Dark Rock Pro 4 vs Noctua NH-d15: Comparison! (2023)


While we've tested a number of Be Quiet coolers over the years, it's finally time to see how they compare to the latest system coolers. We've seen coolers before, so we know what to expect this time.

Noctua has long been recognized as the best manufacturer of high-end CPU coolers.

Even if you're willing to pay a premium for a durable, high-quality product, you won't be disappointed because the Austrian company's cooling solutions have always set the standard for others.

The Noctua NH-D15/15 dual-tower CPU air cooler is a direct competitor to the older Dark Rock Pro cooler series. Be Quiet has gone through some changes. Everything from the cooler's hardware to its size, fans and coating technology has been researched and applied.

TR4 is the latest version of the Dark Rock Pro cooler with a TDP of 250W. To keep the cooler silent, Silent Wings PWM fans of various sizes are still used. So while the cooler takes up most of the top half of the motherboard, we can't help but appreciate what the Be Quiet has to offer in terms of noise reduction and the all-black aesthetic that we've admired for years.

According to the company's website, Noctua has released Chromax. This year's black variants, which offer "the same signature quiet cooling performance with a sleek, stealthy design." While some fans might think it's heresy, we found the all-black NH-D15 impressive, and Noctua's efforts to bring this model to market have paid off.

Excellent design and development

The Dark Rock Pro 4 CPU cooler from Be Quiet is of the highest quality and joins Noctua, Phanteks and Thermalright in this exclusive club. Some motherboards have had usability issues in the past, but that's been fixed, and a company called Be Quiet shouldn't be making a fuss about their coolers.

Noctua NH is also mentioned. Because of this, the Noctua series is known for its excellent performance, high build quality, quiet operation and extensive packages. The coolers and fans, on the other hand, were only available in a brown-beige color scheme that stuck out like a sore thumb. "Do they come in black?" was a frequent question from readers, and we're pleased to finally be able to answer, "Yes, they do."

Via 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 standard model OEM fan after slightly adjusting the speeds.

Noctua's PWM impellers feature suction-side flow acceleration channels that they have integrated into their A-Series fans to improve airflow in the critical areas of the outer blade by changing the flow distribution on that side. For fully automatic PWM speeds, the NF-A15 PWM fan uses a second generation Noctua SSO bearing with a metal case and a specially designed PWM IC. CNC-machined brass bearing housing ensures long-term stability and durability.

When it comes to fan models, Noctua invests heavily in research and development, and this shows the high level of craftsmanship that goes into each and every one. Most fans have an MTBF of 50,000 to 100,000 hours, and most stop working before they reach this limit; some even make shrill noises. There is no need to keep buying new Noctua fans when the old ones stop working as their MTBFs are all over 150,000 hours.

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Dark Rock Pro 4 vs Noctua NH-d15: Comparison! (1)

The packaging of the Dark Rock Pro cooler is consistent with other coolers from the same manufacturer. Dark Rock Pro 4 is predominantly black with a silver stripe and white and orange lettering above his moniker. TDPs are also clearly displayed while resources are provided in smaller font sizes. The image panel below contains four photos corresponding to each of the characteristics. Be Quiet has chosen to highlight these features due to its dual tower architecture, large cooling capacity and near-silent operation.

Due to our careful packaging, our Noctua arrived in excellent condition. A similar retail store is located near you. The brand and key features of the cooler are prominently displayed on the front of the pack, with an artistic photo of the cooler in the background. The "NH-D15" is an updated version of last year's hugely popular NH-D14. The cooler specifications are shown on the right. Device features and design are on the back.

In addition, you will find a short description of the cooler in several languages ​​on the left side of the page. However, at the top of this section is an aesthetically pleasing photo that I can't get enough of. This is what I found when I lifted the top tabs. I am impressed with the packaging quality of a product for the first time since 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 package from the box to show 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 CPU cooler case. Before the test, the PC was left running for 30 minutes.

We pushed the CPU and GPU to the limit in Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Prime 95 was keen to do the same with the Ryzen 9 3900X to see how it fared. Even compared to AIO water coolers, the CPU maintained a temperature of about 57 degrees Celsius (about 135 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 10 minutes when loading components at Prime 95.

The fan noise was barely audible through the Be Quiet Dark Base Pro 900 Rev's case. 2, even if the tempered glass side panel has been removed. The highest temperature reading from each test was included but should be interpreted with caution as it was only recorded at the beginning of the test.

There are air coolers that can handle a 12-core CPU under heavy load without using water. The Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro 4 air cooler performed admirably in our testing. These numbers should produce Noctua NH-D15 cooling solutions.

Performance of the Noctua NH-D15

Dark Rock Pro 4 vs Noctua NH-d15: Comparison! (2)

The new Noctua NH-D15 CPU air cooler features two large aluminum heatsink towers, each with six copper heatpipes, a smooth copper baseplate, two 140mm fans and a host of other performance improvements compared to the previous model. Everything culminates in a spectacular performance.

Due to the recessed bottom fins, Noctua claims 64mm of clearance, but that's only true 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 look and isn't ideal for performance.

The obvious downside to the NH-most D15 is its size, but if you can squeeze it in, installation is a breeze with the proven SecuFirm2 mounting kit. Noctua mounting rails are used to replace the motherboard's pre-installed heatsink bracket module and thermal grease is applied before the heatsink is screwed into place. Noctua also offers video tutorials for AMD AM4 and Intel LGA115x and LGA2066 installations.

No, I'm afraid I can't say more. Despite Noctua's excellent job with the black look, we were amazed at the presence of part numbers on the tops of the fans. Fan cables must be twisted to hide carelessness.

Dark Rock Pro 4 Gegen Noctua NH-d15: Final Verdict

As the name suggests, Be Quiet makes components that are efficient and quiet. The performance of the Ryzen 9 3900X at 36 degrees Celsius (97 degrees Fahrenheit) surprised us. If you don't want to use water cooling on your PC, this is an option to consider.

The CPU cooler is almost silent even under load, thanks to two huge fans and plenty of heat capacity (as indicated by the 250W TDP spec on the box). There's not much to complain about other than the price, but high-end CPU coolers like this one are expensive.

If you compare the NH-D15 to the Be quiet Dark Rock Pro, you'll notice a significant noise reduction by installing two ultra-quiet Noctua fans. Installing Noctua's SecuFirm2 mounting kit is very easy. Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste is also included in the package. TIM is thicker and heavier than Artic Silver 5 but thinner and lighter. Noctua thermal compounds are just as well known as their CPU coolers and fans. Noctua's customer service is an asset in my opinion as they will replace any defective fan free of charge to the buyer.

Other popular sealed liquid chillers that have thenocturnalCompetitors to the NH-D15 include Antec's KUHLER H2O 1250 and Cooler Master's Nepton 140XL/Seidon 240M. As great as this air cooler is for the price, some might find the Noctua NH-D15 a little pricey. If you are looking for the best air cooler with the best cooling performance, you should seriously consider the Noctua NH-D15. The Noctua NH-D15 is an excellent choice in terms of performance.

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