When it comes to the powerful yet silent cooling solutions for the PC market, be quiet! needs no introduction. They are in the business for over 15 years and have made quite a way into the hearts and minds of the customers. Their major product lines are Power Supplies, Fans, Coolers and Chassis. Designed in Germany, the Be Quiet! products deliver exactly what they are designed for; utmost performance with silent operations. Not only their products are designed in Germany but quality-control is also ensured in Germany. The products of be quiet! offer legendary quiet operation and first-class performance thanks the passion for quality and precision. Attention to detail is the key to perfection and this is where the company excels.
In this content we shall be taking a look at the premium cooling solution from be quiet! Which is Silent Loop 2 in 360mm size. The Silent Loop 2 series of the coolers are the high end cooling solution from the brand and they have sizes of 120mm/240mm/280mm and 360mm available. The cooler is compatible with Intel LGA 115x, 120xx and 20XX sockets as well as the AM4 and AM3(+) from the AMD platform. Thanks to its large size cold plate, the cooler is also compatible with sTRX4 and TR4 though you would need to buy the mounting kit for these sockets separately. be quiet! has introduced A-RGB lighting on the block which sits that well with the brushed aluminum face plate on the top. The lighting effect is further enhanced with layered design. To spur things up, we have Silent Wings 3 120mm PWM high performance fans bundled in the Silent Loop 2 coolers.
The salient features are:
- Very high cooling performance
- Doubly decoupled pump for quiet operation and minimal vibration
- Pure Wings 2 120mm PWM fans combine quiet operation with high air pressure
- White LED illumination, all-black design and aluminum-style for unmistakable and stylish look
- Easy-to-access refill port and included coolant bottle guarantee a long lifespan
- Flexible sleeved tubes and a convenient mounting ensure easy handling
- Nickel-coated coldplate allows optimum use of liquid metal thermal compound
- 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
Product: Silent Loop 2 360
Manufacturer: be quiet!
|US $159.90||£158.33 Amazon UK|
|£139.99 SCAN UK|
The prices are taken at the time of the review.
Packing and Unboxing
The product is shipped inside a cardboard box in black color theme.
Premium Series tag can be seen on the left side of the packing box. The Pure Loop 240 which we tested earlies is from Essential series.
The features highlight of the cooler are:
- A powerful and dampened 6-pole pump with 3-phases
- Silent Wings 3 PWM High-Speed Fan for high performance
- Refill port on the radiator
- Stylish aluminum faceplate with backlit lighting in white color
- High-Density stack of fins on the cold plate
The specifications of the cooler are printed in the tabular format. There is a 100ml coolant provided in the bottle to refill the unit for longevity of the operations.
There is a Styrofoam cover on the top with the user guide.
The contents are placed inside the egged carton.
Let’s take a look at what is provided in the box.
be quiet! has provided a 100ml coolant bottle with the cooler. The coolant is made of Water and Propylene Glycol and supports anti-freezing to -5°C. This is there as we have a refill port on the radiator which allows the user to refill the unit if the coolant level drops. This is too good an approach and after Reeven Naia which was launched in 2017, this is the second AIO in my personal experience to have shipped with a refill port and the coolant.
The mounting hardware is supplied in two containers.
be quiet! has provided:
- 2x Intel Mounting Brackets
- 2x AMD Mounting Bracket
- 1x Backplate
All of these are in the black color.
- 4x Standoff Screws for Intel LGA115x
- 4x rubber washers for Intel LGA115x
- 4x Screws for Mounting Brackets
- 4x Metallic Nuts
- 4x Standoff Nuts
- 4x AMD long screws
- 4x AMD plastic spacers
- 4x washers
be quiet! has provided 12x long screws for the fans and 12x short screws for the radiator.
be quiet! has provided a syringe of the thermal paste (may be useful for 1-2 applications).
There are 3x zip ties provided as well for cable management.
There is 3-way cable provided with the cooler. be quiet! has given the user to connect both Silent Wings 3 120mm PWM fans to the bundled y splitter cable and connect the cable to the fan header for a single control for all three fans.
There is a comprehensive user guide for the installation of the cooler.
be quiet! has provided a dedicate controller in the box with a slim design. The housing of the controller is made of plastic and it has a nice be quiet! branding as well.
We have seen similar controllers in a few other coolers from various manufacturers implying that OEM may be the same. There are three buttons. The M button change the mode whereas the Up and Down arrows change the lighting effect/speed/color depending upon the selected mode. There is an LED indicator which changes color with every press of M button showing that the mode has been changed.
