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be quiet! Pure Loop 360 AIO CPU Cooler Review

Be quiet! categorise the Pure Loop AIO series as a product from the company’s Essential range, which means mid-range affordability without compromising on quality. As usual with be quiet! products, the Pure Loop has a well-built feel to it. The noise output of the Pure Loop is a little higher than we are used to from be quiet! however, the high-speed Pure Wings 2 2000 RPM fans are noticeably quieter than similar high performance fans from alternative manufacturers.

These relatively low noise levels at maximum fan speed show when it comes to the thermal performance, as there is very little change in the thermal performance once noise levels are normalised to 40dBA. When noise is normalised the Pure Loop 360 performance only dropped by approximately 1⁰C average temperature during the test, which is excellent and means that you can afford to reduce noise output without having to adversely affect thermal performance.

With the fans running at their maximum speed, the Pure Loop 360 produced decent thermal performance. By no means is it a chart-topper, but for the reasonable price of around £120, the price to performance ratio makes it worth considering. Alternative premium 360mm AIOs from rival manufacturers can often cost well in excess of £150, so you could say that the Pure Loop 360 is a bargain.

If understated and subtle is what you look for in an AIO cooler, then the be quiet! Pure Loop series would be the ideal choice. The combination of the black radiator, fans and tubing works very well with the contrasting brushed aluminium effect CPU block top cover and in my opinion, the white LED lighting is just the right amount for the design, ideal for the RGB haters out there that still want some form of illumination.

There are a few features of the Pure Loop that I really like such as the cabling at the CPU block, a single 3-pin cable makes the installation look very neat. One of my pet hates is multiple unnecessary cables attached to the CPU block, it means more time is needed to manage cables and ruins the final appearance – this is not a problem with the Pure Loop.

I also love the idea of moving the pump away from the CPU block, again this helps to minimise cables at the CPU block but also offers the potential to make the CPU block shorter and more compact. Unfortunately, be quiet! didn’t make the most of this with the Pure Loop, the CPU block doesn’t appear much smaller than other AIOs with a CPU block integrated pump which is a shame.

However, I do like the aesthetics of the CPU block, the brushed aluminium-effect plastic top cover is great quality, it is difficult to tell that it isn’t real brushed aluminium. The curvy shape of the block also looks great and the LED lighting is bright and diffused well without any noticeable LED hotspots. Overall, the cooler has somewhat of an industrial look to it.

The Pure Loop user manual recommends to power the pump via the included SATA power adaptor, as the pump requires a constant 12V power source to operate correctly, which means that there is no pump speed adjustment at all. This isn’t a huge issue for me as I usually run the pump at full speed anyway, however, if you want to tune the system for ultra-low noise levels, some users may find this as a limitation. However, the pump is extremely quiet when running at full speed.

Another feature of the Pure Loop that a less experienced user may find to be a limitation is the lack of any software fan speed control. The included Pure Wings 2 fans connect directly to the motherboard via 4-pin PWM headers which means that fan speed is controlled either by the motherboard BIOS, or by using motherboard fan speed control software which can sometimes be daunting for novice users, especially when messing around in the BIOS.

However, advanced users and enthusiasts may find this to be an advantage as it means no additional software needs to be installed on the system slowing down the Windows loading time and such like. The other benefit of this type of fan control is that there are no proprietary cables, fan controllers or additional USB header cables which again makes the installation look neat and tidy.

The way I would sum up the be quiet! Pure Loop is that it is like Marmite; you’ll either love it or hate it. If understated, subtle and quiet is your thing, the Pure Loop should be for you. If you prefer shouty, RGB flashiness then I would suggest looking elsewhere. Personally, I like the looks and the performance that the Pure Loop offers at this price point, but just wish that CPU block was a little more compact.

The be quiet! Pure Loop 360 all-in-one closed loop CPU cooler is available to purchase from Overclockers UK now, priced at £119.99 HERE.

Pros:

  • Solid thermal performance.
  • Subtle understated looks.
  • Sturdy build quality.
  • Low noise output.

Cons:

  • Lack of pump speed control.
  • CPU block could have been more compact.

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Rating: 8.5.

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