it is clear that the be quiet! Shadowrock is hotter by a full 7º C (4.64º when equalizing ambient temperatures) averaged across all cores. Though this difference is minor it is enough to be a deal breaker for many enthusiasts.

Packaging, contents and specifications
A closer look at design

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