be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 Rev 2 Full Tower Case Review

Manufacturer: be quiet! be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 Rev 2 Full Tower Case Review

The Dark Base Pro 900 Rev. 2 is the current full-tower offering from be quiet!, occupying the top of their case lineup and providing quite a few features – with a premium price tag to match. This second revision of the enclosure brings USB 3.1 Type C Gen. 2 and a quick charging port in place of the previous version’s USB 2.0 ports.

Things like tempered glass and optional RGB lighting strips are par for the course with cases beyond the budget price bracket, but there’s a lot more going on here. Among the standouts are aluminum outer panels, noise damping inside of the front, top, and rear (it is be quiet! after all), and even an integrated Qi wireless charging pad for your phone.

Product Specifications
  • Model: Dark Base Pro 900 | Orange rev. 2
  • Motherboard compatibility: E-ATX, XL-ATX, ATX, M-ATX, Mini-ITX
  • Materials
    • Top cover: ABS, Aluminum
    • Side panel: Steel, ABS
    • Side panel window: 4mm tempered glass
    • Front panel: ABS, Aluminum
    • Stands: ABS
  • Expansion slots: 8
  • Fan mounting locations: 10
  • Drive bay capacity
    • 5.25 bays: 2
    • 3.5 slots (max.): 7
    • 3.5 slots (scope of delivery): 5
    • 2.5 slots (max.): 14
    • 2.5 slots (scope of delivery): 10
  • Fan Support
    • Front (mm): 1x 140 (w/o ODD cage, bracket included)
    • Top (mm): 3x 140 / 4x 120
    • Bottom (mm) 2x 140/120
    • PSU shroud: 1x 120
  • Radiator Support
    • Front (mm): 120 / 140 / 240 / 280 / 360 / 420
    • Top (mm): 120 / 140 / 180 / 240 / 280 / 360 / 420
    • Rear (mm): 120 / 140
  • Component Clearance
    • CPU Cooler
      • Max.construction height of CPU cooler unit: 185 mm
      • Airflow channel Full circuit airflow system
    • Power Supply
      • Maximum dimensions excl. bottom fan: 284 mm
      • Maximum dimensions incl. bottom fan: 150 mm
    • Graphics card
      • HDD cage (in height of graphics card) installed: 323 mm
      • HDD cage (in height of graphics card) removed: 472 mm
  • Insulation and damping mats: Top, front, and side panels
  • Anti-vibration: decoupled HDD, fans, PSU, and motherboard tray
  • Removable dust filters: Front, bottom, side panel
  • Pre-installed fans
    • Fan @ front: 2x be quiet! Silent Wings 3 | 140mm PWM
    • Fan @ rear: 1x be quiet! Silent Wings 3 | 140mm PWM
    • Fan speed @ 100% PWM / 12V (rpm): 1,600
    • Noise level @ 100% PWM / 12V (dB(A)): 28.1
    • Airflow @ 100% PWM / 12V (CFM / m3/h): 77.57 /131.79
    • Air Pressure @ 100% PWM / 12V (mm H2O): 2.16
    • Voltage range (V DC): 12
    • Input power (W): 1.68
    • Input current (A): 0.5
    • Connector: 4-pin
    • Lifespan (h / 25°C): 300.000
  • Fan controller: Dual rail stepless fan controller (8x 4-pin), PWM hub
  • Case I/O: USB 3.0 (x2), USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type C, HD Audio, Qi charger / Quick Charging Option
  • Lighting
    • RGB LED illumination: internal (two LED light strips included)
    • LEDs synchronizable with RGB controller/motherboard
    • Expandable RGB controller
  • Case size incl. stands (L x W x H): 577 x 243 x 586 mm
  • Weight: 14.39 kg
  • Warranty: 3 years
Manufacturer Description

“This should be quoted and leave the EM brackets, as it is set up to be a real description from the Manufacturer themselves”

Case Exterior

The Dark Base Pro 900 Rev. 2 has similar styling to the recently-reviewed Dark Base 700 White Edition (other than the color, of course); a classy aesthetic with brushed aluminum outer panels offset by a line of trim – orange with this version of the case (black and silver are the other options) – and a tinted glass side panel dominates the component side.

be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 Rev 2 Full Tower Case Review - Cases and Cooling  1

Case I/O with this Rev. 2 Dark Base Pro 900 includes a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port along with USB 3.0 and audio, and there is a case lighting control button as an alternative to motherboard control. The front of the Dark Base Pro 900 Rev. 2 is a hinged door made of plastic with an aluminum front panel, and lined with the same noise damping mat found inside the other panels.