The Controller is using a standard 3-pin 5V connector.
There is a two pin header on the other end of the controller. This is where the power cable is connected.
be quiet! has provided a 5V SATA connector with a 2-pin connector. The 2-pin connector is to be connected to the controller.
It is time to take a closer look at the components. Before that here is what be quiet! is saying about the cooler. “be quiet! Silent Loop 2 360 is a whisper-quiet premium class all-in-one water cooling system for demanding systems with heavily overclocked CPUs”. They have defined the target market in the statement and the potential use and the user of the cooler. One can’t be more precise than this!
The be quiet! Silent Loop 2 360 is a 360mm CLC cooling solution. It has a 360mm radiator with 3x Silent Wings 3 120mm High-Speed PWM fans.
The dimension of the radiator is 394 x 120 x 27mm. The thickness of the radiator is 27mm. With 25mm fans the overall thickness would be 52mm. The radiator has a 20 fins per inch one (FPI). There is a gap of 105mm between any two fan mounting holes on the radiator. The assembly is made of the aluminum and finished in black color (spray painted) and the build quality is good.
There is no protective plating under each mounting hole to prevent damage to the fins from excessive screwing. Take a note of that and it is suggested to use the bundled long screws only for the fans installation.
The close up look on the fins assembly shows a nice and clean job.
There is no be quiet! branding on the either side of the radiator housing.
The far block has an angular. There is no sticker pasted here. We have a refill port here which is covered with a screw. The idea is simple. If the coolant level drops in the longer run, then the user can simply open this port and use the bundled coolant filled bottle to add more coolant in the loop. This is a true maintenance free cooling solution!
The tubes are installed using straight barbs in stylish black color covers to give one clean look on the fittings point. There is a sticker pasted on the block head showing the serial no of the unit. As mentioned above, OEM of this unit is APALTEK.
The shown port on the radiator is reserved for the factory use only. Don’t attempt to open the port as you may lose the vacuumed pressure of the loop.
The be quiet! is using Low-Permeability rubber tubes. These tubes run to approximately 400mm in length and have braided nylon sleeve on them.
We have a stylish and quite beefier looking block on this AIO.
The pump here is a keynote. “Powerful pump with innovative three-chamber design ensures the very high-performance Silent Loop 2 360mm is whisper-quiet at the same time. The second of its three chambers offers enough space for the coolant to spread out and thus reduces turbulences before it leaves the pump unit. In combination with the 6-pole three-phase motor this results in a smooth and as a consequence silent operation.”
The pump is rated for 2800 RPM and uses a 3-pin flat cable to power it up using 9~12V. The 3-pin cable runs to approximately 392mm.
While be quiet! has taken some steps to reduce the pump’s vibrational effect on the CPU, they have also focused on the aesthetics of the block. The block’s housing is made of the plastic and is in the black color finish. There is a beautiful aluminum sandblasted face plate on the top which is A-RGB LED backlit and man o man, it looks that damn good in person! The dimension of the block is 80x96x56mm (DxWxH) APPROXIMATELY.
The face plate on our sample is miss-aligned as it covers the one side completely while leaving the other side more exposed. Seems like their QC needs to up the game a bit.
The fix is an easy step. Carefully, lift off the face plate and put it back on the top making sure it fits properly with same alignment from all the sides.
The block has spring-loaded screws pre-installed on two sides. The middle clamp design is protruding a bit on both sides with screws on both ends. In my opinion, the 4-point screw mounting provides a better and equal mounting pressure and takes out the guess work out of the equation.
The tubes are installed on the 90° rotary barbs and we have same black color covers on the joints here. The A-RGB and the power cables are coming out from the base.
The 3-pin connector flat cable is coming out of the base of the pump housing.
The A-RGB cable has a standard 3-pin connector and a header for daisy chaining with other elements of the build.
be quiet! Silent Loop 2 360 has a nickel plated copper baseplate. The base measures 55x55mm approximately. There is a protective sticker pasted on it cautioning the user to peel it off before using. We have a relatively large size cold plate with high density fins stack. The copper base is mirror finish.
be quiet! has provided three Silent Wings 3 120mm high speed PWM fans with the cooler. The fans are in black color finish which goes hand-in-hand for the overall neutral/stealth look of the cooler. Each fan has 7 blades. Each blade has layered design for even and enhanced airflow and reducing the air turbulence. There is a sticker on the center with be quiet! branding on it. The frame of the fan is not circular and is quite rigid. The fans are using 6-pole motor and fluid-dynamic bearings.
