Sunday, February 27, 2022

be quiet! Pure Base 500DX Black Review

I purchased this case on Amazon for $107.89 on February 9, 2022.

I was planning on buying NZXT H510 Flow, but I decided against it because I have an MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 12 GB GAMING X TRIO. The length of the GPU is 324 mm (12.76"L x 5.51"H). I was unsure if the case would accommodate this GPU, therefore, I began searching for another case that wasn't too expensive.

This case was listed as being 450mm in length, and it was highly rated on Amazon, so I went for it.

For the most part, I agree that the case is excellent. The build quality is solid, the airflow is very good. It also accommodates a 280mm radiator quite easily. I did not have any issue mounting it on the front with fans pushing outside air onto the radiator (push config).

To get RGB lighting to work, there is a SATA connector that needs to be plugged in to a SATA power cable from the PSU. Provided the front panel is in place, this should make the base RGB effects to work without the need of any software. This is excellent because I do not want to install RGB software to control the case lighting. The out of the box effects are very nice.

However, I did have an issue getting all this to work. After I finished the assembly, RGB lighting wouldn't work. I checked the SATA power cable, and everything seemed fine. I thought something was wrong with the front panel (more on that in a bit). I contacted the support fully expecting them to give me some generic answer.

I was pleasantly surprised when they responded and were actually helpful. The issue was with the connector on the back of the front I/O; this was not fully plugged in. I had to push it into place and that did the trick.

As far as the performance goes, absolutely no complaints here. The fans are very quiet and even under heavy load, I wouldn't say the fans are loud. The case allows for excellent airflow, and the dust filters are much appreciated. Temperatures in idle can vary anywhere from 29C to 35C depending on the ambient temperature, and how long I have been gaming etc. I am quite happy with this.

I certainly do not regret buying this case, but I have two big issues, and I might have reconsidered this case had I known about these.

Removing the front panel is a pain. There are no screws holding it in place, instead its held in place by a notches on either side, and the panel needs to be yanked hard by pulling at the bottom. This is just not good design in my opinion. For a case that costs over $100, I would have expected a better way to hold the front panel.  

The second issue is the length of the case. While the case is barely spacious enough to accommodate as MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 12 GB GAMING X TRIO. There is not enough clearance between the GPU and the radiator to mount a fan on the radiator. For this reason, I had to switch the position of the fans and mount them on the front frame of the case. Its not a big deal, but a full push pull configuration is not possible. There is only enough room for one fan in the pull config. 

The height of the case prevents me from mounting two exhaust fans on the top of the case; the tubing from the radiator uses all the room needed for one fan, therefore I only mount one top exhaust fan. So now, I am left with a spare 140mm fan, and I decided to mount it on the radiator to pull air out. So I now have a full push, and half pull config. Not ideal, but it works just fine.

In addition to this, there is not enough room to mount a mechanical hard drive in the case. This is because while there is a mounting tray in the bottom of the case that is specifically designed for mechanical hard drives, I had to disconnect that to route PSU cables. I tried my best with PSU cable management, but I failed. Therefore, if you intend to use a mechanical hard drive, this is something you will want to consider.

I am kicking myself for not having come across the be quiet! Pure Base 600, which seems perfect for my build. Its even more painful considering its $10 cheaper at the time of this writing.

Friday, February 18, 2022

ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 280 Review (For LGA 1700)

NOTE for LGA 1700 Owners

Upgrade kits from Amazon are shipping with incorrect number of parts. I had to buy two upgrade kits to get all the parts I needed. The first kit I purchased only had three O-rings, while the second upgrade kit only had three LGA 1700 standoffs. My suggestion, buy two kits and RMA the other once you are done building. Someone at Arctic totally dropped the ball on this when packaging the kits.

Also read the manual very carefully

And watch this video -

Note - The video shows ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II, but backplate installation, and mounting is the same for ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 280.

Most importantly, use the right mounting standoffs. I made the mistake of getting the standoffs mixed during the build. This was totally my fault. 

I realized there was something wrong with the setup when I rendered a video, and the temperatures were hitting 100c. I would have expected synthetic benchmarks to do this, but not video rendering.

High temperature when video rendering

Here is an article on Arctic's website that mentions this fact.

Hopefully all this will become obsolete soon as companies adopt to the new LGA 1700 standard.

Full Parts List

Here is the full parts list from my latest build. I will discuss more about the parts in a different post.


Out of the box, the fans are mounted on the side with the tubes, with air pushing on to the radiator. I had to the change the position of the fans, and fit them to the back of the radiator. This was necessary to accommodate the cooler with my case. There was simply not enough clearance because of the GPU.

In addition to this, the size of the case restricted me from installing all three case fans. Therefore, I installed one of the spare case fans into the radiator. Refer to the picture for more information.

Front of the case

Third fan on the radiator


In a blended test in Prime95, the temperatures hover around 65 - 75c, and the torture test will hit 100c. This didn't matter with or without the wrong stand offs. Torture test will push all the cores to 100% utilization, and at this point, I expect the temperate to hit the thermal limit.

Real world tasks on the other hand, are far more forgiving. Playing Battlefield 2042 at ultra settings, the CPU temperature is around 65c, and video rendering has never crossed 70c.


I am quite pleased with the cooler. I truly wish Arctic had gotten its act together with the upgrade kits. I am going to rate this 4/5.