Adding a second row of fans isn’t always worth it on large radiators, but any extra airflow is welcome when you’re using a 120mm radiator. This extra fan really helps push the be quiet! Silent Loop 2 120mm towards greatness, helping to justify its comparably high price.
According to be quiet!, the Silent Loop 2’s all-new pump design, with a six-pole motor, three chambers, and a high-density cold plate fin stack, all combine to offer better cooling, lower noise, and less turbulence. We can confirm that the Silent Loop 2’s pump was indeed inaudible unless we put it to our ears, so it gets top marks for low-noise operation, even at full speed.
The fans are a tad louder, hitting 2,200rpm at full speed and being among the loudest spinners we’ve tested on a 120mm AIO cooler, although both fans are PWM-controlled, so they can spin down to inaudible levels when needed. At low to medium loads, this cooler will also get away with lower fan speeds, thanks to its increased grunt in the airflow and static pressure departments.
The pump section is the only part of this cooler’s arrangement to feature RGB lighting, but it’s bright and extremely vivid – it’s ideal if you like a touch of class from your lighting without going overboard. A digital RGB controller is included should you not wish to hook it up to a 3-pin RGB header on your motherboard, and you can also turn off the lighting completely. The fans and pump have their own power cables, with the fans benefitting from a 4-pin PWM splitter cable, so you only need a single header to power them.
Meanwhile, the pump only has a 3-pin power connector, so if you want to control its speed, you’ll need to switch the control system for that header to voltage or DC mode. However, given that the pump is extremely quiet at full speed, we doubt anyone will feel the need to do that.
Our sample didn’t offer Intel LGA1700 compatibility out of the box, but be quiet! can supply an adaptor kit. Installation on all sockets is also straightforward, although you have to deal with quite a lot of components. We’d like to see fewer parts involved in the installation of future be quiet! coolers, although we appreciate the inclusion of a tube of thermal paste, so you can remove this cooler and reinstall it without having to buy new paste.
be quiet! Silent Loop 2 120mm cooling performance
Having two fans on a 120mm AIO liquid cooler is clearly a good idea, because the Silent Loop 2 120mm posted the best results we’ve seen from a 120mm AIO cooler in both our test systems. Its delta T of 60°C cooling our Core i9-12900K was a degree cooler than the EK AIO 120 D-RGB and 8°C cooler than the Corsair iCUE H60i RGB PRO XT. It recorded a delta T of 60°C with our Ryzen 7 5800X too, where it was 5°C cooler than the Corsair iCUE H60i RGB PRO XT and 2°C cooler than the EK AIO 120 D-RGB.
be quiet! Silent Loop 2 120mm pros and cons
- Excellent cooling
- Quiet pump
- RGB controller included
- Pump is 3-pin rather than 4-pin
- Fans are noisy at full speed
be quiet! Silent Loop 2 120mm specs
The be quiet! Silent Loop 2 120mm specs list is:
|Intel compatibility||LGA1700 (with adaptor kit), LGA115x, LGA1200, LGA2066, LGA2011|
|AMD compatibility||Socket AM4, AM3/+, TRX/4 (with adaptor kit)|
|Radiator size with fans (mm)||120 x 154 x 77 (W x D x H)|
|Fans||2 x 120mm|
be quiet! Silent Loop 2 120mm price
The be quiet! Silent Loop 120mm price of $99 (£89) is expensive for a 120mm AIO cooler, but that’s a fair price for the cooling power on offer.
Price: Expect to pay $99 (£89).
be quiet! Silent Loop 2 120mm review conclusion
The be quiet! Silent Loop 2 120mm is the best-performing 120mm AIO liquid cooler we’ve tested, so if you can warrant the outlay and want a powerful, compact cooler with a smattering of RGB lighting and quiet pump, this is the cooler for you.
If the be quiet! Silent Loop 2 120mm isn’t quite right for your needs, there are plenty of other options available. Make sure you read our full guide to the best CPU cooler, where we take you through all the best options at a range of prices, from sub-$50 air coolers to $300 360mm premium models.
be quiet! Silent Loop 2 120mm rating
Fantastic cooling on both Intel and AMD’s latest sockets, although it’s a little expensive.