If you look around in the AiO water cooling sector, you will notice the high status of the German brand be quiet! The Pure Loop and Silent Loop have already attracted some users with their simple looks, quiet operation and good, high cooling performance. The comparatively low price also helped.
The new Silent Loop 2 from be quiet! is supposed to bring all that back to a higher level. At the same time, not only have the individual components been looked at more closely and improved, but the design has also been given a new coat of paint – The pump housing brings with it a subtle RGB design. How well be quiet! have implemented the new Silent Loop 2 in the 360-mm version and what it is capable of, you can now find out in our test!
|Model||Silent Loop 2 360 mm|
|Dimensions radiator, incl. fan (H x W x D), (mm)||394 x 120 x 52|
|Total weight (kg)||1.33|
|Socket compatibility||Intel: 1200 / 2066 / 1150 / 1151 / 1155 / 2011(-3) Square ILM; AMD: AM4 / AM3(+), sTRX4 / TR4 (optional, mounting-kit (BZ008))|
|Loudness (dB(A)) @ 25% / 50% / 100% rpm||17.7 / 23.9 / 39.8|
|Fan model, quantity||3x Silent Wings 3 120 mm PWM high-speed|
|Pump speed (rpm)||2800|
|Pump adjustable||9V – 12V|
|Connection of the pump||4-pin PWM|
|RGB connector||3-pin 5V Adressable|
|Tube length (mm)||400|
|Price||€ 169.90 *|
Packaging & Scope of delivery
Packed is the Silent Loop 2 in a for be quiet! usual packaging, which comes as always visually very noble. On a black background, the product image of the AiO water cooling stands out with the names in bright white. On the top of the packaging there is a QR code, which, when scanned, takes you directly to the product page of the Silent Loop 2. There you can find all important information about the water cooling system. If you turn the packaging over, you will also find texts about the Silent Loop 2 in four sections.
The packaging can be opened from one of the sides. On a white foam you can find the Silent Loop 2 manual. Underneath, very solidly and easily secured, are all the remaining components of the water cooling system. Apart from the radiator with the pump in the 360 mm variant (also available in 280 mm/240 mm/120 mm), three Silent Wings 3 fans, a bag of AMD and Intel screws for the respective motherboard sockets, an RGB controller cable, a PWM extension cable, a small tube of thermal paste and an additional 100 ml of cooling water for refilling are included. We were especially impressed by the latter, as it is not common, but very useful for longevity. This small feature was already offered in the predecessor versions. On top of that, there is also a three-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Workmanship & Design
As mentioned before, the design of the pump as well as the radiator has changed compared to its predecessor – so we’ll take a closer look at it now. The goal of be quiet! was to bring an even more powerful and quieter AiO water cooling than the Pure Loop to the market. In the process, a lot has been done, especially in the external appearance of the pump. The heart of the Silent Loop 2 has been hidden in a higher and squarer pump housing. The be quiet! logo on the silver-brushed surface is illuminated in white and rounded off with a fine RGB strip on the outside. With the help of an A-RGB plug or the included RGB controller, the lighting can be controlled as desired – unfortunately only the outer strip. Unfortunately, only a white LED is hidden under the be quiet! logo. Visually, the whole thing makes quite an impression, but that is not yet the most exciting thing about the pump.
Much more important is what has changed inside, because some work has been done here. The powerful pump features an innovative 3-chamber design, which is supposed to increase performance and decrease noise. The middle of the three chambers is used to allow the emerging turbulence of the coolant to spread out and allow it to be reduced before the coolant re-enters the pump unit. This resulting more even incoming flow, in combination with the 6-pole motor with three phases, should ensure quiet and smooth operation. You’ll find out how well this works in practice in the next chapters. The fact is that some thought has been put into this. In addition, there has recently been more effective pump insulation between the pump housing and the actual pump, which should reduce the vibrations emitted by the pump.
The pump’s radiator plate is made of nickel-plated copper and comes without pre-applied thermal paste. To be able to cool properly, there is also the 360 m radiator. This now has a thicker and rounded shape. The hoses that connect the radiator to the pump have been covered with textile again. All the fins of the radiator are in very good condition and convince with their quality. The color of the radiator can be compared to a very matte black, which shimmers slightly grayish in the light. So that you can fill the included extra coolant, the radiator has a screw on one side. If you unscrew it with a Phillips screwdriver, the radiator can be filled (only possible when removed). Every two years the radiator should be refilled to ensure a longer life.
