Review PURE LOOP 2 | 280mm silent Water coolers “be quiet!”

The end of September 2023 was the occasion to be quiet! To announce the successor to the Pure Loop under the name Pure Loop 2. This new range of water cooling is available in several radiator sizes and is accompanied by a competitive pricing policy in a highly competitive market.

We tested one of the most powerful models in this range, the Pure Loop 2 280. This number refers to its equipment with the native presence of two 140 mm fans. The set offers an entirely black look affecting the fans, the aluminum radiator, the pipes, and part of the brushed aluminum Waterblock offers subtle aRGB illumination.

Watercooling AIO Pure Loop 2 280 de be quiet!

The improvements compared to the first generation are numerous and affect several areas. In use, are the performances there? Is this Pure Loop 2 280 capable of meeting the needs of our Core i9-9900K capable of consuming more than 210 Watts?

Pure Loop 2 280, presentation

The Pure Loop 2 is an all-in-one liquid cooling system. In short, be quiet! Offers a ready-to-use set straight out of the box. The circuit is assembled, and the various elements vital to this technology are operational and ready to operate.

We cannot speak of something new because it is an evolution of an existing model, the Pure Loop, of which you can reread our test here: Pure Loop 280 test.

It retains several of its characteristic elements, such as the Waterblock shape and a closed but not crimped circuit. The idea is to improve the product’s longevity and guarantee its long-term performance.

How? It is possible to add coolant to the radiator equipped with a filling port. A bottle with 100ml of liquid is included in the bundle to allow several refills over time. Top-up should be done if the cooling performance changes significantly or if air bubbles present in the loop generate noise.

We also find a decentralized pump. It is not present in the Waterblock to be placed on the processor but at the level of the two pipes responsible for ensuring the circulation of liquid (length of approximately 400 mm). Knowing that a pump is a mechanical element, the idea is to limit the risks of vibration transfer by ensuring its maintenance by two sheathed and flexible tubes.

The latter are mounted on pivoting heads at the level of the Waterblock to facilitate their orientation during assembly. In the same spirit, the pump is not fixed on the two tubes. One of the slides to facilitate installation. Additionally, an insulating material is present in the pump housing. Therefore, we are talking about a doubly decoupled pump.

Compared to its predecessor, the Pure Loop, the Pure Loop 2 is armed with a PWM pump, while the ring of white LEDs surrounding the cooling block gives way to aRGB lighting.

The fans are also evolving with the adoption of Pure Wings 3 PWM high speed, taking advantage of closed-loop motor technology.

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In the case of our 280 model, we find two 140 mm Pure Wings 3 PWM high-speed PWM units.

Note: Unlike the Pure Loop 2 FX, released in August 2022, the Pure Loop 2 is equipped with Pure Wings 3, not Light Wings, and does not include an ARGB-PWM hub.

To return to the design, we find a generalized black color. It contrasts nicely with the brushed aluminum surface of the cooling block enhanced by its aRGB LED edging.

We mentioned a little above the presence of the Pure Wings 3 PWM high-speed fan. They use a closed frame to limit air leaks and optimize static pressure.

The latter represents the shape with which the fan is able to push the air. This is important information with a water-cooling radiator because the latter offers a dense fin structure that does not promote air circulation. Fans with high static pressure are therefore required.

Note that, strangely, be quiet! Do not equip their frame with the radiator with rubber pads at the contact points. On the other hand, they benefit from a closed-loop engine. This is a solution to counteract a fan spinning at lower speeds when it encounters some form of resistance, such as with a radiator. The closed loop function provides a solution via the PWM signal to ensure the speed is at its target value regardless of the circumstances.

The concept of closed-loop refers to a feedback loop that transmits the fan speed to a control circuit, where the information is processed to adjust the latter to its target value. To understand better, it’s a bit like cruise control. By selecting a target speed of 120 km/s on the motorway, the regulator will adapt the engine load to maintain this value, whether the car is uphill, downhill, or flat. It’s the same with this fan. If it encounters resistance, which lowers its airflow and, therefore, its speed, the control circuit adjusts its motor to try to maintain its speed at its target value and, therefore, its flow and, simultaneously, its static pressure.

