be quiet! Silent Loop 2 280mm review

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Final words and conclusion

Final words and conclusion

We like what be quiet! did with the revisited silent loop 2. Not only did the aesthetics considerably increase with a redesign of the block with added ARGB effects, but it's also been done subtly. We appreciate that they added a free-to-use RGB controller as well. Subtle is the word here as the big gaping logo on the previous model also is a thing of the past. Features wise they killed it (positively); they added RGB+RGB controller and then the added coolant, as you can refill this unit. It like that as a bit of an extra. However, what matters most is performance, and here it did not disappoint either as the cooler closes in on Kraken's level performance. This 280mm model has a lot of reserve and capacity. With the CPU overclocked and 1.35v under load, we did not even hit 80 degrees C. So I would dare even to take that a notch farter.


The brand name of this company ALWAYS has to live up to that reputation, be quiet! is doomed to that. And yeah, no problems. Only when heavily overclock the fan RPM rises to a level you can hear it barely. This is very nice; the Silent Wings revision 3 fans certainly do their magic. We need to talk about the pump though; you can hear it if you give it full power this 12v. Our recommendation is to lower the voltage to 9v or 75% power in your system BIOS; you can hardly ever hear the pump at that setting. Lowering voltage does mean lower pump rpm and thus the number of liters coolant the pump can move per hour. This did cost us performance, however, only 1 Degree C, which we find to be very acceptable. We tested at 9v setting. So all results you see in this article are based on that preference. And in that condition with a processor running at defaults, this LCS really is completely silent. 



The overall looks are notable as far as I am concerned; the all-black design makes the rad/fans/pump look nice. All feels well balanced, not screaming with huge logos. The RGB effects bring a subtle look to the cooler but do add more wiring to deal with. It's okay though. The inclusion of the RGB controller was a good move to make. Of course you can connect it to an aRGB 5V header on your motherboard as well and sync it all up. 


Overall it is easy to install with the mounting system, prefilled... it's one of the easier and comfortable kits on the market to use and install. The black design will make this kit match up nicely on any PC. We find the kit to have a bit too many screws and whistles and bells though. For example; the backplate bracket needs four screws and four washers before you can even insert it. Then on the CPU side, you secure it with four screws; these then need two brackets which are again secured with four screws. Then finally, you can seat the CPU block with another two screws. It's all no biggy, but we do wonder if that process cannot be simplified.


The 280 kit, as tested today, will cost roughly 139 USD / Euro. That's inclusive that RGB controller and extra's like thermal past and coolant.  Recommended retail prices for the entire series are €99 / $99.90 / £93.99 (120 mm), €129 / $129.90 / £119.99 (240 mm), €139 / $139.90 / £129.99 (280 mm) and €159 / $159.90 / £134.99 (360 mm). Please note: Silent Loop 2 will not be available in the US, likely due to an Asetek patent and the refusal of paying them royalties. 

Final words

I really feel that be quiet! nailed it with the Silent Loop 2 for various reasons. First off, the looks are pretty terrific. It seems that the company has listened; no longer will you look at big screaming logos. It's subtle now, that included the RGB ring, again subtle. If you don't like it, don't connect it as you do not need to enable that RGB. We salute the fact that be quiet! included a small but very versatile RGB controller. The one downside is that you cannot reach it once you closed your chassis. But I suspect not a lot of people alter their RGB preference that often anyway.

The looks otherwise are splendid in a dark design with sleeved tubing. The performance did strike me as well being very sufficient; that goes both for cooling performance and even more so the acoustics performance. The new Silent Wings 3 fans are superb. Acoustics wise we had some issues with the pump, though. At full voltage (12v), you can hear it, annoyingly so. However, in the motherboard BIOS dropping it to 9v solved that issue instantly. It did cost 1 Degree C more overall, but heck, I can live with that if the tradeoff is pure silence. And if you leave your processor at defaults, it will be that, completely silent. Other small features like refill cap and included spare coolant are also handy. So yes, we're pleased with the kit and can absolutely recommend it to anyone looking for a good balance in-between performance cooling and lightweight noise levels. Perhaps the one comment we should make is that it's not the cheapest LCS your money can get you, but the flip side of that coin is simple; you get a lot for the money.

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