Tempered glass is everywhere these days. But be quiet! has always focused on silence over looks. That said, glass is one of those “must haves” and it's working its way through be quiet!'s portfolio of hyper-silent cases.
We covered the Be Quiet! Base 600 non-window used in a previous be quiet! build.
To upgrade to a windowed version, be quiet! sent us a tempered glass panel to go on the Pure Base 600 Case. Sure, you can buy the Pure Base 600 case with the tempered glass in the box, but it's interesting to see how the two systems stack up.
While the non-window model is the absolute reference for silence with its padded interior, it’s almost impossible to find hardware that isn’t loaded with unicorn lights. Thus, we wanted to grab the tempered glass version to see the latest goods inside.
We were also curious -- does tempered glass have a negative acoustic impact? We ran it through some quick tests to find out.
Now, be quiet! Sells tempered glass side panels that can be added to their other models.
The non-window model comes in all black or black with silver piping. The silver piping looks pretty solid, a monotone but still stylish upgrade over the orange piping, in my opinion.
The windowed Pure Base 600 models are available in all black or black/orange. Thus, the only way to get a silver window model is to buy the regular version and then get the window separately. All models have mounting for side panels or glass, making swaps easy.
The non-window models run $89 while the windowed versions are $99. The window by its lonesome is $30, so you’re looking at $120 for a window on silver.
The window itself has a slight tint -- not 100% clear but not not extremely dark like some tempered panels out there. We put one LED strip in this case and it lights it up really well.
Since we originally covered the Pure Base 600, we had to return that hardware from Aorus. Now, we have an ASUS-centric system built around an ASUS TUF Mark II Z270 motherboard, ASUS Strix GTX 1070 GPU, i7-7700k CPU, HP Pro SSD and Toshiba HDD.
Also, be quiet!’s Shadow Rock 3 is on cooler duty. This is the big dog made for overclocking or, simply, to keep the system cool to keep the noise down and component life up. It's also large, so make sure you use low profile RAM like the 4 sticks of Crucial Ballistix RAM shown in this rig.
For power, we went with the be quiet! Straight Power 10 600w power supply. Be quiet, of course, uses all their own fan designs which lean towards the premium end of the market. No obnoxious hum here, no rattling, just the right amount of cooling for the performance needed.
Acoustics: Glass Vs Solid Side Panel?
Now, how does the window compare to non-window version? Honestly, there really isn't much of a difference -- glass is thick, after all. During normal usage the systems are about the same acoustics.
Our quick test during a Ghost Recon benchmark showed that no side panel at all registered around 35-37dB. With glass, 32-33dB. With solid panel, 31-32dB.
But the numbers jumped up and down enough to call it a draw in our books.
Also, it's important to mention the Strix GPU is incredibly silent. Ghost Recon is taxing, but the Strix 1070 never went above 65 degrees. Really, we would like to throw in a super loud card with even louder fans to see how the panels perform.
Finally, the be quiet! case fans causes about 3dB of sound when cranked all the way up using the case's integrated controller. That's barely anything. If this were a personal build, we'd connect the fans to the motherboard to let the ASUS fan software do the dirty work of ramping up and down depending on temps.
But, all that said, the fact that this PC was barely audible during the brutal Ghost Recon benchmark with CPU at 77% and GPU at 99% is pretty dang impressive.
Since be quiet! Is a solid choice for professional systems, the combination of TUF mobo with the 5 year warranty (up from 3 year on normal mobos) with a super reliable air cooler makes a lot of sense.
In this build, we wanted to keep everything black and white. We added some white LEDs to see the goods inside, but after the rainbow explosion of last time, a monotone build felt more appropriate.
While not the most expensive components, the be quiet! lineup is premium-budget -- the Base 600 is their “lowest” end case, but hardly what one would call budget at $99. Same for everything else.
In my opinion, the Pure Base 600 is arguably the most flexible and best performing tempered glass case under $100. And with its layout options including 360mm liquid cooling on front and top, adjustable top vent, HDD cage options and, yes, acoustic padding all over the place, the be quiet! Pure Base 600 is a seriously easy recommendation for most every professional or subtle gaming build.