be quiet! Silent Base 601 Case Review: RGB-Free Tranquility

If bling is not your thing and you are looking for a new chassis for your next system build with an emphasis on quiet operation, the $130 be quiet! Silent Base 601 is certainly worth your consideration. This chassis doesn't feature any tempered glass or RGB lighting, instead opting for a more subdued look with a focus on acoustic performance. 

Although the company claims that the Silent Base 601 is a reworked version of the original Silent Base 600, the truth of the matter is that this is almost a completely different design. The Silent Base 601 is a far more traditional chassis and a bit of a throwback to the basics.

Specifications

TypeMid-Tower ATX
Motherboard SupportMini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX (E-ATX support up to 12 x 10.7 inches)
Dimensions (HxWxD)20.9 x 9.4 x 20.2 inches (532 x 240 x 514mm)
Space Above Motherboard1.5 inches (39mm)
Card Length17.6 inches (449mm) without HDD cage
CPU Cooler Height7.3 inches (185mm)
Power Supply FormatStandard ATX PS2-Style PSU
Weight23lbs (10.4kg)
External Bays
Internal Bays3x 3.5 inches (+ 4x optional)
6x 2.5 inches (+ 8x optional)
Card Slots7 + 2 vertical
Ports/Jacks2x USB 3.0
1x USB, audio/mic jacks, fan speed switch
OtherFan controller
Front Fans1x 140mm (Up to 3x 120mm or 2x 140mm)
Rear Fans1x 140mm (Up to 1x 140mm or 120mm)
Top Fans✗ (Up to 3x 120mm)
Bottom Fans
Side Fans
Dampening10mm acoustic foam on 4 panels
WarrantyThree year, limited

Exterior

There are a few aesthetic similarities between the two chassis; the overall size of the case, the all-black exterior with vents surrounded by accent colors (orange, silver and black) running down both sides of the front face and the oddly shaped ventilation slots in the rear portion of the top panel. Aside from that, the Silent Base 601 is an entirely different beast.

The chassis is constructed of plastic and steel that is painted black (inside and out) and features optional accent colors around the intake vents in the front of the case (available in black, orange and silver). It measures 532 x 240 x 514mm (L x W x H) and tips the scales at just over 23lbs. The Silent Base 601 comes in two versions; one with a tempered glass side panel and the base model you see here today.

The redesigned top panel is different from the original Silent Base 600. It's totally flat with the ventilation slots moved all the way to the rear of the panel. Directly under the panel are mounting locations for three 120mm or 140mm fans on a slide-out rack. Also, the front panel ports have all been relocated from the front panel to the top of the case. Here ,you will find one USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports, headphone and microphone jacks, a hard drive activity LED, a reset and power button and a fan control switch. The power button is illuminated to match the accent color of the case.

The front of the case is a large plastic panel with a thin layer of aluminum affixed to the outside.

The reverse side of the lift-off front panel is lined with a 10mm-thick layer of sound damping material. Beyond that you will find a large, removable plastic mesh filter covering mounting locations for three 120 / 140mm fans.

Vertical vents line both sides of the front fascia, extending from the top to bottom of the chassis. It should be noted that the front panel comes off very easy. It is a simple matter of grabbing the lower edge and lifting up. Care must be taken when transporting your system, however, because you can easily drop your system or rip the front panel off if you inadvertently grab the lower edge of the front panel instead of the bottom of the case when moving your PC.

In the rear of the chassis you'll find an opening for a bottom-mounted PSU, seven expansion card slots, a standard motherboard I/O area and an exhaust fan mounting location that supports both 120mm and 140mm fans. The exhaust fan mounting location has slotted screw holes that let you adjust the position of the fan to fine-tune airflow or make room for system components.

The bottom of the chassis is covered by a 20.9-inch plastic mesh filter that is removable from the front. The filter covers the metal mesh area under the hard drive cage and the power supply fan opening. The four large, rectangular, rubber-coated feet elevate the case approximately 0.5 inch.

Both side panels on the 601 feature a push-button quick release mechanism that allows you instant access to the inside of your case. Removing the side panels is a simple matter of lifting the panel off once the release button has been pressed. Each side panel is lined with the same 10mm-thick sound dampening material seen behind the front panel. 

The fan-filtration system on the Silent Base 601 consists of two full-length, removable nylon filters covering the front and bottom of the chassis. Thankfully, both filters are accessible and removable from the front of the case, meaning you no longer have to move your entire system to remove and clean your filters.

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  • mihen
    OMG it's a box.
  • zthomas
    601 sort of looks like a Bose speaker, just computer case, what ya wanna bet that roaches still get inside.
  • SR-71 Blackbird
    Nice review , thanks!
  • daddywalter
    Looks like a fairly nice case for use in a cube-farm environment, where system noise would not be a problem. But there are potentially-quieter cases available for less. At least it offers the option of window or no window. I'd consider it for a SOHO build. (I'm not a gamer.)
  • wikiwikiwhat
    Just buy an NZXT phantom