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We are privileged to have an item for review from a brand that has built a first-class reputation on quality. One of only a few elite brands that the mere mention of their name elicits respect as they are globally regarded as a provider of premium products. Founded in 2001, with headquarters in Germany and a trademark of Listan GmbH, the be quiet! brand has risen to legendary status and, as such, needs no introduction in the PC enthusiast realm. But the product they were kind enough to send to us is something new that is worth making some noise about.


What be quiet! Has to Say About It!

Dark Base Pro 901 is the epitome of a flexible, yet user-friendly case with innovative solutions and state-of-the-art features.

Feature Highlights

  • Interchangeable top cover and front panel for either maximum airflow or virtually inaudible operation
  • Fan and radiator brackets with integrated fan hub in front and top make installation a breeze
  • 3 Silent Wings 4 PWM fans for a virtually inaudible operation and high performance
  • Touch-sensitive I/O panel for state-of-the-art operation
  • Generous dimensions ensure operation of E-ATX motherboards and radiators up to 420mm
  • Advanced VGA holder prevents sag of even the largest graphics cards
  • Well-conceived system for an extremely user-friendly handling
  • Versatile motherboard tray for an inverted layout option
  • Flexible cable bars make for a neat interior
  • Power supply can be easily installed from the back of the case
  • Subtle ARGB lighting in the front and the PSU Shroud
  • Tempered glass side window allowing a superb view of the PC components


Motherboard CompatibilityXL-ATX, E-ATX, ATX, M-ATX, Mini-ATX
Case Form FactorFull Tower
Power Supply Form FactorATX
Dimensions (L x W x H)603 x 254 x 569 mm (23.7 x 10 x 22.4 in)
Material CompositionSteel (SGCC), ABS plastic, Aluminum
Weight (kg / lbs)16.3 (net) | 20.8 (gross) kg / 35.9 (net) | 45.9 (gross) lbs
I/O Ports1x USB 3.2 Gen. 2 Type C, 4x USB 3.2, HD Audio (mic + audio), fan controller, ARGB controller
PCI Slots8
Drive Bays2.5 - 6 included (up to 16); 3.5 - 2 included (up to 7); 5.25 - 1 (included)
Preinstalled Fans (included) Silent Wings 4 PWM 140mm / 1900 RPM (Front x2, Rear x1)
Maximum Fan Capacity (mm)Front: 3x 140 / 120
Top: 3x 140 / 120
Side: 3x 120
Bottom: 1x 140 / 120
Rear: 1x 140 / 120
Radiator Support (mm)Front: 120 / 140 / 240 / 280 / 360 / 420
Top: 120 / 240 / 360
Side: 120 / 240 / 360
Rear: 120 / 140
Maximum Component Dimensions (mm)CPU air cooler: up to 190
PSU Length: up to 288
GPU Length: 495
ATX motherboard: 350 (with HDD cage)
E-ATX motherboard: 370 (with HDD cage)
ARGB Connector3-pin

What ExtremeHW Has to Say About It!

There is so much about the DARK BASE PRO 901 that is awesome, it’s hard to know where to start. This being my first time doing a review on a computer case, I had no idea it would be so difficult compared to other products. There are few things in the computing experience more personal than the chassis. While the offerings are cookie-cutter, what we do with them reflects individualism, personal preference and self-expression. To say it is feature-packed, gorgeous and flexible is merely scratching the surface. The comprehensive marketing and product support videos that be quiet! provides are also a tough act to follow. Not much is left to the imagination. In case you’ve been living in a vacuum and haven’t already seen it, below is a gallery of stock images provided by be quiet!

While waiting to receive the 901, I watched most of the videos by other reviewers. On top of the be quiet! marketing collateral and support videos, there is certainly no shortage of review material covering all the bases on features. After you’ve watched a few videos, it starts to feel like a waste of time due to the redundancy. I certainly don’t want to be guilty of adding more redundancy. I thought I might do a build video, but not having studio-quality equipment or anyone to help by running a camera makes such a glamorous undertaking unrealistic. What most of the reviews seem to lack is the personal element, and what better thing to get personal about than a computer case. So, we will start with the basics, then run through a list of the things that I like about it and see where that leads us. Hopefully, you’ll find this review to be a little different than the rest. Maybe it will be that last nudge that compels you to stop watching videos and reading reviews and order one for yourself.

First Impressions

If small form factors are your thing, this is not the case for you. I knew the DARK BASE PRO 901 was big. Finding it in a box outside my front door made it seem bigger than expected. While heaving the 46-pound box isn’t the equivalent of an iron man stunt, the average guy or gal might find it a bit of a physical challenge to get it from the front door to their desk. I am a stout hombre, and the fact that I couldn’t nonchalantly move it to my office like a sack of groceries made me happy before I even opened the box. Feel free to watch the short unboxing video to catch a glimpse of what you can expect to find when cracking open the box.

What’s to Love

Cutting to the chase; having done a full build in it, with conventional and vertical GPU installation, here is the run-down on what I like most about the DARK BASE PRO 901.

