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be quiet! Dark Base Pro 901 with AiO review: Large, flexible and colorful

be quiet! Dark Base Pro Post image
Picture: TechnikNews
(Post picture: © 2023 TechnikNews)

The Dark Base Pro 901 is one of the newest Proproducts of the be quiet! Family. In terms of function and design, it should be even more sophisticated and flexible than its predecessor, the Dark Base Pro 900 rev. 2. I can say in advance that the goal was definitely achieved. How? You can read that in the following test report. 

The new flagship case from be quiet! is probably a dream for anyone who wants to build a PC. From simple inversion to reduced screw connections to removable brackets for fans and radiators, everything has been thought of. be quiet! has also proven itself when it comes to airflow. let me come up with something generous again. More on that further down in the report.

tl;dr: A great all-rounder for those who need it

The Dark Base Pro The 901 certainly leaves little to be desired, but with a case that currently costs at least €289,99, you should be able to expect that. The scope of delivery includes everything you need (and more). The simple housing is a block, but the design and the subtle RGB options transform it into an elegant eye-catcher. The customization options are rarely as unlimited as here and the connections are contemporary. Assembly is also a rewarding task thanks to the mainboard tray and the removable brackets for fans and radiators. Last but not least, there is the question of how the touch-controlled I/O panel works. Here we can take away your concerns about a new technology that no one has asked for. If you hit the buttons in the middle, the entries are recognized clearly. Thanks to the good workmanship, I can recommend the 901 without a guilty conscience to anyone who is looking for a large case that is easy to use.

Scope of delivery: Everything you need and more

  • Instructions, assembly utensils, Velcro fasteners for cable management
  • Three Silent Wings 4 fans
  • Fan/radiator holder for the side (can be used instead of hard drives)
  • Mesh panel for the front
  • Magnetic graphics card support for normal and inverted layout
  • Panel for airflow to the GPU when using a fan in the base
  • ODD cage
  • Two HDD cages (two 3,5 or four 2,5 inch drives can be used)
  • Cable channels and a panel to hide cables
be quiet! Dark Base Pro 901 attachments

Picture: TechnikNews

Design: Simple, with lots of features

With such a large case, you don't even know where to start. Let's start with the dimensions. These are 604 mm long by 275 mm wide by 569 mm high. Without feet, the length remains the same, but the width is reduced to 254 mm and the height to 539 mm. Starting on the left, we can look at the inside of the computer through a glass panel that runs the entire side. What is particularly noticeable is the illuminated A-RGB strip that runs through the PSU cover and above which a “DARK BASE Pro“ lettering is emblazoned.

In the slightly sloping front we have the choice between a noise-insulating panel made of brushed aluminum or a mesh insert for optimal airflow. This is interrupted by the A-RGB strip. Under the lighting there is an interesting flap with “be quiet!” lettering. But more about that in the “Configuration options” chapter.

On the right side, a mesh grille is firmly integrated into the side panel so that there are ventilation options here too.

Things get more interesting when you look at it from above. On the one hand, we have an inductive charging tray with 15 watts of power and on the other hand, there is also the choice between a silent build or the airflow-optimized housing. This is very variable thanks to the two-part, removable insulation panels.

Last but not least, I would like to mention the metal feet, which have a rubberized base and fit very well into the overall picture.

Airflow

Be quiet! is of course known for a high level of ideas and solutions for good airflow. The following graphic of the fan options probably illustrates this best:

be quiet! Dark Base Pro 901 fan and radiator compatibility

Image: be quiet!

In total, up to 11 fans are possible, regardless of whether they are 120 mm or 140 mm. There is also space for a radiator of up to 420 mm in the front. In combination with the mesh inserts already mentioned, every configuration of components, no matter how demanding, should get the cooling it deserves. In addition, illuminated fans naturally work best in a mesh configuration.

Configuration options: Wide scope, convenient and simple

The dimensions of the Dark Base Pro 901 allow the installation of XL-ATX motherboards up to 37 cm and high-end graphics cards with a length of up to 49,5 centimeters without Proproblems. The mainboard tray, with cable channels running on the back, is even removable. Once everything is conveniently mounted outside of the housing, the finished construct can simply be pushed back in. Using this rail you can also easily invert the configuration by turning it upside down and facing the other side. Then you just swap the side panels and move components inside and pretty The 901 can also be presented beautifully on the right side of the table. Whether inverted or not, the included graphics card support can be used to support heavy GPUs and even hide their cables.

