be quiet! is one of my favourite companies in the hardware industry, and a BaseLAN sponsor to boot! I was very excited to have the opportunity to interview them for the site.
Answering our questions is Christoph Katzer, be quiet!’s head of business development.
So tell us about be quiet! How did this all begin?
—> The company behind be quiet! started out as a distributor for computer components in Hamburg, Germany. The company was formed in 1999. A few years later, there was an increased demand for silent components, since stuff at that time was horribly loud. The idea came up to make a brand that focuses primarily on making their components quieter than others. Of course, this isn’t the easiest thing to achieve, because when you have slower-rotating fans you will need to up the quality of components.
We’ve been the market leader for ten years in Germany now with our power supplies. I think we made the right decisions, and improved our products year after year.
What are some of the long term goals of be quiet!? Any surprises hitting us in 2016?
—> The long term goals are that we want to be able to offer our products to people around the globe. We are working hard on opening new channels in countries we haven’t sold in before. We want to make sure that everyone is able to see the difference high-quality products can make in your system.
We just introduced the Dark Base 900 chassis. It’s a truly unique one. It comes with a completely modular interior. You can even invert the motherboard tray. We still have a few interesting things to come this year, though.
Will your Dark Base 900 Pro’s glass panel and modular parts carry over to future products?
—> Yes, you will see very soon.
Are there any plans to expand the SFX power supply line in the near future?
—> We currently have a couple of products in this line, but only available in Europe, unfortunately. I am pretty sure we will extend these again in the future, but I don’t know right now if they will make their way to North America.
The burning question: Will there be a Micro ATX or Mini ITX case added to the family?
—> We are working very hard on extending our case line. You can expect a few more sizes / form factors in the future.
Have you considered partnering with a graphics card partner to design a silent card?
—> This is definitely something we are looking into right now. If there is an actual product coming out of this process — that is not clear yet.
Why do you think silence is often neglected when building a computer?
—> It might be [neglected] in North America, but in Europe, silent computing is a big topic. I think it might be a different mind set that people over here have — more focus on top performance — but we see changes in this habit.
I guess most users simply think, they use a headset while gaming — why should they care for a silent build? But in reality, you will hear your PC all the time, you don’t just game with it. For me personally, I know I won’t be able to stand the noise all day. My PC is completely silent, even when I am playing. It is somewhat uniquely satisfying, not hearing your PC.
We have built a loyal customer base in North America the last two years and we’ve seen a tremendous increase in sales, so I know many people are with me on this.
I can’t wait to replace my current Micro ATX case with something silent, made of glass and brushed aluminum!
Patrick Algeo is a Contributor for AYBOnline.com and an avid fan of German engineering. His opinions are his own.