Shhhh be quiet! That’s the company name and premise. bequiet!. Today we are gonna look at the bequiet! Dark Base Pro 900 rev2. Fair warning, there is A LOT of screwing involved.
Now bequiet! being a German company, tries to stick to its name. With more than 15 years of noise reduction and silence, bequiet! arguably makes the most silence based PC components on the market. bequiet’s own Silent Wings and Pure Wings 2 fans are put in a wide variety of bequiet’s own product lines due to their superb quality and silence.
So where do I start with the Dark Base Pro 900 rev2 from bequiet! ? Do I start with the three position motherboard tray? Yeah let’s get started there.
So a motherboard tray that has three different heights to let the end user configure the Dark Base Pro 900 rev2 to what they what, not being confined to a set configuration. Did I mention that you could invert the motherboard orientation as well? Yeah this is something that I have been searching for ever since my days of the Lian Li PC-A05N. Inverted designs aren’t really a new thing, but a case that is orientated in the traditional mounting then inverted in a matter of minutes, is really a thing of good engineering. However the Dark Base Pro 900 rev2 does have its shortcomings with this idea. To invert the motherboard, one must take out 20 plus screws to accomplish this task. That’s a lot of screwing, although I did warn you.
So when I built in the Dark Base Pro 900 rev2, it was the inverted configuration, mostly due to other reviewers not actually doing that for their review. To me, it’s one of the main reasons why the Dark Base Pro 900 series is to be. Rev2 pretty much added a tempered glass side panel, a full PSU shroud, a Qi charger on the top, and a USB 3.1 Type C Gen 2 connection in the front IO. Speaking of the front IO, there are two USB 3.0 type a ports, headphone and mic jacks, a very large power button, an RGB button, which is very hard to press in, I really suggest if you can, run your RGB lights from your motherboard’s lighting software. I actually can’t push it all the way in to change the lighting with my fingers, I had to use a pen tip instead. Also included are two hard PCB RGB strips that can be used with other RGB components. Next to the RGB button, is a hard drive activity light, further on is a single USB type C Gen 2 port along with a fast charge type a port.
Moving down the Dark Base Pro 900 rev2 is the sound dampened brushed aluminium plastic door. This door can be switched around to swing from the other side if need be. Nice touch, it seems that this attention to detail is often overlooked in other manufacturers. Behind the door, is a stepless fan controller, which is pretty discrete, but functional. Moving down is the first of three fan filters. This one is optimized for the 2 included Silentwings 3 140mm fans that are included in the front. This fan filter is easy to take out and clean as I would expect in a case valued at $270. On the bottom of the front of the Dark Base Pro 900 rev2, is the second fan filter, spanning the entire length of the case. Note if you try and take the front panel off without taking this filter out first, you will take it with you. Moving inside, you are greeted by another new addition, the full length PSU shroud. I for one like seeing PSU shrouds. It really does make for a nicer, cleaner, looking build, without having to look at a cable mess. The PSU shroud even has a place to put your fancy RGB SSD right in the limelight for everyone to see.
There is even a spot to mount a single 120mm fan, although I don’t see this making much use, but hey it’s there. However with water-cooling in mind, this PSU shroud can be popped out in places to make room for bigger radiators, like a 420mm radiator in front and in the roof. Radiator thickness for the front is limited to and the roof is limited to. Normally one would want to install the PSU last, but with the Dark Base Pro 900 V2s PSU shroud, it’s easier to start with the PSU installation first. Installing the PSU is slightly cumbersome, but mostly due to the use of the AC extension cable that bequiet! decided to use. Also in play is the two vent extensions that are used to help move the motherboard tray away or closer to the PSU shroud when installing radiators or other cooling solutions.
Moving up into the main compartment, is the ingenious removable motherboard tray. Again I have opted to go the inverted route with the CPU at the bottom close to the PSU shroud. The inverted design allows for a beefy GPU like my Zotac GTX 1070 Ti AMP Extreme! Edition, which is a 2 and half slot GPU. Normally mounted, this guy sags like a mofo. Inverted, just a little bit.
In the roof, is the Enermax Liqtech 2 280mm AIO, you can check that review out here
. On the mounting side of the motherboard tray, you get the typical 8 slots for PCIe expansion cards, noting the compatibility with EATX motherboards all the way down to mITX motherboards. Another Silentwings 3 140mm fan is set to exhaust, making the total included case fans to 3. On side of the motherboard tray are three rubber grommets, the color of the grommets will be determined by the external color choice of orange, black, or silver. Moving to the rear panel, which has a bump out to allow for more air to pass through with a filter in place as well as more sound dampening. Looking at cable management and drive installation, is well interesting. Putting the back panel back on yielded to be slightly more difficult loaded than unloaded. A hinged side panel system like that of some Corsair, Fractal Design cases or even bequiet’s own Silent Base 801, would have been a good improvement to bequiet!s highest ended case, especially at the $270 price point. Moving to drive installation, a single 2.5” SSD/hard drive mount is located behind the motherboard tray, held in by a single thumb screw, as well as a glamor 2.5” mounting location on top of the PSU shroud. Included for 3.5” hard drive installation, are 3 hard drive enclosures that hold a single 3.5” hard drive or 2 2.5” hard drives or SSDs, which are held in by, you guessed it, thumb screws. In the basement of the Dark Base Pro 900 V2 is a dual 3.5” enclosure that can house obviously 2 3.5” hard drives or 2 2.5” hard drives or SSDs. Note this enclosure can be removed to make room for fatter radiators for water cooling. The dual 3.5” enclosure also can be relocated where the 5.25” bays are located.
Overall my impressions of the Dark Base Pro 900 V2 are quite good. While the case in its own right is made to be more on the silent side, is not exactly silent. The three Silentwings 3 140mm fans when cranked to the max 1600 RPM, are the culprits to blame for the added noise. So when testing the Dark Base Pro 900 V2, I wanted to compare sound noise with temperatures, since this is a silence focused case. Here are four clips showing the two tests.
5 seconds slide showing tests DB and C IDLE Silent
5 seconds slide showing tests DB and C LOAD Silent
5 seconds slide showing tests DB and C IDLE Performance
5 seconds slide showing tests DB and C LOAD Performance
So I guess the question that’s burning in my mind is, at $270, the Dark Base Pro 900 v2 is about $100 more expensive than cases like Lian Li’s PC-011 Dynamic, and the Cooler Master H500P Mesh, see that review here
. Even compared against the Silent Base 801 from bequiet! it's hard to justify the additional $100. Being priced at $229 would have sealed the deal for the additional features like the Qi charger and the USB 3.1 Type C Gen 2 connection.