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be quiet! Dark Base 900 Pro Full-Tower Chassis Review

be quiet! Dark Base 900 Pro Full-Tower Chassis Review

be quiet! proves it hasn't lost its touch when it comes to case design as we look at the Dark Base 900 Pro full-tower chassis.

@chad_sebring
Chad Sebring
Published Tue, Nov 29 2016 11:40 AM CST   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 98%Manufacturer: be quiet!

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

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VIEW GALLERY - 43 IMAGES

Out of the many things we have come to expect from be quiet!, likely at the top of that list is quality, outside of the obvious. The obvious being its namesake, and silence in both CPU cooling and fans in important, but to many, this crosses over to cases as well. With only one case notch on our belt from be quiet!, we do not have a ton of variety to go from, but the Silent Base chassis was a stunner, and shows that be quiet! knows what they are doing when it comes to chassis design and offerings. The chassis wraps around silence, a feature rich design, modularity, customization to suit nearly every build possibility, and optional trim color have made the Silent Base 800 a case to reckon with still to this day.

So, where does be quiet! go from there? Back to the drawing board with an even better concept that has made it to fruition. This time, they not only kept much of what makes the Silent Base a hit, but while doing so, they have improved on almost every aspect of that design. With a new aesthetic appeal to this chassis, many hours of research and development, designing and testing, and finding out what they think customers will like best, be quiet! delivers yet another stunning chassis to use. Modularity and setting up the chassis to your desires is what be quiet! puts forth in this design. On top of everything else they do so well, they are now delivering things which most companies either shy away from or can only dream to offer at this stage in the game.

It is now the time to have our look at the be quiet! Dark Base 900 Pro full-tower chassis. There is not just one version of this chassis; there is a total of six to choose from. Two models. The Dark Base 900 and the Dark Base 900 Pro, both of which come with three trim color options, black, silver, and the one we got; orange. A lot went into the thought, design, and layout of this new chassis, and for those who want the best of what the market has to offer, be quiet! is jumping with their hands in the air, trying to flag you down to have a look at what they made. The Dark Base 900 Pro is a chassis you are not going to want to miss.

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First, we would like to address the differences between the models. The Dark Base 900 does not offer the left side window but instead provides a steel door rather than a tempered glass panel. In the vanilla version, there are additional fan mounting locations due to the use of a steel panel, there is not a PWM fan controller, nor are there any LED strips in the base model either.

Now on to the Deep Base 900 Pro. This full-tower chassis will house motherboards ranging through Mini-ITX, to Micro-ATX, on to ATX, and even XL-ATX and E-ATX motherboards as well. The case is 577mm from front to back, 243mm wide, and 585mm in height, and of those dimensions, the tempered glass side panel measures in at 479 by 525 millimeters. The trim on this model is orange, and all told, it weighs in at 14.39 kilograms. Built into the front I/O and secondary control panels, we find two USB 2.0 ports, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, HD Audio jacks, a QI charger, fan controller, and RGB LED color switch. The Dark Base 900 Pro is made of aluminum with ABS plastic trim and bits of steel used in the mesh and certain components found within.

Moving to the inside of the chassis, we see it still supports ODD bays, providing two 5.25" bays in this case. There is room for up to seven 3.5" drives, and each cage can also house two 2.5" drives, with a hidden tray as well, making the total of 2.5" drives go up to 15. As for the main seven bays of drive storage, they can be removed individually, or the rack can also be gutted completely, and even moved to the other side of the chassis. The same goes for the motherboard tray, as well as the PSU installation bracket. They can also be moved to shift the power supply to the other side, and allow you to use an inverted ATX layout once the motherboard tray is relocated, even the glass panel can go on the other side.

Cooling is quite extensive, and out of the box, we find three fans in play to cool the chassis. However, in the front, you can install a trio of either 120mm fans or 140mm fans, and the same can be done at the top. The bottom of the chassis will allow for a single 120mm fan, but it also has room for a pair of 140mm fans, while the back supports either a 120mm or 140mm fan. As for water cooling support, if a fan can go there, as long as you are willing to lose the drive bays in the front, you can also use the same specifications for radiator fitment, they are equal. If you want to use a CPU air cooler, you get 185mm of room, 323mm of room for video cards, but by removing the bays, you then get 472mm. The PSU has plenty of room with 284mm left for that, but if you plan to use a fan just in front of it, you get limited to just 181mm.

The last chunk of the chart covers all of the areas in which you will find sound dampening of insulation against vibrations. Everything from padding inside of the doors to making sure the PSU and HDDs don't cause issues is all covered. There are three dust filter in the chassis; one in the front, another at the bottom, and the last one being offered in the right side panel. They even show us what to expect in the accessories, and in this instance, we can see a number two next to the amount of LED strips included. The last thing worth mentioning here is that while you own this beast, you are covered against flaws and defects for three years.

While there is no hiding the fact that this full-tower chassis is demanding a healthy price, there is a slight deal to be had currently. As we located the Dark Base 900 Pro with orange trim at Amazon at the time of writing, we see they have it priced at $244.99 with free shipping. However, if you decide to venture over to Newegg, you can save a bit of cash, as they are asking less at $229.90 currently. At this price, there has to be quite the list of features and goodies, but from what we have seen, be quiet! is at the top of the game, and threw in everything but the kitchen sink with the release of the Dark Base 900 Pro.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications

Packaging

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Using matte black for the backdrop, there is an image of the Dark Base 900 Pro in the middle. There are mentions of the Silent Wings fans included, that there is airflow control and that there is noise insulation incorporated. It also says that this chassis has outstanding flexibility and silence, what color the trim is, and bit at the bottom about why this design came to life.

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With the product naming along the top of this side panel, the lower section is taken up with text. This is where be quiet! has listed the features and explanations in six languages.

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Around to the back, we find those same sections of text in English and German, along with many images of the chassis. The main image shows what a build might look like, while the others cover only a select few of the features provided with this chassis.

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The last of the panels on the packaging starts off with a bit about the company, where the specifications and images of the chassis follow below it.

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Inside of the box, we found the Dark Base 900 Pro shipped inside of a cloth bag, which not only protects the chassis now but can be used as a dust cover or even a travel bag. To keep this heavy chassis from being damaged in transit, a thick foam is used at the top and the bottom, and was sufficient to get our case here in perfect condition.

be quiet! Dark Base 900 Pro Full-Tower Chassis

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Most the front of the chassis is comprised of an aluminum skinned door panel, which is flanked on either side by orange trim and black mesh. It is angled at the top and the bottom, and offers a sleek aesthetic from this view.

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The front door swings to the right and can be reversed, but exposes it sound absorbing belly skin. On the chassis, we find a removable dust filter and plastic bay covers, and if you look closely near the top, you can also see the fan speed switch and the button for LED color changing.

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The front I/O panel is built into the angled section but continues with more brushed aluminum. Here you find the USB 3.0 ports, HD Audio jacks, the power button, the reset button, an HDD activity LED, and it concludes with a pair of USB 2.0 ports.

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The top of the chassis continues with the brushed aluminum, as most of the ventilation is on the sides, but there are some slots along the back to help with that as well. Nearest the front edge, that rectangular shape you see there, that is the QI charger.

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In only the Pro model will you get the left side panel made of an amber tinted, tempered glass panel, which is 4mm thick. This offers a full view of the interior, and glass seemed to be one of the newer trends in chassis design lately.

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The back of the case offers the exhaust fan and rear I/O panel at the top in the default orientation. Below that we find eight expansion slots with passive ventilation next to it, and at the bottom we see covers over where the PSU is to install, but there is a connection and a switch built onto the back.

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If you bought the vanilla version, the left side panel would look much like this. In the 900 Pro, only the right side is made of steel and offers a venting area which is backed with a filter on the inside of the panel.

