Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Be Quiet!'s Pure Base 500 mid-tower computer cases gets fully examined. Join us for our full review.

| Jan 24, 2020 at 11:23 am CST
Rating: 96%Manufacturer: Be Quiet!Model: BGW36

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing


Be Quiet! is one of the few brands that we can say have always given us a solid and quiet chassis every time we have seen them. We may not have always shouted praises on every model, as like all chassis, there is still compromise based on several factors, including price point and positioning. Today we have one of the Pure Base series, which are reliable overall options with carefully selected features to appeal to the masses of enthusiasts who desire a silent case that won't break the bank.

The case we have today is the Pure Base 500 and is designed for those looking for a robust mid-tower option, which can support both sizeable liquid cooling along with stout air-cooling options while remaining silent.

Key features are as follows directly from the Be Quiet! website.

  • Exchangeable top cover for silent or high-performance systems
  • Two preinstalled Pure Wings 2 140mm fans
  • Insulation mats on the front, sides and the regular top cover
  • Water cooling ready for radiators of up to 360mm
  • Generous space for high-end graphics cards and large coolers
  • Various options to install up to five SSDs in total
  • PSU shroud and smart cable routing options provide a neat interior
  • Easy PSU installation from the back of the case

The feature set is standard for Be Quiet with the sound deadening pads. However, the changeable silence versus airflow top options is an excellent addition to give the chassis more flexibility.

Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 55 |
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The chassis, as previously stated, is the Be Quiet! Pure base 500 in what they call gray, but as you will see in the upcoming photos, it is more of a gold color. The part number is BGW36, which is simple enough. The Pure Base 500 comes in at 443mm tall, 450mm deep, and 231mm wide. This falls into the ordinarily accepted mid-tower sizing.

Motherboard fitment for the Pure Base 500 is from ITX up to ATX. 3.5" storage has two available trays below the PSU shroud, 2.5" had five total locations they can be installed. PSU length is limited to 258mm if you do not fit a bottom fan in the front or 225mm if you do. The PSU shroud is permanently fixed and is well ventilated, as you will see in the proceeding images.

Cooling fitment, we start with fans. Fan fitment in front is dual 140mm, or up to triple 120mm; a single 140mm Pure Wings 2 comes preinstalled. Top fan fitment can fit up to dual 120mm or dual 140mm. Rear fan fitment can sit a single 120mm or 140mm fan; a 140mm Pure Wings 2 comes preinstalled. Both preinstalled fans are 3-pin DC controlled models, not PWM. Radiator fitment is the same with the front maxing out at 280mm or 360mm radiators. The top can take up to a 240mm radiator with 140mm radiators not being supported due to the lack of clearance for the motherboard components below. CPU air cooler height tops out at 190mm, which is more significant than any practical modern cooler.

The Pure Base 500 comes to market at a price point of $74.90 at the time of writing, and that places it in quite a competitive range. Competitors in this area would be the Spec-06 and 100R from Corsair, the H200 from Thermaltake, P400A from Phanteks, and the K500 Masterbox from Cooler Master. The other competitor would be the close neighbor to this chassis the Pure Base 600 from Be Quiet! which are a mere 5-7 dollars more expensive. Let's dig in and see if the Pure Base 500 has it where it counts to earn a recommendation for your hard-earned dollar.

Shannon's Chassis Test System Specifications


Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 01 |

The primary front side of the packaging shows the Pure Base 500 as a black line drawing showing a peek of internal detail. The chassis name is also present across the bottom, along with a critical blurb about the chassis features.

Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 02 |

Rotating the package clockwise ninety degrees and we get a side shot with four languages, I cannot read and assume it covers the same marketing blurb about the chassis. The top left has an inventory control sticker, likely from the factory, which makes the chassis.

Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 03 |

Spinning the packaging another ninety degrees shows us the rear. Here we see an "about Be Quiet! marketing paragraph, and it is in several languages. Below this, we find a blown up shot of the Pure Base 500 with numbered components and a legend to the right to help identify the featured parts. At the bottom, we see several more languages explaining a few critical features via the marketing blurb listed above.

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The final spin of the package and we see the specification table for the chassis. Below that, we have a sticker that identifies the color of our chassis. There is also an inventory control label at the bottom edge, which clarifies precisely which version of the Pure Base 500 we have on hand.

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Pulling the case from the packaging and we have the chassis with its initial protection coming from the plastic bag, it comes wrapped in. Then for significant shock absorption, we have the hard Styrofoam end caps to help protect the chassis during transit. The tempered glass has a cling film on it, which should be removed for optimal aesthetics.

Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis

Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 06 |

Looking at the front of the Pure Base 500, and you can see it has a brushed metal finish, which can absorb some fingerprints, but also cleans up rather well if it does. A small Be Quiet! logo is found in the lower center, which is standard for what they do with their badging.

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The top of the Pure Base 500 comes with a sound deadening plate with some ventilation opening toward the rear. This plate can be swapped with an included airflow model, which has an integrated filter mesh.

Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 08 |

The Front I/O is simple and concise, it is laid out as follows:

  • 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A Ports
  • Power button with integrated power LED
  • Headset and microphone 3.5mm jacks

This I/O is passable for this level of chassis, although I do think Be Quiet would have a real gem on their hands if they could fit a Type-C in the BOM, but as the cost on the connector and cabling lowers we will likely see it move into more value friendly offerings.

Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 09 |

The side panel is clear tempered glass with a paint color matched surround, which shields you from seeing the frame of the chassis. The panel is held on with the standard method of fasteners through the glass into the chassis. Up front, we can see the mesh on the side of the front panel, which allows airflow into the front fan area. This could be quite limiting if you stuff the front full of fans.

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The rear of the Pure Base 500 is standard with the rear 120/140 mount. There is a small gap between the motherboard and the top, which may help with RAM clearance with a top-mounted AIO, we will see when we build in it. The expansion slots are externally accessible, which allows for a small bit more internal volume. There is a slide cover which helps retain the cards along with covering the opening once cards are installed. The PSU uses a removable plate as the unit must be slid in from the back and not through the cable management section.

Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 11 |

The cable management side of the chassis is a substantial steel panel with sound deadening. We can see once again that up front, the side of the front panel is flanked by mesh for air ingestion.

Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 12 |

The bottom of the chassis has a filter running the entire length from front to rear. The filter is removable from the front. The feet are four rectangular plastic angular blocks, each with its rubber pad to keep the chassis from sliding on its seating surface.

Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 13 |

Pulling the filter from the chassis and we see the slots that the HDD cage can be placed into for positioning. Also, we see here the large rectangular ventilated opening for the PSU fan inlet.

Inside the Pure Base 500

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The front panel pulls off with a swift tug as plastic pegs retain it. The front I/O stays affixed to the top of the chassis, while the bottom grab portion of the front panel is closed off to now allow unfiltered airflow into the chassis. The side inlets do have filters with plastic casing, as you see here on each side of the front panel, and can be removed rather quickly to be cleaned.

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The layout of the Pure Base 500 is quite open, with the only protrusions being the cable management cover to the right of the motherboard. To the right of the vertical guide, we also see dual SSD mounts in place; the middle Be Quiet! logo can be pulled off to route the SSD cables to be hidden behind, and the logo replaced. The CPU cutout is massive and should service any cooler you can find.

Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 16 |

Here taking a look at the rear of the front mounting and wee can see the slotted front fan/radiator mounting with its preinstalled 140mm Pure Wings 2 fan. Here we can also see inside the cable management vertical slot.

Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 17 |

Here we can see the top with the sound deadening top plate removed. The top panel was held on with magnets only, so swapping them can be done rather quickly. Here we have slotted mounting holes for 140 or 120mm mounting. The 120mm mounting is the only one applicable for radiators as they barely clear installed taller memory. You will notice a theme here in that the ventilation is triangular, similar to the bottom.

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Here is the sound deadening top panel, as you can see it has several magnetic strips here to keep it in place on the chassis. The rearmost portion is open to allow some airflow out while hushing most of the harsh noise you may have otherwise.

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The PSU shroud has triangular ventilation, which is the theme for the venting on this chassis. The front is cut out, and you can see the HDD cage below. The cutout is to fit thicker radiators or reservoirs depending on your configuration. Cable passthrough holes are all on the motherboard edge.

Inside the Pure Base 500 Continued

Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 20 |

Here we look at the rear mounting for the fan and inside the rear I/O area. The preinstalled fan is, of course, the previously mentioned 140mm DC 3-pin Pure Wings 2 140mm model. The expansion slot covers are chassis color painted, and there is plenty of room even for oversized taller GPUs.

Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 21 |

When pulling the cable management panel, we find not only the standard accessory kit in the HDD cages. We also see the additional airflow focused top plate in a plastic bag; this is quite a smart way to include this with little to no package customization necessary.

Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 22 |

Pulling the accessories and we finally get into the meat of the cable management area. The left-hand side is where I mentioned the SSD mounts previously, and you can now see the plastic logo insert in the middle. This piece can pop out to allow easy cable routing then to be replaced to cover the connections entirely. You can also see a try for two more 2.5" drives mounted over the CPU cutout. Overall the cable management is excellent, and the included Velcro straps are a great addition. The cable tie-down scattered throughout are far more than many others offer and will come in handy if you fill the chassis with RGB.

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The drive cage for the Pure Base 500 is a dual drive capable unit. The two 3.5" drives each have their holes to mount and directly fasten to the rubber isolation mounts. The cage can be moved from this location to a bit further back, which is why we mentioned the PSU length difference. If not needed, the cage can also be removed entirely to make more room for tucking cables or liquid cooling room.

Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 24 |

Here we have the PSU area, and we see the triangular ventilation opening once again. The PSU can sit on the four rubberized foam pads which support and absorb vibration from the PSU to chassis being transferred.

Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 25 |

The front panel cables are minimalist.