The mounting holes have concealed design with anti-vibration pads on the top of the concealment.
One side of the frame has two arrow symbols. These help the user in identifying the direction of airflow and blades’ spin direction.
The backside of the fan shows the 4-arms assembly on the main frame with one arm having a wider area. The wires are routed on this wider arm towards the exterior of the fan. There is a be quiet! branding on the sticker in the center. The fans are rated for 2200 RPM.
The fans have 4-pin PWM connectors.
The specification of the fans are:
|Type||4-pin PWM Connector|
|Air Pressure||3.37 mmH₂O*|
|Noise||39.8 dB(A) at 100% Speed|
|Lifespan||300,000 hours at 25°C ambient|
*This information is not provided in the specifications of the cooler. I have taken this data from the Silent Wings 3 12 PWM High Speed web page on the be quiet! website. This data is only valid if be quiet! did not tweak the fans for the cooler.
We have tested the cooler on the Intel LGA1200 socket. Installation is simple and as under:
Install the Intel LGA1200 standoffs by passing these through the mentioned holes on the backplate. Secure them using the rubber washers.
Place the backplate on the motherboard socket area.
Install the standoff nuts.
Install the Intel mounting brackets on the standoffs using 4x screws.
Apply the thermal paste on the CPU. Peel off the protective cover from the base of the block. Place the block on the CPU by aligning the pre-mounted screws to the holes on the mounting brackets. Secure the block by alternating screwing on both sides.
Install the fans on the radiator.
Use the 3-way splitter cable and connect all three fans to the 4-pin PWM header of the motherboard. Connect the 3-pin pump power cable to the pump/AIO header of the motherboard. Connect the A-RGB cable to the standard 3-pin, 5V header of the motherboard or to the dedicated controller provided in the cooler’s box.
There is no clearance issue with respect to the DIMM slots and first PCIe slot. Make sure your chassis has clearance for 360mm radiator.
Here are some pictures showing the aesthetics on the block with subtle lighting.
We have upgraded our Intel test bed recently. Following test bench is used: –
- Intel i7 10700k
- MSI MAG Z490 TOMAHWAK
- T-Force NightHawk RGB 16GB @ 3200MHz
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 FE
- addlink S70 256GB NVMe SSD
- Fractal Design ION+ 860P PSU
- Open-air test bench
Here is the settings table for testing:
|Clock (MHz)||3800 All Cores|
|Clock (MHz)||4700 All Cores|
|Clock (MHz)||5100 All Cores|
|Thermal Paste||Noctua NT-H1|
|Thermal Paste Application||Dot Method in the center.|
|Test Run Time||30 minutes|
|Idling Time||10 minutes|
|Fan Speed||100% PWM Duty Cycle and Auto PWM|
|Pump Speed||Connected to the AIO Pump header to run at 100% speed|
|Header||CPU_Fan header for the fans and Pump_Header for the pump|
|Software||AIDA64 6.3 Extreme [FPU]|
We are using Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste for coolers testing. Using a same thermal paste for all coolers would ensure the standardization. Delta temperatures are reported on the graphs. The testing is done on an open air bench system. Once inside the chassis, the temperatures are expected to rise and would largely depend upon the optimal airflow inside the chassis.
Not every run of the stress test may yield the same result. This could well be due to many factors like mounting pressure, thermal paste application, varying ambient temperature. Not to mention the silicon differences even among the same category of the chips. Hence, it is pertinent to mention the testing methodology along with the specifics.
The coolers are also tested using Auto PWM function. MSI is using Smart Fan mode in the UEFI/BIOS which is not pure Auto PWM but it is what is available to us. The above picture shows the MSI default fan curve for the Smart Fan mode. Since all the coolers will be tested using the same configuration and settings, same margin of error applies to all.
Let’s take a look at the results.
3.8GHz All Cores
4.7GHz All Cores
4.7GHz All Cores [Auto PWM]
Fans’ Speed on Auto PWM
The above graph shows the maximum speed attained by the fans on the Auto PWM. For comparison, we have included the rated speed of the fans to have reference in determining the Auto PWM range. The Silent Wings 3 120mm PWM High Speed fans are rated for 2200 RPM. On Auto, PWM they attained the maximum speed of 1678 RPM at much better sound level than is on the full speed.
