Page 4 - Installation and Conclusion
While it would have been tempting to start with installing the power supply, I decided to first start by installing my 2.5" drives. As I have mentioned what a storage king this be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2 is, you can also tell that finding a spot for my two SSDs is not a problem. Using the basement cage, I have installed the Patriot P200 512GB and OCZ ARC 100 240GB here. Interestingly enough, this cage requires you to install a drive upside-down, but this actually helps with plugging in the power and SATA cables here. The mounts are positioned in a way that the connections are easily exposed for the cables to be plugged in. As I only have two drives here, I did not end up using any of the additional included cages for my drives.
Unfortunately, this is where the slightly more challenging part of the build comes to reality. In order to install a power supply, I needed to remove the motherboard tray, power supply shroud, and the power supply bracket. From this point, this is exactly how the first revision of the Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2 is, as it did not come with the shroud. Getting to this point was a bit challenging, as I also removed the motherboard tray to get better access. In retrospect, I probably did not have to do as such, but it did allow me to explore the modularity of this case. After installing the power supply, which is the Seasonic FOCUS Plus 850 Gold 850W, I plugged in all of my cables and switched this power supply on. This PSU is pretty compact at 150mm in length, and be quiet! says that users can install power supplies up to 284mm in length. There is technically a fan intake bracket at the bottom if you want to employ a fan here, but doing so will limit the power supply length quite a bit. Otherwise, there was ample amounts of space for excess cables in this basement even with the drive cage at the front. Overall, while I do like the power supply shroud, it was a bit of work to remove.
With the power supply in place, I mounted my ASUS Prime X470-PRO motherboard with an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X installed. On top of the processor, I mounted the Noctua NH-U12A. At a height of 158mm, this cooler is well under the maximum 185cm height specified by the manufacturer. Of course, if you choose the liquid cooling route, you have many installation options for the radiator at the top and the front. I also put my MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Titanium, which measures at a length of 279mm. In the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2, you can use graphics cards as long as 472mm, or 323mm with a drive bracket installed. This amount of clearance will not be an issue for even the newer and longer Ampere graphics cards, but it may mean changing where you mount the additional cages. Even so, I would not be worried.
At the back, you can see the final look of the cabling adventure. I did not end up using the included Velcro straps, but I still think this back is mostly clean. It definitely could have been tidied up, but I am alright with this final picture. The amount of space for cables is quite good, even with my lackadaisical effort of managing cables. Overall, the installation process with the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2 was a mostly straightforward process with only the power supply shroud removal causing a bit more work. In addition, if I were to have installed a radiator in this case, it may have required even more work including removing some panels. This is partly the price to pay for a more modular chassis. On the other hand, the excellent compatibility for drives, cooling, and components was a big highlight in this massive chassis. It technically should be a foregone conclusion, but I am still quite happy. As such, there should be some forethought when planning your build as it is not necessarily the easiest to work in, but it is a unique experience. I finally finished everything by plugging the fans and LED light strips into the controller.
I hit the power switch on the back, clicked the square power button, and the orange illumination glowed as the computer came to life. It was a bit of a chore to build in this case, but the finished product is definitely worth admiring. I probably would have liked a better way to hide excess cables at the bottom of the motherboard, but it is not a huge deal. With the three large fans included with the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2, it is no surprise the fans do spin up and make a bit of noise. According to the standard APH Networks sound scale, where 0 is silence and 10 is loud, the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2 is around a 4.5/10 when operating at full speed. On the other hand, under regular operation, this reduces down to more of a 2.0/10. With all of the insulating material and rubber dampeners, these fans do still emit an audible noise, but in day-to-day operation, this should not be an issue. Otherwise, I really like the LED strips included here. You can either control the light to cycle between different colors and breathing effects with the physical button or synchronize it with your motherboard software.
While large companies have growing pains like any other company, it is important to see that they remain flexible to learn and improve. In some ways, "flexible" is how I would define the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2. On first glance, this mammoth is intimidating in both size and weight. However, the large form factor is exactly what enables the flexibility. This translates into multiple locations for long radiators with clearance for the fans, space for longer and wider graphics cards, basement area for long power supplies and the cables, and more locations for storage drives than fingers on your hand. Modern amenities are also here to stay with features like tempered glass, lighting strips, an included fan and lighting controller with an integrated manual fan speed slider, USB 3.2 Type-C, and even a Qi wireless charger. Admittedly, installing your build into the Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2 is a bit more of a challenge, but this comes with the territory of modularity. Considering you can completely rotate the motherboard around to flip the whole orientation, the user truly can choose how they want to use the space inside. Finally, with everything installed, the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2 does a decent job at keeping your system quiet. As always, there are still some points for improvement. For one, I would appreciate a better way of attaching the tempered glass to the side, whether it means increasing the lip that the panel sits on or changing the way it attaches to the case altogether. I also would have liked an easier way to remove the power supply shroud to make installation easier. Overall, I really enjoyed building and admiring my final build in the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2. At press time, this be quiet! chassis starts at a retail price of $265 USD, depending on the color you choose. Even though there is a bit of a sticker shock, I have to admit you get quite a lot of case with the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2, which makes it fully deserving of this price.
be quiet! provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.
APH Recommended Award | APH Networks Review Focus Summary:
9/10 means Excellent product with very minor drawbacks that do not affect the overall product.
8/10 means Definitely a very good product with drawbacks that are not likely going to matter to the end user.
-- Final APH Networks Numeric Rating is 8.1/10
Please note that the APH Networks Numeric Rating system is based off our proprietary guidelines in the Review Focus, and should not be compared to other publications.
The be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2 is meant for a PC builder that wants a no holds barred, uncompromising system.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion