Another summer season is upon us. Thus if you want to upgrade your system to a more cooler cooler or just want to squeeze more OC from your unlocked CPU, let’s have a look at BeQuiet!’s single 120mm liquid cooler and what it has to offer.
Nowadays when we have to delid our CPUs just to keep them under control (yes, shame on you Intel) (sometimes even at stock settings), that’s why you should consider having enough cooling capability if you don’t plan on risking butchering your CPU.
AIOs (all in one) cooling solutions have come a long way and you can find them in multiple sizes and layouts. This Silent Loop 120 from BeQuiet!, as the name suggests, is a 120 mm variant. They have four models in this range and all come with 3 years warranty.
First about BeQuiet!
BeQuiet! 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
As mentioned before they have four variants in their range, 120, 240, 280 all the way to 360 mm. You can see the prices down below for all of them from Amazon UK and DE. Amazon US doesn’t have it in stock. Will update if this changes.
Presentation and Specification
* Courtesy of their website
Silent Loop 120mm brings the famous be quiet! whisper-silent technology to the world of all-in-one water cooling.
* Innovative decoupled reverse-flow pump practically eliminates noise and vibration
* Full copper radiator for a high cooling performance
* Two Pure Wings 2 120mm PWM fans provide quiet operation with high air pressure
* Convenient features such as flexible bend-protection tubes and a refill port
* Nickel-plated cold plate allows optimum use of heat-conducting metallic paste
* 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
* German product conception, design and quality control
* No compromise is required when choosing to water-cool demanding systems and overclocked CPUs.
Then we if we explore in more detail we find out that:
REVERSE-FLOW PUMP – Pumped with innovation
This innovative, decoupled pump assures excellent cooling efficiency and whisper-quiet operation. The pump’s “reverse-flow” technique draws the liquid coolant from an outer cavity of the pump housing across the base plate, discharging the warmed coolant through a second level inside. This is key to guaranteeing the silent be quiet! operation.
COMPATIBLE WITH THE AMD RYZEN THREADRIPPER – The TR4 mounting kit available in stores
Silent Loop is compatible with the most powerful of AMD processors – the Ryzen™ Threadripper™. To be able to install it in their PC, users also have to order the special TR4 mounting kit bz007. It’s the perfect water cooling solution for gamers and graphic artists needing the utmost performance.
Moving further to the specs, the highlights are the maximum TDP it can handle – all the way up to 270 W (which is really good!) and that it virtually supports any modern CPU socket, all the way from Intel’s LGA 775 and even to the new monster TR4 from AMD. Which you can purchase from here.
Let’s not forget the fan specs:
They should be optimized for static pressure, which on paper they appear to be, at over 2 mm/H2o. They are 4 pin PWM, rifle bearing and are quoted for 80.000 hours of continuous operation which is almost over 3 years of non stop use. Also you can purchases the fans separately if you want your whole case to have matching fans.
BeQuiet’s main colors are black for the background and orange for the logo and they do just that here. All black box with a visual representation of the product depicted on the front. Only the important highlights are printed on the front, in three languages.
The backside goes into more depth regarding BeQuiet’s story and presents even more product highlights. The side harbors all the technical details we’ve seen above.
Now let’s proceed with the unboxing.
As you saw, the AIO is nicely secured inside and everything you need is detailed in the booklet and all the bags are marked for easy identification.
After we lay all of them out, this is the complete list of accesories:
1x Instruction manual
1x Be Quiet thermal Paste
1x Intel backplate
4x Intel Springs
4x Intel Nuts
4x Intel Washers
2x Intel mounting brakets
2x AMD mounting brakets
4x Intel mounting bolts
4x Intel mounting bolts for 2011(-3) Square ILM and 2066 sockets
8x M3x30 radiator screws
4x AMD mounting bolts
1x Y-cable fan splitter
8x M3x6 radiator screws
4x AMD AM4 2mm washers
Now let’s have a quick look at the Pure Wings two fans.
The minimalist design cues are still present with an all black frame, rotor and blade colour pallet. They are 120 mm, rated at 2000 rpm max and have a cable length of 45 cm. We also noticed 9 groove air channels on the blades for better air characteristics such as less noise and more pressure.
We finish the presentation section with the pump and radiator assembly.
The pump had a brushed aluminium look with the logo being centered. It is a reverse flow pump which is rated up to 2200 rpm at max throttle.
One of the most important details for any cooling product is the contact plate. Here we see that it is nickle plated for optimum heat transfer.
It has such a perfect mirror finish to it, that if you look close enough at it, you will see the …future.
The pump also features a refill port. This is for advanced users only and you shouldn’t touch this during the general life cycle of the AIO. But nice to see so many options are covered by be quiet!
Continuing with the tubes, which are 41 cm in length and are doubled by these springs for better protection, although this does mean they will not bend as easily. Also, the tubes are modular on both ends. Again, only access them if know what you are doing.
For the radiator Be Quiet! uses an all copper build with a FPI (fins per inch) count of 16. As for thickness, we have a chunky value of 45 mm. Speaking of girth, when you will install both fans, the total value will be at a massive 45+15+15= 75 mm !
This is the main drainage/refill port located on the top of the radiator. This is one of the most modular non-modular AIO coolers I have seen so far.
That wraps it for the presentation. So far we have a good looking AIO with a lot of accessories and a surprisingly good modularity feature.
Step 1 is to choose the appropriate parts for your CPU socket. I have an Intel one so that’s that.
Step 2 is to install the backplate. It also comes with some small adhesive strips. Use them for further prevention of backplate movement. Then just align the square nuts depending on your socket and double check they are all the way in.
For LGA 115x sockets, make sure the notches are facing upwards. I will be using LGA 775 which doesn’t require any special orientation.
For Step 3 you must decide where to mount the radiator. Being such a thick package in its final form, the recommended position is the back exhaust fan location of the case. Thus install the exhaust fan of the AIO. We will put the second (intake) fan on later.
In Step 4 we apply the thermal paste while we write down the lottery numbers from the future.
Step 5 is where we install the pump’s securing brackets and bolts. Takes some force until they intersect properly but don’t be afraid to apply some muscle. Make sure they are in this exact orientation – parallel with the part of the pump where you see the screws.
As for the bolts, this is how they should look with the nuts on the screwing part and the springs on the opposite side.
Step 6 – Install the radiator with the tubes facing downwards. (I didn’t follow my own instructions and had to remove the second fan because I had no direct path to screw in the bolts for the pump)
Now for Step 7 we secure the pump into the bracket making sure the logo is readable. Screw the bolts in a star pattern for an even force distribution.
The final Step is to install the second fan, connect both of them to the Y-slitter to the motherboard and the pump’s 3 pin header.
Look at the perfect clearance !
When everything is done, this is what it should look like: sexy.
For the testing of this AIO, I wanted to use something from my Blast Of The Past inventory, a coal hungry 130 W in stock form CPU – the QX6700. Then it will be overclocked at 3.5 Ghz with 1.43v which will consume even more. Muhaha! So this will surely give the Be Quiet! cooler a good run for its money. Any results over 90° C in any condition are considered a fail.
Room temperature was a recorded ~ 21°C.
The thermal paste used was the one that came with the included bundle of the Be Quiet! AIO.
We will compare the results of the Be Quiet! 120 Silent Loop AIO with a 120 mm air cooler and a 280 mm AIO cooler. I will employ a synthetic test in Cinebnech R15 to simulate a theoretical absolute load on the CPU which will dump the most heat and fully test any cooling system’s potential.
For the noise test the fans will be set on the auto % rpm curve. Then placed at 30 cm from the setup was our Pyle PSPL01 noise meter. For this test only a fanless GPU is used to reduce any extra interferences.
– CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Extreme QX6700 – 4c/4t – OC’d at 3.5 Ghz @ 1.43v
– Motherboard: XFX 750i NVIDIA SLI ATX
– SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 128 GB MLC
– RAM: 4GB (2×2) OCZ Reaper-X DDR2 800 Mhz
– Video card(s): QUAD-SLI XFX 9800GX2 / ZOTAC GT 730 4 GB Fanless
– PSU: Corsair TX 750W ATX
– Case: CiT G-Force RGB ATX
Competition Air Cooler/AIO
– Reeven Justice 120 mm
– NZXT X62 Kraken 280 mm
– Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 1803
– NVIDIA GeForce WHQL 341.02
– CPU-Z v1.71 – To verify the CPU’s and RAM’s statistics
– CoreTemp v1.6 – To see in real time temperatures of all the CPU’s cores and threads
– Cinebench R15 – Popular CPU benchmark
Testing and Results
These are the temperatures we got after three runs in Cinebench R15 and we noted the average value. Both stock CPU settings and overclock were tested. All the fans and AIO’s are set on auto rpm and stats.
As for the noise tests, as previously stated, a fanless GPU was used so we only measure the noise from the AIOs. Any other case fans were off and the power supply has a fanless mode as well. Under 30 decibels is ambient room noise.
In our tests, the Be Quiet! 120 mm Silent Loop with the two included 2000 Rpm 120 mm fans, have produced wonderful results. It got very close to the NZXT Kraken X62 which mind you, this is a 280 mm setup ! Thus the stated 270W TDP rating for the Be Quiet! we found to be true, this thing can handle a lot of heat even in overclocking scenarios.
Noise wise, despite there being some bad reviews and feedback regarding the pump noise for the Be Quiet! Silent Loop, our test sample displayed no such problems. This maybe being a long term test to observe and update if necessary.
In normal work loads, the fans are sufficiently powerful for them to not ramp up too high, thus the overall noise output can be minimal. Given the fact that this is a single rad setup, the results are really good.
Build quality and overall impression – excellent points here as well. With great attention to details, great accessory bundle and compatibility plus quality materials and overall feel, this is a clear win in this department.
Be Quiet!’s Silent Loop series now covers almost all needs and sizes. In today’s test we put the 120mm version under hard circumstances and it performed exceptionally and even got very close to a 280 mm AIO! Where most manufactures decide to impress the consumers with RGBs and over the top user controlled software, Be Quiet!’s approach is to focus on overall quality, bundle, attention to details, install and it’s philosophy and checks as many common sense features as possible. With solid performances in both areas temperatures and noise output, the 120 mm Silent Loop is a great AIO despite its slightly higher price compared to the competition, which in our opinion is worth it !
+ Great cooling capability
+ Maximum socket compatibility
+ Excellent build quality
+ Professional and minimalist look
+ Almost complete modularity
+ Tube protection via the spring sleeves
– Only 3 years warranty given the price
– Could be on a pricier side for some, given the fact that the competition has over 5 years in their offerings