be quiet! Dark Base Pro 901 Review (Page 1 of 4)

be quiet! Dark Base Pro 901 Review

By: Aaron Lai
September 8, 2023

A couple weeks ago, I was able to travel to the unofficial capital of Canada, which is Toronto, Ontario. Interestingly, it was the first trip I traveled on my own, at least for majority of the trip. As such, there were some notable differences. For one, planning the trip took more time than I expected. A couple of people provided me help in recommending places to see or to eat at, but planning each day was still a timely task. Secondly, during the trip, I had more flexibility to pick and choose where I would go, which included changing many of my plans last minute. However, I really missed not having someone to share the things I saw in the moment. Thankfully, even though I traveled on my own, there were many people that helped me out along the way. Whether it was giving me recommendations, providing accommodation, spending time with me, or giving me a ride around the city, I really appreciated every one of them. All in all, the vacation was a relaxing time and a good experience nonetheless. In a similar vein, when we receive the best of the best products, we might see them as the sole champion of a company. These flagship products are on a solo mission of representing their brand well. On the other hand, a lot of the modern flagships are iterations of previous ones, showcasing the continuous improvement generation over generation rather than seeing leaps of differences. Today, we have the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 901, which is be quiet!'s crown jewel computer chassis. The last Dark Base case we reviewed, the Pro 900 rev.2, was back in 2020. Is this new one a worthy face of the company? Does it show a lot of improvements from the past? Let us read on to find out!

Our review unit of the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 901 arrived from their American offices in Walnut, California, USA. Traveling with UPS and their Standard ground service, this box arrived to our APH Networks location in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in a pretty rough shape. There were many rips and bruises around the box, including a large tear near the handle of the container. This is rather unfortunate and I could only hope everything inside was safe. As this is a pretty large enclosure, the retail container also doubles as the shipping container. From here, you can see we no longer have a full color box as we saw on the Dark Base Pro 900 rev.2, but instead a standard corrugated cardboard box with black printing on top. From one side, you can see a front profile with a bit of the left panel showing. At the top we have the company name and logo, while the product name is found under the image. Underneath, we have a tagline that says "Outstanding Versatility, Performance and Silence". On the sides, we have some specifications for you to read through.

If you are so interested, I have grabbed the specifications from the manufacturer's website, for your viewing pleasure.

General data
Model: Dark Base Pro 901
Color option: Black
Motherboard compatibility: E-ATX / XL-ATX / ATX / M-ATX / Mini-ATX
Case size excl. stands (L x W x H), (mm): 604 x 254 x 539
Case size incl. stands (L x W x H), (mm): 604 x 275 x 569
Volume (l): 82.69
PSU form factor: ATX PS/2
Net Weight (kg): 17.8
Expansion slots: 8

Pre-installed fans
Fan at top: -
Fan at front: 2x Silent Wings 4 140mm PWM
Fan at side: -
Fan at rear: 1x Silent Wings 4 140mm PWM
Fan at bottom: -
Dimensions (L x W x H), (mm): Front: 140 x 140 x 25 / Rear: 140 x 140 x 25
Fan speed at 100% PWM / 12V (rpm): 1900
Airflow at 100% PWM / 12V (CFM / m3/h): 78.4 / 133.20
Air Pressure at 100% PWM / 12V (mm H2O): 2.36
Noise level at 100% PWM / 12V (dB(A)): 29.3
Voltage range (V DC): 12
Input power (W): 4.8
Input current (A): 0.4
Connector: 4-pin PWM
Lifespan (h / 25°C): 300,000
Fan controller: -

Maximum fan installation
Maximum fans: 11
Top (mm): 3x 140 / 3x 120
Front (mm): 3x 140 / 3x 120
Side (mm): 3x 120
Rear (mm): 1x 140 / 1x 120
Bottom (mm): 1x 140 / 1x 120
PSU shroud: -

Optional radiator installation
Top (mm): 120 / 240 / 360
Front (mm): 120 / 140 / 240 / 280 / 360 / 420
Side (mm): 120 / 240 / 360
Rear (mm): 120 / 140
Bottom (mm): -

PSU compatibility
Maximum dimensions excl. bottom fan (mm): -
Maximum dimensions incl. bottom fan (mm): -

Graphics card
HDD cage (in height of graphics card) installed (mm): 350 / 370
HDD cage (in height of graphics card) removed (mm): 495
Maximum PCIe slots with vertical graphics card (pcs.): 8

Drive bay capacity
5.25 bays (pcs.): 1
3.5 slots (scope of delivery): 2
3.5 slots (max.): 7
2.5 slots (scope of delivery): 6
2.5 slots (max.): 16

Max. construction height of CPU cooler unit (mm): 190
Airflow channel: -

LED illumination: ✓
LEDs (pcs.): 8 + 16
LED type: ARGB - 5V
LEDs synchronizable with controller/motherboard: ✓

I/O Panel
USB 3.2 Gen. 2 Type C: 1
USB 3.2 Type A: 4
USB 2.0: -
HD Audio I/O: Mic + Audio
Qi charger / Quick Charging Option: 15W

Insulation and damping
Top panel insulation mats: ✓
Front panel insulation mats: ✓
Side panel insulation mats: ✓
Anti-vibration decoupled HDD: ✓
Anti-vibration decoupled fan: ✓
Anti-vibration decoupled PSU: ✓
Anti-vibration decoupled motherboard-tray: ✓

Removeable dust filters
Top: -
Front: 1
Side: 0
Bottom: 1

Top cover: Aluminium
Front panel: Aluminium
Side panel: Glass
Side panel window: Steel
Stands: Steel

Scope of delivery
Screw set (Drives/Motherboard): ✓
Additional standoffs (pcs.): 3 (for E-ATX)
SSD bracket for PSU shroud: -
LED strips (pcs.): 0
Cable ties (pcs.): 12
Screw box: ✓
VGA holder: ✓
VGA holder for inverted layout: ✓
Mesh Front Panel: ✓
ODD Bracket: ✓
Fan / Radiator bracket for multi mounting panel: ✓

Warranty (Years): 3
International hotline / free of charge: ✓ / DE, FR

Out of the box, the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 901 comes packaged between two Styrofoam brackets and in a very nice black branded mesh bag. These two measures ensure the case is protected from any impacts and surface blemishes during transit. Unfortunately, you can also see the two foam brackets had massive cracks in them, indicating this box had gone through quite the ride. Thankfully, it is the foam brackets that took the damage and not the Dark Base Pro 901 itself. In addition, be quiet! placed a decently thick foam panel at the bottom for further cushioning of the case. As you can see, we also have a very large flat cardboard box to the side, which holds more case accessories. Finally, a separate bag containing the user manual can be found inside this black mesh bag.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion