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.

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