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Since the bottom of the chassis also draws air in from the side mesh, be quiet! has used a brushed aluminum panel to cover here as well. The feet are chunky, made of plastic, moved as far our as possible, and use rubber pads on them for grip.

Inside the Dark Base 900 Pro

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Once the tempered glass panel was removed, we get our first look deep inside of the Dark Base 900 Pro. Along with a bunch of things we are going to cover in detail, we also found the hardware as well as a box for the LED strips tied to the HDD cages.

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Our first stop is at the front, all the way at the top, where we find a cage which houses a pair of 5.25" drives. This can also be removed to allow for water cooling in the front, and even ships with a bracket to aid in fan placement here.

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The rest of the front of the chassis is taken up with these seven drive bays. While they will each hold one 3.5" drive, each of them will support a pair of 2.5 drives. All of them or some of them can be removed, and via holes in the frame closest to us, we can even switch sides with them.

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After removing the top panel, discovering the QI charger and front I/O stay with the chassis, we can see the fan mounting options. There are many ways to hang fans and radiators, as well as slots for both 120mm and 140mm options.

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The motherboard tray offers a large access hole and is clearly marked for various motherboard support. Not only can this be swapped to the other side, it can ride at three heights within the frame, and can also be used as a test bench, separated from the chassis.

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The floor of the chassis starts with an internal PSU support bracket at the back. The PSU can rest on rubber pads placed on the floor, and there is an optional location or a fan just in front of it. If you remove the HDD cages, there is yet another fan location in front of that.

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The expansion slots are held in with thumbscrews to make life easy, and we can see the third 140mm Silent Wings fan installed here. The wiring is not hanging down because it is already connected to the fan and LED controlling PCB in the back.

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For now, this is the back of the chassis, where the motherboard tray and HDD assembly is currently mounted. There is 20 to 25mm of room for wiring, and to get around the frame supports, holes have been added to pass wiring through the parts too close to the side panel.

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Moving in a bit closer, we can see the PCB which controls the RGB lighting and offers up with fan locations. The PCB can be run from a PWM signal or be set to run full speed. To the right, we see a way to hide a 2.5" drive, as there is a tray for it hanging there.

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While the wiring may seem short, there is plenty to get them connected. In this group, we see the SATA power lead for the PCB and QI charger, the switch and LED connections, a native USB 3.0 connection, one for USB 2.0, and the longest of the group is for HD Audio connectivity.

Hardware & Documentation

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As far as screws go, there is a full assortment. Thumbscrews for the optical bays, tons of screws for HDD cage mounting, and a trio of standoffs for XL-ATX motherboards. We then get motherboard mounting screws, screws to use with the hidden 2.5" drive tray, and four screws to mount the PSU.

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In this image, we have the fan adapter plate which can replace the optical bays for adding a third fan in the front securely. Then we are offered six hook and loop straps to help manage wires, and the other metal plate is a universal reservoir mounting plate that can be used inside as well.

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The manual mentions that the extra grommet is for HDD usage and wire management, but does not explain exactly how it works of where it goes. We also are shipped four rubber grommets for those wanting to use a spinner on the hidden tray rather than an SSD.

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All the literature states this is RGB lighting in the two solid PCB LED strips, but there are only five color choices offered. These can plug into the same PCB as the fans are connected, and via a button inside of the door, they can be changed to suit nearly any build theme.

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The user manual does get in depth with what comes with the chassis and what you should expect to find. It also covers installations of all of the basic components, but it does not show how to customize things or rearrange the orientation, that is all left to you to figure out. There is also an insert shipped inside of the manual, which delivers what is covered and what be quiet! will not cover within the three-year warranty period.

Case Build & Finished Product

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Even if we had gone with a massive radiator or had added in optical drives, you would never know unless you swing the door open. The latches that hold the door could be stronger, as it does tend to open on its own when we moved the chassis, but we do like that we get to keep the smooth and elegant looks.

