Custom PC

REVIEW: be quiet! Pure Rock 2

By Antony Leather. Posted

Few coolers are as instantly recognisable as those from be quiet! and, despite leaving you with plenty of change from £30, the Pure Rock 2 is no different.

You get the smart capped heatpipes, brushed metal top and and you can also get a version with a smart all-black finish, although it will cost you more money. A quality Pure Wings 2 fan is also on hand and yet, despite all these premium touches, it’s still not too pricey.

The fan isn’t particularly powerful, topping out at 1,500rpm, but the heatsink fins are quite densely packed and sport angled edges to direct airflow through the entire length.

The direct contact plate is perfectly finished, with no gaps, though it’s not polished to a shine like with more premium coolers. It’s a much larger plate than some coolers we've tested which could mean it will deal better with our AMD CPU’s larger heatspreader. The contact plate is also equipped with fins/grooves to further bolster heat dissipation.

The heatsink fins are quite densely packed and sport angled edges

The whole cooler is fairly compact at 155mm tall too, but if you’re looking for RGB lighting you’ll be disappointed. The only extras are an extra set of fan clips to allow you to install a second fan in a pull position at the rear. The front fan benefits from angled heatpipes to move the heatsink clear of memory slots on dual-channel boards too.

The mounting mechanism is quite involved, but simple enough to deal with and parts are separated handily into bags for each socket so it’s easy to find the ones you need. You use the stock AMD backplate but then there are two plates that attach to the backplate and a further metal bar that’s slipped between the cooler’s four heatpipes and attaches to the plates.

For Intel systems it’s a similar arrangement plus you’ll need to attach the supplied backplate.

The Pure Rock 2 is also available in a smart all-black edition

The fan was extremely quiet, producing just 40dBA at full speed, which was 1dBA quieter than the Scythe Kotetsu II and 9dBA quieter than the Deepcool Gammaxx GTEV2. Despite this, the Pure Rock 2 performed remarkably well, cooling our Core i9-10900K to a delta T of 62°C.

This was a match for the louder SilverStone AR12 RGB and significantly better than the Gelid Tornado, ARCTIC i13X and Alpenföhn Ben Nevis. Only the Deepcool Gammaxx GTEV2 performed better, but only by a single degree.

In our AMD system, the extra fan power of the Deepcool Gammaxx GTEV2 counted for more, outstripping the Pure Rock 2 by 5°C with a delta T of 54°C versus 59°C for the be quiet! cooler. However, this was still noticeably better than the ARCTIC i13X and Alpenföhn Ben Nevis.

Conclusion

We’re pleasantly surprised by the be quiet! Pure Rock 2, as it pairs smart aesthetics with great build quality, low noise and good cooling performance. It's quiet, and while the Deepcool Gammaxx GTEV2 is cooler, it's also significantly louder.

There’s not much between it and the Scythe Kotetsu II except for a few pounds in price. The Deepcool Gammaxx GTEV2 picks up our top award for AMD systems, but it’s the Pure Rock 2 that comes out on top for Intel LGA1200 cooling.

VERDICT
Supremely quiet at full speed without sacrificing performance.

PRICE
£25 inc VAT

SCORES
Intel LGA1200
COOLING 38/40 / FEATURES 11/20 / DESIGN 19/20 / VALUE 18/20 / OVERALL 86%

Intel LGA1200

AMD AM4
COOLING 33/40 / FEATURES 11/20 / DESIGN 19/20 / VALUE 17/20 / OVERALL 80%
AMD AM4

BE QUICK
+Great build quality
+Low noise
+Excellent cooling on Intel systems

BE DEAD
-Middling performance with Ryzen CPUs
-No RGB lighting
-Slow fan speed limits cooling in some situations

SPEC
Compatibility
AMD: AM4, AM3/+, AM2/+, FM2/+, FM1
Intel: LGA2011/V3, LGA1200, LGA115x
Heatsink size with fans (mm) 130 x 74 x 159 (W x D x H)
Fans 1 x 120mm
Stated noise 27dBA

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