ReviewsCoolersbe quiet! Pure Loop 2 FX 360 Liquid Cooler Review

be quiet! Pure Loop 2 FX 360 Liquid Cooler Review

A value cooler making use of be quiet's pump radiator technology; does its capabilities withstand my testing?

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Bang For The Buck!

Review Summary

be quiet! has perfected its top-tier cooling solution in the form of Pure Loop 2 FX 360. This cooler is competing against the major players in the market and offers comparable performance at a much better price point and a good set of features. The only downside would be a 3-year warranty. The cooler comes recommended by us.

Hours Tested: 5

Tech4Gamers Recommended Award

Overall
9/10
9/10
  • Build Quality - 9/10
    9/10
  • Design - 9/10
    9/10
  • Performance - 9/10
    9/10
  • Features - 9/10
    9/10
  • Value - 9/10
    9/10

Pros

  • Thermal Performance
  • Sandblasted Block Top
  • Digital RGB Lighting (FX)
  • AMD AM5 socket support
  • Intel LGA1700 socket support
  • Standard Connectors
  • ARGB-PWM-Hub
  • Price

Cons

  • Mediocre Warranty
  • Trivial Installation
  • Non-Magnetic Hub

be quiet!, a renowned German PC components manufacturer, is esteemed for its top-quality products, particularly PC cases and PSUs. However, their offerings extend beyond these to include fans, liquid coolers, thermal pastes, air coolers, and M.2 SSD coolers.

In this review, we’re examining the be quiet! Pure Loop 2 FX 360mm liquid cooler. This cooler, as the name implies, features a 360mm size and boasts a second-generation pump design and Light Wings fans. The pump, following the tradition of the first-gen Pure Loop coolers, remains attached to the tubes, a design unique to be quiet!. While the block maintains a similar design to its predecessor, it now incorporates a digital RGB ring for customizable lighting effects, departing from the previous static white color. The exact OEM for this cooler remains undisclosed by be quiet!.


Key Takeaways

  • The Pure Loop 2 360 impresses with a sleek design, digital RGB lighting, and extreme longevity.
  • The Pure Loop 2 360 is ideal for gamers seeking performance and minimal noise thanks to be quiet!’s own innovative pump technology.
  • The Pure Loop 2 360 may not be for aesthetic enthusiasts looking for a more dazzling design.

The table of specifications is as follows:
 
Model Pure Loop 2 FX 360mm
Dimensions radiator, incl. fan (H x W x D), (mm) 397 x 120 x 52
Dimensions Cooling block (H x W x D), (mm) 94.5 x 83 x 42
Total weight (kg) 1.54
Socket compatibility Intel 1700 / 1200 / 2066 / 1150 / 1151 / 1155 / 2011(-3) Square ILM
Socket compatibility AMD AM5 / AM4
Noise level (dB(A)) @ 50% / 75% /100% rpm 20.1 / 28.3 / 34
Number of fans 3
Lighting Connector 3 Pin 5V Addressable
Tube length (mm) 400
Refill port

Unboxing

be quiet! is using a paperboard packing box to ship this cooler. be quiet! has used a bold tagline, “Impressive Lighting, Superior Cooling”. We will see how this cooler performs.

Content

It is time to take a look at what is provided by be quiet!.

Closer Look

Here are some key features of be quiet! Pure Loop 2 FX 360 cooler:

  • Impressively high cooling performance for all consumer CPUs
  • 3 Light Wings 120mm PWM high-speed fans offer equally high air pressure and vibrant ARGB illumination
  • Doubly decoupled PWM pump for quiet operation and minimal vibration
  • ARGB-PWM-Hub enables synchronization of up to 6 ARGB components and PWM fans
  • Combination of ARGB illumination, all-black design, and aluminum style for an unmistakable and stylish look
  • Easy-to-access refill port and included coolant bottle guarantee a long lifespan
  • 3-year manufacturer’s warranty

Dimensions

be quiet! Pure Loop FX 2 360 Liquid Cooler — Dimension.png
Dimensions

the above picture shows the dimension of Pure Loop 2 FX series coolers. 52mm is shown to be the overall height of the units with the fans.

Radiator

The be quiet! Pure Loop 2 FX 360 features a sleek black-finished aluminum radiator measuring 397x120x27mm, with the 27mm indicating its thickness. Using 120x25mm fans increases the overall height to 52mm. With a 20 FPI count, it boasts 12 channels for efficient coolant flow, showcasing be quiet!’s impressive fin stacking.

