be quiet! Silent Base 600 Case Review
Hot on the heels of the be quiet! Dark Rock TF we have another one of be quiet!’s cases to take a look at. This time around it’s the smaller sibling of the award winning Silent Base 800, the be quiet! Silent Base 600.
The Silent Base 600 is effectively just a smaller version of its bigger brother the 800. The case is a mid tower case supporting ATX, Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards. The case is made from 0.7mm thick steel, ABS plastic and Nylon and measures in at 495mm (L) x 230mm (W) x 493mm (H) and weighs approximately 8kg. The case is available in black, silver, red and orange (as we have here). There is also the option of a side window as we also have here. There’s support for x3 5.25″ drives, x3 3.5″ drives by way of a removable drive cage drives and x3 2.5″ drives. The case is supplied with two pre-installed fans, one 140mm in the front and one 120mm at the back. There’s support for CPU Coolers up to 167mm in height and Graphics Cards up to 290mm in length (with drive cage, 400mm without) and Power Supplies up to 290mm in length. There are a total of 7 expansion slots, while at the top of the case we find a control panel supporting x2 USB 3.0, x2 USB 2.0, HD audio ports (Headphone/Microphone), power and reset buttons. In addition to this the be quiet! Silent Base 600 comes with sound insulation and anti-vibration mounting elements that help to aide in quiet! operation. There’s also a simple (low/medium/high) fan controller.
Now the be quiet! Silent Base 800 arrived in a smart black box, but no such treatment for the Silent Base 600, it arrived at pcG in a plain brown cardboard box with an outline image of the 600 on the front. In addition to this the front of the box highlights the fact that this is the windowed version, the 600’s strap line ‘Unique Performance and Usability’ as well as highlighting the following:
The back of the box features a raft of information on the Silent Base 600 as well as another outline drawing showing of the various removable parts of the case.
On opening the box we can see that the be quiet! Silent Base 600 is well packaged with the case protected by two large polystyrene bumpers and further protected by a soft foam bag.
Within the case a small brown cardboard was found, attached to the driver cage. Within this box we find a User Manual, eight orange drive slides, some cable ties, and a host of screws and stand-offs etc.
At the time of review, the be quiet! Silent Base 600 (with side window) is retailing on Amazon for approximately £90 and comes with an impressive 3 year warranty.
courtesy of be quiet!
First impressions of the Silent Base 600 are really rather good, I like the small mid tower size and its overall design,just as I did with the Silent Base 800. I also rather like the Orange accents (as I would!) and also think the case is better for the side window, allowing us to show off the gaming rig within. It’s one of those simple designs, that seem to simply just work!
The left side of the Silent Base 600 features a large double glazed window, that almost takes up the whole panel. The opposite side panel features no window but does feature both sound insulation (see image far right) and also one of be quiet!’s vents (yes that’s right that square in the middle with the be quiet! logo). The vent can be either closed (sealed) or out open to allow some addition heat out of the case. Both side panels are secured by way of two (really nice feeling) thumb screws.
Looking at the front of the be quiet! Silent Base 600 it’s easy to appreciate the surface treatment that be quiet! has used, and very good it looks too, a little like a brushed metal look. It really does add a touch of class to the overall design. On each side we find the side vents with the orange (red, silver and black also available) accents, these allow the single installed (another can be added) 140mm Pure Wings 2 fan to pull in cool air from the front of the case. At the bottom of the front panel we find a nice simple silver be quiet! logo.
Turning our attention to the control panel that sits atop the Silent Base 600 we find the following. On the top there’s a large power button with orange illumination, and also a simple centrally mounted drive activity LED. At an angle at the front we find x2 USB 2.0 ports, Audio ports (headphone & microphone) and x2 USB 3.0 ports. Also note the opening door for access to the x3 5.25″ drive bays as well as the fan controller (switch) found at the top of the case and also the front intake air filter.
Looking at the back of the Silent Base 600 we see a pretty standard setup, with the I/O shield cutout on the left and a 120mm Pure Wings 2 exhaust fan on the right, with three water cooling holes beneath. Below this we find seven expansion slots and a large grill on the right, to further promote airflow. At the bottom we find a regular sized Power Supply cut-out. The small handle that you can see at the very bottom (image above right), is the handle allowing you to pull out the bottom air filter.
The top of the be quiet! Silent Base 600 is a pretty basic affair although the contours within the plastic help to give it a lift. In addition to this we find some simple grills allowing heat to escape through the top of the case. At the front we also find the illuminating (orange) power button and drive activity LED.
The bottom of the case features four large square legs with additional rubber feet to keep noise/vibration to a minimum, while also lifting the case of off of the surface by approximately 16mm. Covering both the centre and the back of the bottom of the case there’s a large air filer that not only covers the PSU area but also an additional fan mount for either a 140 or 120mm fan. The filter itself slides out from the back of the case by way of a small plastic handle at the back.
Removing the left side panel allows us to look within the Silent base 600 where we find a large spacious interior, capable of accepting any Motherboard size up to and including ATX. Note the large CPU cut-out area at the back, the pre-installed 120mm exhaust fan and the single (yet both movable and removable) drive cage. In addition to this we have the four orange grometted cable management holes as well as the punched-out Motherboard stand-offs. We can also see (fore the most part) black cabling used throughout. In the top right corner we find a tool-less drive bay that will accept up to three 5.25″ drives.
Removing the right side panel (above centre) allows us to appreciate the sound dampening material that be quiet! has fitted to the panel and other areas of the case. Here you can now see the push-out vent that sits in the centre of the panel. This can either be pushed out (open) or pushed in (closed) in an aide to obtain better airflow.
With the right side panel removed we can now see that the be quiet! Silent Base 600 offer a generous amount of cable management room, and there’s already the starting of a loom in place. What’s not so easy to see here though is the way that the two Pure Wings 2 fans are connected. They are connected directly to a SATA power cable and work in conjunction with a simple (switch based) fan controller found behind the front panel. In addition to this we can now also see the two SSD/2.5″ drive mounts that are found at the back of the case.
The top panel of the case can be removed by un-clipping the panel from the inside and pulling up, just be careful though as the clips are merely plastic. With the top panel removed you can now fit additional 140 or 120mm fans in the roof and or a 240mm radiator. Note that both the fans and the radiator sit within the frame of the case. Personally I don’t think there’s enough ventilation in the top of the case for either fans or a radiator, especially if you were to try blowing the hot air out, but I guess it will still work…
The front panel can also be removed and is held in place (by plastic clips) the same way as the top panel. With this panel removed we get a better look at the only pre-installed intake a fan, a 140mm Pure Wings 2 fan with a maximum rotational speed of 900RPM. You can add another 140mm fan should you wish, but quite frankly (and at this price) I think be quiet! should have done this already! Also note the small switch at the very top of the case, this is the basic fan controller with Low, Medium and High settings.
Looking at some other aspects of the be quiet! Silent base 600, we have a simple PSU mount with an air filter beneath. The case can accept long power supplies up to 290mm in length with ease so no worries there. Although if longer they will prevent the installation of an additional 140/120mm fan in the bottom of the case.
At the back of the case we find a single exhaust fan in the form of a be quiet! 120mm Pure Wings 2 fan, this fan has a rotational speed of 1,200RPM.
Finally we come to the two SSD mounts found at the back of the case, that are simply attached by way of a single thumb screw. I’m a big fan of these sort of mounts and it’s always good to see more than one.
There’s nothing to dislike about the be quiet! Silent Base 600 case to be honest, the case has a lot of features that most of us will appreciate. It’s also well designed and constructed. My only worry at this point is there’s very little to make it stand out in the crowd! Anyway let’s get our test system installed and she how she cools…
|Case||be quiet! Silent Base 600||Power Supply||Corsair Professional Series AX 760i|
|Motherboard||ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 GAMING K6||CPU||Intel Core i5-6600K|
|CPU Cooler||Noctua NH-U12S||RAM||G Skill Ripjaws 4 16GB|
|Graphics Card||EVGA GeForce GTX 980Ti Classified||SSD||HyperX FURY 120GB|
The HyperX Fury SSD was fitted to one of the SSD brackets found at the back of the case, this was done by way of the four small screws provided. While our test HDD (Seagate 1TB SSHD) was treated to a pair of those rather vivid orange slides. These are fitted by way of the two (per side) thumb screws also provided. Our test motherboard assembly consists of an ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K6, Intel Core i5-6600K, Noctua NH-U12S and 8GB of G.Skill Ripjaws DDR4 memory.