Opening the front door reveals a pair of pre-installed Silent Wings 3 fans behind a screen filter, and no less than two 5.25-inch drive bays (!). Finding support for even one optical drive is tough these days, and it’s nice to see that be quiet! hasn’t turned their back on the optical media holdouts like me. Above the 5.25-inch bays is a slider that is the case’s fan speed control.

Around back the case is mostly standard; the 8 expansion slots of full ATX and a fan mount populated by a 140 mm Silent Wings 3 fan. The PSU mount is unusual, with a blank that includes the power input and switch – with the PSU mounting beyond this panel inside the case (more on this as we begin the install process).

The back side panel is solid and also lined with a noise damping mat, though it has a removable section which provides an additional pair of fan mounts. The top of the case has the same mesh vent as the front panel, providing more air to enter the case than it might first appear, and the base offers four large feet with rubber pads to keep things stable.

Case Interior and Build Notes

With the tempered glass side panel removed we have our first full look inside the component chamber, and this is quite spacious without any of the additional HDD cages installed on the right side.

be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 Rev 2 Full Tower Case Review - Cases and Cooling  2

The large cable routing openings feature soft grommets in the signature orange color of this version of the case, and the motherboard tray is fully modular and can be removed from the case during the assembly process if desired, and mounted in either this standard orientation or an inverted one (as we explored with the Dark Base 700 White Edition). Keeping things simple I left the case in its default motherboard orientation for this build.

The shroud that covers the lower part of the case including the PSU is actually quite functional in this design, with removable panels that reveal two additional fan mounts and a spot for an included SSD tray. The shroud’s removal is more than an optional step during installation, as it is a necessary step for power supply installation – one of the more unusual choices I’ve seen from a case of this size.

The PSU bracket is robust and well padded to help prevent vibration, but the location and process of installing the power supply on the bracket made my scratch my head a little: remove the shroud with a pair of screws on the front and one on the rear, slide out the bracket and fit the PSU, and then connect an extension to the PSU’s power input a couple of inches from the back of the case. It is odd, but it does work. An added benefit I suppose is the power switch, which allows even PSUs without one to operate as if they do.

Moving on to storage, which – as we saw with the Dark Rock 700 White Edition – uses separate drive cages that can be swapped for plastic covers if you don’t need as much HDD support. A total of five 3.5-inch hard drives can be installed out with the included accessories, as three single-HDD cages are provided and a dual 3.5-inch cage is pre-installed. As for SSDs, a pair of 2.5-inch drives are supported via the tray next to the fan control hub and the optional shroud top mount on the component side.

And yes, I did test the fit of a pair of optical drives, and both an older model and a more current shallow-depth drive fit without any clearance issues. Backwards compatibility is always a good thing.

Completed Build

With our enclosure test platform in place the finished product is very neat and orderly. The added step of removing the lower shroud to install the PSU did make the build process a little more complex than I’m used to, and in general I found it useful to keep the instruction manual nearby to keep things from getting confusing. There are a number of things going on with this design, and while outwardly this shares a many similarities to the Dark Base 700 there are some notable differences.

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For instance, this Dark Base Pro 900  Rev. 2 does not have a removable top fan mount, so the top of the case must be removed (it snaps in place) to reveal the fan mounts over the motherboard. It’s easy enough, but I always like to see some sort of removable upper bracket in high-end cases like this. Still, the build process does work without issue even if it requires a bit more time and attention, and the end result is very sharp.