 

The fans are similarly easy to install. Here too we have rails for the front, side and lid that can be removed and reinserted. The front and top rails have an integrated PWM hub. This makes wiring easy and control via the I/O panel possible. Little info: If you choose a 420 mm radiator in the front, you will have to do without the 5,25 inch drive in the lower flap.

be quiet! Dark Base Pro 901 flap

Picture: TechnikNews

While we're on the topic of this mysterious flap, as already mentioned, you can install either the included hard drive holder for 2 x 3,5 inches or 4 x 2,5 inches or the ODD bracket for optical drives, which is also included. Alternatively, you can of course install anything else that fits... or use it as a little hiding place for sweets ;).

In total, up to 7 x 3,5 inch and 16 x 2,5 inch drives can be accommodated in the case. However, for this you need additional holders from the very extensive range Be quiet spare parts shop!.

Touch-sensitive I/O panel: pleasant or annoying?

On/off button, fan control, lighting settings, 4x USB 3.2 Gen. 1 (Type A), 1x USB 3.2 Gen. 2 (Type C) and a jack socket each for audio and microphone, all of this is located in the new I/O -Panel from the 901. An innovative touch control was used, which ensures that the panel looks much less packed than one might expect from the functions mentioned. The legitimate question here is, of course, whether this is simply an unreliable gimmick or whether it actually achieves something. Well, there can certainly be no question of unreliability. If you hit the area in the middle, it accepts the command and implements it immediately. Feedback as to whether the corresponding field has actually been hit is provided visually via a few small lines, instead of via a tactile click feeling. I also think it's nice that when you interact with the panel, the buttons and borders of the USB ports light up brightly before they darken again.

The fan control provides five selectable, predefined speeds. Alternatively, you can use the “Sync” button to give the buttons their own function and set the speeds individually via the mainboard.

The lighting setting for the ARGB strip also consists of three touch fields. Similarly, you can change the colors and modes here. The sync button then switches back to digital, which then implements what you set on the mainboard. Here I would like to praise the fact that you can see the currently set color and also the mode using the 5 illuminated lines. Of course, you can also just look at the entire strip, but I find the minimalist display in the panel very appealing to the eye and clearer if you want to make quick adjustments. By the way, if you use the “Sync” button, it lights up and down discreetly to show that the buttons for setting on the panel have no function at the moment.

be quiet! Dark Base Pro 901 I/O panel

Picture: TechnikNews

Optimal cooling performance thanks to be quiet! Pure Loop 2 FX

Be quiet! In addition to the 901, we also provided us with the Pure Loop 2 FX in 280 mm format and you have to say that this makes an unbeatable team. The AiO water cooling is the successor to the Pure Loop and offers 2 RGB-illuminated 140 mm light wings with a maximum PWM-controlled rotation speed of 2200 revolutions pro Minute, as well as an illuminated heat sink, which looks very valuable thanks to its silver-colored aluminum cover. In order to let the fan and heat sink light up simultaneously, an RGB hub is also included in the scope of delivery. The radiator was from the Dark Base thanks to the fan hub Pro installed quickly and easily.

A highlight, in addition to the very good cooling of the latest CPUs and quiet operation thanks to the new PWM controlled pump, is the refillability of the coolant. In contrast to other closed AiOs, be quiet! namely the possibility of topping up a few drops of coolant every few years using the coolant included in the practical dosing bottle. Of course, thermal paste is also included.

The Pure Loop 2 FX is equipped for most CPUs with the included mounting sets for Intel (1700 / 1200 / 2066 / 1150 / 1151 / 1155 / 2011(-3) Square ILM) and AMD (AM5 / AM4).

In addition to the 280 mm version, the water cooling is also available in 240 mm and 360 mm. These currently cost on Amazon: €127,95, €138,67, €151,24 (240 mm, 280 mm, 360 mm).

We would like to thank be quiet! for providing the Dark Base Pro 901 and the Pure Loop 2 FX and at PC specialist Dortmund for the collaboration.

be quiet! Dark Base Pro Buy 901 and Pure Loop 2 FX

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Benedict Behring

Benedikt is 21 years old and writes for TechnikNews more test reports in the field of e-mobility. It doesn't matter whether you have two or four wheels. But even if it is technical Proproducts of everyday life, Benedikt likes to deal with the matter, no matter what area it is exactly.

Benedikt has already written 19 article and left 1 comments.

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