AP01
CM01
CM02

July 20, 2015

be quiet! Silent Base 800 Review


be quiet!, a brand that is well known by enthusiasts around the globe for its power supplies, CPU coolers and silent fans. Despite being one of the best in the industry, be quiet! never stop to amaze the end users with every product that they came up with every year.

During Computex 2014 at Taipei, be quiet! unveils the Silent Base 800, which is its first attempt in making PC chassis. Despite being totally new in the PC chassis section, be quiet!'s first attempt prooves that they're putting a lot of effort in developing new products for end users. 

Today, we're given the chance to get our hands on this badass looking chassis, million thanks to be quiet! in provision of the Silent Base 800. With no further adieu, let's take a deep breath and dive into the depths of the Silent Base 800! 

(The be quiet! Silent Base 800 retails at $149.90 and is currently available from NCIX.com and Amazon.com but it'll be available very soon in the Malaysian market as be quiet! have now acquired an official distributor here in Malaysia.)


Specifications
CASE TYPE:
Mid-Tower
MATERIAL:
Steel & Plastic
WEIGHT:
9.3 kg
SLOTS:
7
DRIVE BAYS:
3x External 5.25"
7x Internal 3.5"
2x Internal 2.5"
MOTHERBOARD
FORM FACTORS:
Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX
DIMENSIONS (W x H x D):
266 x 559 x 495 mm
FRONT DOOR/COVER:
Yes
FRONT FANS:
140mm Fans x 2 / 120mm Fans x 2 (2x 140mm Pure Wings 2 included)
REAR FANS:
120mm Fan x 1 (1x 120mm Pure Wings 2 included)
TOP FANS:
120mm Fans x 2 / 140mm Fans x 2
BOTTOM FANS:
120mm Fan x 1 / 140mm Fan x 1
SIDE FANS:
120mm Fan x 1
I/O:
2x USB 3.0
2x USB 2.0
1x Headphone
1x Microphone
FAN/LED Controller:
N/A
Compatibility:
CPU Cooler: 170 mm
GPU: 290 mm, 400 mm (without HDD cage)
 
PSU: 290 mm (w/o bottom fan)

The Silent Base 800

The Silent Base 800 ships in the usual classic packaging that is seen throughout the be quiet! product line. 


Brief description on the feature of the chassis can be found at the back of the box.


The Silent Base 800 is covered in a cloth cover flanked by 2 polystyrene foam that act as a protection layer to absorb shocks and prevent the chassis from getting damaged if there's any improper handling during transport. It allows you to have things arrive in the best condition possible. 


The accessories included - A user's manual, screws, stand offs, zip ties and rubber hard drive mounts.


The first thing that was taken out from the box, a pair of plastic frame.


At the bottom of the chassis, you'll find a pair of slots for the frame on each side.


The installation was fairly easy and doesn't requires any effort to slide in.


The frame function as a dampener to absorb that extra vibration from your chassis that potentially produces noise.


First impression of the Silent Base 800, the aesthetics is always something that be quiet! never failed to impress us throughout the years. Everything looks clean, no unnecessary parts sticking out of no where, not many would believe if we'd say this is be quiet!'s first attempt for a chassis. 


Built quality wise, the Silent Base 800 won't be your choice of tank that will withstand the amount of g-Force from a 10-foot drop due to its plastic made exterior but we don't expect any user who would drop their PC from that height.  


There honeycomb mesh at the side of the front panel helps to ensure fresh air is always fed into the chassis.


Noise dampening material at the front panel door helps to contain noise generated by moving parts in the system. 


be quiet! might have adapted the uncommon drawbridge like design for the bottom part of the front panel, but personally we find it to be a lot more convenient compared most traditional designs that requires you to remove the entire front panel for fan installation or cleaning up the front dust filter. 



As with the front dust filter, removing it was fairly easy and doesn't involve any screwing.



This reveals a pair of be quiet!'s own Pure Wings 140mm as front intake fans. 


Upon removing the fans, we can see that you can go for either 2 x 120mm fans or 2 x 140mm fans.



Moving on to the top of the chassis, we have a rather large power on button, 2 x USB 3.0 ports, 2 x USB 2.0 ports and audio jacks.



Right underneath the top cover, you are spoiled for choice in terms of fan mounts:
  • 2 x 120mm fan
  • 2 x 140mm fan
  • 240mm radiator
  • 280mm radiator

The top panel did somehow reminded us of the shroud of reference graphics card. Plenty of space for you to install cooling fans or radiator at the top of the chassis.


At back of the chassis, we can see 3 cutout for external watercooling setup with plenty of space at the top of the chassis for a radiator.



There's another dust filter located at the bottom of the PSU bay that can be removed easily for dusting.



Taking a look from the side of the Silent Base 800, the side panel looks rather unique with the smaller plate in the middle of the side panel. 


Behind the scene - you can actually mount a 120mm fan of your choice here, but we'd prefer to have it this way for the best possible silent performance.


The side panel fan cover comes with noise dampening material attached and a dust filter of its own.


The interior of the chassis looks really spacious, lots of clearance for top / bottom mounted radiators, which is a good sign if you plan to have a water cooled system built with this beast. The large cutout on the motherboard tray definitely makes swapping CPU cooler a whole lot easier as well.


