Page 4 - Installation and Conclusion
As usual, building with the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 901 started with my power supply. This involves plugging in the necessary cables and mounting the power supply in the basement. The power supply in question is the DeepCool PX1000G 1000W, which is 16cm in length. Technically, be quiet! did not have a specified limitation for the power supply, but based on my measurements, we have a maximum space of 32.0cm length for power supply and their cables. I routed the PCIe power cables through the bottom edge, while using the side valley for the motherboard power cable. I also directed the front I/O and fan cables to the bottom edge at this point. All of these cables kept a stealthy look with their black finish.
Above the power supply basement, I installed my two drives, the Patriot P200 512GB and OCZ ARC 100 240GB. Using the included trays, I mounted the two SSDs in place and connected the SATA power and data cables, routing them through the necessary holes. There is more clearance between the tray and the back of the case, but I would not recommend using a 90-degree angle SATA cable here.
My next step involved installing my motherboard, which is an ASUS Prime X470-Pro with an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X and a set of Patriot Viper RGB DDR4-3600 2x16GB sticks onboard. On top of the processor, I have a DeepCool AK620, which has a height of 160mm. A maximum clearance of 190mm is provided here, which is more than enough space for coolers like the AK620. I had to remove the two fans first, as they hung over the middle mounting hole on the motherboard. From here, you can see the vast amount of space that is at the top, which is more than sufficient for thicker radiators. Due to the offset rail location, any cooling options here should not interfere with your motherboard.
Finally, I installed my video card, which is an EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 FTW3 ULTRA GAMING that measures 300mm long. There was more than enough space at the front for the card. With a drive cage installed at the front, the manufacturer specifies a maximum length of 350mm. This increases to 495mm when no drives are populated here. Afterwards, I plugged all the cables into the motherboard and my graphics card. One thing I found a bit frustrating to work with was the integrated cabling channel on the graphics card holder. For one, the stand sticks to the case with magnets. As such, if there is any resistance in the cables, the stand will move about. My frustrations were further compounded by some incompatibilities I had with my specific graphics card and its thickness, which soured the experience even more. I ended up moving this stand off to the end of the graphics card and not using it as a cable channel.
With everything wrapped up, I cleaned up my cables and tied down the two Velcro straps at the front. I also added one more at the top for my CPU fans. While tidying up my cables, I found the metal cable cover to be quite a pain to work with. As it is a solid metal piece, it does not have any flexibility. This interfered with my SATA cables and put extra stress on my motherboard power and USB Type-C front header cables. I ended up removing the metal shield, plugging the cables in, before re-installing it back in place. I really wish be quiet! chose rubber grommets for more flexibility without compromising on the clean interior. On the other hand, the large size of the Dark Base Pro 901 meant I had lots of space to work with. I finished plugging everything in and closed both side panels before hitting the power button.
With the power button pushed, the internal fans spun up and my system started. The addressable lighting on the front and power supply shroud came to life, adding a nice bit of color to the rest of the case. After fixing my own gaffe of plugging the 4-pin PWM header into the wrong header on my motherboard, the fans spun at a low noise output. According to our standard APH Networks sound scale, where 0 is silence and 10 is loud, I would rate the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 901 around a 3.0/10 in regular day-to-day operation. This was measured with the mesh filter front installed. With the solid front panel, this dropped to a 2.5/10, which is really impressive. It is clear the Dark Base Pro 901 sticks to the company's namesake in being quiet.
The Dark Base Pro 901 now stands on its own as be quiet!'s top-tier case, but there are many callbacks to its origins. From a physical point of view, this is truly large. It might be shorter than its predecessor, the Dark Base Pro 900, but it is also longer and wider. This case is solidly built with tempered glass and steel side panels. With such a large footprint, it is no surprise it can practically take on anything you throw at it, including the dated optical disk drive. It is also great to see three 140mm Silent Wings 4 fans and integrated controllers for both fan speed and lighting. The real impressive feat is the amount of customizing you can do to change up the layout or the airflow capabilities. Other improvements over the Dark Base Pro 900 include an easier to install power supply mount, captive thumbscrews on the tempered glass, and a faster 15W Qi wireless charger. When it comes to working in the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 901, I was generally happy. I appreciated the amount of cable space at the back, large cable valley, and the plastic organizer box for all the screws. As a finished build, the brand's expectations were met with a near noiseless output even with mesh panels installed. Even so, there are a few things to be aware of. First, the Dark Base Pro 901 takes up a lot of space. Secondly, the use of a metal shroud over the cable holes is unforgiving to thicker or more rigid cables. Thirdly, the GPU holder moves about too easily, especially when it doubles as a cable channel. Even so, there is no denying the Dark Base Pro 901 is a beastly enclosure. At the time of review, this be quiet! flagship is available for $330, which is not a small number by any means. However, when we consider everything we get, the Dark Base Pro 901 is truly the full package, both in size and capability.
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 8.2/10
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 901 full tower computer chassis sits above the rest with its hulking size yet quiet performance.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion