Be Quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 Rev 2: The Review

Whether you’re new to the PC Building scene, or you an old hand, you’ve probably heard of Be Quiet! Widely known for their fans that are, well… quiet, but they have also produced other PC enthusiast products such as power supplies, CPU coolers (both air and water), and PC Cases. They have three different lines, all with their own price level. The Pure Base is their entry-level, the Silent Base is their mid-tier, and the Dark Base is their top-tier. As the title suggests, we are looking at the Dark Base tier, specifically the Pro 900 Rev 2.


The case has been out for a while now, and so you may have seen a review or two out there for it by now. The technical specs are out there, and there’s nothing that I, as a consumer-level user, can add to the likes of testing and data that bigger entities like Gamers Nexus can put out there. But what I can add to the mix is the consumer-level’s experience building in the case, and things that I would like to see in Rev 3.

By now, I can read your mind. “But Joseph, you’re not a consumer. You’re writing this review, you got the case for free. You’re in the media.” Well, that is partially correct. Be Quiet! Did send us this case for review purposes, I am writing the review, and I am in the media. But doing what I do isn’t always what people think it is. I do pay for a majority of my hardware (no free GPUs, CPUs, motherboards, etc. for me). This is actually my first PC part outside of peripherals (e.g. keyboard, mouse, etc.) that has been given to me to review. Plus, I have a day job. This isn’t what I do full time. I truly am an enthusiast closer to you the reader, rather than the bigger names like Steve at GN or Linus of Linus Tech Tips.

So back to this review, or actually think of it more has helpful tips to aid in your build. I decided I wanted to do something different with this build, which is exactly what attracted me to this case. I decided to invert the motherboard tray. While I am very happy with the end product, there were some small intricacies along the way that I didn’t prepare for, some stuff the manual just didn’t explain very well, and some lessons learned along the way about part picking for this configuration.

First and foremost, if you decide to invert the tray in this case, find some way to organize the screws. There are a ton that you pull off, and you’re going to want to know what goes back where. I personally take a piece of cardboard and poke holes for the screws and just write the labels. I’ve had bad experiences (mostly bonehead mistakes) with trays and mats, so having a secure hold on your screws has its advantages.

My plan was to add a third 140mm fan to the front of the case. It is completely possible, but the manual does not give a very good explanation of how to do so. First, you will need to remove the ODD cage that is pre-mounted into the case. In order to do that, you must first remove the front I/O panel, which involves disconnecting some cables and removing some screws. Once you do that, there is a bracket that you mount to the front side of the case for mounting a third fan. It is included in the accessories box packed inside the case. This one took a while for me to figure out because there was no mention of this process in the instructions for inverting or anywhere else in the manual.

When you are adding the HDD panel back to the case during the build process, there are 2 orientations you can place it in. The manual recommends one for use with a front-mounted radiator, and the other for when you are not using a radiator. My suggestion would be to use the radiator suggestion, even if you are not using a radiator. This would place the HDD slot covers further back from the front of the case. This would save you from having to rebuild the case should you add a front radiator in the future, and it would make for easier cable management on the backside of the case. I offer this advice to avoid my own mistake. I may end up rebuilding as I have been considering relocating my radiator (more on that in a minute), and I feel having the HDD slot covers closer to the motherboard itself would help hide the few wires that are visible through the tray holes between the slots and motherboard.

GPU sag is still a thing in inverted cases, though possibly a little less so depending on the GPU and the mounting bracket. Many people laughed at the “leash” EVGA made for their 3090 Ti to help with the weight, but it would be beneficial in an inverted case for any card. The card will sit higher up in the case, so standard GPU supports may not be feasible, especially when considering other parts that could be in the way. Do some research on this, or be okay with the little bit of sag that you will see. I am running an EVGA XC 3080 and it seems to be holding well so far.

The part choice is key in this case when considering a CPU cooler. I used an Asus ROG Ryujin II 360 in my build, and there were some drawbacks. This build has an LCD screen over the pump, so for those considering similar pumps, take heed. When top mounting your radiator, as some believe you should, your tubes need to travel a lot further than in a traditional case. This is going to limit your orientation options because of the tube length. I first mounted it with the radiator above the fans (so you can see the blades of the fans) and I could only mount it in portrait orientation. Even switching that setup so the radiator is below the fans, the tubes were not quite long enough to get to the proper landscape orientation I was looking for. The problem here lies in the software to control the LCD screen. The native visuals can be placed in portrait or landscape, but the images are upside down with no way to flip them. You can load custom visuals that are flipped, but if you want to take advantage of some of the monitoring the product provides, you will not be able to do so (at the time of this writing). The fix for this would be to front mount the radiator, which I believe would place the tubing in a place where you can mount the pump in the correct orientations, but I have yet to test this theory. As I mentioned earlier, I did not set up my HDD panel in the right orientation to accomplish this.


Other than some of the screws being a little difficult to get to at times, the actual inversion of the case is pretty easy, if not lengthy in steps. It’s been mentioned in other reviews, but the airflow to the PSU is less than ideal, so the recommendation would be to flip it over and pull air from inside the case. This is due to the rail system needing to be able to provide the option to invert the case. The case also includes a mounted, 2-rail fan controller on the backside of the motherboard tray. This small PCB has a switch on it to choose between performance and silent mode, and a wire leading to the front I/O where you can control the fan speed of those fans connected. The question I kept finding myself asking was why to place that switch on the PCB, behind the case panel. The part of the front I/O that controls the fan speeds has a lot of wasted space where you could easily place this switch/toggle. Having the ability to change this on the fly, rather than needing to pull the panel, is a pretty big blunder. I know they want to focus their products on being quiet, but they have to understand that some people may also purchase their cases for aesthetic purposes.


Another note about the front of the case. I would really have liked to be able to change the direction in which the door swings. Most cases sit on the right side of the user so that you can see the beauty inside the case. Naturally, with an inverted case, a person might want the PC to now sit on the opposite side so you can get a good look at this novel setup. However, the door still opens the same way (with the hinges on the right). This makes it difficult to get at that fan controller should you need to use it. Difficult maybe the wrong word, but it may become a hassle to some.

Future upgrades are fairly easy to do, whether inverted or traditional. As I said, I added a third 140mm fan to the front of the case, but it hadn’t arrived by the time I set down to do this build. Since I was running a 360 up top, I moved the rear fan included with the case to the front. Once I received the new 140mm fan, it was simple enough to add and route the cables without removing/moving any other installed objects. This has a lot to do with the ability to choose between three different mounting locations when reinstalling the motherboard tray.

Again, I love this case, and the way it turned out. Especially with the setup I currently have in my office. The price on the case is a bit much, but they have included everything you could possibly need for accessories, including some RGB strips. The shroud on the bottom of the case is a good addition to this revision (and can be purchased separately for those who own the first revision), and has removable panels to fit your needs. The case itself is a bit pricey, but if you’re looking for something unique that will make your friends double-take when they see your rig, this is a good choice to go with. Just be prepared to hear, “It’s so weird” a lot.

Note: I had some data corruption and am currently trying to recover my pictures of the build process. Once they are recovered, this article will be updated to include those pictures.