Last up, then, are the three Silent Wing 3 fans. Here, be quiet! falls back on its own 120mm fans with a 6-pole motor for less vibration and a long-lasting Fluid Dynamic bearing. Unlike the pump housing, these are equipped without RGB and therefore only have a PWM cable, which is even sleeved. The total of seven blades of the rotor blade are equipped with a corrugation, which allows the air to be better directed with the help of the funnel-shaped frame. In addition, the Silent Wing 3 are high-speed fans, making them well-suited for use on a radiator. The bolting points are equipped with anti-vibration pads, reducing the transmission of vibrations from the fans.
For assembly, suitable material was supplied depending on the base. In the process, the individual packages were labeled, so there can be no misunderstandings. The easiest is probably the mounting of the fan on the radiator – for this you only have to take out the matching screws from the bag and screw them tight. Here everything fits precisely and so there is no visually noticeable gap between the fans. For the installation on the motherboard, you have to put in a bit more effort. However, nothing where you basically have to worry. In our test, we put the Silent Loop 2 on an AMD motherboard – more information about this can be found in the next section.
In order to attach the mounting stays including spacers to the pump unit, mounting bolts with O-rings are screwed to the motherboard’s backplate. Finally, the two spring-loaded screws can be tightened so that the CPU becomes one unit with the pump block. Basically, everything fits perfectly here as well. However, we managed to screw one of the two spacers at a slight angle during assembly, which made it a bit too tight. It was our mishap, but you should still approach the spot with caution. With that, we’re already done with the assembly. In our case, the hoses of the Silent Loop 2 have enough distance to the RAM sockets, and everything turns out to be unproblematic here as well.
Cooling capacity & volume
As always, the most important thing comes at the end – how well does the Silent Loop 2’s cooling performance and volume turn out? To test this, we stressed the CPU using Prime95 for a 30 minute interval and used CPUID Hardware Monitor to read the temperature under load. At the same time, we used the idle temperature as a comparison value. These are the test components we used:
- AMD Ryzen 5 3600, 6x 3.60Ghz
- MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk
- 4x G.Skill Trident Z Royal 8GB DDR4 3200 MHz
- Palit GeForce RTX 3070 GameRock
- be quiet! STRAIGHT POWER11 CM 650 W
- CORSAIR iCUE 5000X RGB
After giving our Ryzen 5 3600 CPU a nice sweat, we can now present our results. In doing so, we have listed a few other AiO watercoolers and the AMD boxed cooler that were tested with the exact same test system for comparability. The room temperature was around 22 °C.
|be quiet! Silent Loop 2||32 °C||54 °C|
|MSI MPG CORELIQUID K Series||33 °C||53 °C|
|Alpenföhn Gletscherwasser 360||34 °C||55 °C|
|Deepcool Gammaxx L360 V2||36 °C||57 °C|
|AMD Ryzen 3600 boxed cooler||46 °C||74 °C|
An improvement in cooling performance was foreseeable from the start, and that’s exactly what our test reflected – the Silent Loop 2 proved what it’s made of. Under full load, it ranks between the Alpenföhn Gletscherwasser 360 and the MSI MPG CORELIQUID K Series. For fine tuning, the pump can be set between 9V and 12V, and the pump can reach a maximum RPM of 2800. The Silent Wings 3 can be cranked up to 2,200 RPM. Exactly at this point, the decisive advantage of all Silent enthusiasts comes into effect. Both at idle and under full load, the Silent Loop 2 is extremely quiet compared to our reference AiO watercoolers.
With a little fine tuning on the RPM curve, the perfect balance of power and volume can be set up. In our measurements, with about 10 cm distance, the volume was about 34 dB at idle and about 44 dB under maximum fan and pump speed. Important note at this point: We did install the Silent Loop 2 in a case, but did not reinstall the disks in the case – with a reasonably insulated case, there is still quite a bit of dB to be gained here, allowing the AiO to operate almost silently – very convincing! Both on 9V and 12V the pump is convincing in operation.
In conclusion, one can again only report good things about the Silent Loop 2 and be quiet! The workmanship of the entire AiO watercooler is on a very high level, setting it apart from the crowd. Their new RGB design hasn’t reinvented the wheel, but this, in combination with the new pump housing, creates a subtle and elegant overall look, which is why we really liked it. Silent enthusiasts may not only be happy about the gained RGB strip, but in addition even more about the cooling performance and noise – Both factors have improved as we could show on the basis of our results.
So, in the end, there is not much negative to say about the Silent Loop 2. The 360 mm version of the Silent Loop 2 we tested is available for €159 MSRP – a hefty but definitely reasonable price. It is recommended for all those who don’t like too much bling-bling in their case and prefer it to be a bit more compact, quiet and discreet. From our side, we can thus make a purchase recommendation with a clear conscience and give it a well-deserved Gold Award.