For high-speed Pure Wings 3 PWM, the manufacturer recommends a minimum speed of 1,600 rpm under load. It is in this range that closed-loop control comes into action.

Our 280 model has an aluminum radiator measuring 317 x 140 x 52 mm. The Waterblock is compact with dimensions of 94.5 x 83 x 42 mm. The bundle includes brackets for Intel LGA 1700, 1200, 1150, 1151, and 1155 and AMD AM5 and AM4 sockets.

The turbine pump runs between 4000 and 5500 rpm, while each Riffle-type fan is equipped with a four-pole motor and can reach a maximum speed of 1800 rpm. We have no further information regarding him. Depending on the load level, the manufacturer specifies noise pollution ranging from 15.4 to 33.8 dBa.

Watercooling AIO Pure Loop 2 280 de be quiet!

Finally, on the performance aspect, the Pure Loop 2 280 is announced capable of meeting the needs of all mainstream processors on the market, including the Core i9 and Ryzen 9. It is recommended to benefit from optimal operating silence with a Core i3/Ryzen 3 or a Core i5/Ryzen 5. It is less discreet with a Core i7/Ryzen 7, while a Core i9 or a Ryzen 9 has the capacity to rev it up. For overclocking, be quiet! Advises not to exceed a Core i7 or Ryzen 7.

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The Pure Loop 2 is available from October 10 at recommended prices of €89.90 (120mm), €104.90 (240mm), €114.90 (280mm) and €129.90 (360mm). ).

Test protocol.

  • Motherboard: Z390 Aorus XTREME from Gigabyte
  • Processor: Intel Core i9-9900K (TDP 95 Watts)
  • Storage: AMD Radeon R7 240 GB SSD
  • Memory: 2 x 16 GB DDR4-3600 CL18 Vengeance LPX from Corsair
  • Graphics card: GeForce RTX 3060
  • Power supply: ION+ 860P from Fractal Design

The processor temperature is measured by software via the HWMonitor 1.44 application (CPU Package value). Noise pollution is measured by a sound level meter placed 25 cm before the fan. The tests are conducted in the open air to ignore the case’s performance. The measurements are taken with the processor at rest with energy-saving technologies activated (CE1, for example), then 100% use of the processor.

We first used the CPU Burn utility for 10 minutes. We are in a situation where the TDP Package value is between 140 and 144 Watts under Intel’s Extreme Tuning Utility.

Then, we used Prime95 for 10 minutes as well. The chosen exercise is the Small FFTs in Torture Test. We are in a situation where the TDP Package value is between 200 and 210 Watts under Intel’s Extreme Tuning Utility.

The room temperature is recorded for each test, and we calculate the Deltas. We work in PWM mode (standard after calibrating the ventilation via the motherboard software), then in +12V applied to the fans and the pump.

Pure Loop 2 280, installation

For assembly, a few steps are necessary on our LGA 1151 platform. It requires the installation of a back plate which must be prepared beforehand with screws and O-rings.

It attaches to the motherboard with four spacers on the “socket” side.

Then, two fixing bars are necessary. You must pay attention to their position in order to correctly orient the Waterblock. It is consolidated with four cruciform screws.

The radiator accommodates the two 140 mm fans to be fixed using 8 mounting screws. You must pay attention to their orientation, knowing that pushing the air into the radiator is advisable and not sucking it. A Y cable unifies their PWM power supply.

Finally, the Waterblock is placed on the processor, having thermal paste on the surface, and everything is consolidated with lateral tightening.

Note: be quiet! Recommends topping up the coolant approximately every two years. To do this, you must:

  • Remove the radiator from the housing. The fill port is at the opposite end of the tubes,
  • Position the radiator vertically so that the filling port is at the highest level,
  • Open it to place the bottle and lightly squeeze it to transfer its liquid.

