PC Components

be quiet! silent base 802 – silent or airflow operation, the choice is yours

With the Silent Base 802, be quiet! is sending the successor to the Silent Base 801 to the starting line. In contrast to the 801, the new version no longer includes color highlights. The case is available in black and white, with and without tempered glass side panel. The Silent Base series stands for outstanding user-friendliness and offers maximum noise reduction. Like its predecessor, the case offers options for silent operation and inversion of the interior. With innovations such as exchangeable front and top covers, there is now the additional option of maximizing the airflow with these. As a result, custom water-cooling systems now also feel right at home in the case. The new features should make all criticism of the predecessor fall into oblivion. In the following test we have found out which additional features have been added and whether be quiet! was able to implement them.

Scope of delivery

The be quiet Silent Base 802 reached us well and safely packed in a large brown box. The case is covered with styrofoam and the glass side panel is covered with a protective film. Due to the extraordinarily good packaging, no damage could be detected. Besides the case itself, there is another carton in the outer packaging. It contains an illustrated operating manual, various screws, Velcro cable ties and the exchangeable front, as well as the exchangeable top cover for airflow operation. The feet of the case are also firmly packed in polystyrene. If you open the right side panel, you can see another small box containing an additional mounting frame for a 3.5″ or 2.5″ hard disk. Three 140 mm Pure Wings 2 fans, two in the front and one in the rear, are already pre-assembled in the case ex works. The pre-installed fan hub also offers the possibility to connect up to six 3-pin fans and control them via the PWM signal.

Technical data

Model: Silent Base 802
Case type: Midi-Tower
Dimensions (L x W x H in mm): 539 x 281 x 553
Material: steel, ABS plastic, glass
Weight (kg): 13.15 (net) / 14.9 (gross)
Front I/O connectors: 1x USB 3.2 Gen.2 Type C, 2x USB 3.2 Gen. 1, Power Button, HD Audio I/O, Fan control
Motherboard: E-ATX (30.5 x 27.5), ATX, M-ATX, Mini-ITX
Power supply: ATX (max. 288mm)
Color: black or white
CPU cooler: max. 185mm
Graphics cards: max. 432mm (287mm with HDD cage)
Preinstalled fans (mm) / (rpm): front: 2x Pure Wings 2 140/1.000

Tail: 1x Pure Wings 2 140/1.000

Optional fans: front: 1x 140 / 120

Cover: 3x 140 / 120

PSU cover: 1x 140 / 120

Optional radiators (mm): front: 120 / 140 / 240 / 280 / 360 / 420

Cover: 120 / 240 / 360

Rear: 120 / 140

Insulation: 10mm Insulation mats (front / side panel)

3mm insulation mats (silent top cover)

Specials: soundproofed, integrated fan control, soundproofed, exchangeable top cover, exchangeable front panel, mainboard slide, cable management, dust filter, glass viewing window, mainboard can be installed inverted (twisted), graphics card can be installed vertically

Outer impression

Our test object is the black version with tempered glass side panel.

In terms of design, be quiet! remains true to itself as far as possible. At first sight, the 802 is quite similar to its predecessor. However, if you take a closer look, you can see the changes on the outside. What is immediately noticeable is the elimination of the color highlights on the left and right grids in the front. These are now embedded in an unobtrusive black frame. One of the big changes is the exchangeable mesh front, which gives us a great airflow. However, this is at the expense of the silent-property. If and how much the noises increase due to the exchange, we will have a closer look later.

There is also an innovation in the front on the I/O panel. Here be quiet! has responded to the criticism of the community and has given the case a modern USB 3.2 Gen. 2 Type C connection. In addition to the USB C connection, there are two more USB 3.2 Gen. 1, the 4-step controller for integrated fan control, audio sockets and two buttons for power or reset in the front.

If you pull the front panel upwards, you reach the dust filter and the Pure Wings 2 fans behind it. For silent operation, an additional front panel is supplied with a 10 millimeter thick insulation mat. The entire front panel is made of steel and makes a very valuable impression in both versions. If the Silent Panel is chosen, air is fed into the case through the two outer channels. This way, less noise penetrates to the outside.

Even the top cover is now interchangeable. This way be quiet! eliminates the criticism that the waste heat could not escape sufficiently via the cover. For silent operation, we are supplied with a two-part, partially closed panel. On the rear side there are ventilation slots through which the warm air can escape. But if that’s not enough for you, you can easily replace the top cover with a kind of dust filter. The grille itself is surrounded by a noble black frame and in the lower right corner be quiet! has immortalized itself with a logo.

The side panels can be easily removed at the push of a button in the rear section and lifted upwards. No more annoying screwing is necessary. The glass side panel can be mounted on the left or right. This makes it possible to always have the components in view, even if the installation is inverted. The right panel is, as usual with the Silent Base series, completely closed and also here a 10 millimetre thick insulation mat has been incorporated to protect against noise. If you decide to buy the Silent variant without glass panel, you will get a second fully closed and insulated side wall instead.

If you look at the back of the case, there are actually no big surprises. On top are the two push buttons, which can be used to remove the side panels at any time. Further below are seven horizontal and two vertical PCI slots. The power supply unit is mounted in the bottom for this purpose. To simplify the installation, a mounting frame is already pre-assembled. The entire bottom of the Silent Base 802 is perforated and protected by a large dust filter, which can be easily pulled out to the front.

Interior

The noble black design is also reflected in the interior. The cable outlets are rubberized and make a very valuable impression. The plastic elements on the power supply cover offer a lot of free space to lead through or hide cables. Once one of these elements is removed, it is possible to install another 120 or 140 mm fan, which blows fresh air into the case. All in all, the interior offers plenty of space for the respective components. The cable management system is very well thought out and offers sufficient mounting possibilities to lay cables.