5.1GHz All Cores
We have a comparable performance from the be quiet! Silent Loop 2 360 cooler.
The sound meter was showing the noise level to be 54 dB(A) with ambient sound level of 32 dB(A). This was with all three fans kicking at their full speed. Using Auto PWM the noise level was reduced without a much sacrifice in the thermal performance.
The Silent Loop 2 is the premium cooling solution in AIO category from the be quiet! These coolers are available in 120mm/240mm/280mm and 360mm sizes. We have tested the Silent Loop 2 360 in this content. APALTEK is the OEM of this design. The cooler is compatible with Intel LGA115x/1200/2066 and 2011(-3) square ILM sockets and AMD AM4/AM3(+) sockets as well as sTRX4 and TR4 sockets for which supported brackets would need to be purchased separately. The cooler comes with three powerful Silent Wings 3 120mm PWM High Speed fans with maximum rotational speed of 2200 RPM.
The Silent Loop 2 360 has an aluminum radiator measuring 394 x 120 x 27mm. The thickness of the radiator is 27mm. The overall thickness would be 52-53mm after installing the fans. The radiator has 20 FPI. The radiator housing has a black color spray paint on it and the overall finish is stealth/neutral.
The key note here is the refill port on the radiator for which 100ml coolant bottle is also provided. This gives the user to an ability to refill the cooler should the coolant level drops in the longer run making this a maintenance free cooling solution. The be quiet! is using Low-Permeability rubber tubes running to approximately 400mm in length and have braided nylon sleeve on them.
Another key feature is the pump design in the Silent Loop 2 360. The cooler features a three chamber design for the pump. be quiet! has further dampened the pump housing to make sure that vibration is absorbed. The second of its three chambers offers enough space for the coolant to spread out and thus reduces turbulences before it leaves the pump unit. The pump is using 6-pole, three phase motor. It is rated for 2800 RPM using 9~12VDC and is powered by a 3-pin connector cable. be quiet! has used a larger cold pate with dense fin stack. The base is made of the copper and is finished in nickel coating with mirror effect. The base roughly measures 55x55mm. It is still not large enough to fully cover the the IHS of the TR4/sTRX4 chips.
The water block has a beautiful aluminum made face plate which is A-RGB LED backlit. There is be quiet! branding on the top right section of the face plate and this makes one heck of a good look on the block itself. The A-RGB cable is using standard 3-pin 5V connector and header which allows for easy daisy-chaining with the light elements in the build. I like the subtle lighting touch on the block which is not overly done. Job well done! They have also provided a dedicated controller with the cooler which is SATA powered. The controller is also using a standard 3-pin, 5V header. The use of standard 5V connectors has my praise.
be quiet! has provided three Silent Wings 3 120mm PWM high speed fans with the cooler. These fans are all black adding more to the overall neutral/stealth look of the cooler. These are rated for maximum of 2200 RPM at 12VDC. There is no data like airflow, air pressure provided in the spec sheet but the noise level of 39.8 dBA is mentioned in the specification of the cooler which is at the 100% speed of the fans. These fans are using fluid dynamic bearings and rated for 300,000 hours at 25°C ambient temperature.
The installation is simple and having an experience with Dark Rock Pro 4’s installation, I found it no different than the air cooler. The mounting hardware is also in the black color. The only thing not black is the aluminum face plate on the block and the A-RGB illumination. The block is installed using two screws which are pre-installed to the housing of the block. I would have liked to see 4-point mounting mechanism for even mounting pressure of the block on the CPU. be quiet! has also provided a 3 way-splitter cable which allows the user to connect all three fans to a single control source.
The be quiet! Silent Loop 2 360 is listed at $159.90 and £139.99 (Scan UK pricing) at the time of the review. be quiet! is offering 3 years warranty. The be quiet! Silent Loop 2 360 has a strong thermal performance comparable with any other high-end 360mm AIO in the market more or less. The Auto PWM or custom fan curve will give the user a better noise to performance ratio. Based on the excellent cooling potential for any high-end PC, coolant refill provision, subtle A-RGB backlighting on the block with a beautiful sandblasted aluminum cover on top, and 3-years warranty the be quiet! Silent Loop 2 360 comes highly recommended by us.
Thanks to be quiet! for the provision of Silent Loop 2 360 cooler for the testing.