I used to be one of those guys who would only build in full-tower cases. There's something to be said for having as much room as you need—however much that is. There's also something to be said for having a PC that isn't the size of a mini-fridge, though. Folks who need the capabilities of a full-sized ATX machine but don't want a full-tower chassis can pick up something like Be Quiet's new Dark Base 700 modular mid-tower ATX case.
Be Quiet says the Dark Base 700 is essentially similar to its flagship Dark Base 900 case, just smaller. Like its bigger brother, the 700 is a premium fully-modular chassis design using high-quality steel for its frame and tempered glass for its window. "Fully-modular" means that everything inside can be popped out and repositioned. That even includes the motherboard tray—you can set up the Dark Base 700 with an inverted ATX layout if you choose.
Like most of the newer cases we see, there's a shroud that separates the power supply from the rest of the case. If you like, two of the three included 3.5" hard drive cages can be moved to the lower chamber to keep them out of sight. Three 2.5" drives can be mounted to the back of the motherboard tray, conveniently making room for the six SATA drives supported by most motherboards these days. If you need more storage, Be Quiet says you could equip your Dark Base 700 with up to seven 3.5" drives or a whopping 15 2.5" drives.
Be Quiet includes a pair of its 140-mm SilentWings 3 fans with the case, and you can hook up four more to the included fan controller. That controller has its six plugs split into two sets of three that can each be set to silent or performance mode using the buttons on the front panel of the case. Alternatively, you could replace the fans with radiators up to 360 mm in length at both the front and top of the case, and there are additional accomodations for a 140-mm fan or radiator in the rear.
Of course, what truly defines the Dark Base 700 as a modern premium computer case are the RGB LED accents along the beveled edges of the front panel. Joking aside, the lighting is relatively understated and can be cycled through six colors using the front panel buttons. Builders more concerned with the lightning can connect it to their motherboard for more delicate adjustments.
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