The radiator’s frame has a 105mm gap between opposing mounting holes and 15mm between adjacent holes on one side, all spray-painted in black. Notably, the far end of the radiator, measuring 22mm, features a discreet screw that serves as a refill port for user-friendly coolant servicing. be quiet! includes a 100ml coolant bottle for this purpose, enhancing the cooler’s longevity. This end of the radiator lacks any branding or stickers.

be quiet! Pure Loop FX 2 360 Liquid Cooler — Radiator 3
Radiator – Pump (Image By Tech4Gamers)

As we mentioned above, be quiet! has integrated the pump into the tubes. This is be quiet! own design and is a second-generation pump design taking over the Pure Loop series coolers. This integration would help to reduce the vibration on the CPU socket. This is a doubly decoupled pump, and a salient highlight is that it is PWM controlled. This pump is rated to spin between 4000 to 5500 RPM. The effective damping it provides helps lessen noise as well.

be quiet! Pure Loop FX 2 360 Liquid Cooler — Radiator Pump Power Cable
Pump Cable (Image By Tech4Gamers)

The doubly decoupled pump is powered by a 4-pin PWM connector cable. This is another difference between the first-generation Pure Loop coolers and second-generation Pure Loop 2 coolers, where the predecessor has a 3-pin cable to power the pump.

The image reveals the tube end of the radiator, where the connections are shielded by black metal clamps. A serial number sticker is affixed to this side, and this near chamber of the radiator measures approximately 14mm. The power cable emerges from the base of the pump housing in the midsection.

be quiet! opts for low-permeability rubber tubes, similar to the design seen on CORSAIR coolers. These tubes are neatly encased in a textured black sleeve and measure around 400mm in length.

In the image above, the PURE LOOP 2 FX is prominently printed in white on both sides of the radiator housing. Notably, there’s no protective plating beneath the mounting holes. Additionally, observe the gap between the fin stack and the frame’s mounting side. Unlike CORSAIR coolers, which have minimal gap, this be quiet! cooler follows a more traditional design, leaving around 22mm thickness for the actual fin stack.

PRO TIP: Using the provided fan screws would be safer to prevent any potential damage to the fin stack from excessive torque.

Block

The Pure Loop 2 FX 360 retains the sleek block design seen in the first-gen Pure Loop series, showcasing a stylish and lightweight aesthetic. Without the pump within the housing, it’s notably lighter. Crafted from ABS material, the housing includes a brushed aluminum sandblasted top plate featuring be quiet! branding. Unlike an RGB-backlit design, it features a sleek ring surrounding the main body, illuminated with digital RGB lighting, and measures 94.5x83x42mm.

Notably, there are two pre-installed screws at each end of the block. While it currently employs a two-screw mounting system, a four-screw setup might ensure better and more uniform mounting pressure.

Examining the base, be quiet! has nickel-coated a copper base plate sized at 54x54mm. To safeguard the base during transit, a protective sticker covers the mirror-finished base. It’s crucial to remove this sticker before installing the block to prevent any potential damage.

On the block’s rear, the tubes are oriented at 90° and can be subtly adjusted for aesthetic purposes or better fitting. There’s a noticeable gap between both tube connections, and a flat cable extends from the center.

be quiet! Pure Loop FX 2 360 Liquid Cooler — Radiator Pump RGB Cable
RGB Cable (Image By Tech4Gamers)

be quiet! has provided a standard 3-pin, 5V RGB connector on the cable. This cable powers the digital RGB LEDs in the housing.

Fan

be quiet! has provided three Light Wings 120mm PWM High-Speed fans with this cooler. Their salient features are:

  • ARGB lighting on the front and rear
  • Multiple colors and modes for an individual look thanks to 18 LEDs
  • 9 silence-optimized fan blades for high-pressure and low noise-generating turbulences
  • Remarkable performance-to-noise ratio with 31dB(A) at 2,500rpm
  • Long-life rifle-bearing gives an operating lifetime of 60,000 hours
  • 3-year manufacturer’s warranty

The fans boast 9 black blades designed to optimize airflow and minimize turbulence, featuring a central hub without LEDs. Surrounding the blades is a thick ring housing 18 digital RGB LEDs for vibrant lighting effects. Their assembly ensures maximum exposure to this ring, enhancing visual appeal.

Examining the back reveals a 4-arm assembly, with one arm featuring an inset for wire routing toward the fan’s frame. Notably, a subtle digital RGB lighting effect is present on the back as well. The fans, with a power rating specified, are manufactured in China.

Utilizing Rifle bearings, these fans offer a lifespan of 60,000 hours and operate with a 4-pole fan motor.

Each mounting corner is equipped with a black anti-vibration pad, tailored to fit precisely.

Notice the two arrow symbols—a helpful visual guide indicating the fan’s airflow direction and the blades’ spin orientation. Take note of the top side of the frame, featuring a sizable inset to showcase the digital RGB ring.

be quiet! Pure Loop FX 2 360 Liquid Cooler — Fan 5
Fan – Plug (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Each fan has a 4-pin PWM connector cable and a standard 3-pin, 5V RGB cable connector cable.

The specification of the fans is:

Dimension 120x120x25mm
Type 4-pin PWM Connector
Speed 2500 RPM
Airflow 52.3 CFM*
Air Pressure 2.60 mmH2O*
Noise 31 dB(A)*
Bearing Type Rifle
Lifespan 60000 hours at 25°C ambient
Input Voltage 12VDC
Input Current 0.45A
Input Power 5.4W

 

*There is no performance data provided in the cooler’s specifications for these fans. We have provided the performance data taken from the be quiet! website page of Light Wings 120mm PWM High-Speed edition fans. This data will only be true of be quiet! is using the standard configuration of these fans.

Controller

The hub features a plastic housing, divided into two sections with a total of 6 headers. One set includes standard 3-pin 5V digital RGB interfaces, while the other set comprises 4-pin PWM interfaces.

At one end, two headers stand out. The “RPM” labeled header facilitates tac signal communication to regulate fan speed, while the adjacent header is a straightforward 4-pin PWM interface specifically for the pump’s connector cable.

At the hub’s other end, three cables emerge. The leftmost has a SATA connector for power, the “ARGB” cable links via a standard 3-pin, 5V digital RGB female connector, and the “PWM” cable uses a 4-pin PWM connector for the motherboard.

The connectors are shown in the accompanying image. While the hub lacks magnetic properties, it includes self-adhesive tape or 4x screws for attachment, offering compatibility with major motherboard lighting solutions.

Installation

We have tested the be quiet! Pure Loop 2 FX 360 cooler on Intel platform using Intel core i7 13700k on GIGABYTE Z790 AORUS ELITE AX motherboard. Installation is not as straightforward as we have seen on the CORSAIR coolers. Some key steps are:

  • We have to prepare the Intel backplate first.
  • Pass the Intel screws through the outermost notches on the mounting corners of the backplate.
  • Secure these screws using rubber O-rings.
  • Place the backplate on the motherboard’s backside aligning the mounting holes around the socket area with the threaded portion of the Intel screws.
  • Use Intel Spacer Nuts B to secure the backplate on the CPU socket.
  • Place the Intel mounting brackets for LGA 1700 socket on top of the Intel Spacer Nuts B.
  • Secured these mounting brackets using the 4x screws.
  • Apply the thermal paste on the CPU.
  • Place the block on the CPU aligning the 2x screws on the block with the holes on the mounting brackets. Start tightening the screws until threads run out.
  • Install fans on the radiator.
  • Install the radiator assembly in the PC Case.
  • Connect the cables to the bundled RGB PWM hub.
  • Connect the SATA connector of the hub with the PSU Cable.
  • Install the hub in the desired location.
  • Connect the 4-pin PWM connector cable to the CPU_Fan Header or any other PWM header.
  • Connect a 3-pin, 5V RGB connector cable to the header on the motherboard.
  • Installation is completed.

Clearance

This cooler has a dimension of 397 x 120 x 27mm without fans. With fans, this size is 397 x 120 x 52mm. We did not observe any clearance issue with this cooler. You would need to check that your PC Case has clearance for this size radiator. The tube side does not hinder DIMM slots. The real challenge will come from cable management using the bundled hub.

Digital RGB Lighting

We have tested the lighting effects on GIGABYTE RGB FUSION 2.0 app and found the lighting working flawlessly. Here are a few pictures. 

Thermal Testing

The recent AMD AM5 and Intel Alder Lake S CPUs are power-hungry, pushing for maximum clock speeds regardless of thermal limits. Their high thermal density, owing to the advanced fabrication process of 7nm or less, quickly reaches thermal constraints based on the cooling solution and clock usage. This poses a challenge in testing CPU coolers, as viewers are adjusting to new metrics measuring sustained clocks under specific loads, reliant on a cooler’s capacity to sustain high frequencies.

PRO TIP: If you’re struggling to meet cooling needs despite having a good cooler, consider taking apart and rebuilding the PC case from scratch.

Traditionally, cooler assessments revolved around thermal capacity, but this shift emphasizes a cooler’s capability to sustain high frequencies. Our temperature measurements, based on an ambient temperature range of 30°C to 31°C, are absolute due to minimal variation. Conducted on an open-air bench system, the temperatures may rise differently in enclosed chassis setups, influenced by internal airflow dynamics.

be quiet! Pure Loop FX 2 360 Liquid Cooler — Infographics Data.png
Infographics Data

The graphs from be quiet!’s Pure Loop 2 FX 360 page reveal internal tests. Yet, it’s unclear how many SKUs were tested to draw conclusions for categories like i7, i9, R7, R9. Notably, 360mm coolers often struggle with Intel 13th gen and AMD Ryzen 7000 CPUs due to their high thermal density.

For an Intel Core i7 13700k, doubts linger on this cooler’s ability to handle overclocking in high ambient temperatures. On AMD, CPUs immediately hit 95°C for maximum clock boosts. Testing coolers under such extreme conditions may not yield meaningful results. Nonetheless, let’s explore the actual test findings.

Test Setup

We have used the below-mentioned configuration for this testing:

Here is the settings table for testing:

P-Cores Clock (MHz) Auto [5300 All Cores]
E-Cores Clock (MHz) Auto [4200 All Cores]
Voltage (V) Auto [Ranged between 1.27 to 1.30V]
C-States Disabled
Speed Step Disabled
Thermal Paste Noctua NT-H1
Thermal Paste Application Dot Method
Test Run Time 30 minutes
Idle Time 10 minutes
Fan Speed 100% PWM Duty Cycle
Pump Speed Full speed
Header CPU_Fan Header
Stress Software CINEBENCH R23.2
Monitoring Software HWInfo64

 

Benchmarks

This test was done using Intel’s default settings with power limits imposed. The CPU was drawing roughly 225W power, so this is a 220W domain result.

WARNING: Not every stress test run may yield the same result, which could be due to various reasons like thermal paste application, ambient temperature variation, the mounting pressure of the cooler, etc.
 
be quiet! Pure Loop FX 2 360 Liquid Cooler — Thermal Performance
Thermal Performance (Image By Tech4Gamers)

The maximum temperature under heavy workload was 91°C. There is no other cooler in the graph due to different thermal pastes used for testing since we have used the pre-applied thermal paste on the CORSAIR iCUE H150i Elite Capellix XT cooler when it was tested. This cooler has performed almost the same as iCUE H150i Elite, which is normal given how the new platform behaves and the high ambient temperature.

Noise

As per our sound meter, these fans were making 53 dB(A) sound output at an ambient sound level of 34 dB(A).

Should You Buy It?

Does this budget-friendly fan rival its higher-end alternatives?

Buy It If:

You prioritize longevity: If durability is a priority, the be quiet! Pure Loop 2 FX 360, with its durable build and quality materials, is a suitable choice.

You want bang for the buck: With competitive pricing compared to other high-end alternatives, the Pure Loop 2 FX 360 offers strong performance and lighting at an attractive price point, making it a good value purchase.

Don’t Buy It If:

You seek extravagant RGB effects: If you’re an enthusiast desiring elaborate and flashy RGB lighting effects, the moderately subdued RGB effects on this cooler might not meet your expectations.

Compatibility with other components is crucial: Users with specific hardware configurations or preferences that require precise compatibility might find limitations with the Pure Loop 2 FX 360, especially in certain case setups or with unique component combinations.

Conclusion

In our review of the be quiet! Pure Loop 2 FX 360 cooler, we examined its second-gen pump design and FX series focus on aesthetics and function. This 360mm liquid cooler, compatible with various Intel and AMD sockets, features a black aluminum radiator, 20 FPI count, and 12 coolant flow channels. Notably, it includes a refill port and a 100ml coolant bottle for user convenience.

The pump’s integration in the tubing minimizes noise, while rubber tubes, nylon braiding, and a 4-pin PWM pump connector enhance durability and customization. The block maintains its design but now includes digital RGB lighting, a 54x54mm nickel-plated copper base, and rotatable tubes.

New Light Wings 120mm PWM fans with digital RGB rings contribute to efficient airflow and reduced noise. The cooler includes a fan hub supporting up to six fans and providing 13 ports, compatible with various motherboard RGB solutions. Installation, while requiring numerous mounting items, allows for seamless RGB control through standard connectors.

Priced at $154.90 on Amazon, this cooler competes well against higher-priced alternatives like the CORSAIR iCUE H150i Elite Capellix XT. Testing on an Intel Core i7 13700k under heavy load resulted in a manageable 91°C, aligning with similar coolers in the range of 90-92°C. Despite slightly subdued RGB effects compared to competitors, the Pure Loop 2 FX 360 offers strong performance and lighting at a compelling price point.

Recent Updates


  • January 8, 2024: Few text changes to improve readability.

 
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