As the drive cage in the be quiet! Silent Base 600 is both removable (by way of just 3 thumb screws) and movable, I decided to move it! I did this because here at pcG and, if you’re a Gamer (and I guess you are as you’re here at pcG!), cooling your Graphics Card is the most important task of all. So to try and get as much air fed towards the intake fans of the EVGA 980Ti Classified I moved the cage from the bottom to the top, as can be seen in the images above. That way the 140mm Pure Wings 2 fan can feed the Graphics Card with cool air.
The next task was to install the Corsair AX760i Power Supply fan side down as the Silent Base 600 features a PSU dust filter in the bottom of the case. The PSU fitted with ease and according to be quiet! the Silent Base 600 will accommodate PSUs up to 290mm in length! That’s still with the ability to fit an optional fan in the bottom of the case. If you’re not fitting a fan then that length increase by a further 110mm to 400mm! The only cables needed were the main 24-pin, the 8-pin CPU power, a single SATA power and a single GPU power cable. Next up was the motherboard assembly, our ATX ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 GAMING K6 fitted with ease after adding the additional stand-off (supplied) was fitted that’s required for this board.
Cabling up was a pretty simple affair to be honest with a good array of well positioned holes and plenty of cable management space at the back of the case. Although I did notice at the back of the case there was a distinct lack of cable tie points. Some kind of backplate at the back of the drive cage area would also help clean up the aesthetics somewhat. Overall though a very clean and simple install with really nothing to complain about.
The end result then is a good clean looking build, only the routing of the HD audio (that you really shouldn’t be using anyway!) cable that has to run along the top of the Power Supply let’s it down, as there’s no dedicated hole nearby! Due to the unsightly cabling at the back of the drive cage area, it would have made more sense if be quiet! had shortened that side window a little, perhaps as who wants to see drives and/or cages anyway! 😉
At pcGameware we use Prime95 and ASRock’s F-Stream utility to evaluate CPU temperatures and voltage, and we use MSI Afterburner to evaluate the GPU temperatures. Of course Prime95 being a CPU stress test also helps to generate heat for us to check the case thermals. We also use UNiGiNE Heaven 4.0 for GPU temperature testing.
CPU performance testing is carried out using Prime95 (Small FFT) to stress the CPU. Each run is timed for 15 mins and the maximum temperature is recorded for all cores and then the average core heat is taken. Testing was carried out with an overclocked Intel Core i5-6600K at 4.4GHz courtesy of the ASRock UEFI.
GPU performance testing is carried out by running UNiGiNE Heaven 4.0 for 15 minutes and then by recording the maximum GPU temperature.
* All case fans (x2 in the case of the be quiet! Silent Base 600) and the CPU Cooler (Noctua NH-U12S) are run at 100% throughout testing. To ascertain case noise levels, the GPU fans are set to their lowest setting and the CPU Cooler fan is unplugged, whilst the dBA is recorded from 1m away.
|Case||Ambient Temperature||Max CPU Temperature (core average)||Delta Temperature|
|Cooler Master HAF XB||21.00||58.00||37.00|
|be quiet! Silent Base 600||23.00||62.00||39.00|
Apologies first for these grids being a little sparse, but we have just cut over to a new Gaming Test Rig and now a new GPU in the form of our EVGA 980Ti Classified. As we have changed the motherboard, CPU, CPU Cooler, RAM and GPU all of the old thermal results are simply no longer comparable. Please bear with us as we expand our range of tested hardware…
The be quiet! Silent Base 600 does a good job of cooling our overclocked Intel Core i5-6600K with a maximum temperature of 62 (39 Delta) degrees Celsius. As you can see from the results grid above the be quiet! Silent base 600 sits comfortably between the Cooler Master HAF XB (with x3 fans) and the BitFenix Nova with just one fan, although the Nova is significantly hotter by four degrees!