Spacious Interior. Anyone that has spent any time around me knows that I am a function first, form second, kind of person. While I do value aesthetics–we all do–few things annoy me more than something that looks nice but is a pain in the bottom to work on. One of the reasons I have generally favored an open bench setup versus a case is convenience and ease of access. Well, this bad boy delivers that in spades. This was one of the easiest cases I have ever had the pleasure of building a system around. It’s large enough on the inside that nothing feels cramped or difficult, but not so huge on the outside that it dominates your workspace and leaves no room for anything else. Cable management is made super easy by design and facilitates a very neat and tidy build. To borrow a quote from Goldilocks, it’s “just right” and there is no doubt in my mind that the Three Bears would agree with her.

Configuration Flexibility. The 901 is quite the shapeshifter. What you need today might not fit your needs tomorrow. I initially intended to do the inverted build option. My office is small and does not afford many options in terms of where to place things. When it came time to do the build, I discovered that the inverted configuration would have only worked if my objective was to highlight the stark beauty of the solid side panel and hide the side with the tempered glass panel. But I love the fact that if my office arrangement changes, I can easily flip it and showcase the aesthetic glory of the inverted installation. While some of us frequently change core components like motherboards, CPUs and graphics cards, choosing the right case is an investment that can last for many years. The flexibility of configuration is such that the DARK BASE PRO 901 might be the last case you ever need to buy. If you are looking to do an inverted installation, be quiet! offers an excellent video demonstrating the process. It is relatively painless, but it takes more than a few minutes. You will find a QR code in the owner’s manual that jets you directly to that video.

In addition to the inversion option, additional drive trays can be purchased to maximize your storage options. While two are included, you may add up to five more (for a total of seven) plus the two 2.5-inch brackets on the back of the motherboard tray. Each drive tray can hold one 3.5-inch drive or two 2.5-inch drives. The 2.5-inch drives are mounted with screws to the top and bottom surfaces of each tray, whereas 3.5-inch drive installation or removal is accomplished with tool-free latches on each side. Drive trays that are installed in the main section of the case have a cool “suspended” look, being attached securely at the rear and free-floating as they protrude into the main area of the case. If you are still into CD, DVD and Blu-ray, this might be the only modern case designed with a place for one.

If vertical GPU mounting is your thing, be quiet! offer a unique PCIe extension cable that includes the base. To rotate the PCIe I/O bracket on the rear panel requires the removal of four screws.

Water, Water Every Where. But not the kind you drink. Although I use an external cooling system on both of my desktops, the 901 is the first case that I felt an urge to do a conventional custom loop build inside. So many of the cases being sold make liquid cooling an afterthought, but that is absolutely not the situation here. The technical specifications table (above) identifies the options available. In spite of what some manufacturers say in their marketing materials and specifications, you just about need a shoehorn to pack in the components they claim will fit. Good luck finding a convenient spot for pumps and reservoirs. The DARK BASE PRO 901 is sufficiently cavernous to build an elaborate custom loop using multiple 360- and 420-mm fat radiators. I am only aware of a few competing cases with as much to offer the liquid cooling enthusiast. A couple that come to mind are now discontinued and the one that I know you can still buy that rivals the 901 sells for three times the price. If you are planning a build that uses an AIO, be sure to buy one with long-enough hoses. I would estimate you will need 325-350mm tubing for comfortable reach from the CPU to the radiator hose barbs in a top mount and closer to 400-425mm tubing for comfortable installation in the front with hose barbs at the bottom; longer than that with a 420mm AIO mounted in front.

Aesthetic Excellence. In a realm that seems to place a great deal of emphasis on the production of garish, gawdy garbage, be quiet! is one of the few that go against the flow. Not unlike other products be quiet! produces, the DARK BASE PRO 901 is a breath of fresh air. One could say this is subjective or “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” but the prevalence of tacky bling is an inescapable reality. It seems to be an unfortunate byproduct of being a twenty-first century gamer. From the graceful lines and lighting accents to the variations in front panel and thoughtfully appointed accoutrements surrounding the front I/O options, be quiet! nails it. The integrated fan and light controls work flawlessly. By these measurement alone, the DARK BASE PRO 901 commands respect in the same way the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit does in the field of aviation. It is the “stealth bomber” equivalent in a PC enthusiast case.

Build Quality. The cliché “beauty is only skin deep” often applies to computer cases. Not so with the 901. On top of its pretty face, the craftsmanship and precision are evident at every turn. As you are handling it, it quickly becomes obvious that a great deal of thought and planning went into the design and manufacture of the DARK BASE PRO 901. Things just fit right. The finish is top notch. A good car analogy would be Mazda versus Mercedes-Benz. The small touches like the integrated fan hubs with plug-free contacts, the unique GPU support, and the interchangeable front side cable-hiding shrouds are like the icing on a cake. In stark contrast, my last tower case was a current and popular model that is advertised as supporting E-ATX, but the cable-hiding shroud would only fit (and with difficulty) using ATX or smaller motherboards, and the motherboard tray pass-through grommets were not optimally placed for E-ATX cable management. It felt more like “you can, in limited circumstances and with enough effort, but shouldn’t under any” and, sadly, that is not an uncommon scenario.

