With summer in full deployment, that means this is a good period to have a look at CPU coolers. be quiet! just released their new Shadow Rock Slim 2 compact cooling solution that comes with a 135mm fan and it’s rated to handle CPUs up to 160W of TDP.

It brings some tweaks and improvements over the first gen, like direct contact with the heatpipes, a revised and modern mounting system and a subtle aesthetic refinement.


Be Quiet! is a premium brand manufacturer of power supplies and cooling solutions for your desktop PC. With numerous awards under their belt and considered the best German power supply manufacturer from Germany since 2006 – was awarded nine times in a row as “Manufacturer of the Year” in the power supply category by the readers of the well-known German hardware magazine PC Games Hardware. In the category “fans”, be quiet! earned the first rank for five consecutive times and belongs to the Top 3 CPU cooler brands for more than three years in a row. The community of Hardwareluxx also voted be quiet! as “Manufacturer of the Year” in the PSU category for four consecutive years.


Prices and Availability


The Shadow Rock Slim 2 is available from today at a recommended retail price (MSRP) of $45.90 / €45.90 / £43.99. I will update the Amazon links shortly.


* Don’t forget to check out the video review as well!*


Presentation and Specifications


* Courtesy of their website.

VERY HIGH COOLING POWER – Reliable cooling for your compact system
Shadow Rock Slim 2 provides an impressive cooling capacity of 160W TDP and is designed for those searching for high-performance air cooling in a compact design. The brushed aluminum top cover surface adds a touch of elegance to this premium cooler.

HIGH-PERFORMANCE HEAT PIPES – Ensuring perfect heat transfer
Shadow Rock Slim 2 is equipped with four 6mm heat pipes that have aluminum caps. This is key to its great cooling performance, because they transport the heat to optimum locations on the cooling fins.

EXTREMELY LOW-NOISE OPERATION – Even at 100% fan speed, the overall noise is a mere 23.7dB(A)
The silence-optimized 135mm be quiet! fan supports the best balance between cooling performance and quietness. The fan operates especially smoothly thanks to its nine airflow-optimized fan blades and durable rifle-bearing technology.

HEAT PIPE DIRECT TOUCH – Maximizes conductance of heat
Thanks to Heat pipe Direct Touch (HDT) technology the heat from the CPU is absorbed directly by the four 6mm high-performance copper heat pipes.

Main specs:

  • Model Shadow: Rock Slim 2
  • Overall dimensions without mounting material (L x W x H), (mm):  74 x 137 x 161
  • Total weight (kg): 0.69
  • TDP (W): 160
  • Socket compatibility AMD: AM4 / AM3(+)
  • Socket compatibility Intel: 1200 / 2066 / 1150 / 1151 / 1155 / 2011(-3) Square ILM
  • Overall noise level (dB(A)) @ 50/75/100% (rpm): 11.5 / 18.7 / 23.7


Visual Inspection


It retains the classic layout and colour theme from be quiet! as in an all black background with a minimalist style and a visual depiction of the actual CPU cooler on the front.

On the back we have some highlights of the Shadow Rock Slim 2, regarding its quiet operation, supported CPU TDP and the hassle-free compatibility.

Here we have all of the main specs for the single tower heatsink and the included 135mm fan.

Inside, the Shadow Rock Slim 2 is nested in the middle and protected all-around via some plastic foam.

Here are all of the included accessories:

1x Small tube of thermal paste
4x Phillips head nuts
4x Intel spacer nut A
4x Intel spacer nut B
4x AMD spacer nuts
4x Mounting bracket screws
4x Intel backplate screws
4x O-rings
4x AM3 washers
4x AMD backplate screws
2x Intel mounting brackets
2x AMD mounting brackets
1x Intel backplate
1x User’s manual

The included 9-blade ribbed 135mm fan is basically from the same Silent Wings 3 series as the one used in the previous version. It’s built on rifle bearings with the motor featuring a 4-pole design and thus its rated up to 80.000 hours (9 years) of continuous usage.

It will spin up to 1400 RPM, while displacing up to 67.8 CFM of airflow, with a static pressure of 2.1 mm H²O and all of this while generation up to 23.7dBA of noise.

Here is the 52 aluminium fin single tower assembly of the Shadow Rock Slim 2 which stands at 161 mm tall, 130 mm wide and 52 mm thick.

The base plate has taller heatsink fins when compared to the 1st generation.

Another difference constitutes the top plate which is more of an aesthetic quick-to-tell-apart que. With the Shadow Rock Slim 2 it has a more uniform look without the extra cuts from the previous cooler. It still features the brushed aluminium finish and thus it looks really good.

The 4 copper 6mm thick heatpipes have their ends nicely covered with metal caps as we just saw and then they are in direct contact with the CPU on the other end. The contact plate has an almost mirror polish with fine tracings from the machining process.

The overall heatsink as a full symmetrical build with some airflow grooves cut-outs on both sides of the tower.

The fan offers up to 220 mm of cable length and with it attached the overall package weighs in at 685g.




