be quiet! Dark Base 700 Case Review: Cool & Quiet?
The Dark Base 700 is the smaller brother of the Dark Base 900 and is promoted by be quiet! with an extraordinary flexibility. This flexibility is achieved by a modular design that allows, among other things, inverting the mainboard tray. In addition, the Dark Base 700 has insulating mats in the front, in the lid and on the side panel. Thanks to an integrated fan control, it is also possible to manually set whether the case is particularly quiet or whether the cooling of the hardware should be in the foreground. The Midi Tower is visually pleasing due to its elegant design, which is skilfully accentuated by the RGB LED illuminated decorative stripes. How good be quiet! Dark Base 700 really is, we evaluated in this test with the help of a system building.
|Model:||be quiet! Dark Base 700|
|Housing type:||Midi Tower|
|Dimensions:||27.5 x 519 x 540 mm (WxHxD)|
|Material:||Aluminium, Steel, Plastic, Tempered Glass,|
|Front connections||1x USB 3.1 Type-C, 2x USB 3.0, 1x speaker, 1x microphone, RGB control, fan control|
|Drive bays:||7x 3,5″/ 14x 2,5″ (HDD-Cage, 3x included)
3x 2.5″ (Behind MB tray)
|Extension slots:||10 (7x horizontal, 2x vertical)|
|Form factors:||ATX, mATX, mini-ITX|
|Ventilation:||Front: 3x 120 / 2x 140 mm
Cover: 3x 120/ 3x 140 mm
Rear: 1x 120/ 1x 140 mm
bottom: 1x 140 mm
Front: 1x 140 mm
Rear 1x 140 mm
|Radiators:||Front: 240 / 280 / 360 mm
Lid: 240 / 360 mm
Rear: 140 mm
|Max. CPU cooler height:||180 mm|
|Max. Graphics card length:||430 mm|
|Max. Graphics card length with HDD cage:||286 mm|
|Max. Power supply length:||285 mm|
|Network part length with fan in the bottom:||240 mm|
|Special features:||Modular design, RGB LED lighting, fan control, 2x pre-installed fans, optional accessories, insulation|
|Price:||€ 231.51 *|
Packaging & Scope of Delivery
The Dark Base 700 will be delivered, as expected, well packed. The Midi-Tower is delivered in a black fabric cover instead of a plastic bag and is fixed in the thick-walled cardboard by styrofoam. Loose parts or easily detachable parts such as the removable cover of the PSU-Shroud are also fixed with adhesive tape.
The accessory box contains various screws, five reusable cable ties with Velcro fasteners and an additional holder for a hard disk or two SSDs. Additional hard disk mounts can be purchased as optional accessories.
Design & Equipment
The be quiet! Dark Base 700 makes a noble impression, which is amplified by the adjustable RGB LED accents. Depending on the viewing angle, the Midi Tower appears monolithic. Those who install an appropriate motherboard and attach importance to something like this can also look forward to a Type C-USB 3.1 Gen 2 connector in the I/O panel of the tower.
The Dark Base 700 offers space for a lot of hardware and a very good cooling solution. The modular design of the interior makes it possible to invert the system in the tower. In this case, the mainboard stands upside down and can be admired through the hard glass window on the right side. This makes the Dark Base 700 flexible when it comes to site selection. During normal installation of the components, the graphics card can also be displayed vertically. If the cooler design of the pixel accelerator is not too lavish.
With the possibility of accommodating several large radiators at once, the Dark Base 700 is also a very good choice for custom water cooling. A 360 mm radiator can be accommodated in the front and cover. Depending on the model, the 360 radiator in the front would rather be combined with a 280 mm radiator in the lid. If you opt for air cooling, you can support the two pre-installed Silent Wings 3 fans with additional fans.
If you do not use the hard disk cages under the power supply cover, a fan up to 140 mm in size can be installed in the floor at this point, which is not often seen. In this case the maximum power supply length is limited from 285 mm to 240 mm.
Up to six fans can be controlled by the integrated two-channel fan controller. The fan control can be manually adjusted between three speed levels via a four-step slide control in the front. Alternatively, the fan control can be controlled as a PWM hub via the mainboard in auto mode. How fast the fans turn to level 1, 2 or 3 depends on the mode set by the switch on the fan control board. For each of the two channels with three fans each, the mode can be set separately to Performance or Silent. For example, the front fans can run in silent mode via the controller, while the rear fan runs in performance mode.
|Position||Performance Mode||Silent mode|
|level 3||100% / 1,600 rpm (Silent Wings 3)||65% / 1,040 rpm (Silent Wings 3)|
|level 2||70% / 1,200 rpm (Silent Wings 3)||45% / 640 rpm (Silent Wings 3)|
|level 1||50% / 800 rpm (Silent Wings 3)||25% / 400 rpm (Silent Wings 3)|
Thanks to these good cooling possibilities, gaming hardware in Dark Base 700 can be tamed loosely and above all quietly. With insulation on the front panel, the lid and the metal side panel, a genuine Silent system can be realised. But also servers or workstations can be accommodated in the tower and thus a maximum of 17 2.5-inch SSDs or three SSDs as well as up to seven 3.5-inch hard disks can be accommodated in the case – if you buy four additional HDD cages. To keep the hardware dust-free, removable filters are located in the front and bottom. The filter in the bottom extends over the entire length and can be removed via the front.
