be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2 Case Review
There are many factors that go into picking the perfect case such as aesthetics, motherboard support, water cooling support, and overall flexibility to handle anything you want to put in it.
Many cases will check a few of those boxes and concessions would have to be made for the others. Well, be quiet! hopes to change that with its flagship full tower case: the Dark Base Pro 900 rev 2. In the aesthetics department, the Dark Base Pro comes with a sleek black brushed aluminum finish from top to bottom and is available with either orange, black, or silver accents to complete the look. It also has support for larger motherboards such as XL-ATX/E-ATX and plenty of room for water cooling with the ability to install up to 420mm radiators.
Lastly, the Dark Base Pro 900 has extensive flexibility with removable drive bays, the ability to adjust the motherboard locations, and even the option to totally invert the case. With an MSRP of $269.00, it may be out of reach for some but for people looking for ultimate modularity and compatibility, it just might be the perfect case. Let’s dive in and see what the Dark Base Pro has to offer.
We would like to thank be quiet! for sending us the Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2 to review.
be quiet’s Take on the Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2
be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 Orange rev. 2 is the perfect case for all who expect the highest standards when it comes to modularity, compatibility, and design.
Notable features include:
- Three Silent Wings 3 PWM fans
- Stepless dual-rail fan controller is switchable between Silence and Performance modes
- Ready for radiators up to 420mm
- PSU shroud and HDD slot covers provide a neat interior
- Side panel made of tempered glass
- Eye-catching RGB LED illumination
- Three years manufacturer’s warranty
- German product conception, design and quality control
Features & Specifications
|Model||Dark Base Pro 900 | Orange rev. 2|
|PSU form factor||ATX PS/2|
|Motherboard compatibility||E-ATX, XL-ATX, ATX, M-ATX, Mini-ITX|
|Installation of motherboards with backplate||Yes|
|Case size incl. stands (L x W x H), (mm)||577 x 243 x 586|
|Dimensions side panel window (L x W), (mm)||479 x 525|
|USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type C||1|
|HD Audio I/O||1|
|Fan mounting locations||10|
|Qi charger / Quick Charging Option||Yes|
Packaging & Unboxing
The Dark Base Pro 900 is packaged in a full black box which contains various shots of the case as well as its features and specifications printed on it. On the front, we have a profile shot of the Dark Base Pro 900’s all-black exterior with orange accents on its side. In the upper right-hand corner are some bullet points highlighting such features as silent wings fans, airflow control, noise insulation, and RGB LEDs. Below the image of the Dark Base Pro 900 is the tagline “Outstanding Flexibility and Silence” and the text “Orange rev. 2” which means this is the second revision of this case design and is the orange variant. At the very bottom, we also have an expanded feature list which is written in three different languages.
Turning the box to its side, included is a little write up about be quiet! and some technical details about the Dark Base Pro 900. To the right of the technical data, we see that the Dark Base Pro 900 is also available in both black and silver.
Moving to the back of the packaging are various shots showcasing many of the Dark Base Pro 900 features as well as a full build on the right side. Some of the features mentioned include:
- Super flexibility
- Optimized cooling
- Eye-catching LEDs
- State-of-the-art technology
Taking the Dark Base Pro 900 out of the box we see has been securely packed between 2 pieces of Styrofoam and also stored in a black fabric bag.
Once all the packaging has been removed, we get our first in-person look at the Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2. And we must say, photos really don’t do this case justice.
Packed away in the case are two boxes of accessories which include the following:
- 3.5” HDD cages
- HDD bracket covers
- Water pump bracket
- Front fan bracket
- Velcro straps
- PSU shroud SSD bracket
- Various mounting hardware and screws
- Two RGB LED strips
You may notice that there is no manual included but it can be downloaded from their website: (https://www.bequiet.com/en/case/1472).
A Closer Look: Exterior
With the Dark Base Pro 900 now unboxed, we can finally get our hands on the case and check out all it has to offer. The first thing that really caught our eye was the gorgeous black brushed aluminum finish throughout most of the case. It’s hard to capture on camera, but out of all the cases I have reviewed, this finish is hands down the best aesthetically.
Looking to the business side of the case, the Dark Base Pro 900 has a tempered glass panel which is attached to the case via four thumbscrews, one at each corner. Following the parameter of the glass is an orange accent strip which really adds a punch of color to the black case. Personally, we really love the contrast of the orange on the black and hope it’s continued throughout the case.
Taking a closer look at the side, we find some mesh ventilation which also follows the glass giving airflow to the top, front and bottom of the case.
The front of the Dark Base Pro 900 consists of a solid brushed aluminum hinged door with a silver be quiet! emblem at the bottom.
Opening the front panel reveals a fan speed slider, two 5.25” expansion bays, and a filtered intake. Beneath the filter are two preinstalled 140mm Silent Wings 3 fans with the be quiet! name displayed in the center. If you wished to install a third 140mm fan, you can remove the two drive bays and use the included fan bracket.
Taking a peek at the back of the door we find some sound dampening foam, which helps prevent the sound of the fans from escaping the front of the case.