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No issues were found installing the motherboard, mounting the AIO, aligning the video card, or in the special way the PSU is to be installed. Everything in this design is well thought out, and as long as you can remember how something comes out, it can easily be switched to the other side of the frame for the second orientation.

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In the back, we had no issue popping in the dust shield, and we did end up removing the rear 140mm fan and replacing it with a 120mm fan. The card was no hassle, and neither was removing the three covers at the bottom which cover the PSU.

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It took us a while to wrangle all of the wiring into a manageable system, but there are so many tie points we were not left wanting in any way when it came to tying wires into place. There is plenty of room for bulky runs of wires, but we always try to clean things up, leaving room for things like fan connectivity to the PCB and installing the SSD.

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Now with the panel back in place and everything ready to test, we admire the looks of the Dark Base 900 Pro even more. It is sleek, delivers high-end appeal, and with the entire side being glass, it offers an unimpeded view of the interior and your components.

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Once the chassis has power, you have a few color options to pick from. In this image, we have the controller set to display the LED strips in orange.

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Another click of the button gives us white LED light flooding the chassis.

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Press the button again, and we see the lighting changes to red.

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Another press of the button turns the LEDs green.

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With one last press, we reach the final color option; blue.

Final Thoughts

And so, the bragging begins. This chassis is packed to the gills with features. Externally, there is a whole lot of brushed aluminum to look at, and the tempered glass side panel does not hurt the aesthetics one bit. There are no massive vents to look at, as all of the ventilation comes from the sides of the panels. The front I/O panel delivers everything you could want, and for those who hate downloading media, there is room for your prized optical drives.

The PSU is hidden from view, and the Dark Base 900 Pro adds a switch in our PSU that does not come with it from SilverStone. Then, of course, there is still the biggest addition to the exterior in our minds, the QI charging pad. Having it in this chassis means you no longer have to tend to that cable on the front of the chassis, you can simply lay your device on top of the chassis and carry on about your day.

All of those glowing features, and we haven't even gotten to the inside yet. Here you are almost taken aback with the multitude of options and configurations which the Dark Base Pro has. There are a plethora of cooling options in the front of the chassis as well as in the top. The bottom offers a few options too, but the back is confined to a single fan or compatible radiator. The trio of Silent Wings fans that come in the case are dead silent, even at full speed, and when controlled via PWM, you will hear your system over them every time.

There is a massive amount of storage options, and you can configure these bays to suit your needs, or remove then all together so that you may expand on water cooling options as well as adding room for the reservoir bracket. Not only can you remove the motherboard tray, but it can also be installed on three levels on each side, and by that, we mean that the layout inside is completely reversible. There is sound dampening everywhere they could add it, the wire management is top notch, and of course, with the 900 Pro, we also got to take advantage of the LED strips and the colors they flooded the chassis with.

With everything we have covered here and everything we have shown you along the way, we feel that this is likely the best feature set in the game right now. Yes, this chassis is going to cost you a pretty penny to obtain, but with everything we have seen in fit and finish, materials used, and the sheer amount of customization and features that the Dark Base 900 Pro brings to the end-user, we feel it is worth it. While the pricing is in the $250 range and is steep for many customers, those who have a need for this massive of a chassis, those who like left-hand cases, or anyone wanting to have the best of the best, the cost is only a slight distraction from the joy to come.

With the Dark Base 900 Pro, be quiet! has raised the bar in what we now expect in cases, and proves that they are still in top form, delivering products built to last, as well as fitting any whim you may have along the way.

Chad's Chassis Test System Specifications

TweakTown award
Performance97%
Quality including Design and Build100%
General Features100%
Bundle and Packaging98%
Value for Money95%
Overall98%

The Bottom Line: While priced high for a full-tower chassis, the be quiet! Dark Base 900 Pro blows the doors off our expectations! The customizable interior options, support for a multitude of components, and the materials used and their finishes makes this chassis from one of our all-time favorites.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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