be quiet! Dark Base Pro 901 Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - Physical Look - Outside

Between the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 and the updated 901 today, you can see there are two similar design choices. For one, both have a rounded off profile with a bit of a curvature all around the front panel. My girlfriend saw this and immediately exclaimed, "So round!" Next, both of the cases are very large. On the other hand, there are also some changes. First of all, gone are the bright orange accents, which was a bit polarizing in the first place. Instead, the true colors come through the addressable RGB LED lighting on the front panel and inside. Next, the Dark Base Pro 901 is quite a bit different proportionally. This one is stumpier in comparison with the original. In terms of dimensions, this is 604mm in length, 275mm in width, and 569mm in height with the feet attached. As you already know, this is shorter than the Dark Base Pro 900, but it is both longer and wider too. The Pro 901 is also quite hefty at 17.8kg without anything inside, and is just under 2kg heavier than the previous iteration. In terms of build materials, we have a notable amount of steel and aluminum as well as the large tempered glass panel. The aluminum is brushed for a nice, more subtle finish. All in all, the Dark Base Pro 901 is a more conservative refresh, but it looks nice regardless.

At the front, there is a solid panel with metal grilles down both sides. You can swap this out for a mesh panel instead, as you will see later in the review. At the bottom, we have a shiny be quiet! logo over another solid portion. This area is divided from the top with the first addressable RGB LED light strip. Interestingly, this area can be opened up from the front and it reveals a large slot. This is where you can install a 5.25" optical drive in your system, which is a blast from the past. While I have not seen accommodations for this in quite a while, it is understandable why some users will want this still, especially in an enclosure this large. Around to the side, we have a tempered glass panel to give users sight lines into your system.

All of the front I/O on the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 901 are on the slanted top edge. The top row has two 3.5mm audio jacks for microphone and headphone, respectively, four USB 3.1 Type-A ports, and one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port. This means you will need two USB 3.0 headers if you want all of the USB Type-A connections to operate. Underneath, we have three primary sections. On the left, there are touch sensitive buttons to control the fans. Inside, there is a fan controller to either control all the fans or synchronize them to a single header on the motherboard. The button marked with "Sync" enables or disables the motherboard control, while the two buttons beside are used to decrease or increase the fan speeds. There are five bars in between the buttons to show its current operation speed. In the middle of the second row, we have a trapezoid power button. Finally, the right side controls the addressable RGB LED lighting. Once again, you can synchronize this with your motherboard if you have a standard 5V addressable header. The buttons here cycle through different effects and colors of the lighting. Otherwise, all of the plugs and buttons are either translucent or marked with a border in the same color. This is because a white LED illuminates all of these areas, which adds a very premium look.

Next, we have an integrated Qi wireless charger on the top with the ability to charge your mobile devices or other peripherals without any cables. This supports 15W of charging, which is triple the wattage of the wireless charger included on the Dark Base Pro 900. Moving to the back, we have a mesh panel to help with airflow, assuming you end up using it this way. You can also block this area under the mesh panel if you want for a noise-reduced build.

On the flip side, you can see a solid steel panel with another mesh area. This allows for airflow as users can mount fans facing this direction. Otherwise, the backside has a few interesting areas. At the top, we have the motherboard I/O cutout with an exhaust area next to it. It has mounting holes for 140mm and 120mm fans, although a single 140mm fan occupies this area. Underneath, we have eight expansion slots secured with screws. The slots have perforations for air to pass through. As well, the expansion slots are mounted on a rotatable square so users can turn it 90-degrees for vertical mounting of graphics cards. Moving on, we have a power supply opening at the bottom of the case, with a bracket around it to mount an ATX PSU. This bracket is held on by captive thumbscrews, just like the two side panels. The bracket is also lined with a foam border to reduce any vibrations and resulting noises between the power supply and the case.

On the bottom, the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 901 looks typical. The base reveals the large plastic mesh filter that is used to prevent dust from entering at the bottom. This filter is removable from the front for easy access and cleaning. The left and right have two large metal legs with a foot in each corner. Each foot is lined with a rubber pad to prevent the case from sliding about on hard surfaces while also reducing any vibrations or scratches that may happen with the surface it sits on. The feet lift the Dark Base Pro 901 up above the surface by approximately 3.3cm, which will allow for air to flow in and out here. Of course, if you do not want these feet for whatever reason, the two legs are attached with screws on the inside that can be removed.

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