be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2 Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Physical Look - Inside

Removing the two side panels on the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2 is a straightforward process. The left tempered glass panel is held on with four thumbscrews. The pegs that hold the glass are lined with rubber to prevent vibration between the glass and the metal frame of the enclosure. While this is pretty standard for tempered glass, I would have liked to see a better way to secure the glass in place, as the rubber linings would sometimes slip off the peg or the glass would slip off while mounting it in place. The tempered glass panel is tinted to hide cables. If you illuminate your system inside with the included light strips, you should still get a pretty clear view of your build. The panel also has an opaque black lining on the top and bottom edges so that users can handle the glass without leaving fingerprints on the inside. As for the other side panel, this metal one is secured with captive thumbscrews and slides off the side. I am glad to see captive thumbscrews here just to prevent users from losing them. The metal side panel has a flat sound dampening material to keep noise inside the case. As mentioned previously, there is also a plastic area that can be popped out for more ventilation. This area has a mesh filter to prevent dust from entering at this opening. There does seem to also be mounting holes for fans to be installed on the side panel, but there is no space on this side for a standard 120mm fan, especially with cables here.

Once the panels are off, you can see how much space we have to work with in the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2. As with most cases nowadays, we have an open-air concept, with no real protrusions or obstructions to block air flowing from the front and out the back. There are more orange elements inside the case to further enforce the color variant we have. One thing that was changed with this second revision is the introduction of the power supply shroud to divide the interior between the main area and the basement power supply and cable compartment. This also divides the drive storage area, as we will see later. Interestingly, we actually do have two brackets at the top for two 5.25" drive bays, which means you can install optical drives if you so desire. I know this is a bit of a rarity in builds, but it is nice to see this option here. Otherwise, you can also remove this bracket if you have no use for it. The main area visible here allows for motherboards up to E-ATX in size to be installed in this main area, which is practically the largest consumer form factor for motherboards. Smaller size motherboards down to a mini ITX can be installed here too, but that would look a bit silly in such a large case. Finally, all of the included accessories pictured on the first page can be found inside a large brown corrugated cardboard box.

Removing the front panel is not exactly the easiest thing to do, but getting access to the front fans and filter is very simple. The front door swings open, as there are some push-pop pegs to open up the front door. This door is lightly secured with magnets inside, but they are not exactly the strongest magnet. After opening up the door, you can see more of the sound dampening material on the back of the front door. At the very top of the front is a black slider, which is used to control the fan speeds. This works in two different modes, depending on the position of the slider. If the slider is in the most left position, the fans spin at a speed controlled by the motherboard BIOS. However, if you move it to the right, the fans will then be manually controlled by the position of the slider. This then increases from the slowest to the maximum speed of the fans. I really appreciate the integration of the fan controller into the Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2. In 2020, some users may want a software way to change their fans, but I think this physical slider is faster and easier to change. In addition, it does not remove the possibility of using this with motherboard fan software if you so desire. The top shows off two of the plastic 5.25" drive bay covers, which are here in case you do not use the cage. You also can install the fan bracket at the top area to let you install more fans or cooling options at the front. Underneath, we have the opening for the two included fans, but this is covered at the front with a plastic mesh filter. This filter is pretty easy to remove from the front for cleaning. Finally, one more filter is accessible from the front, which spans the bottom.

Starting at the back-top corner, you can see the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2 has a single 140mm Silent Wings3 fans. This is a 4-pin PWM controlled fan with a maximum rotational speed of 1600 RPM. This fan generates 28.1db(A) of noise, airflow rating of 77.57 CFM, and air pressure rating of 2.16mmH2O. It also has an average lifespan of 300,000 hours, which works out to just over 34 years. At the top, we do not have any fans installed, but there are rails for installing up to three 140mm fans or four 120mm fans. You can also install radiators up to 360mm or 420mm in size at the top. This would require removing the front drive bracket however. Considering how tall this case is, you should have quite a bit of clearance to install top mounted cooling options without worrying of interfering with the motherboard.

At the back of the case, you can see the large opening for access to the flip side of the motherboard. This helps with the installation of third-party coolers, as one can swap the backplate out without needing to remove the motherboard. There are standoffs installed for a standard ATX motherboard here, but the manufacturer has also marked where the motherboard standoffs should be installed if you do end up removing some of these pegs. One interesting thing I should note is that this whole motherboard and back can actually be completely removed from the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2, as the whole tray is installed with several screws on the back and front. This enables users to flip the motherboard tray around and invert the orientation of the motherboard for a varied cooling situation. The screws attaching the tray are mounted with orange rubber guards around it to prevent vibrations between the two moving pieces of metal.

At the bottom of the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2, you can get a better picture of the power supply division. As you can see, this is made up of several solid division plates to let users remove the shroud in pieces. It is also necessary to do remove this division when installing the power supply, as you will see later on in our review. Near the back of the Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2, you can see eight expansion slot covers, all held on with individual thumbscrews. Near the bottom, there is a large opening between the power supply shroud and the motherboard tray for passing cables through. This area is exposed and does not use any rubber grommets, but this is understandable considering the modular design of the motherboard bracket.

The front of the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2 shows off another cooling area. By default, this comes with two more 140mm Silent Wings3 fans, but there is spacing for up to three 120mm or 140mm fans, or radiators up to 360mm or 420mm at the front. You may need to remove the front plastic part of the shroud and alter the drive cage at the front, but the cooling flexibility is here. Moving inwards, you can see there is the metal dual 5.25" drive bay at the top for optical drives as well as five plastic covers at the front. Removing these plastic covers allows you to install the extra drive cages here for 3.5" drive storage. The Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2 comes with three removable drive cages to install here, but you can purchase additional ones to install up to five in this area. It is pretty impressive to see all of this storage, but do keep in mind this will affect compatibility of your expansion card depending on where you install your drives. Moving further inwards, you can see the three orange rubber grommet areas for leading cables from one side to another while hiding as much excess behind the rubber flaps. We will see how well they function in hiding cables later on in our review.

On the back side of our case, you can see all of the cables routed down the middle of the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2. These cables are the front I/O cables, and they include the standard headers for the power button and LED, dual USB 3.1 Type-A header, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C header, audio, and some extra cables for the front buttons. All of these cables are lined with black insulating rubber to keep the wires clean and under control. Six Velcro straps are included in the accessories to manage these cables, but they are not installed. There are also quite a few tiedown points down the side and around the case. Quite a few of the cables are also already plugged into the included RGB and PWM fan controller at the back, including all of the fans and some extra power and control headers. A total of eight fans, divided into two groups, can be controlled by this hub. Each side has a manual switch to flip for performance or silent mode. If users really want to keep noise down to a minimum, they can switch the controller here to the silent mode. At the bottom of the controller are the LED strip headers and a four pin 12V RGB header to connect the controller to the motherboard. Otherwise, there is a minimum of 25mm of space between the motherboard tray and the side panel with some areas having more room to maneuver.

Down the front you can see a drive cage at the bottom of the case, which is held on with a few captive thumbscrews. This drive cage can hold another two 3.5" or 2.5" drives. Another 2.5" drive sled can be found on the back of the motherboard tray, while one more can be installed on the power supply cage. In total, with the accessories provided with this case, you can install up to five 3.5" or ten 2.5" drives. With additional drive cages purchased, this number increases to seven and fourteen of the larger and smaller formats, respectively. If you have lots of storage, this case can accommodate your needs. Finally, at the bottom of the power supply basement, we have a cage to install a standard ATX-sized power supply. Four rubber pads are present to prevent vibrations between the power supply and the case.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion