The first generation of the Silent Loop series from be quiet! has been their top tier AIO solution with excellent overall quality and results. Today we are looking at the next chapter that brings some additional upgrades and enhancements.
With a powerful three-chamber pump design (that allegedly reduces turbulences and noise) which is dampened and adjustable via the six-pole motor, this Silent Loop 2 AIO should prove itself in the noise and cooling department without any doubts. The refillable, minimalist and elegant rad design is highly welcomed and also the fact that the Silent Loop 2 AIO 360mm is bundled with three of their most advanced 120mm fans – the Silent Wings 3 PWM high-speed variants – everything sounds excellent so far.
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
This series has you covered with all of the popular format like 120, 240, 280 and like our sample of today, the 360 mm. Because of some weird reason regarding a patent pump design, this new series is not available in the US market. Alas, here are the prices for Europe. There is plenty of competition in this price range for 360’s so let’s see how the be quiet! Silent Loop 2 AIO will perform.
*27.08.2021 – Check the video review as well!*
Presentation and Specifications
* Courtesy of their website.
SIGNIFICANT QUIET AND EXCEPTIONAL COOLING
Silent Loop 2 360mm is the immensely high-performance and whisper-quiet all-in-one water cooling unit for demanding systems with heavily overclocked CPUs.
* Dampened and adjustable pump with six-pole motor for very silent and immensely high-performance operation
* Powerful three-chamber pump design significantly reduces turbulences and noise
* Silent Wings 3 PWM high-speed fans for high performance and whisper-quiet operation
* Cold plate with high density stack of fins for the highest cooling characteristics
* ARGB LEDs for lots of illumination options and great visual effects
* Easy-to-access refill port with coolant bottle included, ensuring a long lifespan
* Three-year manufacturer’s warranty
We notice the familiar all black minimalist presentation regarding the design of the packaging but it’s very effective.
On the back we have the main highlights of the Silent Loop 2 AIO.
Here are the complete specs for the pump and the fans.
It’s good to see that the rad has its own protection via a separate carboard shell.
All of the accessories are organised in labelled zip-lock bags.
Inside the user’s guide you will find a sim ejection look-alike tool which is for turning on/off the lights from the writing of the pump.
The complete list is as follows:
3x Pure Wings 3 120mm PWM fans
1x Bottle of coolant
1x Small tube of thermal paste
12x Radiator fan screws
12x Radiator screws
3x Zip ties
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 AM3 washers
4x AMD backplate screws
2x Intel mounting bracket
2x AMD mounting bracket
1x Intel backplate
1x User’s manual
1x Fan splitter
1x ARGB SATA adapter
1x ARGB 4v remote
Now let’s have a look at the premium 4-pin PWM Silent Wings 3 120mm high speed fans. They are rated up to 2200 RPM and thanks to their seven ribbed blades, they will push up to 73.33 CFM / 124.58 m3/h of air flow and have a static pressure of 3.37 mmH2O, while not going above 28.6 dB(A).
They come with a highly generous 500mm long fully braided 4-pin PWM cable.
The frame has this industrial design which is quite good looking. It features modular corners with a lot of antivibration technologies like inner rubber grommets for the mounting holes and a rubber rim on both sides of the fan.
The rotor’s bearings are build on the FDB technology, as in ‘fluid dynamic bearing’ which means the bearings operate on an oil film which will ensure longer longevity for the 6-pole rotor and thus a quieter overall operation. No wonder that these fans are rated up to, get ready, 300,000 hours of continuous operation! This translates to almost 34 years !
The radiator is very sleek at 394 (H) x 120 (W) x 27 (D) mm and it’s built from aluminium.
It has an FPI count (fins per inch) of 20, which is mostly the norm.
The tubes are around 40 cm long and are wonderfully fully sleeved.
On the side opposing the tubes, we have the refill port.
The pump of the Silent Loop 2 is based on a six-pole motor with a three-chamber design, which has also been optimized in terms of acoustics. The top is covered with this excellent brushed stainless steel that gives the Silent Loop 2 a sleek design. The new RGB implementation via this lightbar, is sandwiched between the top plate the the pump’s enclosure.
The tubes have plenty of swivel while exiting the pump. Also notice that access hole in the middle part of the housing. This is where you would insert the ‘sim’ tool to completely turn off the lights for the be quiet! logo, if you are after a full stealth build.
The pump is rated up to 2800 RPM with a noise rating up to 39.8 dB(A) @ 100% rpm. It requires a 3 pin port for power and a 5v RGB plug.
The contact plate is made from copper and then it’s nickel plated, with an almost mirror polish. It will support any modern socket including the Threadripper sTR4 but only if you order the optional bracket.
The fist step is to install the fans onto the radiator whilst making sure you orientate the fans with the cables exiting towards the motherboard area for a cleaner WM look.
Now, if your case (like this one), has a top removable top radiator tray, then you can install the AIO even more comfortably into the case.
Onto the socket area. If you are on AMD, make sure you remove the stock front plastic brackets while retaining the stock metal backplate.
Install the black AM4 spacers with the correct orientation.
Then install the metal brackets in the corresponding AM4 holes.
Apply the thermal paste and secure down the block. As you can see, it’s very easy to install this AIO on the AM4 socket.
The final step involves plugging the wires. Insert the fans into the included splitter and then if you don’t have the 5v RGB port on your motherboard, the remote will save you.
This particular case has bottom-hinged panels so we found this placement to be easier to interact with since there is no need to take the whole panel out to reach the remote (if you just open the panel slightly).
Back to main chamber. There are no clearance issues what so ever around the socket area and the tubes have the ideal length to reach where needed but not long enough to dangle unnecessarily. The overall installed look is quite stunning.
Now let’s check the lighting. We appreciate the minimalist approach be quiet! took here with the sublime RGB lightbar. You have full control via the motherboard’s lighting software. If you go the manual route, the remote is pretty clever by itself and the activity LED will inform you of the various effects and functions as you cycle through.
Use the ‘M’ to select the options then the ‘up’ and ‘down’ arrows to cycle through. Thus yellow is for the effects, orange is for the colours, green is for the speed, blue controls the brightness and red is for the special effects.
- 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 ~25°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:
– CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 AM4 – 8c/16t @ 65W TDP
– 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: bequiet! 550W Pure Power 11 FM Gold
– Case: bequiet! Silent Base 802 Black
– Case fans: 3x bequiet! 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. Since it was a hot summer day, this was a perfect opportunity to test the Silent Loop 2 AIO 360mm. It looses by a whisker to the IceGem just because the latter can churn a bit more RPM from its pump. Alas, the difference here is very small that we can even classify it into the margin of error category.
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. Here the Silent Loop 2 takes the lead in the OC scenario but settles for second place for the stock test. Again, this just reconfirms the R15 test, how neck and neck the top 2 coolers are. However, we will see later what the real difference is in the noise department.
In AIDA64 we isolated the stress test just for the CPU therefore we should get the highest stress scenario for the CPU. Nothing drastically changes here since R20 is as demanding as this one.
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. Since the game isn’t pushing the CPU as much as a synthetic benchmark, the numbers here will be excellent.
Well, this is where the Silent Loop 2 shines. The overall build quality and design makes this such a fine balance of cooling performance and acoustics. The same applies as for most coolers, with the fans at 100% RPM full throttle, they will be noticed but the sweet spot is around 70, even 80% with these Silent Wings 3 fans.
The new Silent Loop 2 360mm AIO can be defined as an excellent blend of acoustic and cooling performance. The build quality is top notch and due to its refillable design, this looks like a long term investment, if you will. Also the fans will outlive any build you undertake. The ARGB implementation respects the overall theme of minimalism and it’s a welcomed feature for those that want it. Also the manual control is another move in the right direction for owners of older builds. It’s such a shame that this series not available in the USA. Overall this is a solid choice for those that are after the best equilibrium in the AIO world.
+ Superb overall cooling performance
+ Excellent acoustic for the pump and fans
+ Beyond overbuild fans
+ Refillable design with included spare liquid
+ ARGB is welcomed
+ 3 years warranty
– Not available in the US market
– Doesn’t include by default the sTR4 socket bracket