be quiet! Shadow Rock Topflow SR1 CPU Cooler Review

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It is incredibly rare that new technology trends hit the market in anything near a perfect state. I am not referring to software that gets pushed out knowing it already needs a service pack, or hardware that has three firmware updates come out during the three days it takes to ship to you. I am thinking on a much broader scale. Look at phones, for example. For years the push was to make them smaller. Then, Blackberry changed the way the phone was used, and it was OK to be a bit larger. When phones became more multimedia oriented, the small screen/lots of buttons didn’t work out too well. Now, it’s all about screen real estate, and bigger phones are a status symbol….it’s not finished changing, but we have seen quite the shift.

be quiet! Shadow Rock Topflow SR1


Exactly the same can be said for PCs. Ten years ago, a full tower was the only way an enthusiast would go. Even only a couple of years ago, space was of the essence for large GPUs. At the same time, however, the HTPC began developing, and it all became about being small. Unfortunately, many of the initial HTPCs couldn’t do much that required heavy graphics or computation, so you wound up with a PC hooked to your large screen television that couldn’t game. Then components started changing drastically, especially graphics cards, and downsizing with better efficiency. This gave birth to a wave of Small Form Factor builds that were larger than those initial netboxes, but also could house enthusiast level components. Problem is, enthusiast level components require enthusiast level cooling, which tended to be big. Fortunately, some top name manufacturers picked up on this and introduced downsized cooling to go into these smaller cases without downsized performance.

be quiet! Shadow Rock Topflow SR1


The be quiet! Shadow Rock Topflow SR1 uses topflow configuration to bring the overall height, including fan, down to 126mm, while still retaining features of larger coolers. Four 8mm C-Shaped heatpipes run through the be quiet! Shadow Rock Topflow’s copper contact block and through an aluminum fin array. Air flow is handled by be quiet!’s acclaimed 135mm Silent Wings 1500rpm PWM fan, capable of 66.8CFM at an astoundingly quiet 23.5 dBA. This type of attention to silence makes the Shadow Rock Topflow a perfect choice for HTPC users. Be quiet!’s versatile mounting kit is compatible with all current Intel (775/115/1156/1366/2011) and AMD (AM2/3/FM1/FM2) sockets and provides simple, solid installation. The be quiet! Shadow Rock Topflow comes backed with a 3-year warranty.