We didn't test every single possible fan speed setting, but we did do the majority including the maximum and minimum speeds offered, so we can observe the full range of performance. Thankfully, peak performance is excellent; at high speed in Performance mode, the Dark Base 700 achieves the best GPU temperature we've seen and one of the best on the CPU front as well. The other tests were all done in Silence mode, and performance again impressed, only warming up by a few degrees Celsius. That said, low speed in this mode is a tipping point where airflow is lowered to the point of being mostly ineffective – we see big spikes in temperatures, especially for the CPU.
In terms of noise, we recommend Silence mode. High speed in Performance mode was a tad loud, but the fans were nicely subdued in the former, and temperatures as you've seen were barely any worse. The chassis also suitably dulled the noise of our other hardware.
This is a very strong showing from Be Quiet!. Merging modern features like USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, the possibility for vertical GPU mounting, and RGB lighting with a design that's both user-friendly and very flexible, the Dark Base 700 is testament to the German firm's design skills. Attention to detail where reducing noise is concerned seems to pay off, and the fan and RGB LED control hub means it will integrate nicely with current-generation motherboards and their detailed software suites. Build quality is also impressive, and while there are some drawbacks – excessive plastic on the PSU shroud, some cable routing niggles, the right side panel release mechanism, and a lack of custom water-cooling mounting points – overall this is a great option for those with a more generous budget to spend on a case that don't want to venture into truly enormous full towers.
October 14 2021 | 15:04