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Thread: be quiet! Silent Loop 2 120mm

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    be quiet! Silent Loop 2 120mm

    Introduction

    be quiet! is a top-tier manufacturer of a tremendous number of PC products. They are not a brand that just pads shelves with products as many of their offerings have won numerous awards from reviewers and readers alike. You could say that be quiet! has earned its popularity by following through on its mantra of "no compromise silence and performance. Today, we will be taking a look at another of their AIO CPU Coolers. The Silent Loop 2 120mm is part of their new range of AIO CPU Coolers. Featuring a dual fan push-pull configuration, the Silent Loop 2 120mm promises to shift plenty of heat from its slim 120mm radiator design. In what undoubtedly represents one of the more interesting aspects of this design, for the first time ever be quiet! has introduced some ARGB lighting to the pump head (as well as a revised aesthetic design). It’s a small touch and perhaps more than a little surprising given that be quiet! has traditionally preferred to (so far) steer away from such lighting effects to their products. Another unique feature is the inclusion of a refill port to extend the lifespan of your cooler, and be quiet! encourages topping up the fluid after two years of operation. The Be Quiet Silent Loop 2 is available in various formats. There are the following versions: Silent Loop 2 240 mm, Silent Loop 2 280 mm, Silent Loop 2 360 mm and Silent Loop 2 120 mm(which we are testing today). It’s the cheaper of the new range, but it’s also the most compact, meaning it’ll be compatible with a greater number of systems.



    The Silent Loop 2 120mm has the following specifications:




    Packaging & Contents

    If you have ever owned a product from be quiet!, then the Silent Loop 2 120‘s packaging will no-doubt look familiar to you. The Silent loop 2 120 comes in subtle black packaging, with a moody illustration of the cooler on the front.



    On the back of the box you will find the key features in four sections. This is generally quite detailed and does including pretty much all the information you could want.



    Inside it's business as usual with egg box card surrounding the contents, each of which is individually wrapped in plastic bags. It’s a small thing that can make a big difference when it comes to assembly. Particularly separating the Intel and AMD bracket for the water block. Two fans are included, and these are from the Pure Wings 3 family – be quiet! says it is specifically designed for radiators, so hopefully they will offer good performance and low noise levels. The radiator is further protected by an additional layer of cardboard which is good to see, especially since we have seen damage occurring to AIO radiators in shipping recently.



    As the cooler does not have a pre-applied thermal paste, it does come with a tube of ‘be quiet!s’ own.



    In addition to this is also has some cable ties and a three-way 4-pin PWM fan splitter cable to make sure you should have no problems connecting all 2 cooling fans to 1 single motherboard connection.



    The actual installation hardware arrives in labelled bags, something regular readers will know I very much appreciate. You get fittings for a whole host of AMD and Intel CPUs.



    Here is the manual RGB controller and SATA power adaptor.



    You could hook up the system towards your 5v aRGB connector on your motherboard.



    The bottle of coolant that comes with the Silent Loop 2 120mm is ready mixed and ready to use, it is a water and Propylene Glycol mix which is typically used in AIO liquid coolers and has a capacity of 100ml. Over time your cooler will lose liquid and, as such, if you keep this handy, you can top it off as and when needed.



    be quiet! also include a comprehensive installation manual with the Silent Loop 2 120mm, with very detailed instructions and clear images to explain the installation process, not something that can always be said of AIO installation manuals.




    There is also a three-year manufacturer’s warranty.




    A Closer Look

    The first thing you’ll want to have a look at is the water block and radiator. For the 120 cooler, this is, after all, one of the main features you purchased it for. With the water block in a black gloss finish and the radiator in a matt-black finish, both look very stylish and highly presentable. In addition, the hose cables are very strong and coated with a protective sleeve to ensure no damage or pinching could possibly happen.



    be quiet's Silent Loop 2 120mm, like many other liquid coolers before it, uses an aluminium radiator. The Silent Loop 2 120mm is equipped with a model whose dimensions are 154 mm long, 120 mm wide and 77mm thick, fans included. The rad is spray painted in matte black.



    The exchange surface has 18 fins per inch. Total tubing length is approximately 400mm with an outer diameter of just under 13mm. Reinforced rubber tubing is covered by braided sleeving to give it a premium look which is typical of modern AIO closed-loop coolers. Note that they are quite rigid and rather restrictive to handle.



    Integrated into one of the radiator tanks are two fill ports. Normally AIO manufacturers would apply a warning sticker to the fill port which would void the warranty if removed. be quiet! encourages the user to remove the fill port to top up the system every two years to prolong the coolers lifespan.



    The brushed aluminum sheet pump itself has a stylish design with a dusty look. The only thing we have on our minds besides is be quiet! the logo, which of course can shine. The square block measures 63mm in sides and 55mm in thickness. This is a three-chamber model, having a 6-pole three-phase motor and the insulation of which has been pushed to limit the vibrations generally perceptible on this kind of equipment. 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. It will run at 2800 rpm according to the technical sheet and can be supplied with a voltage between 9 and 12V. A three-pin fan plug is present to power the pump.



    The Silent Loop 2 120mm deploys a nickel-plated copper cold plate. The base of the CPU block is equipped with a protective sticker covering the thermal transfer plate. Unlike most AIO closed loop coolers with bare copper thermal transfer plates, the be quiet! Silent Loop 2 120mm is equipped with a nickel-plated copper base without any pre-applied thermal compound.