Going to the backside of the case, we see the same orange accent strip and mesh ventilation that was on the other side. One difference is instead of a tempered glass window is a matte black steel panel that is attached by two thumbscrews located at the back of the case. Toward the front of the panel is a black plastic insert with be quiet! embossed on it.
At the top of the case is the Dark Base Pro’s I/O, which consists of two USB 3.0 ports, a 3.5mm audio/microphone jack, square LED-lit power button, lighting cycle button, HDD LED, a USB 3.1 Type C Gen. 2 port, and a USB quick charging port. With the beveled portion below the I/O, you get a better look of the brushed aluminum finish.
The entire top of the case carries on the brushed look we seen on the front of the case with some ventilation toward the back. At the front, be quiet! has included a Qi wireless charging pad which is quite convenient for anyone that has a wireless charging device such as a newer iPhone.
Flipping the case over to its back, it includes your common I/O cut, expansion slots (8 in total) and exhaust fan mount but you may notice it lacks a cutout for the PSU. In its place, we find a plug and switch which you would normally see on a PSU. This was done to keep the Dark Base Pro as configurable as possible which we will provide details about later in the review. Like on the top of the case, there is also more some ventilation slits on the upper portion of the back of the case.
Moving to the bottom of the case, the black brushed finish we saw on the front/top continues on the bottom. Even though you don’t see the bottom of the case much, it’s nice to see be quiet! take a little extra effort to make the unseen even look great. Looking at the corners of the Dark Base Pro, we see 4 large rubberized feet. One thing not on the bottom of this case is a mesh area for a PSU intake. This leads us to believe that the PSU will be installed with the intake fan facing up.
A Closer Look: Interior
Removing the tempered glass side panel of the Dark Base Pro 900, we are glad to see that the black and orange color palette on the exterior is continued on the interior of the case. The interior is mostly black with the rubber components such as grommets and rubber washers being orange.
The motherboard tray supports a wide range of motherboard sizes that including small form factor boards like Mini-ITX/M-ATX all the way up larger once such as E-ATX/XL-ATX. The Dark Base Pro also has plenty of cable routing cutout around the motherboard with two at the top and bottom as well as three grommets on the right side of the tray.
Moving toward the front of the case there is a removable 5.25” drive bay in the upper section of the case. If you are going to be water cooling your case by removing this cage would give you enough move for 420mm radiators on the top and front of the case. Looking below the installed drive bay are 5 mounting points for the included two 3.5” drive cages in the accessory package. If you did want more than just the two drives you can purchase additional cages on be quiet’s website.
At the front of the case, we see the two installed Silent Wing 3 140mm high-speed fans which have a maximum operating speed of 1600 RPM. Even at max speed, the noise level is quite low at 28.1 dB, which is lowered even further with the sound damping material on the front door.
Looking at the back of the case, we have another preinstalled Silent Wings 3 140mm high-speed fan.
The Dark Base Pro 900 comes with a fully covered PSU shroud that also can be configured to suit your needs. By removing the plastic covers on the shroud, you configure it to add space at the front/back of the case for your radiator(s), install a 120mm fan, or mount an SSD with the included SSD mounting bracket.
Taking a look at the steel panel on the other side of the case we find more sound damping foam installed which is near the of the back of the panel.
The plastic insert on the panel can be totally removed if you are in the need for more ventilation or can be slightly raised providing some airflow while maintaining the case’s silent profile.
Attached behind the motherboard tray is be quiet’s dual-rail fan controller as well as a single SSD mounting bracket. Below the tray is a large area where your PSU gets installed that is attached to the case via a mounting bracket that locks into place on the bottom of the case. Since the Dark Base Pro has its own plug at the back, you will need to make sure to plug in the cable to provide power to your PSU.
The included fan controller can have a total of 8 fans attached to it being split up into 2 channels of 4 fans. Each of the channels can be set independently into silence or performance mode using the front panel switch. The controller also contains connections for up to two 12v LED strips and can be synced with your motherboard using the RGB header or controlled using the LED switch on the I/O panel.
In the lower-left corner is a removable HDD cage with more room for an additional two 3.5” drives.
A Closer Look: Configuring the Case
As mentioned in the introduction, the Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2 is a highly customizable case. Do you need more room for a radiator up top? No problem, you can easily position your motherboard lower like in the photo below. This is done by moving around various small plates at the back of the case and adjusting the motherboard to the new height. That isn’t the only trick up its sleeve as the Deep Base Pro 900 can also be fully inverted.
Before I started the journey of inverting the case, I went on be quiet’s website and download the instruction manual. After taking a look at it, I found that the diagrams were quite hard to follow so I decided just to proceed to try and figure it out myself. After I completed the transformation of the Dark Base Pro 900 myself, I did find a video on their website that did a great job going through the process step-by-step: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNP3R1LZqQo).
The first step to inverting the Dark Base Pro 900 is pretty much removing all the internals one-by-one. We start the process with completely detaching the motherboard tray from the system by taking out the 9 screws holding it in position.
With the motherboard tray out of the way proceed removing the following items in order: bottom filter, front panel, PSU shroud, and the HDD cage mounting bracket.
