In addition to a new case and air cooler, be quiet! has also unveiled a new AIO water cooler – the Pure Loop 2 FX. Just like the other newly announced products, the Pure Loop 2 FX is an improved variant of an existing product – in this case the Pure Loop AIO. The new Pure Loop 2 FX is available in 240mm, 280mm and 360mm sizes. For this Pure Loop 2 FX review, I used the 280 mm variant.
Design & Processing
The biggest changes are in the design department. The previously mainly monochrome black exterior has been complemented by a lot of RGB with the Pure Loop 2 FX. The fans for the radiator are now the Light Wings PWM fans, which feature a visible RGB ring around the black fan blades on both sides. Likewise, the attachment for the processor, which previously only had white LEDs on the Pure Loop, now also supports the full RGB spectrum. Otherwise, the surface of the processor attachment is made of brushed aluminum with the black be quiet!- logo in the center. Included with the AIO is an ARGB-PWM hub that the individual parts can be connected to in order to pair the lights with each other. In addition to the AIO, the rest of the PC’s hardware can of course be connected to this hub, allowing centralized control of the lighting. In total, up to six different devices can be connected to the ARGB-PWM hub.
The build quality is be quiet!-typically high. The pump is installed in a separate unit on the hose of the AIO, which promises improved durability. At the same time, this is also supposed to reduce the noise compared to other water cooling systems. The fans used are specially optimized for radiator operation. On the radiator itself is a refill port, which can be used to refill the supplied coolant if necessary.
The Pure Loop 2 FX supports Intel 1700, 1200, 2066, 1150, 1151, 1155 and 2011 sockets, as well as AMD AM4 and AM5 sockets. The 40-centimeter-long hose allows the AIO to be attached to the lid of a case as well as to its front. You should only make sure that the pump or the processor attachment is not at the highest point of the loop. Otherwise, air bubbles could collect there, reducing the cooling performance or the pump’s service life.
The installation for the Pure Loop 2 FX test was pleasingly simple. First, the radiator is bolted to the case. Then the fans are screwed to the radiator. Unfortunately, a proprietary socket adapter from be quiet! must be used to attach the CPU attachment; the standard adapter for, for example, socket AM4 is not compatible. However, in my opinion, the own adapter also has the advantage that the attachment of the attachment is somewhat more precise and it is thus easier to achieve an optimal contact surface between CPU and cooler. The fans, as well as the pump each have their own power supply via a 4-pin WM connector. So that the pump and the fans can be connected to the motherboard and get the correct speed communicated, the included ARGB-PWM hub can be used.
Before installation, it should be looked in which order you install the radiator, the mainboard and the RAM most sensibly. Otherwise, individual parts may have to be removed again because they get in each other’s way during installation. Likewise, spatial compatibility in the case must be checked – in my case, the RAM sticks, as well as the radiator (with fans) did not fit at the same time until I removed the sticks’ heatspreaders.
I tested the 280mm variant of the Pure Loop 2 FX. For my slightly overclocked Ryzen 7 5800X, an AIO like this is ideal. The thermal mass provided by the coolant, as well as the large surface area of the radiator, allows heat to be dissipated quickly and, ultimately, effectively. Water coolers are not always necessarily the better choice when it comes to cooling the processor, but water coolers in particular with a large radiator and multiple fans can theoretically dissipate significantly more heat in a certain amount of time than an air cooler, which is of course severely limited in size. The test system used consisted of a Ryzen 7 5800X, Nvidia RTX 3080, 16 GB of Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO memory and the MSI B550-A Pro motherboard.
The graph shows the heat development during Cinebench R23. The green line shows the temperature of the Ryzen 7 5800X with the Pure Rock 2 FX. The red line is the temperature with the Pure Loop 2 FX. The temperature difference is about 5.7 °C. It can also be seen that the Pure Loop 2 FX can keep the slightly overclocked Ryzen 7 5800X below 85 °C under full load. So especially for processors with higher TDP, the Pure Loop 2 FX is a good choice to avoid thermal throttling or temperatures that can reduce the life of the processor.
Even under full load, the Pure Loop 2 FX didn’t get particularly loud. I find the pump in particular to be very quiet – I have not been able to hear it a single time. However, the airflow generated by the fans on the radiator is clearly and strongly noticeable, and the Light Wings spin at speeds of up to 2200 rpm. Be quiet! specifies a noise level of 32.8 dB for this speed. When idling, the AIO is generally drowned out in the quiet background noise of the PC and also does not produce any annoying “chatter” or the like.
Value for money
The Pure Loop 2 FX is available in three variants. A 240mm variant for €129.90, a 280mm variant for €139.90, and a 360mm variant for €154.90. This is comparable to what other well-known AIO brands charge for their products. Depending on the space in the case and the processor to be cooled, there should thus be a suitable version.
At be quiet! on sale for €99.90 / €109.90 / €124.90, the value for money is almost unbeatable. Only if you like to do without RGB, you can still save some money. Otherwise, the Pure Loop 2 FX is a good choice in terms of price-performance, as well as quality.
The Pure Loop 2 FX test shows that the new AIO builds on the already good foundation of the Pure Loop and especially brings the design up to date. The result is an AIO that is quiet, performant, modern and affordable.
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