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

be quiet!, best known as the emphatic lower-case manufacturer of power supplies and low-noise PC components, has developed a strong following in the enthusiast community. Today we have the company’s latest installment in its Dark Base line of high-end chassis.

Specifications

Exterior

The be quiet! Dark Base 700, at 241 x 544 x 519mm (W x D x H), is rather large for a mid-tower case but not so much that it could be classified as a full-tower. This chassis is constructed of aluminum and plastic and features a steel frame. The Dark Base 700 is painted black inside and out and weighs just shy of 30lbs.

The exterior of this chassis is simple yet elegant. Thanks to a lack of handles, fan holes, and grilles, one could go as far as to describe the look of this chassis as spartan. The top panel, with the exception of a few slots in the rear portion for ventilation, is bare. The front fascia is comprised of a brushed-aluminum covered plastic panel. There are vertical air intake vents on either side of the front panel that allow fresh air to be drawn into the chassis. Those of you who still use optical drives and/or 5.25” drive bay accessories might be saddened to know that there are no 5.25" drive bay openings in the Dark Base 700.

The upper edge of the front panel is home to a large square power button, fan control switch, a single USB 3.1 Type C port, headphone and microphone jacks, HDD activity LED, reset switch, and two USB 3.0 ports. This chassis features a clear plastic lighting strip embedded into the frame between the front panel and the air intake vents. These switchable, multi-mode, RGB lighting strips (and logo) can be set to white, red, green, blue, orange, and purple, or controlled by your motherboard's lighting controller if so equipped. 

The Dark Base 700 is equipped with a 4mm thick tempered-glass side panel that's held in place by rubber-coated locating pins and thumbscrews. The full-cover side panel is slightly tinted and measures 514mm x 475mm. The tempered-glass side panel can be relocated to the opposite side of the chassis, but we will go into that in detail later.

The entire bottom of the chassis is essentially one large filtered hole with mounting locations for additional fans and power supply ventilation. There are four large rubber-coated plastic feet that keep the case from sliding around on your desk. Around back you will find seven expansion card slots (7 horizontal, two vertical), motherboard I/O area, and an opening for your power supply. The rear fan mounting location supports both 120 and 140mm fans and comes outfitted with a SilentWings 3 140mm fan.

It is apparent that be quiet! put a great deal of thought into the design of this chassis’ filtration system. Every intake fan mounting location in the Dark Base 700 is equipped with a washable nylon fan filter. Gaining access to filters requires removing the front panel. This clever design means that, even though the front and bottom filters are extremely long (16.5” and 19.5” respectively), maintenance and cleaning is a snap. There is no need to move your PC, simply pull off the front panel and slide the filters out.

MORE: Best Cases

MORE: All Case Content

Create a new thread in the Reviews comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
16 comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
  • 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.
  • Rdslw
    I think be Quiet goes in good direction ....
    Can I ask for same design Mini Itx ?
  • Soaptrail
    The Pure Base 600 is very similar and does include 2 5.25" external drive bays.
  • Rdslw
    Anonymous said:
    The Pure Base 600 is very similar and does include 2 5.25" external drive bays.


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


    Almost perfect :)


    Unless you wanted mini-ITX...
  • 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!
  • 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:)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • cryoburner
    Quote:
    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.
  • rmarjerison
    I like your website. I'm interested in the topics. But I don't like predator invasive business practices. I don't recall signing up for daily notices, I don't like them. And I really get pissed off when there's no way to "unsubscribe". Sorry guys. You suck.
  • ddferrari
    Anonymous said:
    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.

    5.25" bays are "long gone"? Hmm, then where would my LCD fan controller for my five case fans go, exactly? Or my Blu Ray player?

    I think what you meant to say is "I'm young, therefore anything that I don't want or came along before 2017 is sooo not cool".

    Oh, I forgot: lol
  • ddferrari
    Anonymous said:
    I like your website. I'm interested in the topics. But I don't like predator invasive business practices. I don't recall signing up for daily notices, I don't like them. And I really get pissed off when there's no way to "unsubscribe". Sorry guys. You suck.

    Mark them as spam. They'll stop appearing. First World problem solved.
  • tysonroy121
    Does this one has a front panel led display and is the side panel glass?
  • berezini
    It's a box...
  • 10tacle
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    I like your website. I'm interested in the topics. But I don't like predator invasive business practices. I don't recall signing up for daily notices, I don't like them. And I really get pissed off when there's no way to "unsubscribe". Sorry guys. You suck.

    Mark them as spam. They'll stop appearing. First World Problem solved.


    LOL. So true. Most people seem to enjoy complaining more than they do just spending the same amount of time and energy resolving their complaint themselves with easy fixes (unsubscribe, spam block, use Adblock, disable Flash for a certain website, etc.).