Another example of attention to detail and quality is the vertical graphics card mounting option. That itself is not unique, but the way be quiet! executed on it was exceptional. I originally received the case and completed the build. I later received the GPU riser kit, which was unexpected. Rotating the PCI-e I/O bracket was simple. All the holes lined up perfectly and flipping it felt as natural as a conventional GPU orientation. I cannot say the same about past experience with vertical GPU mounting. Until now there has always been a certain degree of janky to it.

The 140mm Silent Wings 4 PWM fans included with the package are excellent. You get excellent performance, low noise and legendary be quiet! quality. If you plan to add more fans for supplemental air cooling or radiators, I highly recommend purchasing the same fans to fill the vacancies the case offers for additional fans.

What’s Not to Love

No review would be objective without mention of what might have been done better. There were only a few things that I did not like about the 901. None of them were deal-breakers.

  • Graphics Card Support. Before I received the vertical GPU riser, my GPU was installed in a conventional manner, directly in the PCIe 16x slot. My graphics card has a water block and I was not able to use the GPU support bracket due to contact interference with the cooling lines. I am confident it would work amazingly well with an air-cooled GPU. It was a bit disappointing to discover the incompatibility with my water-cooled setup.
  • Vertical GPU Conversion. This requires removal of the motherboard. As mentioned, the GPU riser kit came after the system was built. If you are going for a vertical GPU installation, order that before you start or be prepared to remove the motherboard in order to free the PCIe I/O bracket from the rear panel and motherboard tray. If this is mentioned anywhere in the manual, I did not notice it. It is not difficult, but it is inconvenient if not annoying.
  • Free-floating GPU Riser. While the fit is precision if not flawless, one should be very careful moving the system around with a vertical GPU installation. The base provides a secure rest for the GPU, but it is not secured by screws or even magnetic force. This will allow the GPU to “fishtail” on its I/O bracket and could result in damage to the GPU. If you wanted to lay the case on its back for something such as removal of the CPU or similar service procedures, the GPU should be removed. Likewise, I would recommend removal of the GPU entirely for transportation or movement of the case to a new location. The inclusion of a strong magnet in the riser base block to “stick” the GPU to the floor of the case, at the least, would minimize the risk here.
  • Front and Bottom Filter Access. The front panel assembly has to be removed to access the filters. Based on how it is designed, it may have been unavoidable. Again, not difficult, but inconvenient. At least the bottom panel filter slides out of the front, which eliminates the need to move the tower away from the wall behind it to access the filter. This inconvenience is in contrast with removal of the top panel grille, that is achieved easily in a matter of seconds. Convenience aside, the potential issue here is the more often you must remove the front panel assembly, the more likely it is that you will break it, or the tabs that secure it, by accident.

Below is a short video showing a couple of things that might have been a little better. Please forgive the somewhat janky video quality as I attempted to manage the camera in one hand and manipulate things with the other.

Wrap-Up and Rating

My goal in this review was to avoid replicating everything that you would find in other reviews and videos, and I hope our readers found value in covering the things seldom mentioned. At the end of the day, a case is a very personal choice in a custom build.

I must say that the be quiet! DARK BASE PRO 901 is, overall, the nicest case I have ever owned. It is truly beautiful. The ingenuity, build quality, attention to detail, fit and finish are second to none. It is a huge case that doesn’t look and feel like a monstrosity. Big enough to do almost anything you would want to do, without going over the top. The amount of time and effort that went into the engineering of it is evident. In addition to first-class product support, be quiet! backs it with a three year warranty against material and manufacturing defects.

Whether you intend to build a system with a fancy multi-radiator custom loop, go with an AIO-cooled CPU, AIO-cooled GPU, or both, it is up to the task. If air cooling is your thing, you have the option to remove the silencing panels and add a glut of fans to tame your beast.

The be quiet! DARK BASE PRO 901 was found at Amazon and NewEgg for $329.99. The other retailers linked on be quiet! product page did not list it, but it is a new product and distribution may not be in full swing. While it is a bit on the spendy side, considering the quality, product support and longevity one can expect from a case of this caliber, the price is appropriate. You can certainly spend less and get less. If you are hoping for an option in white, I could find nothing to indicate a white version would be available.

As we wind this down with a rating award, ExtremeHW would like to once again thank our friends at be quiet! for providing the DARK BASE PRO 901 for review. Without reservation, it receives the highest rating we have to offer. 

Thoughtful Design, Engineering and Ingenuity ThroughoutAppropriately Expensive
Highly Configurable for Liquid CoolingNo White Colored Option
Unprecedented Interior Layout Flexibility
Excellent Build Quality and Aesthetics
3 Year Warranty

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