The workmanship of Dark Base 700 is good. What is unfortunately not well recognizable in the pictures is that the symbol on the power button is printed at a slight angle. Since the symbol is illuminated from behind, this is unfortunately clearly noticeable. The very good and fast customer service of be quiet! usually helps out immediately.
The front panel can be removed. Since the holding noses consist of a very firm and hard plastic, it sits wobble-free and thus vibration-free in its holder. However, you need a little more power than with a cheap case to loosen the front panel. Since the dust filter is located behind the cover, regular cleaning of the filter may cause this process to take a little longer. Another positive aspect is that the RGB LEDs on the front cover are not connected by cable, but are connected to the tower via a gold-plated plug contact. So you don’t have to worry about cable clutter
From the outside, the Dark Base 700 makes a solid and solid impression, the quality of the tower is high and corresponds to what I am used to from be quiet products.
For the system construction in Dark Base 700 we have used the following hardware:
- AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, 8-core processor
- ASUS ROG STRIX B450-F Gaming, AMD B450 Mainboard – Socket AM4
- ASUS GeForce RTX 2070 ROG STRIX O8G Graphics card
- be quiet! Dark Rock 4 CPU Cooler
- be quiet! straight power 11 power supply, 80 PLUS gold, modular – 650 Watt
- be quiet! Silent Wings 3 Housing fans
- Samsung 970 PRO M.2-NVMe-PCIe-SSD – 512 GB
- 2x SAMSUNG 860 EVO Series 2.5 Inch SSD, SATA 6G – 1 TB
- CableMod PRO ModMesh Cable Extension Kit
First, we upgraded the two 3.5-inch drive bays to provide more space for cable management. Since we use Cable Extension Kits from CableMod, the additional storage space comes in handy. After removing the hard disk cages, we installed an additional 140mm Silent Wings 3 series fan from be quiet! in the font to optimize airflow. The airflow is already good ex works and leads diagonally from the front bottom to the back top, so that both the graphics card and the processor cooler are in the air stream. By installing an additional fan, the temperatures of the hardware in silent mode could be slightly reduced (GPU approx. 4 °C, CPU approx. 6 °C under load), while the performance mode of the fan controller could significantly reduce the temperatures.
Then we mounted the Samsung SSDs behind the mainboard tray. We prepared the mainboard including the M.2-SSD, the CPU, the Dark Rock 4-CPU cooler as well as the main memory as a bundle before mounting it into the case. For the front I/O connectors, there is a recess under the mainboard, but this is quite narrow, so that the cables are difficult to plug through in places.
Next we installed the power supply and connected the mainboard and the case. The rubberized cable glands next to the mainboard are very practical, but the rubberization itself came loose very easily, so it had to be brought back into position.
The last thing we did was to install the graphics card and the corresponding power cables. We laid some of the cables cleanly during system construction. The cable ties supplied with the hardware and case can be fixed at various points together with the cables.
With the dark colour scheme of the ASUS ROG hardware, the black Dark Rock 4 and the Cablemod sleeve kit, the Dark Base 700 system offers a discreet look that can also be accentuated in colour by the RGB LED strip.
Conclusion of the be quiet! Dark Base 700 Review
First of all, I have to apologize to be quiet! and the readers for the poor quality of the pictures I took, which unfortunately do not do justice to the case. Nevertheless, the be quiet! Dark Base 700 is a good and flexible package. The specifications read well, the insulation does its job and the cooling of the hardware is guaranteed. The fans can be set for performance via fan control or operated in silent mode. The RGB LED trim can change colour at the touch of a button or be completely deactivated. With the right software, the RGB LEDs can also be synchronized with the hardware.
The greatest strength of the Dark Base 700 is its modularity. The fact that the system can be inverted in the case is a rarity. So the Dark Base 700 can be configured according to available space or personal preferences. At the same time, the Midi Tower is large and offers plenty of space for cooling. The combination of insulation, fan control and good airflow make the Dark Base 700 a noble midi tower that is quiet and at the same time offers good cooling.
be quiet! Dark Base 700 Midi-Tower
Value for Money
Good silent housing
The Dark Base 700 is a modular midi tower with small weaknesses.
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