Besides cooling solutions and PSUs, be quiet! also recently pushed into the chassis market. So far, there have been just two entries, the Silent Base 600 and 800, but that has changed with the flagship Dark Base family, which currently consists of only one member, the Dark Base 900.
There are two versions of the Dark Base 900; there's a standard version but also a more feature-rich version called the Dark Base Pro 900. The main design aspects of this chassis focus on usability and silence, and on top of that, the Dark Base 900 is highly optimized to accommodate advanced water-cooling solutions.
This is a mid-tower size case that, according to its manufacturer, has all the features of a full-tower chassis. Its motherboard tray can slide up or down to accommodate all sizes of motherboards, from ITX to XL ATX. In addition, the motherboard tray is decoupled in an effort to avoid annoying vibrations coming from GPU fans and water pumps.
Another interesting feature is the fact that a user can invert the motherboard tray. Moreover, the side panel can be installed from both sides, depending on the air flow or on the hardware's configuration requirements. This means that the DB-900 is a highly modular, and therefore versatile, product that can be easily adjusted to a user's demands.
There are no multiple-HDD cages in this case. Instead, every HDD has a single cage that can be placed wherever the user wants. According to be quiet!, this method offers increased airflow and maximum flexibility. The case supports nine removable HDD cages (seven are included) in total. The ODD bays are also removable.
The benefit of having a removable motherboard tray is that you can take it out of the chassis and use it as a testing bench, should your needs require one. This looks ideal for enthusiast users, overclockers, and of course, hardware reviewers.
One of the most important features in a case is its airflow and cooling capacity. The DB-900 supports a number of fans that can be installed in a variety of places, offering optimal cooling. On top of that, the case's modularity can be exploited in order to increase airflow at the internals and eliminate any hot spots.
As usual for a be quiet! product, lots of effort was put in order to make the DB-900 as sound-proof as possible. All air vents feature a noise-reducing design, and noise-breaking vents are scattered all around the case. The fans on board belong to the Silent Wing 3 family and are PWM controlled, meaning that their profile can be easily adjusted.
Two 140mm fans are pre-installed on the front and one 140mm at the back. Finally, the side panel has 4mm tempered glass (in the Pro version) which uses a rubber seal in order to keep the noise inside the case. Other tricks are also used to minimize noise output, such as anti-vibration rubber block stands, decoupled HDD drives and motherboard tray, and sound insulation foam that uses different materials to block the respective frequencies (either high or low).
Thanks to the modular design and the relatively large dimensions of the case, there is increased support for water-cooling radiators. You can mount a water-cooling system anywhere inside the chassis, and the radiator support is:
Front: 1x 240 mm ; 360 mm ; 420mm
Rear: 1x 120/140 mm
Bottom: 1x 140/240 mm
Top: 120, 140, 240, 280, 360, 420 mm up to 65 mm high
Brackets are also provided for the installation of a water-cooling pump and a reservoir.
The main body of the case is made of 0.8mm - 1mm SECC steel, and the top and front panels are made of aluminum. The side window, in the Pro model, uses 4mm tempered glass, which is highly scratch resistant.
As you can see, both models (standard and Pro) feature a fan controller, but the Pro version also has an LED strip connector and a Qi charger, which allows the cable-free charge of all external devices that support this standard. If you have a Qi-compatible smartphone, all you have to do is to place it on the plate with the "J" marking. An acoustic signal will inform you that the charging process has begun.
|be quiet! Dark Base (Pro) 900|
|Case Type||Super Midi Tower|
|Material||0.8mm - 1 mm SECC, 0.8mm Aluminum, ABS plastic |
Dark Base Pro 900: 4mm tempered glass
|M/B Support||E-ATX, XL-ATX, ATX, M-ATX, Mini-ITX|
|Front I/O||2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, HD audio jacks|
|Fan Speed Controller||Dark Base 900: 3x 4-pin, 3x 3-pin, Controller: manual 5V-12V|
Dark Base Pro 900:4x 4-pin, 4x 3-pin, Controller: manual 5V-12V / PWM hub
|2.5" Bay||1 + 14|
|Cooling Fan (mm)/(RPM)||Front: 2x SilentWings-3 140/1000, Rear SilentWings-3 140/1000|
|Optional Cooling Fan (mm)||Front: 1x 140 (w/o ODD cage, fan bracket included)|
Top: 3x 140 / 4 x 120 / 1x 180
Base: 1x 120 / 2x 140
|Radiator Support (mm)||120, 140, 180 (2x 120), 280 (2x 140), 360 (3x 120), 420 (3x 140)|
|Dimensions (W x H x D in mm)||242.7 x 585.5 x 577.2|
|Compatibity||CPU Cooler: 185 mm|
GPU: 325mm / 470mm (w/o HDD trays)
PSU: 150 - 284mm
|Additional Features||Dark Base 900: 2-step side panel bezel|
Dark Base Pro 900: 2x Multi-Color RGB LED strip, Qi charger
|MSRP||Dark Base 900: $199|
Dark Base Pro 900: $249
Besides monstrous CPU coolers, with up to 185 mm height, extra long graphics cards are supported along with mile-long PSUs. The longest PSU we have encountered so far was 225mm long, and as you can see from the table above, the Dark Base 900 can accommodate up to 284mm-long PSUs. If a company decides to release a 3 kW PSU in the future, this case will definitely support it.
The Dark Base 900 case will hit the market at the beginning of July. The MSRP for the standard model is $199, whereas the Pro model will set you back $249. The most significant upgrades of the Pro model are the tempered glass side panel, the Qi connector, the RGB LED lighting strips and the PWM hub of the fan controller. For those added features, the extra 50 bucks is probably worth it.