Thermals and Noise

With the build completed it was time to test out thermals and noise with the Dark Base Pro 900 Rev. 2, and while the platform here is mostly identical to the one used recently with the Dark Base 700 White Edition, the GPU has been upgraded to a GTX 2080 Ti (FE) to provide a more challenging thermal load.

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PC Perspective Enclosure Test Platform
Processor Intel Core i7-8700K
Motherboard GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS PRO
Memory CORSAIR VENGEANCE LPX 16GB (8GBx2) DDR4-2800
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 2080 Ti FE
Storage CORSAIR Neutron XTi 480GB SSD
Power Supply CORSAIR RM1000x 1000W
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition
Operating System Windows 10 64-bit

The Dark Base Pro 900 Rev. 2 uses the same dual-rail fan controller which supports up to 8 PWM fans, and each rail offers both a Silence and Performance mode via a switch on the controller itself – enabling the creation of two different cooling zones. I left this at its default “Silence” mode on both rails, using the fan speed controller above the 5.25-inch bays to test both the lowest and highest fan speed within this mode.

Noise output was between just 31.6 and 33.2 dBA in my testing, though this is both component and fan speed dependent. I chose to leave the fan controller at its default “Silent” setting for both zones, as I was going for a quiet build. Since temps were not problematic I would keep it configured this way, though a more demanding system than this Z390 setup could likely benefit from the full potential of the Silent Wings 3 fans (and any additional fans you choose to install).

Final Thoughts

The Dark Base Pro 900 Rev. 2 is a typically stylish and well constructed case from be quiet!, with plenty of features and the expected low noise output from a company that had its start making sound damping panels. Airflow was not a problem with my test build as I didn’t see any high temps from either the installed Core i7-8700K CPU (with Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition cooler) or GTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition CPU.

be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 Rev 2 Full Tower Case Review - Cases and Cooling  5

The only drawbacks to this design were the need to remove the top panel to access upper fan mounts, and the slightly cumbersome installation process for the power supply. Still, removing these only took a minute and they were not difficult to re-install. Cable routing was also just a bit more cramped than I’d prefer, but even my chunky PSU cables fit through all of the openings without too much trouble so I can’t really complain here.

The final build looks very clean and is well organized, with spaces for all cabling and velcro straps to hold it all in place. And while I miss the integrated lighting of the Dark Base 700 White Edition, the internal placement of the lighting strips here illuminates the build nicely through the tinted glass side panel, and these strips are easily controlled using either the motherboard software (as I did) or with the front panel control.

Current pricing of $269 places this high on the premium side of the market, though the accessory pack alone includes a lot of added value to help justify this, offering a trio of additional HDD cages and brackets for liquid cooling, etc. It’s clear that be quiet! wanted this to be ready for just about any build out of the box, so if you like the aesthetics and want a quiet, full-tower case for your next build this has a lot to offer.

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About The Author

Sebastian Peak

Editor-in-Chief at PC Perspective. Writer of computer stuff, vintage PC nerd, and full-time dad. Still in search of the perfect smartphone. In his nonexistent spare time Sebastian's hobbies include hi-fi audio, guitars, and road bikes. Currently investigating time travel.

5 Comments

  1. arakisBunch

    beautiful picks and nice build

    thanks for getting the thumbnail pics to cycle when in focus

    show tonight?

    anyone know?

    • Jeremy Hellstrom

      We’re on a break … so you are allowed to stare at other people this week.

      We promise this involves producing new content, we aren’t just making Jim fly all over the place for no reason.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BewKY_BpVXg

      • arakisBunch

        like looking at you goofball

        looking forward to next week’s podcast

  2. Jeremy Hellstrom

    jim [4:42 PM]

    I mean, if you black out ############## it should be fine. But I don’t think the existence of this event was supposed to be public knowledge.

  3. Krom

    The specs claim 420mm radiator support in the top and front which is a rarity these days even in full tower cases, but what is the maximum radiator thickness it will tolerate in these locations?

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