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be quiet! Dark Base 700 Mid-Tower ATX PC Case Review

Benchmarks & Final Analysis

[Note: This is a different test platform from the one used in our other ATX case reviews, so we re-tested the BitFenix Nova to keep the comparison fair. This is indicated by the "test #2." Readers who are good with numbers should be able to make comparisons between the cases tested here and those tested at our other lab.]

During testing, temperatures on our quad-core i5-7500 processor running at 3.8 GHz never went higher than 42°C over the ambient temperature of 25°C. GPU temperatures took full advantage of the cool air provided by the placement of the 140mm intake fan. Temperatures under full load barely hit 50°C over the ambient temperature. Much to our surprise, the sound deadening material combined with tempered glass didn’t lead to higher overall system temperatures. In fact, these are some of the best temperatures we’ve seen.


Having panels lined with sound deadening material coupled with a tempered glass side panel results in a system that is near silent with the fans running at 1,000 RPM and just barely audible with the system under full load and fans running at 1,600 RPM. In fact, when compared to the other cases, this chassis provided the lowest noise output at just 32.1dBA under full load. It should be noted that the fan controller is set to “silence mode” out of the box, which limits fan speed to just 1,000 RPM. Selecting “performance mode” boosts fan speed to 1,600 RPM.

Cooling efficiency and noise levels are both ways to measure performance. Determining acoustic efficiency, also referred to as cooling-to-noise ratio, is a matter of averaging all five of our tests to determine a base value.

Our value chart doesn’t take features into account. We can probably all agree that the $180 asking price seems high, until you take the overall performance and customization options into account. Although we'd have liked the company to throw in another fan at this price point. The ability to swap your case from one side to other other will be worth the asking price to many enthusiasts and system builders, and the performance speaks for itself.

 


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  • AgentLozen
    I really like the aesthetic to this case. I would never use it's size or features, but it's pleasing to look at.

    It also seems to perform well in acoustics and temperatures.
    Reply
  • Rdslw
    I think be Quiet goes in good direction ....
    Can I ask for same design Mini Itx ?
    Reply
  • Soaptrail
    The Pure Base 600 is very similar and does include 2 5.25" external drive bays.
    Reply
  • Rdslw
    20377700 said:
    The Pure Base 600 is very similar and does include 2 5.25" external drive bays.

    Almost perfect :)
    Reply
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    20377800 said:
    20377700 said:
    The Pure Base 600 is very similar and does include 2 5.25" external drive bays.

    Almost perfect :)

    Unless you wanted mini-ITX...
    Reply
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    I really appreciates being able to access all of the filters from the front. I currently have a filter on the power supply intake, but sadly, it's only accessible from the back/bottom. Makes it a bit more difficult to remove & clean. Having it all accessible from the front really makes it easy.

    Also, would love to see this same design in mini-ITX!
    Reply
  • thundervore
    Both dust filters removed from the from of the case? no more reach around? Sign me up!!!

    Also to echo what said in the comments above. Its too big. need smaller please:)
    Reply
  • Wingback18
    don't you guys think that all the cases look the same, don't you get the same feeling

    wonder how long will it take for a motherboard in a horizontal stand rather than vertical.
    the 5'25" bay is long gone lol

    this is the first case I see with USB type c, it took long enough.
    Reply
  • 10tacle
    Bigger = better airflow for those who are on air cooling for their CPUs and have GPU(s) that have fans blowing the hot air inside the case instead of blower type coolers. I also like the fact that the drive bays can be moved around/removed instead of an unremovable drive cage sitting there blocking the front intake fan airflow. It's one reason I am not happy with the thermal performance of my Zalman Z9 case for my old transplanted Sandy Bridge build from an Antec Nine Hundred - which houses my Devil's Canyon build. But since I no longer overclock it, it's not a big deal.

    With that said, I'd like a little more "flair" in design at this price range as I keep my PCs on top of a desk instead of under it and out of sight. This just looks too plain vanilla for me. And most certainly at $180 they need to provide TWO 140mm fans up front in addition to one on top. Seriously? We're talking a $3 part here wholesale.
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    You'll be hard-pressed to find a more versatile, high-performance enclosure.
    Unless you want external drive bays. Being such a large case, it really seems like they could have found room for a couple of them. If they wanted to maximize room for radiators or optimize airflow in general, why not make them removable, or place them at the bottom, under the PSU shroud? Plenty of people still use optical drives, and external bays also allow for things like card readers, fan controllers, and other additional ports to be added. Not having the ability to add those kind of things makes this case less versatile than many others. As someone already pointed out, be quiet!'s own Pure Base 600 features a pair of removable 5.25" bays, so I would have liked to have seen something like that here as well.

    I do like the case's design overall, but I don't really get why they feel the need to remove front drive bays on a case that could easily fit them.

    Also, I'm not entirely fond of having all the front panel connections at the very top. That might be convenient if you keep your computer on the floor, but it's undoubtedly a bit awkward on a desk. Want to plug in headphones, or a game controller, or an external drive, or maybe charge a portable device? You'll have cords hanging down from a couple feet above the surface of your desk, looking weird and potentially getting snagged on things. It would be nice if the case were designed so that the front panel connections could be reconfigured to the bottom edge, although they would need to redesign that sloped surface they are currently located on.
    Reply