Completed Build, Performance, and Final Thoughts

Completed Build

There is quite a bit of space around the motherboard with this sparse-looking build, with the open spaces for the optional HDD trays to the right in particular. This is not a windowed case, but it still makes it easier to work on the system with so much room, and such easy cable management.

There is generous room behind the back panel for cables, and overall I have zero complaints about the build process – very easy in this case!

Test Platform
Processor Intel Core i7-7700K
Motherboard GIGABYTE H270 Gaming 3
Memory G.Skill Aegis 8 GB 2400 MHz DDR4
Graphics Card AMD Radeon R9 290X (Reference)
Storage Corsair FORCE LE 240 GB SATA 6.0 GB/s SSD
Power Supply Seasonic S12II 620W
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U9S (PWM)
OS Windows 8.1 64-bit

Editor's Note: You might ask, where are the other cases in the charts below? Periodically I go back to square one with enclosure testing, such as when I can no longer validate older results, or any time equipment or methodology changes. Recently, I have noticed a discrepancy in fan noise and temps from the reference R9 290X compared to some older results, and could not validate them. It is possible that the reference R9 290X's alternate BIOS mode switch (a toggle on the top of the PCB) was engaged for some testing, potentially negating the usefulness of comparative data until adequate re-testing can be completed. Going forward with the current settings and methodology there will soon be a new list of results with which to compare.


The Silent Base 601 integrates a fan controller into the front panel, with speed levels 1 - 3 set via the switch in the top I/O cluster. To provide a look at how fan speeds affect noise and performance with the case, both fan setting "1" (low) and setting "3" (high) were used, with results below. My initial impression was that there was little difference in noise, and virtually no impact to performance with the low-speed fans that come pre-installed, though testing did reveal that the speed of the two 140 mm fans were affecting things in a subtle way.

Idle temps were an identical 6.5 C above ambient between the low and high fan settings as tested, with the Core i7-7700K climbing at full load to 57.2 C above ambient with low fans, dropping to 55.5 C above ambient with high fans. GPU load results also dropped with the high fan setting, from 48 C above ambient at the low setting to 45.3 C above ambient at the high setting.

Noise Levels

System idle noise with low fans in a room with a measured 30.8 dBA ambient noise was a nearly inaudible 31.2 dBA, and high fans took this to 33.6 dBA. This second number is still really quiet, but for ultimate silence the low fan setting was certainly very low at system idle. For CPU loads noise levels with the low fans reached 34.1 dBA, and this traveled only slightly at the high setting to 34.9 dBA. The case was not audibly louder with the high fan setting in these CPU tests, as the test system's 92 mm Noctua CPU fan spins at over 1700 RPM during load tests and was heard over the quiet (~1000 RPM) case fans.

GPU noise level with my worst-case scenario reference-design AMD Radeon R9 290X card was 54.8 dBA with either fan setting - with the GPU drowning out any other noise from the system. I have not encountered a more challenging card to contain with noise output, and I use a custom fan profile to increase RPMs much faster than the card's stock behavior. The Silent Base 601 did manage to curb the harsh 'whining' sound from this reference cooler, and I was just hearing the lower-pitched roar of wind noise. Just about any modern graphics solution should provide very quiet results in this well-insulated case.

Final Thoughts

The Silent Base 601 is a superb enclosure, combining quiet performance, very high build quality, and excellent ease of use. Those looking for RGB effects or tempered glass need look elsewhere, as this made to be a quiet case, and not a display piece.

The functionality of the 601 is as high as anything I've encountered, and is notable for outstanding side panel latches, easy access to both front and bottom air filters from the front of the case, and a painless build process. It is hard to fully appreciate the quality of this enclosure without handling it in person, as everything just feels a little smoother and more refined than the average, or even above-average, case. The attention to detail with regard to noise and vibration damping is exceptional as well, and I found it to be very quiet in real-world use; the system was barely audible unless a louder component like the R9 290X was installed and pushed to high RPMs.

The price tag of $129.99 (MSRP, not yet listed for sale on Amazon or Newegg) is fair considering the quality you are getting here, and while I'd like to see another fan on the front intake at this level (or perhaps a slightly lower price point), we haven't seen street prices yet. On the other hand, I have not reviewed a better quality case in this price range than the Silent Base 601, and it feels like a case that will last for many years.

The Silent Base 601 is an extremely well engineered case that does what it is designed to do with a level of refinement that is going to be difficult to match at this price. Highly recommended.

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