be quiet! DARK BASE PRO 901 PC Case Review
Meet the DARK BASE PRO 901
When we first tool the DARK BASE PRO 901 out of the box, we are afraid that be quiet! had sent us a case from five years ago. But as we looked closer at the case, and dove into its feature set, it was hard not to be impressed with what be quiet has delivered.Â
Don’t let the 901 name fool you, this is not a minor revision of the DARK BASE PRO 900. This is a new case design that brings the design intent of the original 900 and its revisions and brings it into the modern era. This new case has a 15W wireless phone charger. This case is designed for huge liquid cooling setups, and this case is designed for modern graphics cards with its heavy duty GPU support bracket.Â Â
For starters, the DARK BASE PRO 901 has an impressive front I/O, with four USB 3.2 Type-A ports, a single USB 3.2 gen 2 Type-C port, and built-in RGB and fan controllers with touch interfaces.Â Â Â
Out of the box, the DARK BASE PRO 901 ships with built-in RGB lighting, which can be controlled by users to be their preferred colour, or set up to change in colour in a rainbow pattern. For the be quiet DARK BASE 901, RGB lighting is a minor customisation option, not the main reason that you buy the case. This is not a RGB rainbow unicorn PC chassis, this is a serious case for heavy users.
The DARK BASE PRO 901 is designed with various use case in mind, and can be customised to minimise noise levels of maximise airflow. At the top of the 901, users can block the case’s top fan mounts with sound deadening panels, or remove these panels to enable additional case airflow with multiple fan mounts.Â
At the top of the 901, users can install up to three 140mm fans or three 120mm fans. This area has enough space to install up to a 360mm liquid cooling radiator with ease, making this area well suited for large all-in-one (AIO) CPU liquid cooling solutions.
At the bottom of the DARK BASE 901’s front, we have a hatch that hides this case’s 5.25-inch drive bay, an optional feature that allows users of the DARK BASE PRO 901 to utilise disk drives and other 5.25 inch devices. This is a great addition for PC users who still use optical media, as not many cases support optical drives these days.Â Â
Below you can see the DARK BASE PRO 901’s optical drive mount location. This is an optional drive mount, and users of this case can utilise this area for other purposes if they wish.
The front panel of be quiet’s DARK BASE PRO 901 can be removed and replaced, allowing users to choose between a pre-supplied sound deadening solid front panel and a airflow-oriented mesh front panel.Â
Above you can see the DARK BASE PRO 901’s solid front panel option and below you can see the case’s mesh front panel option.Â
Out of the box, be quiet’s DARK BASE PRO 901 ships with two 140mm Silent Wings 4 fans, and out of the box this case can support up to three 140mm fans at the front of the case of three 1`20mm fans. Note that if you use this case with an optical drive, the case will only support up to three 120mm front fans or two 140mm front fans.
Below we can see that the sides of the DARK BASE 901 have plenty of space for airflow, giving this case’s fans a lot of room to breathe even when this case uses its silence-oriented solid front panel option. This is an area where most cases with solid front panels fail, so it is great to see be quiet giving their fans room to breathe even when solid front panels are used.
Here we can see that the DARK BASE PRO 901 had two 3.5-inch drive mounts out of the box, but that these mounts occupy the same space as this case’s 5.25-inch drive mounting location. Thankfully, users of both 5.25-inch and 3.5-inch drives can simply move this case’s 3.5-inch drives to new locations.Â
If users invest in additional be quiet 3.5-inch drive mounts, the DARK BASE PRO 901 can support up to seven 3.5-inch drives and two additional 2.5-inch drives. This is great news for anyone who uses lots of mechanical storage, though it is worth remembering that this case only ships with three 3.5-inch drive mounts out of the box.
One option that the DARK BASE PRO 901 has is to replace this case’s 3.5-inch drive mounts with three 120mm fan mounts, allowing users of this case to install additional fans or up to a 360mm radiator within the DARK BASE PRO with ease. As we have said many times before, this case is incredibly versatile.
Alternatively, users of this case can install the below blocker to make this case tidier looking from the outside. Since this case’s side panel has perforations to allow for the above fan mounts, this option is great for those who want to hide PSU cables or other cable clutter.
Below you can see that DARK BASE PRO 901’s GPU support bracket, which can prevent GPU sag and hide a graphic’s card’s power cables to help 901 users build tidier systems. This GPU support bracket works when this case is in its standard configuration or when the case is inverted.Â Â
The PSU shroud of the DARK BASE 901 has a removable plate that allows users to mount large liquid cooling radiators at the front of the case without interfering with this case’s PSU shroud. This plate can also be replaced with a perforated airflow mount should users want to mount an additional 120mm or 140mm fan at the bottom of this case.Â
Below is the airflow mount for the bottom of the 901. This is designed for users who use his case with fans at the bottom of the chassis to enable additional airflow.
Here you can see that the DARK BASE PRO 901 has plenty of space for a liquid cooling radiator at the top of the enclosure. In this space, users can install 240mm, 280mm, or 360mm liquid cooling radiators with ease.
Below you can see how power supplies can be added or removed from the DARK BASE 901.Â Â
The bottom of the DARK BSE 901 has a large filter that can be removed from the front of the chassis for easy cleaning. Note that at the front of the case we have an optional 140mm/120mm fan mount that also features various mounting options that can be used for pumps, reservoirs and other liquid cooling components. These options are usable fir DARK BASE 901 users who do not choose to use an optical disk drive inside their systems, as 5.25 inch disk drives will block these mounts.Â Â
Overall, the DARK BASE PRO 901 is an incredible versatile PC chassis, supporting large hardware that includes 420mm liquid cooling radiators, huge EATX motherboards, and modern high-end graphics cards.Â Â
Thermal Performance – A solid airflow design, even with its solid front