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  • bequiet! Shadow Rock 2 Heatsink Review
  • bequiet! Shadow Rock 2 Heatsink Review



    As with any computer component the designers set out to accomplish a goal.  With some products that goal is to be universal and work with anything while others have more specialized tasks and do that one thing extremely well.  In terms of heatsinks they can go either way.  For instance tower coolers are often designed for overclocking because of their low air resistance and high speed fans.  These coolers will fit on just about any system but won't win any silence contests.  On the flip side when a designer sets out to create a silent heatsink they have to consider replacing fan speed with surface area.  The end result is a really good cooler which may be too large for a typical gaming or media PC.

    The interesting thing about the Shadow Rock 2 is that it really is a silent cooler having been nearly inaudible under full load.  During our testing we used the Asus turbo fan profile to control the included PWM fan.  Despite the name the Turbo profile is actually quite silent when the system is properly cooled however, when CPU temps start to approach 50c the fan speed will ramp up causing even the bequiet! Fan to become audible.  Sadly this aspect of the Shadow Rock 2 is one reason we fell overclocking performance was lacking.  Simply put the heatsink is designed to be near silent and almost passive.  Adding a silent fan will move air around but the large radiator fins lose efficiency causing the heatsink to heat up.
    Installation was rather straight forward and consisted of picking the proper mounting rails for our system and bolting everything together.  The actual installation process was somewhat cumbersome considering that you have to access both sides of the motherboard to properly install the Shadow Rock 2 on LGA 1155.  Installation on LGA 2011 is a little more traditional and uses the same mounting rail system but comes with a set of threaded risers and nuts to hold the cooler in place.  For both of these instances it is highly recommended that the motherboard be outside of a chassis to make the process as painless as possible.
    Good Things
    Square Tower Design
    Silent 122mm Cooling Fan
    Four Heatpipe Design
    Thick Fin Radiator
    Brushed Heatsink Cover
    180w Power Handling
    Bad Things
    Mounting system is cumbersome
    Cooler could benefit from a second fan
    Ninjalane Rating
    bequiet! Shadow Rock 2 Heatsink Review

    Silent 4 of 5