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The black coating of our high-end coolers

Our high-end CPU coolers of the Dark Rock use the most advanced technology to efficiently transport heat away from the CPU -  from heatpipes to fans to heatsink fins. And it's exactly on these where we use a coating with ceramic particles - but what exactly does that mean?

The 100% aluminium fins of a CPU cooler are usually not coated at all, and therefore present themselves in their natural silver tone. Of course, you can add paint for design reasons, but there's really no technical reason to do so. On the contrary, an additional coating only increases the thermal resistance of the cooler, which means that it can release less heat. Except if you mix something into this color that improves the heat-conducting properties of the cooler – and that's exactly what happens in the case of all our current Dark Rock models. This is a special recipe mixed in South Korea, which contains not only the black hue but also very special ceramic particles optimized just for us.


These ceramic elements ensure that the cooler's coating does not adversely affect its heat dissipation capabilities – making our Dark Rock 4 coolers look great and not suffer any thermal losses. Balancing this mixture perfectly was an act of strength that required a lot of experimentation with different coating methods, mixing ratios and performance comparisons with uncoated coolers. The composition of the optimal color scheme alone took several months! By the way, the composition of the coating does not necessarily have to be black – the system also works with white color and with mixtures of both tones.


Ordinary paint has an insulating effect, and is therefore not suitable for use on heat sinks because it promotes the formation of heat build-up. And ordinary ceramics have a lower thermal conductivity than for example steel or copper. However, special ceramics such as silicon carbide or aluminium nitride have comparatively high thermal conductivity coefficients – which ensures that heat is not insulated when used, but is released into the room air. In short, the ceramic particles in the paint effectively contribute to heat dissipation.



This special coating is a high-end feature - which is there only used in our high-end coolers, as it increases the price of the cooler. So if you are looking for a CPU cooler that makes absolutely no compromises and still looks great, then there is really no way around the Dark Rock series.

If you are generally interested in the development of CPU coolers, check out our three-part video series on the topic: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.