Inside the Dark Base Pro 900 Rev. 2 Continued
Here we see the lower section which is typically covered with the PSU shroud. Here we can see the modular nature of all of the components, even the PSU mounting which can move to many locations to match the needs of the build. The large two drive tray is also seen here which comes preinstalled while the other trays that can be installed above the PSU shroud come in an accessory box so that if not being used they can be left out for a cleaner finished appearance.
Looking at the rear expansion area, we see the preinstalled 140mm silent wings 3 fan. If replacing the fans are on the bill, the rear can fit either 140mm or 120mm depending on preference. We can also see the eight expansion slots which each have their own cover and mounting screw, so no strange flip mechanisms to hold the installed expansion boards such as GPUs in place. Being that this area is removable as part of the motherboard tray, there is nice gaps top and bottom for routing cables vs. dedicated holes for a fixed tray design. This will allow almost infinite creativity to your cable management adventures or misadventures on my part.
The cable management area is already quite busy, and we have not installed anything yet. Thanks to the included fans, fan controller and RGB controller we have a broad array of cabling already back here which will need to be managed along with the wiring which will be necessary for our built test system. There is a solitary SSD mounting bracket directly adjacent to the fan/LED controller board. Cable management tie downs are plentiful with solutions all around the perimeter of the motherboard tray.
In case it is needed tabs from the HDD bay covers can be snapped off as an alternate method for routing cables so that should a device such as a pump be placed in this area cables can still be hidden which is an excellent option. The 3.5" dual HDD mounting tray below the PSU shroud can be seen here as well on the far left bottom. This can be removed and replaced with a cover like the others should none of them be needed. The other six of the nine total screws required to move or remove the motherboard tray can be seen here each with an orange rubber washer.
Here is the only preinstalled HDD cage which happens to be dual. This is hidden from view by the PSU cover, and I would only see it is necessary to remove if the build opted for bottom mount fans. The tray is solid steel and affixed with three thumb screws, and with those loosened, the tray can be pulled out of the build entirely.
The lower section where the PSU resides below the PSU shroud is the same movable bracket we showed before. The limit if using bottom mount fans is 150mm for the PSU length but when not using lower mount fans that stretches to a massive 284mm which honestly is just obscene. Suffice it to say; your PSU will fit unless it's some strange model I have yet to lay eyes on.
The PSU has a few spongy foam rubber pads it will rest on once fitted into the case. I guess it's worth noting that the PSU shroud MUST be removed to install your PSU as it cannot fit through the cable management side. The only struggle removing the shroud was the sideways facing screw bracket which you access by using a screwdriver in this very area as it is a screw pointing toward the front panel. Yes, I missed it, and you probably would too had you not read this.
The connectors for the front I/O are plentiful. From left to right: USB 3.2 Gen 2 cable, feeds the front panel USB Type-C connection. The HD audio connector feeds the front audio jacks. The 4-pin LED header can connect to your motherboard or another 4-pin RGB controller, which can then control the included RGB strips. The first SATA connector only has two leads coming from it and is for the front panel Type-C port dubbed 'fast charge' and I believe the top mounted qi charger as well.
The 19-pin USB 3.1 Gen 1 cable feeds the dual Type-C USB 3.1 Gen 1 (USB 3.0) ports on the I/O. The front panel power switch, HDD LED, and power LED cables. Lastly, another SATA power connector, this time with 4-pin connector is used to power the fan hub/RGB controller board. There is one not pictured due to inadequate length to get a good shot; it is the 4-pin PWM header which connects to the motherboard and allows for the motherboard PWM ramping to control the fans connected to the bug, by just sliding the front adjustment slider to the far left.
Here we have the RGB and fan controller board. As you can see the controller is split into two zones, and each can be switched via the centrally mounted toggles to enable silent or performance modes. I do not have any spec data for this so I can only assume the silent mode has a ceiling on the RPM levels available whereas the performance mode allows for higher RPM capabilities.
Three of the eight PWM ports are already occupied, but five more fans can be installed to max the controller out. This is also where the LEDs connect as I'm sure you can see from the silk screening on the lower portion of the PCB. To the left of the proprietary connections, there is a standard 5050 style 12V connection for LED strips which means we can add extra 4-pin non-addressable LED strips to the mix.
On that note, before we close this section, I think it is important to note that the LED's in the case are NOT addressable, and this is one area that I think could have been better. We are in an age where a lot of cases and peripherals are embracing ARGB, and the Dark Base Pro 900 Rev. 2 is an only single color which means even if hooking to a motherboard with the rainbow effect it will only show a single color at any moment.
I know ARGB would be a small uptick in the BOM, but I think that is something that could be absorbed into the MSRP without much issue, the major part would be the R&D cost as the PCB for the controller would need to be changed.
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