Be quiet! is a German manufacturer that mainly produces PC cases, power supply units (PSUs) and cooling related products. As the name of the company suggests, their products are designed with special emphasis on quiet operation. The company is no stranger to North American markets, slowly but steadily increasing its presence in recent years. They are, in fact, one of the few EU-based companies that have managed to maintain their position in the North American market during the pandemic.
Looking at their overall product offerings, Be Quiet! is a fairly typical PC peripheral manufacturer. The company is perhaps best known for its impressive line of power supplies, while also offering cases, fans, and coolers. And nowadays that of course extends to all-in-one processor (AIO) liquid coolers, with their family of Pure Loop coolers.
True to their design philosophy, Be Quiet! built the Pure Loop series to operate with as little noise as possible. And unlike other players in this space, the company isn’t trying to make Pure Loop a high-end (read: expensive) niche offering; chillers are therefore competitively priced for the mass market. Overall, the Pure Loop series consists of four coolers, ranging from 120mm and 240mm up to 280mm and 360mm. All four coolers are, as is usually the case, virtually identical except for the size of the radiator.
For today’s review, we’re looking at the 280mm version of the Pure Loop AIO cooler, which is the second largest offered by the company, and appears to be the most popular size for AIO coolers right now.
Packing and package
The Pure Loop cooler comes in a sturdy cardboard box which, along with the custom internal inserts, provides excellent protection during shipping. It’s aesthetically dark and gloomy, much like almost any box of Be Quiet !, but with a wealth of information regarding the cooler that sits on the sides and back of the box.
The items that come with the Pure Loop cooler are pretty basic. Inside the box we found the necessary socket mounting hardware, a small syringe with a little thermal grease, adapters to power the fans, and a few cable ties.
The surprising addition here is a bottle of coolant, which is very rare for an AIO cooler. Because, as we will see in our technical description, the Pure Loop is not a traditional sealed loop cooler, so users can manually replenish and replace its coolant.
The fans supplied with the Pure Loop cooler are Be Quiet! ‘S own Pure Wings 2 PWM fans. As expected, two 140mm fans come with the 280mm version we’re testing today. These fans have rifle bearings, which are remarkably quiet. This is the “high speed” version of the series, with a maximum speed of 1,600 rpm.
The Be quiet! Pure Loop 280mm All-in-One Cooler
The basic design of the AIO Pure Loop 280mm cooler looks pretty typical at first glance. Still, if you pay a little more attention to it, there’s one big anomaly: The liquid pump is self-contained and not located on the main cooling block itself. The block simply serves as a heat exchanger between the CPU and the coolant, with no moving parts.
Be quiet! moved the liquid pump near the radiator, as an in-line device. While this probably bodes well for the pump’s longevity (as it is not directly exposed to very high temperatures) and reduces noise by dampening its micro-vibrations, this approach also creates four additional connection. Typically, gaskets and other connection points are the weakest links in AIO cooler design, so the extra points here increase the chance of mechanical damage.
The engineers of Be Quiet! have opted for a very subtle and elegant design for the main block. The body of the block is mainly plastic, supporting the copper contact plate. A decorative brushed aluminum covering with the company logo covers the top of the assembly which has white LEDs subtly illuminating its surroundings while the unit is powered.
The bottom of the main block assembly reveals a large octagonal nickel-plated copper block. Its finish is very smooth and without imperfections. The block is big enough for most modern desktop processors except AMD’s oversized Ryzen Threadripper.
The radiator is a typical double-pass cross-flow design, with tiny fins welded onto thin elongated tubes. At the bottom of the radiator there is a relatively large screw that serves as the fill port. Handling requires care – the position of the screw prevents users from loosening it when the radiator is installed inside a system, otherwise the cooler will drain into the system itself. The radiator should be placed so that the filler hole is the highest point in the system, then loosen the screw to add coolant. The series logo is printed on both sides of the radiator frame.