    The cooler comes pre-supplied with 2 Silent Wings 3 120mm PWM High-Speed fans. These carry the ‘Silent Wings’ technology which is designed to give optimal airflow while keeping noise to a minimum. In terms of looks, these are certainly fantastic looking. The Silent Wings 3 120mm spin at 2200 rpm and will circulate up to 73.33 CFM. The 9 blades with the contoured tips and anti-vibration pads at the four corners, while supposed to promote high air and low noise, simply look great. It’s a little touch as well, but I always like that be quiet! take the effort to ensure that the stickers are all placed in the same place. Therefore, when the cooler is off, or if you’re just looking to take a snazzy photo to show it off to your friends, they all match the same direction.




    Installation Process

    Our CPU cooler test system is Intel Z170 based, therefore, we will be following the relevant Intel 115X socket installation procedure. When installing the be quiet! Silent Loop 2 120mm, users will need to first prepare the backplate. Slide the screws into the right slot on the backplate to then use the rubber o-rings to secure them. At this point, you can position the backplate on the motherboard.




    Next, use the standoffs to secure the backplate to the motherboard to then secure the mounting arms to the standoffs. At this point, you can apply some thermal compound in preparation for mounting the pump.





    Remove the protective sticker from the base of the CPU block, lower down the CPU block aligned with the mounting screw holes and tighten the screws to fix the CPU block in place. be sure to tighten the screws evenly and progressively for optimal CPU block to CPU contact. For connections, each fan plugs into a fan port. You also need to connect the waterblock to circulate the liquid inside the circuit.



    When fitted to the motherboard you have a nice solid design that looks bold and professional.



    We find a slight overlay RGB LED ARGB that offer multiple lighting options for stunning visual effects. ARGB LEDs offer multiple colors and modes to individualize the look of the Silent Loop 2 120mm. The illumination can be synced with the ARGB adjustments of the motherboard. You can optionally use the wired ARGB remote controller to switch between modes and colors.



    The be quiet! logo particularly is a nice touch with it being nice, bold and clear without it being obtrusive. The white illumination of be quiet! sign can be turned on and off for an external appearance of any taste.




    Test System & Methology

    Test System:

    Cpu:Intel Core i7-6700K@4.8 GHz.
    Motherboard:Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z170
    Memory:16Gb Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2666Mhz
    Graphics Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB SC2
    Power Supply: EVGA SuperNova 1200 P2
    Storage Drive: 3TB Seagate Barracuda
    Boot Drive: SSD 850 PRO 2.5" SATA III 2TB
    Chassis: Dimastech Bench Table Easy V2.5
    Windows 10 64-bit




    Software:

    Speedfan
    CPUID HW Monitor 1.23
    CPUID CPU-Z 1.65
    Prime 95

    I am testing the performance as follows:

    Ambient temperatures are kept at 23C throughout my tests.
    The CPU Fan is set to 100% to eliminate inconsistencies as a result of PWM control.
    Idle temperatures are obtained after booting the PC and idling on the desktop for 30 minutes.
    Load temperatures are obtained after running Prime 95′s for 30 minutes.



    Performance

    This is a AIO cooler, so it’s not surprisingly that it made easy work of our CPU at stock clocks.



    Once the cooler was placed under 4.6GHz OC, the Silent Loop 2 120mm began to show its be quiet! heritage. be quiet!'s Silent Loop 2 120mm doesn't deliver the lowest temperature, but that's no bad thing as the it strikes an admirable balance between heat and noise. If we look at these results the Silent Loop 2 120mm is pretty much on par with Cryorig's A40, which is a 240 mm cooler.



    Overclocking at 4.8GHz, didn't give us the best results we’ve ever seen, but for a 120mm mounting AIO, this is pretty darn impressive and more than enough to run your OC full time.



    The pump is virtually silent, one of the quietest I’ve ever tested. As you can see, the Silent Loop 2 120mm copes well here in audible tests and those PWM fans could easily spin a little slower from motherboard's software.




    Final Thoughts

    The new pump design is stunning and much more compact and sleek looking than their previous models. It’s also much quieter. With the extra surface area, it manages to come over just a few degrees Celsius of other 120mm AIO's. Not to mention that it does so while being quieter. As you can see this test boasted a result of a max reading of 45 dBa. In our opinion a fine number(for dual fan AIO) that shouldn’t affect your decision to buy this outstanding unit. I really like the overall appearance of the Silent Loop 2 120mm. The matte black and brushed aluminium colour scheme works very well and gives the cooler a neutral look that should fit in well with most system themes. The build quality also seems to be of a high standard, typical of be quiet! products and the cooler is backed by a three-year warranty. Installation was simple with no major issues. There were only a few extra steps with this build to ensure proper functionality. Including some extra thermal paste and coolant would really help out when it comes to switching systems or just simply readjusting in certain situations. This is an ARGB cooler, yet it’s quite limited in that it’s just the pump. We would also like to see the Silent Loop 2 120mm upgraded to include ARGB fans just to give the build that extra pop. Adding more ARGB is subjective, that’s just my two cents. The sTRX4 mounting kit does not come standard and should be available as an option.



    The be quiet! Silent Loop 2 120mm is available from most major retailers for around 80 Euros. The price isn’t especially cheap, but it’s certainly competitive in this market for the performance on offer. I loved the Silent Loop 2 120mm, it’s a great looking cooler and delivered respectable performance. If you’re a little limited by space, and still want a cooler that looks great and that runs nice and quiet, the be quiet! Silent Loop 2 120mm is a great choice for you.

    Last edited by testman78; 09-23-2021 at 02:55 AM.

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