be quiet! Pure Rock 2 review: An almost silent CPU cooler for mid-range PC builds

be quiet! made an affordable CPU cooler for mid-range builds.

be quiet! Pure Rock 2
(Image: © Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

be quiet! makes some awesome hardware for PC builds, including efficient, yet quiet cooling solutions. The Pure Rock 2 is the latest from the company, promising rock-solid performance for mid-range systems at an affordable price. We took one for a spin to see if it's worth installing atop of your new AMD or Intel processor.

What you'll love about the be quiet! Pure Rock 2

be quiet! Pure Rock 2

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

be quiet! launched the Pure Rock with mid-range PCs in mind. It's compatible with a host of Intel sockets, including LGA1200, as well as AMD all the way up to AM4. Included in the box is the heatsink, a single Pure Wings 2 120mm fan, all the mounting brackets and screws you'll need, as well as some thermal paste.

be quiet! Pure Rock 2 is a fantastic mid-tier affordable CPU cooler.

The cooler itself is constructed using an aluminum fan array with four copper-based heat pipes that transfer heat from the CPU to the array for dissipation. The heatsink itself is offset to allow for fan installation and better allow clearance for larger RAM modules to be installed. It's possible to install a second fan on the opposite side of the cooler for push-pull configuration.

be quiet! made the installation process of the Pure Rock 2 a breeze. All that's required is to screw the heatsink atop the CPU to the bracket with the single metal brace, requiring just two screws. After which the Pure Wings 2 is attached with two metal clips. I wasn't a massive fan of these with other be quiet! coolers, but they have grown on me.

The capacity of this cooler is rated as thermal design power (TDP), which matches CPUs. While this cooler can technically handle a Ryzen 9 3900X on paper (at 150W) since that processor has a TDP of 105W, it's worth having considerable headroom available for heavy loads that can see the CPU go far beyond the manufacturer's rating.

be quiet! is reputable for its silent cooling solutions and the Pure Rock 2 is no different. I was expecting solid results with this CPU cooler since the company is using its incredible Pure Wings 2 fan and I wasn't disappointed. Even when the system is pushed hard, it's difficult to hear the fan over the GPU or any case cooling you may have installed.

In terms of actual cooling performance, I wanted to see just how effective this cooler would be with a variety of processors. The Ryzen 5 2600 is an older generation CPU now, but it strikes a pretty good balance with thermals and performance. Then I tested the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, which is known to kick out some serious heat, and the Intel Core i7-10700K.

All three tests were performed in the same case, the NZXT H710. While it would be easy to use a testbench for CPU cooling tests, it's better to have everything installed in a case since there's a strong likelihood that you won't have all your components out on show.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
TestAMD Ryzen 5 2600AMD Ryzen 9 3900XIntel Core i7-10700K
Idle31 C(88 F)36 C(97 F)33 C(91 F)
Load52 C(126 F)67 C(153 F)61 C(142 F)
Overclocked64 C(147 F)84 C(183 F)71 C(160 F)

I was able to get the Ryzen 5 2600 to run stable at 4.5GHz for the overclocking test. The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X too ran at 4.5GHz, and Intel's Core i7-10700K managed to hit 5.0GHz. Temperatures jumped up considerably on higher TDP processors, though the Ryzen 5 2600 was still comfortably below 70C (F).

As you can see from the table of results, the Pure Rock 2 is a good choice for mid-tier processors and can even handle something like the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, so long as you don't plan on pushing it further than is configured from factory. Adding a second fan to the Pure Rock 2 brings down temperature readings by an average of around 4C (F).

Things I disliked about the be quiet! Pure Rock 2

The low TDP capacity of this cooler will prove an issue for overclocking. I understand this is part of the deal with saving money on a CPU cooler, but it's something that may prevent you from getting the most from your PC. If you plan on overclocking the CPU (or installing a better one) down the line, you'll also likely need to reevaluate the cooling solution.

Should you buy be quiet! Pure Rock 2?

be quiet! Pure Rock 2

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

If you want a CPU cooler without RGB lighting, pumps, radiators and multiple fans, the be quiet! Pure Rock 2 is a solid choice. Not everyone needs a beefy cooler and with 150W of TDP to play with, this cooler can easily handle even more capable mid-range processors. It's easy to install, doesn't look too bad and comes equipped with be quiet!'s excellent Pure Wings 2 fan.

Should you plan on using a more advanced processor like an Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 9, you'll want to look elsewhere, especially if you want to overclock the processor. With a maximum cooling capacity of 150W, most high-end CPUs will easily be able to surpass this TDP limit when under serious load.

For the affordable price, however, the be quiet! Pure Rock 2 is a great budget-friendly cooler for those wanting to put together a low- to -mid-range PC build, without having to mess around with liquids.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.