Formed in 2006 with a mission to make premium power supplies and cooling solutions for your desktop PC, Be Quiet! says it's Germany's top PSU maker with a massive range covering the ATX, SFX and TFX form factors including models spanning from just 300w to 1200w.
The company has also put together a small collection of impressive CPU air-coolers with latest being the $90 Dark Rock Pro 3. More recently, Be Quiet! has been working on a new project it calls "Silent Base" with the Silent Base 800 being the company's first computer chassis.
Although this is Be Quiet!'s first case, it was designed over more than a year entirely in-house at Germany -- something the company is proud of. Be Quiet! not only applied what it learned about high-quality cooling and fan solutions in the past, it also brought in world renowned case experts.
When developing the Silent Base 800, the company says it emphaized function over form with a goal of achieving the best cooling performance possible at ultra low noise levels while still offering ample space for high-end components.
Be Quiet! says the internal structure and ultimately the exterior design of the case has evolved from this objective and, of course, we're here to see how successful company's the engineers were at meeting those constraints.
Silent Base 800 External Design
Although most of the magic takes place inside the Silent Base 800, it's still sleek looking on the outside. Being German-made, we are not surprised to find a subtle yet elegant design.
The Silent Base 800 comes in silver and black (what we got for testing), orange and black or just black. It weighs 9.3kg empty and measures 266 x 559 x 495mm.
The front is dominated by a large black panel that is split into two parts. Up top is a door without a handle. To open it you must grab it from the top and pull it open, which is done easily enough.
Holding the door closed are a pair of magnets embedded in rubber stoppers to eliminate vibration. The inside of the door is also lined with a noise absorbing foam.
Behind the door are three 5.25" external drive bays -- there are actually four but the top bay is fake. The top panel cannot be removed and there is nothing behind it.
Below the door is a larger panel -- this one is removable and also lined with noise absorbing foam. Behind it is a large dual 120mm fan dust filter designed to keep the cases in-take fans dust free.
The front panel has been decorated with mesh strips down either side, which are highlighted using a silver border. This gives an otherwise boring case a bit of flare.
Both the left and right case doors are identical, so there are no case windows here and I don't believe a window will become an option either because it wouldn't be ideal for a quiet case. Adding a case window would make lining the doors with noise absorbing foam somewhat pointless.
Be Quiet! tells us that the noise absorbing foam found around the case is a newly developed soundproofing material.
On the surface, the door panels might look rather bland but there is a huge emphasis on cooling and noise performance. Inserted into the center of each door is a square plastic cover that can be used to control air-flow and operating volume. This square can be raised out of the door to allow maximum air-flow or seated flush to block air-flow and any noise escaping.
The square, like the case door, is lined with a noise absorbing foam. There is also a dust filter found behind the square so you can install a 120mm fan into the side door if you wish.
The top panel also looks pretty bland, but again there is a bit going on here. Apart from housing an I/O panel which features two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a pair of audio jacks and a large square power button, the top panel is designed so that heat can easily escape using an innovative fin design which is also meant to block sound waves and reflects them back into the case.
Around back, the design is pretty standard for the most part. The power supply bracket is found in the bottom of the case, while there are seven expansion slots above it, followed by the motherboard I/O slot. Adjacent to the I/O slot are three 1" water-cooling access points and a 120mm exhaust fan.
The top and bottom of the rear panel feature large ventilation points, while there is a massive removable dust filter found at the bottom below the PSU bracket.
Underneath the Silent Base 800 there is no ventilation at all, just a solid base. However, the feet are interesting as Be Quiet! has used what looks like a pair of skis, which are detached out of the box so you have to clip them in.
Once installed they look attractive and give the Silent Base 800 a little flair. Each ski is meant to have two rubber pads but only one of ours came with the pads while the other was missing them -- I assume this is just an issue with our early review sample.