be quiet! Shadow Rock TopFlow SR1 CPU Cooler Review

The test rig consists of the following parts:

Processor: Intel Core i5 2500K
Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 EVO
Video Card: SPARKLE Calibre Series X480 GeForce GTX 480
Memory: Corsair Vengence 8 GB @ 1600mhz
Power Supply: High Power Astro PT 700w
Storage: OCZ Vertex 2 120 GB Running Windows 8 64bit
Cooling: be quiet! Shadow Rock TopFlow SR1
Case: Nanoxia Deep Silence 1

Testing was done using Intel Burn Test (IBT) with the AVX instruction set. The reason I use this instead of Prime95 with this setup is that it pushes our i5 2500K a whole lot harder, giving us a better sense of load temps. Most of the testing was done at the high memory setting for a single pass. While admittedly this in no way would qualify the chip as stable when overclocking, it gives us a realistic idea of what temps it will be hitting.

First thing, here are the stock Intel cooler results:

Ambient temps: 22.22C/71.99F
Idle temps: 31.25C/88.25F core average
IBT temps: 78.5C/173.3F core average

Next I ran the SR1 through the exact same test at the same motherboard settings:

Ambient temps: 27.78C/82F
Idle temps: 39.5C/103.1F core average
IBT temps: 55.75C/132.35F core average

be quiet! Shadow Rock TopFlow SR1 CPU Cooler be quiet! Shadow Rock TopFlow SR1 CPU Cooler

As you can see it was a pretty hot spring day and warmed our test room up a bit. I would say these temps are a little high for most homes, even during the summer. Nonetheless we can still make some conclusions about the SR1’s cooler power. To start with even at 5.56 C warmer ambients we can see that under load the SR1 still beats the stock Intel cooler by 22.75 C add the extra heat and it has it by 28.31C! Oddly idle on the SR1 was warmer by 2.69C with the added heat factored in.

Even looking at the load results I was still a little apprehensive about how well the cooler would do with an overclocked CPU. But that is the point of having and aftermarket cooler so onward we test! It wasn’t a very long overclocking session as I hit max temps fairly quickly, but here are the results:

Ambient temps: 27.78C/82F
Max overclock: 4.7 ghz/1.376V vCore
IBT temps: 77C/170.6F core average with one core hitting 81 C

be quiet! Shadow Rock TopFlow SR1 CPU Cooler

You might look at 4.7ghz and think that it isn’t very good, but I’m actually pretty pleased with it. It may be 300mhz shy of our top clocks and slightly short of typical top end air coolers around 4.8-4.9 ghz, but this was a hot day. As tempted as I was to push it just to see where 4.8 would take it, I didn’t want to damage the CPU.
Unless you are going to be using your pc in a room at 82F or above it should definitely have some more head room.

So performance aside lets talk about usability. For starters the fan on the this unit maxed out at 1506 rpm, just above it’s top rated speed. Even at top speed the fan was extremely quiet. I would say quiet enough for even a media center pc. The mounting height on this cooler is short enough to fit in even very slim case. In fact it sticks out only a quarter of an inch past the 480 in our test rig.