be quiet! Dark Rock TF CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


Today is a fantastic day, as we’ve got the latest and hopefully one of the greatest be quiet! CPU coolers on the eTeknix test bench. I am of course talking about the new Dark Rock TF (top flow) CPU cooler and if our previous reviews of be quiet! products is anything to go by, we should be in for a real treat today.

“One of the hardest things to do in a compact PC is quietly cool a high-performance CPU even in extreme overclocking conditions. The top-flow cooler Dark Rock TF with be quiet!’s famous silent technology offers a perfect solution to this challenge.” – be quiet!

be quiet! as the name would suggest, as focused on ultra-quiet components, whilst still offering high-end cooling performance, exceptional build quality and sleek aesthetics; pretty much everything you could ever want from a PC component. The new Dark Rock TF looks set to continue the trend, with the addition of their new 135mm Silent Wings 3 fans, dual heat sinks, six heat pipes with aluminium caps and a whole lot more.

  • Extremely high 220W TDP cooling performance
  • Dual dark nickel-plated heat sinks with anti-vibration rubber inserts
  • Six high-performance 6mm heat-pipes with aluminum caps
  • Two virtually inaudible SilentWings® 135mm PWM fans (max. 26.7dB(A))
  • Fans equipped with durable fluid-dynamic bearing and smooth 6-pole motor
  • Space-saving single fan assembly also supported
  • Brushed aluminum covers
  • Compatible with all current Intel® and AMD sockets
  • 3-years manufacturer’s warranty
  • Product conception, design and quality control in Germany

“Dark Rock TF offers the best performance-to-noise ratio for compact PC systems. It strikes the perfect balance between cooling and serenity with absolutely no compromise in silence and performance.” – be quiet!

The packaging is really nicely designed and keeps in theme with other products in the be quiet! range.

All major specifications and details are on the box, handy for checking compatibility if you’re looking at this cooler in a retail store.

Exceptional efficiency has been used with packaging the cooler, not space is wasted and there are protective folds and boxes placed to ensure it stays in one piece until it’s ready to be used.

The cooler is packed is thick foam blocks to keep it free from damage.

Whilst the component box is snug between the tower coolers to help prevent them from bending.

In the component box, you’ll find a durable metal backplate, which has two foam strips pre-applied to prevent motherboard damage. You’ll also find all the fitting screws and plates needed for all major socket types, fan clips, thermal paste, a fan cable splitter and the instruction booklet.

The Silent Wings 3 fans are 135mm and come fitted with 4-pin PWM connectors.

Each fan is fitted with their new 6-pole motor, fluid-dynamic bearings, has a max speed of 1400rpm and be quiet! say that it’ll only hit 20.8 dBa at max speed!

First impressions of the cooler as very good indeed, this thing looks absolutely stunning and you can tell they’ve put a lot of thought into the design of every little detail. The cooler has six 6mm high-performance heat pipes which start pass through the bottom mounting plate, then up and through the larger heat sink.

Here you can better see the dual heat sink design, with space on the top for one fan and one more between the heat sinks. Dual fans will make this cooler pretty tall, but be quiet! say you could only install the interior fan if you needed to save space.

Each side of the lower section has the be quiet! logo on the side, a nice little touch and I think it looks pretty cool.

Here you can see that four of the six heat pipes pass through to the lower heat sink for additional cooling while the remaining two heat pipes end just after the CPU mounting block. The top of the large heat sink has been treated with a brushed aluminium panel and heat pipe caps, further adding to the premium look of the cooler.

The fans are mounted directly onto the larger heat sink and to help reduce unwanted vibration and noise, there are two rubber strips mounted down each side.

The mounting plate is polished to a mirror-like shine and it’s big enough to provide a good level of contact on a wide range of CPUs.

The mixture of aluminium and dark nickel-plated construction looks great and without a doubt, this is one of the nicest looking coolers I’ve ever seen.

Inateck HB3001G OTG 3-Port USB Hub and Card Reader Review

Introduction


Modern smart devices can perform all sort of things and we’ve reached a time where the term smart might actually apply, that is at least until we get to the issue of connectivity. And this is where the On-The-Go (OTG) feature comes into play, it allows us to expand the connectivity to our Android and other OTG devices by turning the micro USB connector into a USB host adapter. We’ve recently tested some flash drives that support this feature, but OTG is so much more.

Inateck have taken a serious look at what smart device users could lack on features and created the HB3001G All in one Card reader and 3-port USB hub for smart devices. While the packaging highlights Samsung S4, S5, Note 3, Note 4, Tab 4 and Tab S devices, this hub will work fine with any OTG enabled device. One of the great features that USB has, the plug and play nature, makes this a possibility.

You could run into the trouble that your internal SD card slot simply can’t read the card size you have available, so plugging it directly into the smart device isn’t an option. The Inateck card reader doesn’t have this issue and should load any capacity card you can provide or that is supported by the operating system. It supports SD(HC), MS, TF and M2 memory cards just as good as any ordinary USB storage.

Many people aren’t aware that Android has native support for mouse and keyboard input, and as such you can just connect your normal mouse and keyboard and use your smart device as an all-in-one computer instead. Any true plug and play device should work like a charm, but getting printers or similar things to work isn’t a thing you should count on, although it is possible.

When you connect USB devices to your tablet or smartphone, you’ll use the battery to power these devices. There is also a natural limitation on how much power your device can provide for the hub and that is why Inateck also added a power connection that can be connected to any USB port or charger to supply those additional power requirements without putting extra drain on your devices battery.