  • 20-pin USB 3.2 Gen 1 connector (Feeds front panel Type-A ports)
  • Power switch and LED connectors
  • HD audio connector

The fact that there is no reset button or HDD LED means there are only two for the controls. The two Type-A ports hook up to a standard 20-pin as expected, and HD audio does what it's supposed to. The one thing I would wish for is a combo power and HDD activity LED in the power switch, as some users may still need that. Other than that, I will mirror my desire for the BOM cost of Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2 port to come down so we can see it on more value chassis.

Hardware & Documentation

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The accessory set is simple, containing three types of screws, some cable ties, and a standoff tool. Here is everything that comes in the accessory box.

  • 13x screws for motherboard and PSU/bracket
  • 12x SSD screws
  • 8x 3.5" HSS screws
  • 1x Standoff tool
  • 6x zip ties for cable management
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The manual is a multi-page book style manual. It is 26 pages long with basic instructions in several languages.

Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 28 | TweakTown.comBe Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 29 |

Here we have the airflow top filter which, as you can see, takes away the silence component in favor of more airflow. This is how we will be testing the chassis as we plan to install the AIO up top.

Case Build & Finished Product

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The front of the Pure Base 500 looks the same built as it does new due to being solid brushed metal finished.

Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 31 |

As you can see, everything went in without a hitch. The width of the chassis allowed for full RAM fitment, albeit snug, it still fit. The chassis test build fits with plenty of room for liquid cooling components should you choose. The RTX 2060 barely makes a dent in the available depth of the chassis as there is room for the biggest card you can find.

Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 32 |

The rear of the chassis fills in as you would expect. Nothing special or problematic was observed while building in the chassis. The only thing of note was that the top standoffs were very close to the center. But about 1mm to the left of the center on the motherboard hole. The integrated I/O shield of the Maximus XI Hero was just protruded enough to cause pressure, which caused the offset. The mounting screws still installed as expected, and another board I tested with a separate I/O shield did not have this issue. This is not a significant issue, but if you see it, it is normal.

Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 33 |

Cable management for the Pure Base 500 is rather simple with the included Velcro straps. I did use a few zip ties, but overall the bulk of the cable runs were managed on the main channel with no issues. The excess SATA power cable is hidden in front of the PSU. This is so that we did not have to manage it in the main harness, which makes for a much cleaner final build.

Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 34 |

Due to the transparent nature of the glass, you can see the internal components without being turned on. With the chassis color, this looks pretty interesting, but this also means your cable management skills will be put to the test.

Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 35 |

Bringing the test rig to life and the interior of the Pure Base 500 becomes far more jubilant. I think it might be the lighter gold/gray color compared to the black cases I usually see, or it could be the non-tinted glass panel. But I do feel like the colors and lighting pops more in this rig and looks quite good.

Final Thoughts

When hearing about the Pure Base 500, I figured it would be another derivative of the Pure Base series. I am pleased that there are plenty of small things that make a meaningful difference in the overall capabilities of the chassis. For example, the 500 is approximately 13mm wider than the 600, which is a little more expensive. However, this means that as we observed, the 500 can fit our AIO and memory, which many mid towers cannot.

When we tested the Pure Base 500, we measured and ambient of 22.8C with an RH of 44%. Under full load, we observed an average temperature of 45.2C Delta over ambient, which is very respectable for the small chassis and in the top half of the recorded deltas we have seen in the past half-year. The GPU showed an average delta of 37.5C and is in the top 25% of results from the last half-year of testing.

Be Quiet! Pure Base 500 Mid-Tower Chassis Review 36 |

Now we must talk about what we liked with the Pure Base 500. First, I would say the color is unique and grew on me a bit during my time with it. The cable management is excellent and allowed for a far more natural and less stressful assembly. The quality of materials is excellent. I did not at any point feel something that came across as flimsy or weak; every panel and steel piece I met was rigid and felt high quality. The width to fit the AIO with our test RAM is a plus, and something cases at a higher price point cannot match in many scenarios.

Now we approach what we did not like about the Pure Base 500. First, I think the side air inlets are going to be limiting for users who put multiple fans up front. I also feel like the through panel glass mounting fasteners is now an aging method, and I think there is a cleaner way this can be done to step up the class this chassis would look to fit in.

The Pure Base 500, at its price point just based on the quality of materials alone, I feel like the chassis places well. While some chassis at this range may have a basic RGB fan or some gimmick to help add value, Be Quiet! simply made a reputable, sturdy chassis that would be a solid foundation for a budget APU build as much as it could host a multi-thousand dollar high-end rig.

Be Quiet did a great job of managing a BOM and putting features in place that made sense and enhanced the overall experience.

Shannon's Chassis Test System Specifications

Last updated: Jan 25, 2020 at 06:11 am CST

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Overall Rating


The Bottom Line

Be Quiet! added something special to the Pure Base 500, and the quality speaks volumes. The Pure Base Pro 500 is a sturdy platform for any level build.

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Shannon started his PC journey around the age of six in 1989. Now till present day, he has established himself in the overclocking world, spending many years pushing the limits of hardware on LN2. Shannon has worked with design and R&D on various components, including PC systems and chassis, to optimize the layout and performance for enthusiasts.

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