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be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 Case Review

Our Verdict

The Dark Base Pro 900 delivers astounding modularity for the high-end enthusiast. If you want complete control over the configuration of your build, consider this chassis. The water cooling support provides vast options. Even with good performance, it's hard to justify the $250 price for this pro version. Buyers who want neither the glass nor the charger will find better value in the non-pro Dark Base 900, which is priced at $200.

For

  • Build quality
  • Noise dampening foam
  • Modularity
  • Water-cooling support
  • Aesthetic design

Against

  • Price (compared to other tempered glass side panel cases)

Specifications & Features

German PSU, cooling and case manufacturer be quiet! has won numerous awards including Manufacturer of the Year nine times in a row from the German PC Games Hardware magazine. Its Base chassis product line is joined by new high end cases, which include the feature-packed Dark Base Pro 900.

Black anodized aluminum encases a steel frame, with orange accents between the beveled edges and circuit cooling system contrasting the sleek design. From E-ATX to Mini-ITX, this case can fit it all. It’s worth noting that anywhere the case has the brushed aluminum panels, fingerprints are sure to be found.

Fairly large at measured dimensions of 23 1/2” x 23 1/8” x 9 7/8” (L x H x W), the entirely modular design allows you to configure your components, cooling setups and cables in any way you choose.

Specifications

be Quiet! Dark Base 900 Pro
Height23.4"
Width9.8"
Depth23.1"
Space Above Motherboard1.6 + 1.4" (76mm)
Card Length12.8 - 18.5" (3.25-4.7 cm)
Weight24 lbs (11 kg)
Front Fans (alternatives)2x 140mm (2x 120mm)
Rear Fans (alternatives)1x 140mm (1x 120mm)
Top Fans (alternatives)None (4x 120 / 3x 140mm)
Left Side (alternatives)None (None)
Right Side (alternatives)None (2x 120mm)
5.25" ExternalTwo
3.5" ExternalNone
3.5" InternalSeven
2.5" Internal1 +14*
Card SlotsEight
USB 3.0Two
USB 2.0Two
AudioHead/mic
Fan ControlAnalog
OtherLED Switch
SidesAsphalt (Right-Side)
TopNone
FrontFoam

The front panel features two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports. Headphone and microphone jacks are also present, along with power and reset buttons. The power button and HDD light on the front glow orange, matching the edge accents of the case. The logo is presented towards the bottom.

On the back, there are hexagon-pattern air holes with a single 140mm fan on top. The case features eight expansion slots.

The motherboard side panel has a concealable fan mount that hosts two 120mm fan slots. There are some space concerns here. If you choose to occupy both fan mounts, they may interfere with cable management space. You could, however, only open the cover partially to allow for extra air intake.

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Since this is the pro version of the case, only this side panel is secured with thumb screws that resist full detachment from the panel. You can however, switch which side each panel is on to correspond with the direction of motherboard tray placement (upside down on the left, or traditionally on the right).

Beautiful, tinted, tempered glass covers the other side of the enclosure. It is secured by 4 thumb screws in each corner. Caution is advised when removing this pane of glass since not much is supporting the bottom once the screws come off. The Pro version of the case is differentiated by the tempered glass panel, two LED strips and a Qi charger, and runs $50 more than the standard Dark Base 900 model.

The bottom of the case has no ventilation, but there are two internal fan mounts that draw air from between two panels. The case is raised from the surface it’s on by four feet, with great quality rubber grommets on the bottom. The rubber has a small total surface area, though a great grip.

The top of the case has some exhaust vents towards the back and a built in Qi charger towards the front. If you have a higher end smart phone that supports wireless charging then this will be a very convenient feature. The top panel is difficult to remove, requiring some coordination to unlock the eight clips that secure it.

Outside edges feature a circuit ventilation system with L shaped passages that prevent internal component noise from traveling in a straight line out of the case.


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  • Sam Hain
    Corsair 760T in this... "case", LOL.
    Reply
  • cliffro
    Pricewise this is more comparable to the Enthoo Primo than the Evolv.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    18191231 said:
    Pricewise this is more comparable to the Enthoo Primo than the Evolv.

    It is quite expensive.

    My question is why is the PSU upside down? The pictures have the PSU fan facing the GPU which means the PSU is pulling air from the GPU and might be causing the CPU to run warmer since it will get less cool air.
    Reply
  • CBender
    This is something i'll say for a first time for a case. This is so damn BOXY.
    Reply
  • turkey3_scratch
    This may just be the perfect case I have been looking for. There are plenty of reasons to choose this case. I love the functionality you have. The modularity, the silence. I also love the high-grade materials used in the design, aluminum and tempered glass. Lastly, I find this case beautiful, more visually appealing than the competition. I think this is the case I'm going to get.

    Does anybody know when it becomes available?
    Reply
  • JustanotherSith
    July sometime I believe.
    Reply
  • 3ogdy
    Finally a case a Noctua fan looks good in. Didn't think I'd ever say that. Well, except for the Sabertooth / military color combination.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    18191231 said:
    Pricewise this is more comparable to the Enthoo Primo than the Evolv.
    I agree, but the Evolv was the closest Phanteks case we'd received. Let's not forget that the Dark Base Pro 900 is a smallish "full tower", and finding cases from our collection which were both size-appropriate and price-appropriate was difficult. Having said that, I'd like to get the Primo into our charts.

    Reply
  • Compuser10165
    I have a bequiet Silentbase 800 and I am very please with it. However I sth remove the side panel to help cool my R9 390 when needed, and that is with and extra fan on top. This case cooling also seems to be limited to the fans being low static pressure. Altough it is silent, nonetheles. I consider the 900 as a bigger 800 with higher build quality (aluminium) but also a much higher price. I don't know if I would choose it in that price range.
    Reply
  • turkey3_scratch
    18199801 said:
    I have a bequiet Silentbase 800 and I am very please with it. However I sth remove the side panel to help cool my R9 390 when needed, and that is with and extra fan on top. This case cooling also seems to be limited to the fans being low static pressure. Altough it is silent, nonetheles. I consider the 900 as a bigger 800 with higher build quality (aluminium) but also a much higher price. I don't know if I would choose it in that price range.

    I had a similar problem with my MSI R9 390 in my NZXT H440. The temps were reaching 90C. However, unlike your situation, I simply installed two top exhaust fans and then my temps lowered all the way down to 70C and fan RPM went down by 60%. I love this Be Quiet case despite its lack of effective cooling, as seen in the review, but I am having a lot of trouble deciding between two cases:

    -Be QUiet Dark Base Pro 900
    -Lian Li PC-O8WGN (Link)

    I love features that both have, but I am kind of attracted to how the Lian Li looks. Only thing that concerns me is the airflow in the Lian Li. There are three intake and exhaust, but the intake are all in the back by the HDD cages and PSU, and so are two exhaust. On the motherboard side of the case (since it is a cubical case it has two zones) it just has a single exhaust fan.


    What I find strange, though, is that the CPU and GPU both got great temps on the overclockers' review: http://www.overclockers.com/lian-li-pc-o8-case-review/ but they actually had a radiator at the top and the fans were top intake. So I don't know what to do at this point - Be Quiet or Lian Li. The Newegg promo on the Lian Li would let me get it for under $300 and it ends in two days! So I ought to decide by then.
    Reply