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.

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