be quiet! Silent Base 601 refines the quiet mid-tower

We've already seen what be quiet!'s mantra of continuous improvement can do in the form of the Dark Base Pro 900, and now the company is bringing a round of refinements to its Silent Base 601 mid-tower.

Like many be quiet! cases, the Silent Base starts its noise-reducing formula off with layers of sound-dampening foam on its side and front panels. This case also boasts redesigned vents that the company says are intended to allow plenty of air into the case while also deadening the transmission of internal sounds from the components within.

A quiet case is no good if it can't stay cool, but the Silent Base 601 seems to have those bases covered, as well. The top panel of the case has a slide-out mount to make installing radiators or fans easier. That mount can accept radiators as long as 360 mm or as many as three 120-mm or 140-mm fans. The front panel can accept as many as three 120-mm or 140-mm fans, or radiators as large as 280 mm or 360 mm.

be quiet! pre-installs one of its Pure Wings 2 140-mm fans on the front panel and another such spinner at the rear of the case. A pop-off panel on the case's PSU shroud allows builders to vent the bottom chamber with another 120-mm or 140-mm fan. CPU coolers as tall as 7.3″ (18.5 cm) can fit inside, as can graphics cards as long as 17.7″ (44.9 cm), or 11.3″ (28.7 cm) with a cage in the way. An integrated three-speed fan controller can tame three-pin (DC) fans.

Under its PSU shroud, the Silent Base 601 has a preinstalled cage for a pair of 3.5″ drives . Another 3.5″ cage comes pre-installed on one of five hardpoints. Builders can add more 3.5″ cages later if needed. The case has two dedicated mounting points for 2.5″ storage behind its motherboard tray, and each hard-drive cage can be used to hold two 2.5″ devices for up to 14 more.

The Silent Base 601 will be available in two versions: one with a solid left-side panel and one with a tempered-glass left side panel. The tempered-glass version includes pop-out covers for each hard-drive hardpoint to make for a cleaner-looking interior. Both versions of the case will be available in orange, black, and silver trims to match builders' preferences.

be quiet! says the Silent Base 601 is up for pre-order now and will be available at retail over the next few weeks. The solid-side-panel version will run $129, while the tempered-glass version will go for $139.

Comments closed
    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 1 year ago

    I’ll say this, their design is quiet but not quite silent. Looks nice but for the bright orange accents.

      • K-L-Waster
      • 1 year ago

      “Both versions of the case will be available in orange, [b<]black[/b<], and silver trims to match builders' preferences."

    • DancinJack
    • 1 year ago

    [quote<]Under its PSU shroud, the Silent Base 601 has a preinstalled cage for a pair of 3.5" drives . Another 3.5" cage comes pre-installed on one of five hardpoints. Builders can add more 3.5" cages later if needed. The case has two dedicated mounting points for 2.5" storage behind its motherboard tray, and each hard-drive cage can be used to hold two 2.5" devices for up to 14 more.[/quote<] "mid tower" 😉 (this isn't meant to criticize Jeff, but rather the ridiculous size and conventions of PC cases)

      • derFunkenstein
      • 1 year ago

      Well, the alternative is to go back to a layout where the exhaust fan is 80mm and the PSU is mounted over the top of the motherboard. I had an Antec case like that Back In the Day. It would be great if SFX caught on but big cases will need big PSU locations until SFX PSUs get big capacities.

        • Chrispy_
        • 1 year ago

        That’s just not true; This is a 66L case (Hexus reviewed it today).

        Fractal Core 2300 is 38L, despite having two optical bays, dual-240mm rad support and up to 8 drive bays.
        NZXT Source 340 is 38L, with support for even more/larger radiators (but no optical)
        Define C and Carbide 270R are significantly smaller than this (~50L each) and I would consider those as spacious to work in.

          • K-L-Waster
          • 1 year ago

          Are those cases as quiet though?

          To reduce noise you need a) sound proofing and b) to reduce turbulence. Extra volume helps for both of those.

          This case is clearly aimed at those who value a low dB volume more than a low 3D volume.

            • DancinJack
            • 1 year ago

            We don’t even need to talk about this case if you guys think this particular case doesn’t fit the mold for what I describe. There are plllllllllllllllenty of cases that are overly large for no reason. My Define Mini is, no joke, barely audible almost all the time. Ambient noise, in a regular home with regular stuff going on, almost always drowns it out. The only time I actually hear the case is when I’m gaming without headphones on.

            Cases are wasting too much space in a lot of instances. Quality planning and components makes up for a lot of the space argument in the vast, vast majority of cases.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 1 year ago

            Your Define Mini is comically large, too. 20mm narrower, 70mm shorter, and 30mm shallower than my Define R4.

            [url<]http://www.fractal-design.com/home/product/cases/define-series/define-r4-black-pearl[/url<] [url<]http://www.fractal-design.com/home/product/cases/define-series/define-mini[/url<] I mean, if we're going to talk about cases that are way oversized, let's start with yours. The be quiet! here is 532 x 240 x 514 vs. the Define Mini's 395 x 210 x 490. Considering the micro-ATX nature of your case, it's not much smaller.

            • DancinJack
            • 1 year ago

            Right, which is why I chose a “micro-ATX” case, that’s smaller than a lot of ATX cases, but still offers me personally the things I need. Plus, when I got it, there wasn’t another combination of design, features, and quality that met my qualifications. I was able to live with the relatively large size for the other features. That doesn’t mean I don’t think it shouldn’t be smaller.

            FWIW, I’m almost surely going mini-ITX with my next build in 2019 or 2020.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 1 year ago

            The thing about mATX is the dimension that matters least (height) is the one you chop down the most. I have a nice 72×30″ desktop and my PC sits behind my monitor. I gain literally nothing by going with a shorter one.

            It’s the Corsair 380T (which I’ve talked about here before) that I wish I’d skipped on. It’s somehow both huge and cramped.

            • DancinJack
            • 1 year ago

            Yeah, this is why I catered my response to my personal wants and needs. mATX works for me, the components I choose, and where my PC goes. There are SO many options for oversized cases out there, but the argument that the space is so it can be quiet, IMO, is a misgiving. I think more options that reduce the “wasted” space, in any direction, are good for me personally.

            As I said previously, I will be going mini-ITX with my next build and am super pumped to find a good case to do so in. Hopefully options have improved since I last built a PC because they were pretty abysmal back then.

            • Chrispy_
            • 1 year ago

            Back when 80mm fans were acceptable I had a Lian-li case with ATX support and ten drive bays in under 30L.

            No, I wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole these days, because the extra space for GPUs and cable management are worth the size increase. We’ve just moved far too far in the direction of ‘extra space’, IMO.

            • Chrispy_
            • 1 year ago

            In a word, [b<]yes.[/b<] This case does [i<]nothing[/i<] special in terms of soundproofing or airflow path. I can say without hesitation that several smaller cases from Phanteks, Corsair, NZXT (to name just three) are likely to be quieter and the Hexus review that I mentioned gives this case a very average result on acoustics, better than the rather poor SB600 it supersedes. It has a direct airflow path, tempered glass panels for typical sound leakage by today's standards and direct exhaust vents which puts it behind many alternatives in terms of indirect air path for sound baffling. Is it a bad case? No. Is a quiet case? Also no; It's as ordinary as you can get - since practically every case vendor insulates the back panel these days, if it's not also tempered glass. and directly exposing the top and rear vents means that you're going to hear everything inside the case more than indirect options like the H440, 400C or Evolv.

      • homerdog
      • 1 year ago

      I strongly feel mATX should where most attention should be focused. The portion of users who legit need full ATX mobo and case is vanishingly small.

        • DancinJack
        • 1 year ago

        Yup, I think mATX and mini-ITX are criminally underrepresented.

          • JustAnEngineer
          • 1 year ago

          I definitely support micro-ATX as a very good choice for most gaming PCs. My Skylake build was in a mini-ITX [url=https://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=771&area=en<]Fortress FTZ-01[/url<]. My Coffee Lake PC is in a [url=http://www.fractal-design.com/home/product/cases/define-series/define-mini-c<]Define Mini C[/url<].

      • limitedaccess
      • 1 year ago

      Cases are larger now because of the added “features” which all require more space. An ATX Mid tower is the size of earlier full towers. mATX towers are the size of earlier ATX mid towers. That is really just in terms of height, width is up across the board.

      Bottom mounted PSU.
      Separate PSU chamber.
      Large space behind the motherboard tray.
      120mm or 140mm fan mounts.
      2x or 3x radiator mounts on both the front and top panel.
      Taller feet for more height delta for bottom mount fans (including the PSUs) and the floor.
      More side spacing to accommodate things like side fans or wider GPUs.
      Accommodating larger triple fan GPUs.
      More complex side panel designs requiring more width (eg. easy access screw less designs).
      More width for extra tall tower heatsinks.

      The above all require more space. If we want to compare to the earliest “enthusiast” cases which still used 80mm fan mounts and top mounted PSUs and cabling was basically just dumped in the case or any expansion bays.

      It’ll be difficult due to market conditions but the standard itself, ATX et all., could use revising for more modern times. That could bring up space efficiency. For example with the current ATX layout and people no longer using 5.25inch drive bays (and in many cases now not even 3.5) there is a lot of wasted space in standard cases. If the standards were updated we could also have much less internal cabling especially off the PSU, this would mean less space needed just to hide cables.

        • XTF
        • 1 year ago

        What updates to the standard would allow less cabling / more compact cases?

          • JustAnEngineer
          • 1 year ago

          If you’re just going to have one expansion card instead of seven, using a 90° riser to put it parallel to the motherboard is a space saver.

          Using M.2 SSDs instead of bulkier drives eliminates both power and data cables and saves space.

          If there were standardization on things like power connector location, cases could be pre-wired for power, fan header, front panel connector, etc. rather than having sloppy cables running everywhere.

      • jihadjoe
      • 1 year ago

      Agreed, back in the AT days a case this size would be firmly in the “full tower” category.

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