The tool-free Optical Disk Drive lock for quick and easy installation has been a common feature on high end PC chassis.


The modular hard drive cages lets you remove it if extra clearance is needed for lengthy graphics card.


Need more than just one lengthy graphics card? Clearance for water pump etc? Removing the bottom hard drive cage will give you that extra clearance you need.



Very thoughtful of be quiet! to label the standoffs screw holes and built on standoffs appropriately according to the size of the motherboard.


Another 120mm Pure Wings is mounted at the rear fan grill to remove hot air from the chassis.


After examining the hard drive cage and the included accessories, we find that there's not a lot of option for you to go for if you plan to have some 2.5" drives in your system. As the included rubber pieces for hard drive will not hold 2.5" drives without any brackets. Be quiet!'s design has screw holes on each modular hard drive cage for 2.5" drives or SSD, just in case if you need one.


as for 3.5" HDDs, it is much simpler. The rubber piece is secured to your 3.5" drive with the thumb screws provided.


Slide the hard drive through the designated slot.


And finally, the locking mechanism to stop the hard drives from sliding out from its place. We never came across such design before and it's a pleasant surprise.



The power supply mount has these rubber pads to absorbs vibration that would potentially generate noise.



You can either  mount a 120mm or 140mm fan to maximize the airflow in the chassis, or perhaps a more intensive water cooling solution with either a 120mm or 140mm radiator.


The bottom panel has a similar design as the top panel, but due to the limited cooling option, 140mm fan is the maximum fan size that will fit in this space.



Moving on to what's behind the motherboard tray, we must say that this is one of the cleanest view we have since the SilverStone FT04


There's plenty of space behind the motherboard tray for you to stuff in those extra cables without fear of not being able to close the side panel properly. Here we did a little demonstration to show how much space there is with our screw driver and it slides in with total ease.


We've seen quite a lot of build with SSD mounted at the back of the motherboard tray but it's mounted using a strong double-sided tape most of the time. Here we can see a pair of metal frame that is made for that very purpose. Thumbs up for be quiet! to take this into consideration while building the Silent Base 800!

Testing Method

Test Rig Configuration
CPU Cooler
Corsair Hydro Series H100i
CPU
Intel Core i7 4790K
Graphics Card
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 
Motherboard
ASUS Maximus Hero VII 
Memory
G.Skill TridentX 8GB
Primary Hard Drive
Crucial M500 120GB
Power Supply
Be quiet! Straight Power 10 600W

Moving on to the performance test, we ran a few stress test with the setup that we've prepared as above. Without any overclocking done to the test setup, our stress test involves the CPU stress test utility Prime95 with the option 'In-place large FFTs' while GPU stress test utility FurMark with its Furry Donut stress test for maximum heat output from both the CPU and GPU.

The test conducted consists 2 different scenario as following to obtain the temperature differences:

  • Without side panel
  • With side panel 
Our room temperature throughout the test is 30 ÂșC in average and the stress test is repeated for several times in order to get a stable and consistent temperature reading. The final result is presented in the graph as below:



Before proceeding any further, I would like to clarify that the stress test is done purposely to obtain the maximum heat output from both GPU and CPU for us to observe the air circulation of the chassis. It is very unlikely for both components to hit this temperature reading in most of real world usage (gaming, office work, music, video,etc).


Like most silent tower, the Silent Base 800 has some of the temperature sacrificed in return for the overall silent performance. The airflow isn't bad at all for a silent tower as we're able to maintain both CPU and GPU at a decent temperature, but what surprises us more is actually the near silent operation when our system is running.


Final Thoughts

As the first attempt in making their first and ever PC chassis, be quiet! has indeed put in a large amount of effort in designing the Silent Base 800 to compete with the high end PC chassis in its category. We can fit pretty much any ATX motherboard, lengthy graphics card and tall CPU coolers in the chassis; and there's plenty of space behind the motherboard tray to allow us to stuff that extra PSU cables without any issue. 

Cooling performance is pretty acceptable for a silent tower, given that we're using the stock Pure Wings 120mm mounted at the rear of the chassis to exhaust hot air out from the chassis and the remaining heat is pushed out from the chassis through the meshes located near the GPU. Although both Pure Wings 140mm at the front is able to produce a fair amount of air and static pressure to cool off your system, replacing both of them with cooling fans that is capable of generating higher static pressure is highly recommended to further improve air movement through your system to achieve an even better cooling result. 

Price wise, $149.90 is a pretty hefty price tag to begin with as there are existing products that offers similar features at a lower cost. Recommending it to those who isn't into silent PC is pretty much impossible but for silent PC enthusiasts who seeks for a silent tower that doesn't looks like a fridge (as said by one of our teammate), the Silent Base 800 has both the looks and the essential silencing features that makes it worthy to consider.

Pros

  • Stylish design
  • Very silent operation
  • Easy to install and disassemble
  • Good hardware compatibility and watercooling support 
  • Lots of space for cable management

Cons

  • Costly
  • Rubber made HDD bracket will get brittle over time
  • Front panel can only be removed after both top and bottom panel is removed

MSI01

 
CM02