Installation and practice

For our test, we installed the following components in Silent Base 802:

Due to the excellent space available, installation was child’s play. There are many openings and slots through which cables can be passed. So our test system quickly found its place in the Silent Base 802. We liked very much that many spacers were already pre-installed on the mainboard tray. The clearly legible labels make it easy to quickly find out which spacer has to be screwed where. You don’t need to look into the manual, even if it gives good explanations. Unfortunately, there is no screwdriver attachment in the scope of delivery with which you can remove the spacers and screw them back on. To unscrew the screws we used pliers, this worked without any problems.

Also the installation of the water cooling was very relaxed. The radiator slide is fixed in the cover with two screws and can be easily pulled out after loosening. During installation it helps to remove the holder completely and screw the radiator including the fan on it. Afterwards you only have to put the cooling attachment on the processor and screw it to the mainboard.

The case also offers the possibility to install the mainboard inverted. This offers the advantage of inserting the glass window on the right side. If Silent Base 802 is to be placed on the left side of your desk, you will still have a view of your components with the inverted installation. The mainboard slide is fixed to the case with nine small screws, which have to be loosened. Afterwards the mainboard sled can be turned around and screwed back on. The components stand then upside down. So it is recommended to install most of the components in advance.

Performance test

Of course, we were interested in the temperature differences that result from replacing the front and top panels. We made the Ryzen 5 3600 sweat a lot with the Prime95 stress test. It was cooled by the be quiet! Pure Loop 360 AiO water cooling system. To find out how the new feature affects the temperature of the graphics card, we put our GTX 1660 Super through the 3D benchmark Furmark for 15 minutes. The results surprised us.

Silent-Front + Silent Top-Cover temperature CPU (°C) temperature GPU (°C)
50% PWM ∅ 65.2 / max. 77.0 ∅ 66.6 / max. 68.0
100% PWM ∅ 59.8 / max. 69.8 ∅ 64.8 / max. 66.0
Airflow Front + Airflow Top-Cover temperature CPU (°C) temperature GPU (°C)
50% PWM ∅ 62.2 / max. 71.9 ∅ 65.2 / max. 67.0
100% PWM ∅ 58.6 / max. 67.0 ∅ 63.5 / max. 65.0

As you can see, the temperatures are not very far apart. How can this be explained? For one thing, the Pure Loop 360 has cooled the processor very solidly. All temperatures are in a range where you can run the PC very well. Even in silent mode, the temperatures remain stable. Here we reached a peak of max. 77° C (50% PWM).  We can imagine, if you use more powerful components, the respective temperatures increase and the distances between silent and airflow become larger. If we look at the temperatures of the graphics card, no big differences can be seen here either. The card stays relatively cool with max. 66° C. It should be noted that these are stress situations for the respective components. During gaming or daily use the temperatures are much lower.

What can be said about the noise level? We have switched through the individual stages of the fan control located in the front once. The individual stages can be divided as follows:

  • Auto: PWM mode set in Bios.
  • 1: This level corresponds to about 50% of the possible power (starting from 0).
  • 2: This level corresponds to about 75% of the possible power.
  • 3: This level corresponds to about 100% of the possible power.

From the Airflow mode: For our PWM setting we have chosen the preset “silent”. The fans are pleasantly quiet, yet easily audible under load. Considering the temperatures at a speed of 50%, this also corresponds to our choice for fan control for everyday use. The fans are easily audible, but not disturbing. In silent mode they are not or hardly audible. In speed levels 2 and 3 the fans are clearly audible in both variants. In stage 3 we even found them disturbing. It should be noted that the noise is caused by the fans alone. For demanding users, we recommend replacing the Pure Wings 2 fans with be quiet! Silent Wings 3*.

Conclusion

What makes a premium case? The cable clamps already integrated into the metal, the clearly legible labelling of the individual fastenings for our mainboard or the uncomplicated fan control in the front? Exactly, it is all these little things that make the heart of a technology enthusiast beat faster. The user is provided with so many great aids that simplify installation and everyday use.

With the new features, be quiet! has responded to all the community’s criticisms and, in our opinion, solved them with flying colors. Switching to airflow operation by replacing the front and/or top panel now offers many more options for installing high-end systems. Friends of custom water-cooling systems will now be happy with the Silent Base 802. As soon as you insert the Airflow top cover, the waste heat can easily escape and the temperatures remain stable. With a silent case, the noise-reducing property is of course the main focus. But now having the possibility to combine this with the Airflow makes the idea behind a silent case perfect. Being able to tune these properties to our liking makes the Silent Base 802 a true premium case.

For demanding users, we recommend replacing the Pure Wings 2 fans with Silent Wings 3 fans or other premium fans. Basically, the case provides a solid basis for silent operation, the basic requirement is of course the installation of silent components.

Only the price is a small thorn in our side, 170 Euro (RRP) is supposed to be the price of the model with viewing window at the time of release. Thus the UVP turns out approximately 30 euro more highly, than with the predecessor model.

But should this discourage a purchase? Quite clearly, no! The workmanship is, as usual from be quiet!, absolutely top class. The new features and the noble design of the Silent Base series still make the case a recommendation.

be quiet! Silent Base 802

Workmanship
Structure
Features
Dampening
Cooling
Value for money

98/100

An all-round successful case with an elegant look. It offers features for silent and airflow operation.

Silent Base 802 schwarz price comparison


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Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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