On the connection question, the fans’ Y-cable is placed on the CPU Fan of the motherboard, the pump on the CPU OPT, and the aRGB of the Waterblock on a 5V aRGB header of the motherboard.

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Pure Loop 2 280, performance.

Mode +12V

We work with a pump and the two 140 mm fans at their maximum.

Cooling performance

Watercooling AIO Pure Loop 2 280 from be quiet!  - Cooling performance in +12V mode

This Pure Loop 2 280 does not set a record. Its mechanics allow it to meet the needs of our Core i9-9900K. It ensures correct cooling in 144W or 210W, allowing temperatures far from a critical value.

The processor operates at full capacity all the time at its maximum frequency and, therefore, at its maximum power. The Thermal Throttling technology never triggered, which is perfect. We are a retreat in the face of AIOs of 360 and two solutions of 240.

Noise

Pure Loop 2 280 from be quiet!  - Noise nuisance in +12V mode
Pure Loop 2 280 from be quiet! – Noise pollution in +12V mode

In exchange for this “modest” assessment, be quiet! Offers a relatively quiet set. At full throttle, our sound level meter displays 46.3 dBA, the lowest value in our comparison. Compared to our other solutions, the results are positive.

At full speed, we cannot speak of silence; the breath is there, but this Pure Loop 2 280 is more discreet than 360 AIOs and even a 240 through the MasterLiquid 240L Core aRGB.

Mode PWM

We entrusted PWM management to our Z390 Aorus XTREME motherboard. We first launched a fan calibration using the Gigabyte SMART FAN 5 utility. It allows you to obtain several ventilation profiles. The tests were run with the standard profile.

Cooling performance

Watercooling AIO Pure Loop 2 280 from be quiet!  - Cooling performance in PWM mode
Watercooling AIO Pure Loop 2 280 from be quiet! – Cooling performance in PWM mode

No surprises in PWM. We find the same cooling profile as at +12V. Clearly, in our comparison, it occupies the last place. The difference is 2°C in 144W compared to 1°C in 210W compared to DeepCool’s LT720 and 3 and 4°C compared to Cooler Master’s MasterLiquid 240L Core aRGB.

On the other hand, the cooling of our Core i9-9900K is perfectly controlled. It does not reach any critical temperature, and its frequency remains maximum over time. We have never experienced a drop in performance.

Noise

Pure Loop 2 280 from be quiet!  - Noise pollution in PWM mode
Pure Loop 2 280 from be quiet! – Noise pollution in PWM mode

Once again, the focus on noise pollution is confirmed. With our Core i9-9900K pushed to its maximum (210W), the Pure Loop 2 280 is the quietest of all the AIOs tested. It occupies second in 144 Watts, just behind Deepcool’s LT720.

Pure Loop 2 280, conclusion.

This Pure Loop 2 is the successor to the Pure Loop. It is armed with several improvements affecting different aspects. Its dress gains in personalization with the arrival of aRGB while the doubly decoupled pump is now in PWM. The equipment evolves with Pure Wings 3 PWM high-speed fans, offering closed-loop motor technology. In use, we retain the idea of ​​an AIO with a unique and distinguished style with a delicately customizable dress. The design and manufacturing quality are there; there is nothing to complain about. It’s just a shame that the fan frame doesn’t have rubber pads to limit vibration transfer. Our 280 version reveals cooling performance capable of responding to a Core i9-9900K without any particular concern. Temperature increases are maintained, which guarantees maximum power over time. Compared to other references, we have a modest record in return for a discreet AIO capable of muffling its voice at full throttle. Considering its recommended price of €119.90, this Pure Loop 2 280 delivers a great performance.

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Mohamed SAKHRI

I am Mohamed SAKHRI, the creator and editor-in-chief of Tech To Geek, where I've demonstrated my passion for technology through extensive blogging. My expertise spans various operating systems, including Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android, with a focus on providing practical and valuable guides. Additionally, I delve into WordPress-related subjects. You can find more about me on my Linkedin!, Twitter!, Reddit

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