The 43x36 mm base plate contact surface is decent, but not superb. You may think that the little figurine in the next photo is moving, but in fact it is not:
The overall exceptional quality of Dark Rock Advanced C1 is somewhat ruined by the evenness of its base, which sports an obvious concavity across the base:
Of course, it affected the shape of the thermal paste imprint left by the CPU heat-spreader in one of the cooler positions:
Although when we turned the cooler by 90 degrees, we achieved a better contact and produced a better imprint, as well:
The test results also improved in this case, but we are going to talk numbers a little later.
Dark Rock Advanced C1 is equipped with a 120 mm fan, which we have already discussed previously: beQuiet! SilentWings PWM. It is BQT T12025-LF-PWM model:
Maximum rotation speed of this fan is 1500 RPM. It creates 50.5 CFM airflow and generated 18.8 dBA of noise. The rotation speed is adjusted automatically using pulse-width modulation method (PWM), but the minimum speeds aren’t mentioned anywhere in the fan specs. beQuiet!’s patented Fluid Dynamic bearing (FDB) should not only last 300,000 hours or almost until the user’s retirement age (up to 34 years), but should also need no more than 1.1 W of power.
The fan is attached to the heatsink in a very interesting manner: using silicone mounts inserted into the heatsink all the way through and catching on to the other side of the heatsink:
The mounts have soft ribbed base, which should help transfer vibrations from the fan to the heatsink and therefore reduce the noise from the fan. If you wish to install a different fan, you can use the enclosed wire clips, which will be inserted into the grooves on the sides of the heatsink. However, as for the second fan, the cooler doesn’t allow it, unfortunately.
Dark Rock Advanced C1 is compatible with all contemporary platforms. The manual describes cooler installation procedure in detail, and it is not really difficult, but rather inconvenient. The installation approach is pretty much the same for all platforms and looks schematically as follows:
First you have to attach a pair of steel plates compatible with your processor socket type to the base of the cooler using included screws:
After that you apply a layer of thermal paste to the processor heat-spreader, turn the cooler upside down and place the mainboard with the backplate on top of it. The mainboard is fastened to the cooler retention plates using long screws and plastic washers:
It is pretty challenging to get into the retention holes, especially since you have to hold the cooler and the mainboard at the same time. But once you succeed, you will be rewarded with very secure high-pressure hold between Dark Rock Advanced C1 and the mainboard:
The distance between the mainboard and the lowest heatsink plate is 49 mm, which will be more than enough to ensure that there is no interference with the tall heatsinks over the mainboard voltage regulator components. However, as far as compatibility with the memory modules featuring tall heat-spreaders is concerned, we can’t give a definite yes answer here: the cooler is hanging over the first DIMM slot in both installation positions:
We will not talk about the dependence of the cooling efficiency on the cooler position on top of the processor, because you already know that its base is of concaved shape. In our specific case Dark Rock Advanced C1 cooled the CPU better when its heatpipes ran across the CPU heat-spreader, and the air-flow was directed towards the top exhaust fan (photo on the right).