Hardware Installation & Test Configuration
Accessories for the be quiet! Dark Base 700 are located in a small box secured in the open power supply bay. The box contains various screws, Velcro cable straps, and an additional hard drive rack. The owners manual and installation guide was taped to the outside of the box.
The interior of this case is cavernous for a mid-tower ATX chassis. Sure, the lack of internal hard drive racks and optical drive bays contribute to the overall feeling of spaciousness, but the the main compartment is also very spacious, even with the large PSU tunnel in the base of the chassis. This case can accommodate motherboards up to EATX size, although true 13"-deep EATX boards will block the use of the cable pass-through holes.
The front, top, and right hand side panels are all lined with sound-damping material on the inside. Although this is great for keeping noise to a minimum, it remains to be seen if this will have an adverse effect on system temperatures, especially when combined with a tempered glass side panel.
The seven expansion slots make it possible to install up to three graphics cards in SLI and/or CrossFire. The chassis also features two expansion slots for vertically mounting a dual-slot GPU, though no PCI-e riser cable is included. Take note: those planning to use the modular hard drive racks in conjunction with a longer graphics cards (up to 430mm) will be limited to using the slots above or below the path of the GPU.
There are a total of three large cable pass-through holes with rubber grommets in the motherboard tray for cable management. The upper edge of the motherboard tray is designed in such a way as to allow the 12V motherboard power cable or fan wires to be routed through this area. The Dark Base 700 also has a large hole in the motherboard mounting plate behind the CPU socket area to facilitate heatsink changes without removing the motherboard. There is plenty of space and tie down points behind the motherboard tray for cable management.
There are mounting locations for a total of seven 3.5” hard drives and fourteen 2.5” drives but, because this chassis only ships with three modular drive racks (the rest are optional), only three 3.5” drive and nine 2.5” drives can be installed in this chassis as it ships from the factory. Two drive racks are mounted under the PSU tunnel. These removable drive racks can be relocated to one of the five located in the main compartment of this chassis. be quiet! also includes handy plastic slot covers that block off the holes in the motherboard tray when not in use. There are three dedicated 2.5” mounting locations behind the motherboard trays as well. All drive caddies are made of metal and come with rubber grommets for vibration dampening.
Now that we have detailed this chassis tech specs, we wanted to talk about one other nice customization feature. The motherboard tray in this chassis can be re-positioned so that your system components are inverted and accessible from the right hand side of the chassis instead of the left hand side. The rubber-coated locating pins are slotted so that, using only a standard screwdriver, they can be relocated to the other side of the chassis. The entire process of flipping the motherboard and moving components requires less than 30 minutes if you know your way around a computer.
As previously mentioned, the Dark Base 700 comes with a large SilentWings 3 140mm intake fan that feeds another SilentWings 3 140mm exhaust fan in the rear of the chassis over the CPU socket area. Because of the size and placement of these fans, airflow in this chassis is extremely efficient. The almost parallel placement of the fans coupled with an unobstructed flow path, allows the cool outside air to move from the front of the case to the rear exhaust fan with very little resistance. In total, this chassis can be equipped with up to nine 120/140mm fans.
The Dark Base 700 can accommodate power supplies up to 285mm in length, although some larger PSUs may require relocating the hard drive racks. This case can be equipped with coolers up to 180mm tall and can accommodate multiple graphics cards up to 430mm in length.
Radiators and all-in-one coolers can be mounted in the top, front, and rear of this chassis. The mounting locations in the front of the chassis supports radiators and liquid coolers up to 360mm. There is a total of 31.75mm clearance for radiators and coolers in the space above the motherboard and an additional 25.5mm for fans to be mounted above the slide-out bracket. It should be taken into account that even though most all-in-one coolers can be physically mounted in the front of this chassis, because of the fixed length of the tubing, some coolers might not be able to reach the CPU socket. But these locations are ideal for mounting radiators for water-cooled graphics cards.
Radiators and all-in-one liquid coolers up to 360mm can be mounted inside the main compartment of the chassis. The mounting location in the front of the chassis can easily support radiators and all-in-one coolers sandwiched between fans in a push-pull configuration. Though there is a good deal of space in the top of the chassis, some coolers may be limited to single fan configuration, depending on the size of your motherboard. The exhaust fan mounting location can be fitted with 120 and 140mm coolers in single and dual fan configurations.
The two 140mm SilentWings 3 fans included from the factory (one intake, one exhaust) did an admirable job keeping our system components cool under pressure. The intake fan is positioned so that it provides a stream of cool outside air directly to your graphics card and CPU air cooler before being swept out the rear of the chassis by the large 140mm SilentWings 3 exhaust fan. Although there really wasn’t a need for it with our test setup, those of you running a highly overclocked system and/or multiple GPUs would benefit from the addition of another 140mm intake fan. Considering the asking price, we would have liked to have seen that included.
|Cooling||Cooler Master Hyper T4|
|CPU||Core i5-7500 @ 3.8GHz (38x 100MHz w/ 1.2V Core)|
|Graphics||Radeon RX 580 @ Max Fan Speed w/ AMD Radeon Crimson ReLive 17.9.1|
|Memory||Patriot Viper DDR4 3000MHz (16GB) @ 16-17-17-36|
|Motherboard||Z270 Gaming M5 w/ Firmware 7A78v17 (07/03/2017) & Intel INF 10.1.1.42|
|PSU||Sparkle Magna Platinum (650W)|
|Software||Windows 10 Pro|
|Storage||Agility 4 (128GB)|
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