Be Quiet! Silent Base 601 Mid-Tower Enclosure Review
Introduction and Case Exterior
It has been almost three years since we reviewed the original Silent Base 600 enclosure, and today we have the brand new Silent Base 601 from be quiet! in for review. Launching this week, the latest case from the German manufacturer combines a noise-reducing interior with a no-frills exterior. Gone are its predecessor's optical drive bays and hinged front panel door, allowing for a wide-open internal layout, and overall this is a thoroughly modern enclosure design.
The Silent Base 601 enclosure also marks this reviewer's first experience with a be quiet! product (Lee handled the Silent Base 600 review), so I came into the this with zero expectations - and was honestly pretty surprised by the case overall. My findings (and many photos) are documented in this review, so let's get started!
Features from be quiet!:
- Noise dampening vents provide excellent air permeability with maximum silence
- Extra thick insulation mats of 10mm in the front, top and sides
- Two preinstalled Pure Wings 2 140mm fans
- 3-step fan controller caters for up to three fans
- The PSU shroud provides a neat interior
- Ready for radiators up to 360mm
- Three years manufacturer’s warranty
- Product conception, design and quality control in Germany
The Silent Base 601 is available in both the standard version (as reviewed) or a windowed version for $10 more, and with the option of three different front accent colors - orange, black, or silver.
- Top cover: ABS, Steel
- Side panel: ABS, Steel
- Front panel: ABS, Steel
- Stands: ABS
- Drive bay capacity
- 3.5 slots (max.): 7
- 3.5 slots (scope of delivery): 3
- 2.5 slots (max.): 14
- 2.5 slots (scope of delivery): 6
- Pre-installed fans
- Front: 1x be quiet! Pure Wings 2 |140mm
- Rear: 1x be quiet! Pure Wings 2 |140mm
- Optional fan installation
- Front: 2x 140/120 mm
- Top: 3x 140/120 mm
- PSU shroud: 1x 140/120 mm
- Optional radiator installation
- Front: 120 / 140 / 240 / 280 / 360 mm
- Top: 120 / 240 / 360 mm
- Rear: 120 / 140 mm
- PSU length: 288 mm
- Graphics card length:
- With HDD cage installed at height of graphics card : 287 mm
- Without HDD cage at height of graphics card: 449 mm
- Insulation and damping
- Top panel insulation mats
- Front panel insulation mats
- Side panel insulation mats
- Anti-vibration decoupled HDD
- Anti-vibration decoupled fan
- Anti-vibration decoupled PSU
- Anti-vibration decoupled motherboard-tray
- Removable dust filters: Front, bottom
Pricing and Availability: $129.00, Newegg.com
The exterior is clean and uncluttered, all black in this windowless version save the orange trim/air intake around the solid front panel. I like understated designs like this, and it is also a welcome respite from the ubiquitous RGB-infused cases that make up much of the current market.
Case I/O is up front on the top of the 601, with pairs of USB 3 and 2 ports, 3.5 mm audio, a fan speed selector, and of course a power button (which lights up orange to match the color accents on the front).
Since this is not the windowed version both side panels are solid, but a slot along the top on each side hides a series of holes for additional ventilation.
There is also ventilation on the top of the case towards the back.
With air intakes on either side (and base) of the front panel, the two rows of holes along the top above the doors, along the bottom of the case, and at the rear of the upper panel, there should be decent airflow in what looks more like a closed design. How much remains to be seen, but even with what is likely limited intake there are full-length screen filters on the front and bottom of the 601.
Here's a look at the back of the case. Note the optional mounts for a vertical GPU installation, which really only makes sense with the windowed version:
Accessing the front and bottom filters gave me my first taste of the engineering and build quality that went into the 601, and it impressive. I'm so used to the pop-out designs often found on cases with removable front panels that the 601 was a breath of fresh air: simply slide up to unlock, and then remove. No clips to wear out, zero effort. This is how it should be.
A look behind this front panel gives us our first look at the 10 mm thick damping material behind the exterior panels. (We will have a closer look at this material shortly.)
Inside the front panel there is the first filter, and behind this the front fan mounts with a pre-installed fan for intake.
The bottom fan filter easily slides out from the front (with or without the front panel installed).
Before diving into the case interior on the next page let's check out the side panels - those all-important gateways to the case interior. With the Silent Base 601, a simple button push is all you need to release either panel:
This is a fantastic implementation. The panels are easy to line up, latch without much effort, and unlock again with a single button press. What could be better? But wait - there's more! More noise insulation mats, that is. We already saw inside the front panel, and here's a look behind the first side panel (both sides have identical damping material):
This is very thick and feels kind of like a cross between a yoga mat and a flip-flop sole. It begs the question: can the interior lining of a computer case side panel provide all-day comfort for your feet? We may never know!
Next we'll check out the interior and cover the build process.
|Review Terms and Disclosure
All Information as of the Date of Publication
|How product was obtained:||The product is on loan from be quiet! for the purpose of this review.|
|What happens to the product after review:||The product remains the property of be quiet! but is on extended loan for future testing and product comparisons.|
|Company involvement:||be quiet! had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.|
|PC Perspective Compensation:||Neither PC Perspective nor any of its staff were paid or compensated in any way by be quiet! for this review.|
|Advertising Disclosure:||be quiet! has not purchased advertising at PC Perspective during the past twelve months.|
|Affiliate links:||This article contains affiliate links to online retailers. PC Perspective may receive compensation for purchases through those links.|
|Consulting Disclosure:||be quiet! is not a current client of Shrout Research for products or services related to this review.|