be quiet! Dark Base 701 PC Case Review
Thermal performance is an essential factor for any PC case. Your system may look great from the outside, but all of that is for nought if your PC has the internal temperature of an oven. Your PC case needs enough airflow for your components to remain cool under load and to prevent any form of thermal throttling. For our test, we used the following hardware using fixed fan speeds (so that only the case and its included fans can influence thermal performance).
be quiet! Dark Base 701
Intel i9-9700K @4.8GHz at 1.2V
ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming @ 100% Current Capacity/ LL lvl16
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition @ 9V via Fan Speed Reducer
Nvidia GTX 980 Reference @ 60% Fixed Fan Speed
Corsair LP Vengeance LP (Grey) @ 3200MHz
Corsair MP500 M.2 NVMe SSD
Corsair RM550X Power Supply
The graph below showcases Delta temperatures with a controlled ambient temperature of 20 degrees Celsius.
When Testing the Dark Base 701 we added an extra 140mm fan to the front of the case. We believe that most users of this case will add this extra fan to bring more air into the case. This case does support additional fans, allowing users to increase case airflow further.
600 RPM Fan Testing
At 600 RPM fan speeds, the Dark Base 701 is one of the better performing cases on our graphs, at least with regards to CPU performance. GPU-wise, this case sits in the middle of our performance charts at 600 RPM, though it performs much better when we set the case’s fans to higher RPMs. If we added another extra 140mm fan to the front of the case, it is likely that GPU thermals will decrease, as more airflow will be added at the base of the Dark Base 701.
1000 RPM Fan Testing
With 1000 RPM fans, we see CPU thermals drop slightly and GPU thermals drop by 3.5 degrees. Higher fan RPMs clearly have a huge impact on GPU thermals.
Max RPM Fan Test
When setting be quiet’s fans to their maximum speeds (1900 RPM) CPU thermals drop slightly. Below we can also see that GPU thermals drop by another few degrees. Here, the Dark Base 701 provides us with admirable levels of thermal performance. That said it’s likely that an extra 140mm fan at the front of the case will lower GPU thermals.
Even at 1900 RPM, the Dark Base 701’s fans are quiet. Be quiet has lived up to their name with their new 701 chassis. If you want crazy fast and crazy loud fans, you will have to add them yourself.