be quiet! Pure Rock 2 FX Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware; Installation

The be quiet! Pure Rock 2 FX is a typical looking cooler with some nice additions to make it sleeker. It utilizes a single tower design comprised of many aluminum fins. A be quiet! logo can be found in the middle, while pipes protrude out the top on each side. All of the fins are covered in a matte black finish, while the copper heat pipes are also coated with the same finish. This makes the Pure Rock 2 FX look a lot cleaner and should fit in many system builds. The attached fan has a black frame too, which integrates well with the rest of the heatsink. Unsurprisingly, the Pure Rock 2 FX is based on the be quiet! Pure Rock 2 Black, so we have a very similar, if not the same, heatsink here.

This is a single-stack 120mm tower, so the be quiet! Pure Rock 2 FX has a similar height as other 120mm-based coolers, making it compatible with most mid-tower ATX cases. The fins are a bit harder to see from this perspective, but you can see the cutouts on the corners of each fin with a notable indent on the leading and trailing edges. There are a total of 55 fins on the stack. The spacing between each fin is approximately 2mm, and they are all generally evenly spaced out between them. From my calculations, the total surface area of the cooling fins is approximately 0.70 square meters, which is actually quite a bit for a single stack of fins. For example, the SilverStone AR12-TUF has a surface area of 0.51 square meters, while the Noctua NH-U12S redux has a surface area of 0.54 square meters. Otherwise, with a mass of 685g with the fan attached, the be quiet! Pure Rock 2 FX is a bit light. For perspective, a typical AMD Wraith Prism stock cooler weighs about 100g less at 582g. Most of the weight is attributed to the material choices of the heatsink itself, as we will explain later.

For dimensions, the be quiet! Pure Rock 2 FX is pretty typical with a height of around 155mm, width of 121mm, and depth of 87mm, with the fan attached. You will probably not run into any clearance issues when installing the Pure Rock 2 FX in most mid-tower ATX cases. The heatsink is asymmetrical, as it leans towards one way. This way, when the single fan is attached, it will not hover over any memory slots. There is still quite a bit of clearance underneath too, with approximately 3.8cm of space between the bottom of the base and the bottom fin.

From the base where the metal makes contact with the processor, four continuous U-shaped heatpipes lead away from the CPU contact and splits into the stack of fins. This effectively makes eight heatpipes in total. The 6mm diameter metal tubes are supposed to efficiently lead the heat away from its source due to the low heat of vaporization, or phase change energy, of alcohol. The heatpipes spread out the heat into the array of fins, but they could be spread out a bit more to more evenly dissipate heat. The 0.70 square meters of surface area, combined with the single 120mm be quiet! Light Wings fan, are two factors that will affect this cooler’s heat dissipation abilities. We will see what this translates into its performance on the next page.

The fan mounted on the fin stack of the be quiet! Pure Rock 2 FX is mounted with a set of metal wires that secure to the side of the stacks. This means you can swap out this fan with any other 25mm thick 120mm fan. These clips work well to keep the fan in place, as they attach to the mounting holes of the fan as well. We also have a total of two sets of these fan clips provided so that users can install a second fan if they so desire. You will need to install the fan after the heatsink is installed, but we will explore this soon.

For the fan in question, we have the be quiet! Light Wings fan. This is a variation of the 120mm PWM high speed retail version, as it is limited to 2000 RPM, as opposed to the 2400 RPM on the retail version. Internally, this uses rifle bearings. Unfortunately, we do not have any other specifications for its maximum airflow rating or air pressure. The rated fan noise maxes out at 24.4 dbA. The rated lifespan of this fan is 60,000 hours, which translates to around 6.8 years if operated every day, every hour. Otherwise, the fan has a black frame and impeller, with a translucent frame around the fan for the addressable RGB LEDs to shine through. The corners have rubber pads around to reduce vibrations between the fan and the heatsink it is mounted to.

From above, you can see how the heatpipes lead out the bottom of the be quiet! Pure Rock 2 FX and into the fin array. This is made more apparent as you can see the copper color exposed and contrasted from the rest of the aluminum base. This allows for the heat pipes to directly make contact with the CPU, and is often what we see from other budget-focused CPU coolers, like the aforementioned SilverStone AR12-TUF. The base however does seem pretty flat with no notable gaps between the aluminum base and copper pipes. There also does not seem to be any milling marks or abnormalities here. Out of the box, the thermal paste already comes pre-applied and protected by a plastic cover, but I wish the plastic cover made a seal around the base and prevent other debris from getting into this area.

The heatsink as a whole is made out of different materials, as the base and fins are made of aluminum, while the heatpipes are made of copper. Copper is used because it has one of the best heat transfer abilities with a thermal conductivity of 401W/mK. Meanwhile, the fins and rest of the base are made out of aluminum, as it is quite a bit lighter in comparison to copper. This reduction in weight will reduce stress on the motherboard, although aluminum has a lower conductivity of 237W/mK, which is not as optimal for heat transfer, but the trade-off is understandable. I do wish, however, that they used a fully copper base here for better heat transfer.

At the base, all of the joints are soldered to the base, but the fins are pressed to the heatpipes. Pressed fins are pretty typical, but this may lead to degradation over time as contact between metals decreases due to thermal expansion and contraption. Overall, everything does seem to be well put together on the be quiet! Pure Rock 2 FX, although there does seem to be a more economical focus with the choice of materials here.

Installation of the be quiet! Pure Rock 2 FX is generally clear, but there are some areas I think could be improved upon. Starting from the top, I installed the backplate to the back of the motherboard. You can use the included metal backplate for Intel systems or the stock motherboard backplate for AMD systems. The included Intel backplate has several holes for mounting on different sockets, as the LGA1700 has mounting holes that are further apart. If you are using this backplate, you will need to put bolts in place based on the location of the mounting holes in your motherboard. These bolts are held on with thick rubber rings, but I sometimes found the bolts would slide around as the rings did not provide enough grip to secure them in place. Afterwards, I screwed in a set of thumbscrews, one for each protruding bolt.

Afterwards, I installed two mounting arms on top of the thumbscrews. Be sure to use the correct mounting arm, as there is one for LGA115x and 1200 sockets and another for the newer LGA1700 socket. Next, there is a metal plate that slots into the base of the Pure Rock 2 FX heatsink and screws into the mounting arms. This pushes the whole heatsink down onto the processor. Personally, I had a bit of trouble keeping this in place, especially when trying to install it while my motherboard was vertically standing up. This is because the plate slides around until it is screwed into place. This could be fixed by installing the cooler while your system is horizontal, but be quiet! should have just integrated the metal plate into the base, especially since it is a necessary component for both AMD and Intel systems. You will want to have thermal paste applied before mounting the heatsink, unless it is the first time you are installing the Pure Rock 2 FX, as it has pre-applied grease. Afterwards, I attached the Light Wings 120mm fan with the clips and plugged the fan and ARGB headers in place.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware; Installation
3. Test Results
4. Conclusion