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be quiet! Pure Rock Review

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be quiet! Pure Rock Closer Look:

The Pure Rock is an attractive single tower design cooler with a single 120mm SilentWings PWM  fan. This powerful yet quiet fan is used to provide the airflow for the Pure Rock. The tower has symmetrical notches along the sides so the fan can be mounted to either face. Socket compatibility includes all of the most recent sockets from AMD: 754 / 939 / 940 / AM2(+) / AM3 (+) / FM1 / FM2+, and Intel: LGA 775 / 1150 / 1155 / 1156 / 1366 / 2011 and 2011-3 to ensure the largest possible audience for this design.

From the be quiet! website, "With Pure Rock, be quiet! presents a CPU cooler series aimed at the Essential category of PC systems. Bringing be quiet!’s award-winning technology to quiet multimedia and graphics systems, and entry level computers of all types, be quiet! Pure Rock delivers an exceptional price-to-performance ratio." So we know right away what the target audience is: not the hardcore gamer or overclocker. Rather it is directed towards the entry level or small build that is looking for a cooler that is a nice jump above stock cooling, and at just under $35 at Newegg, it won't kill your budget. The Pure Rock has a 130W TDP rating, which should be plenty for the average user.

 

 

 

 

 

Looking down from above, the contrast of the black text of the be quiet! logo on the aluminum top plate catches your attention, along with the eight decorative capped termination points of the heat pipes. As a necessary evil, the heat pipe termination points are not usually very pretty, but be quiet! goes out of the way to beatuify them and make them part of the aesthetics. From the side view, you can see how the base is symmetrical from the center line of the fin stack. I still have the protective plastic base guard on in the side view.

 

 

The size (surface area), thickness, and density of the fins play a major role in the ability of a cooler to effectively remove heat. Another significant factor is the placement of the heat pipes within the stack, which we will see shortly. All of these things come together, along with good air flow, to deliver a cooler that will keep your CPU from cooking when the heat is turned up. The symmetrical fin stack is nicely made and feels solid. Again you can see the way be quiet! caps off the termination points of the heat pipes.

 

 

The Pure Rock is a medium single tower-style cooler that uses four 6mm heat pipes that pass through the contact plate of the copper base and up through the 48 aluminum fins. Four heat pipes travel up each side of the fin stack. They travel vertically up through the fin stack and they are lined up so air flows freely through the center of the stack. I have noticed that when the heat pipes are staggered or offset into the fin stack, more air passes by each individual heat pipe since each one is exposed to air flow. This usually results in a little better performance, so we will see how the in-line heat pipes of the Pure Rock perform. Two heavy grooves pinch in at the center and offer additional surface area to dissapate the heat. The side view clearly shows the symmetry of the fin stack and you can see that I have removed the plastic base guard to get ready for the shots of the base plate.

 

 

The Pure Rock comes from the factory with an even application of thermal paste. Well, it was even until I accidentally smudged it. Anyway, I usually prefer to apply the paste myself. Maybe I am old fashioned about that, but I have to say that it does take a potentially messy step out of the installation process. Just pop the protective plastic guard off and you are ready to go. So here we are at the base plate, and this is where the action begins. The heat is transferred from your CPU to the base plate, and then to the heat pipes where it is carried up through the fin stack to be dispersed through each fin. Finally it is the fan's job to move air through the fins stack where the heat is transferred to the moving air and away from the cooler.

The base plate is machined flat and nickel plated. All of the copper heat pipes are soldered between the two-piece base. If you gave the fan a test fit, you will have to remove it during the installation in order to finish the installation. The base has grooves to help with heat dissapation. The center has a lowered area, which is where the mounting bar will nest during installation. Something more obvious in these pictures is the design of the fin array. Both sides of the fins are sloped inwards with small notches cut into the face of each fin to add surface area for improved cooling.

  

 

Let's talk about the fan. Another contributing factor to cooler capacity is, of course, air flow. To move a lot of air, you need a capable fan, and the nine blade 120mm PWM SilentWings fan is just that. This fan uses a sleeve bearing and is rated at 0.12 amps, and can move up to 87 CFM of air. The rated speed is 1500 RPM with a noise level of 19.1 ~ 26.8dBA. The power cable not sheathed, but is long enough to reach the CPU fan header with no problems. I'll also add that the fan clips go on easily and securely hold the fan to the fin stack. I have seen a few coolers where the clips are so tight that you hope you don't have to ever remove the fan.

  

 

As for the installation, the Pure Rock uses a flat base plate with holes notched at each corner for the various socket configurations. The first thing you do is determine which of the three possible stud locations you need, and push the four studs up through the appropriate notched holes. The notches keep the studs from turning when the spacers are installed on the front side of the motherboard. Each stud has a small recessed shoulder that provides a place for an O-ring to nest, which is the next step. After the studs are installed to the base plate, they are retained by pushing on a small O-ring. This is a clever way to retain the studs and also provides an isolation spacer between the base plate and the motherboard. After you get the base plate assembled you are ready to install the spacers on the front side.

  

 

Here are the two side mounting brackets. They are screwed on top of four round spacers. Then the cooler is finally secured to the mounting bracket with a mounting bar and two screws. There is no offset, so the cooler can be installed with the logo facing either direction. All you have to do now is attach the fan and plug it into one of the CPU fan headers and power it up. RAM in the first slot is accessible before the fan is installed.

 

 

Without the fan, it looks like the memory will be clear - well, almost. But with the fan installed, you can see that it will cover the first RAM slot. If you have RAM with tall heat spreaders, you can move the fan up a little, but you can only go so far, so you will want to check your RAM height. My RAM modules stick up just under 47mm from the motherboard surface and will just fit under the fan. Everything looks good, so let's see what happens when we turn up the heat.

 




  1. be quiet! Pure Rock: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. be quiet! Pure Rock: Closer Look (Continued)
  3. be quiet! Pure Rock: Specifications & Features
  4. be quiet! Pure Rock Testing: Setup & Results
  5. be quiet! Pure Rock: Conclusion
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