|Case||Ambient Temperature||Max GPU Temperature||Delta Temperature|
|Cooler Master HAF XB||22.00||79.00||57.00|
|be quiet! Silent Base 600||22.00||81.00||59.00|
Keeping your Graphics Card cool when Gaming is far more important than keeping your CPU cool and again the be quiet! Silent Base 600 put is a decent showing. With a maximum Graphics Card temperature of 81 (59 Delta) degrees Celsius again the be quiet! divides the two other cases. It’s a shame then that be quiet! only decided to fit one front fan (especially considering the cost of the case) as this would have undeniably helped the overall cooling by another couple of degrees. If I were to buy this case for Gaming, I would add that additional fan for sure.
With the two pre-installed (x1 140mm & x1 120mm) fans connected internally by a SATA power cable and controlled by the switch based (Low/Medium/High) fan controller there’s no UEFI control over the fans. It’s also why the speeds don’t show up in the ASRock F-Stream screenshot above. But with both fans at High the noise measured by our test equipment was just 37dBA. Dropping the fan controller to Low resulted in just 34dBA, which is damn near silent as far as I’m concerned.
There’s no doubt that the be quiet! Silent Base 600 is a good case, it’s good looking, well made and does a good job of keeping your components cool. But with only one intake fan (come on be quiet!, that’s a bit stingy!) and a price of approximately £90, it still feels a little too expensive for my liking.
The be quiet! Silent Base 600 arrived at pcG in a rather boring (yet eco friendly) brown cardboard box, the contents within though were well packaged, with the case itself protected in a nice soft foam bag. Once out of the box I discovered there’s a lot to like about the Silent Base 600, just as there was about its bigger brother the Silent Base 800. The 600 is a good looking case with a touch of class about it thanks to that front panel surface treatment that looks a little like brushed metal. The orange (red, silver & black also available) accents also help add a little bit of bling! The case is also well designed and well made, with this version also featuring the optional side window.
Even when looking around inside its large interior there’s very little to complain about, with a nice large CPU cut-out, re-movable/movable drive cage and plenty of room for CPU Coolers (170mm), Graphics Cards (290mm) and Power Supplies (290mm). There’s also space for up to three SSDs (x2 at the back & x1 atop the drive cage) and three HDDs (via drive cage) as well as a good deal of room for cable management.
Installation was also very straightforward with a completion time of around thirty minutes. I opted to also move the drive cage from its lower position to the top position in an attempt to get better air flow for the Graphics Card. Of course this wouldn’t have been necessary if be quiet! had given us an additional intake fan to start with!
Performance wise the be quiet Silent Base 600 also put in a decent showing, despite its single intake fan! With a maximum CPU temperature of 62 degrees Celsius and a maximum GPU temperature of 81 degrees Celsius the Silent Base 600 put itself in the middle of our results grid. It’s a shame then that be quiet didn’t fit that optional 140mm intake fan, as I’m sure the results would have been even better. Ok, Ok James, enough about the fan (or lack thereof) already… 😮
Being a be quiet! product, you wont be surprised to hear (haha!) that the Silent Base 600 is quite quiet (wow typing that was weird!), with a maximum noise level of 37dBA with both fans set at full, via the in-built fan controller. Further more this dropped to 34dBA when the fans were set at their lowest setting. While it’s nice to see a fan controller the switch is a little cheap looking and feeling for my liking, and considering the cost of the case I would have hoped for something a little better.
To be honest there’s very little wrong with the be quiet! Silent Base 600 case and I for one really rather like it! The main issue, for me is the £90 price tag that can buy you a lot of case nowadays! With only one intake fan, simplistic fan control, a single drive cage and no illumination the Silent Base 600 does appear a little expensive if you ask me…
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Many thanks to be quiet! for providing this sample for review