Thanks to the upgraded mounting hardware, the upcoming installation process, especially on the AM4 socket, will be a breeze. Thus the first step is to retain the stock motherboard AM4 backplate after you remove the front plastic brackets. Then attach the black AM4 plastic spacers in the correct orientation.

Secure the metal AM4 brackets while making sure you select the corresponding socket holes.

Apply the thermal paste and the just bolt down the heatsinks via the crossbar.

As be quiet! promised, there is no interference all around specifically the PCIe area, VRM heatsinks and the RAM sticks. As you can see, everything is hunky-dory.


Testing methodology


  • The AMD Ryzen 7 1700 CPU will be tested at stock settings and then overclocked at 3.70 GHz for 1.325v
  • As the main torture test, we will employ a 2 minute run in AIDA64
  • Room temperature was recorded at ~ 22°C
  • For the noise testing, we used our Pyle PSPL01 placed 30 cm away from the setup – all other fans will will be off or set at minimum RPM
  • Thermal paste used – Noctua NH-H2
  • We will compare the results to other CPU AIO/air coolers close to its price/performance bracket plus other items for an even broader perspective
  • All CPU fans will be left on the ‘standard’ auto % rpm curve to simulate real life usage patterns (the same for the AIO pump) and the side panel is now attached and the case fans are set at a fixed 30% RPM
  • Any results over 90°C in any condition are considered a fail

Competition CPU/AIO Coolers:

Noctua NH-D15 chromax.blackDual 140 mm
Noctua NH-U14S140 mm
Noctua NH-U12ADual 120 mm
SilverStone Hydrogon D120 ARGB Double 120 mm
Noctua NH-D9L92 mm
AMD Wraith Spire RGB92 mm
Noctua NH-P1Passive

Hardware used:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 AM4
RAM 16GB DDR4 T-Force Night Hawk RGB 3000 MHz CL16
Motherboard: ASUS ROG STRIX X370-F Gaming ATX @ BIOS 5220
Boot SSD: Sabrent Q 1TB QLC M.2 NVMe 1.3 Gen3 x4
Video card(s): KF2 GTX 480 Anarchy Accelero Xtreme Plus
PSU: be quiet! 550W Pure Power 11 FM Gold
Case: be quiet! Silent Base 802 Black
Case fans: 3x be quiet! Pure Wings 2 140 mm


OS: Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 21H1
GPU Drivers: NVIDIA GeForce WHQL 391.35
Core Temp v1.17 – To see the temperatures in real time
CPU-Z v1.95 – To verify the CPU’s statistics
AIDA64 Extreme v6.23 – Another popular total system stability test
Cinebench R15 – Popular CPU benchmark
Cinebench R20 – The new revised version optimised for the newer multi-core CPUs
MSI Afterburner v4.62 – To record the FPS and load/temperatures

Resolution for our test game Rise Of the Tomb Raider, is set at 1920×1080 with everything at Medium quality settings and no AA.


Testing, Results and Analysis


Let’s start in order of CPU load difficulty. First up is the Cinebench R15 test. On the left we have the CPU in stock form while on the right we have it overclocked.

Considering the ambient temp and the fact that it faces steep competition from the likes of Noctua, the Shadow Rock Slim 2 performs quite admirably.

The Cinebench R20 is a more modern up to date multi core benchmark suite. So naturally we will see a bigger load and thus a larger temperature figure than the R15.

Even here we are sitting comfortable regarding CPU longevity in correlation to temperatures, which we consider to be under 80°C.

In AIDA64 we isolated the stress test just for the CPU therefore we should get the highest stress scenario for the CPU but R20 proves to be just as stressful and thus the hierarchy is preserved once more.

Rise Of the Tomb Raider is a fantastic game and also a good testing title for both GPUs and CPUs. Still not as stressful as a synthetic torture test but a great indicator of real life usage.

The noise output is also a highly welcomed surprise from the Shadow Rock Slim 2 because it delivers great numbers. The same applies, the fan will be come audible after 70-80% RPM and above.




The Shadow Rock Slim 2 is a logical upgrade from be quiet! over the first model and with the help of some subtle yet effective tweaks, it manages to offer great value for money. Now the mounting hardware is way less troublesome and complex from the previous generation and especially on the AM4 socket, installation becomes a breeze. It’s not specifically built for overclocking yet it still manages to hold its ground within reasonable limits of course. The same Silent Wings 3 fan is preserved which is a proven model offering a great balance of noise and cooling performance. Overall the Shadow Rock Slim 2 is a budget solution but one that truly delivers.

The good:

+ Good overall cooling/acoustic performance
+ Great value for money
+ Updates in all of the right areas (especially the mounting hardware)
+ Zero interference all around the socket area
+ 3 years warranty

The bad:

– Quite tall at 161 mm
– Fins are a bit fragile so be mindful

Glob3trotters “Best Value” Award – 4.5 out of 5


Many thanks to be quiet! for supplying us with this sample!


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