With all those items removed, you now pretty much have an empty shell with the exception of the top panel. Even though it’s not required to remove the top panel, I would highly recommend you do it. I personally didn’t take it off and it was a little bit of a hassle managing the cables while inverting the rest of the components.
Next up is taking the PSU plug bracket from the back of the case and reattaching it flipped so the plug is on the opposite side of the case. You also need to remove the PSU bracket that is attached to the bottom of the case and we will be moving it to the opposite side.
Before reattaching the PSU bracket, you must swap the small attach plate and move it to the other side of the bracket.
Looking at the back of the PSU shroud, we need to swap the support arm’s position to the other side of the shroud.
Something I overlooked during the process of inverting the case was the tempered glass mounting points. These need to swap to the opposite side of the case and can be done using a flat-head screwdriver.
The last items on the main case that needed to be switched were the orange pads for the motherboard tray.
Now that all the interior components have been adjusted, the last component that needs to be switched is the direction in which the hinged door opens. This can be done by swapping the sides hinge/magnet attachments on the front panel and doing the same process on the door itself.
Once all the modifications that needed to be done were completed, I proceeded to put the case back together in reverse order of its disassembly. After a total of 55 screws, the Dark Base Pro 900 has been successfully inverted. This was quite the process and took approximately 2 hours start to finish but the end result is simply amazing. Personally, I have always wanted to do an inverted build, but it will take some getting used to having the tempered glass panel on the right side of the case.
The door of the Dark Base Pro now swings to the left instead of the right.
After installing the back panel of the case, I realized I also must flip the plastic be quiet! insert.
Moving to the back of the case, the I/O cutout and exhaust fan have been moved to the bottom.
System Build & Installation
The hardware pieces included in this build are the following:
- ASRock Z370 Tachi Motherboard
- Intel 8700K Processor
- 4 x 4GB Team Group T-Force Delta RGB Ram
- ASUS ROG Strix RTX 2060 8GB GPU
- Cooler Master 212 Hyper Evo Cooler
- EVGA 750W P2 PSU
Since I have wanted to do an inverted build for quite some time, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to accomplish this with the Dark Base Pro 900. I was also inspired by the black/orange color scheme of the case and used my modding skills to create a custom set of black/orange extensions for the build. I found that the cables brought just a little extra pop that matched the case perfectly.
Moving on to the build itself, working in the Dark Base Pro 900 was a lot of fun but it did require a lot of time and planning. Because the case is so customizable, you first must plan out what configuration you would like to go with before even installing any components. If you don’t do this, you would find yourself installing/uninstalling your components as you readjust the case. Aside from taking longer than expected to complete, the only issue I ran into during the build was working with cables at the top of the motherboard. Since the motherboard is closer to the PSU shroud when inverted, it was a little bit of work trying to plug in some things like the EPS and CPU cooler fan cables.
Once the build was complete, I really loved how clean it looked thanks to rubber grommets and cutouts around the motherboard tray. The included RGB LED bars (which I installed on the left side and top of the case) do an excellent job of illuminating my components and overall, I really love how unique the build looks with its inverted configuration. One thing to note is that even though the finish of the Dark Base Pro looks beautiful, it is a fingerprint magnet. It’s not a huge issue but you just have to make sure you have a microfiber cloth on standby so you can have your build look its best.
Going to the back of the case, I kept things tidy using the various tiedown points in the center of the case and secured the cables using the included Velcro strips. I really like when case manufacturers provide Velcro strips over zip ties as during many of my builds, I find myself constantly adding/removing wires which you can’t do with zip ties. In addition to the ample tiedown points in the Dark Base Pro, you also have plenty of space in the bottom of the case to hide your cables. Even though the Dark Base Pro is a rather large case, I still found I had plenty of slack in my PSU cables, which I was able to tuck away neatly under the PSU shroud.
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
Personally, I have built in over 30+ cases over my time as a PC builder and to date, I have never worked with a case as configurable or flexible as the Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2. In the end, I was able to create an incredibly clean build and thanks to the modularity of the case, I was even able to change its configuration to completely invert it. I’ve wanted to do an inverted build for quite some time and I could not be happier with the result In the Dark Base Pro.
From the moment I got the Dark Base Pro out of the box, I was blown away by its build quality. From the exterior to interior of the case, everything has a premium feel to it. Not only was the quality of craftsmanship superb, they also added a lot of value by including hardware like three Silent Wings 3 fans, Qi wireless charging pad, two RGB LED strips and a controller that supports up to 8 fans. The single point I think could be improved would be the documentation around the configuration options of the case. I personally was able to invert the case myself, but probably would have gone a little faster with better diagrams. To be quiet’s credit, after I had already inverted the case, I did find an excellent video on their website that walks you through the step-by-step process.
Overall, be quiet’s Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2 is truly an amazing case and it’s quality/design/flexibly just blew me away. Out of all the cases I have built in, the Dark Base Pro has easily been my favorite and I can’t think of any better case to give the Editor’s Choice award to.
Amazing job, be quiet!.
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