Be quiet! Pure Base 500 review: Incredibly affordable quality case
There's more than meets the eye with this case.
Be quiet! makes some premium components for PC builds, notably cases. The Dark Pro 900 is an excellent chassis if you can afford it, but not everyone has that amount to drop on a case alone. Be quiet! knows this, which is why the new Dark Base 500 exists, offering similar thermals and features in a more compact, affordable package.
$90Bottom line: A stunning, silent mid-tower PC case.
- Build quality
- Loads of space
- Whisper quiet
- Tempered glass window
- Good value
- No USB Type-C
Whisper quiet PC chassis
The Pure Base 500 is part of be quiet!'s more affordable range of cases, but this chassis still commands quite the price tag. What is expected when purchasing any product from be quiet! is German quality, and that's apparent with the Pure Base 500. Available in three colors (black, grey, and white), this handy little chassis has numerous features for system builders, making it a strong contender for your next mid-tower build.
|I/O||Two USB 3.0 Type-A|
|Fans||Front: 3x 120/2x 140mm|
Top: 2x 120mm/2x 140mm
Rear: 1x 120/140mm
|Radiators||Front: up to 360mm|
Top: up to 240mm
Rear: up to 140mm
|Clearance||GPU: up to 369mm|
CPU: up to 190mm
|Weight||7.53 kg (16.6 lbs)|
|Dimensions||450 mm x 231 mm x 463mm|
|Materials||ABS, steel, tempered glass|
We received a black Pure Base 500, which certainly looks the part. There's very little in terms of aggressive styling, or any styling in general. It's a clean-looking chassis with an emphasis on subtly and functionality, rather than standing out. That's not to say you can't make it "pop" with all the RGB lighting you can afford, thanks to the side tempered glass panel.
This mid-tower from be quiet! has quite the specification sheet, allowing for plenty of customization. You can install up to five SSDs (not including any M.2 slots on your motherboard, three radiators with a 360mm and 240mm in the top and front, respectively. There's a filter located underneath the case for the PSU. Be quiet! designed this case to exhaust through the rear and top.
Included with the case are two Pure Wings 2 fans, both 140mm that are housed in the front and rear. While we'd recommend installing a further three fans at least (one to accompany the blower in the front, as well as two in the top panel for exhaust), this default configuration should be just enough to get your build up and running with promising results, thanks to the chassis design.
On the front of the be quiet! Pure Base 500, we have two USB 3.0 Type-A ports (no USB Type-C), front audio jack, and the power button. The front panel is clutter-free with only a small be quiet! logo near the bottom. Intake vents are located on each side of the panel, though no filter is present — be quiet! opted to use a mesh that should keep out debris and the like, but you may still see some dust making its way inside.
The side panels are bare. One is tempered glass, the other steel. The top is where things get a little interesting for the Pure Base 500. You have the option of a mesh for better airflow or a solid panel with small openings and sound dampening. Depending on whether you're going for performance or noise reduction, the choice is available. Finally, the rear of the case houses cut-outs for the motherboard rear I/O, CPI slots, and the PSU bracket — thankfully, be quiet! didn't install a PSU extension cable here.
Overall, there are plenty of features included with the striking design that makes the Pure Base 500 an excellent chassis on paper. Actually installing components and making the case truly yours is a whole different matter altogether.
Building inside the be quiet! Pure Base 500
Building inside the be quiet! Pure Base 500 is a breeze. Modern-day chassis are incredibly versatile and simple to handle, and this case is no different. The tempered glass side panel comes off with just four thumbscrews, revealing a spacious interior, considering the dimensions and form factor. Most of the inside is reserved for up to an ATX full-size motherboard, alongside plenty of space for radiator mounting.
The PSU shroud covers all the parts of the case you'd likely want to keep hidden, while the HDD compartment can be removed with two thumbscrews to open the front of the case to fit larger radiators (or three 120mm blowers). Plenty of detail is present, with much more to be appreciated once the other side panel has been removed. Be quiet! never fails in the cable management department, and the Pure Base 500 is clean from the factory.
You have plenty of Velcro cable ties, not to mention mounts for days to keep your cables looking neat. A slight drawback for some may be how rubber grommets have been replaced by a strip of metal to allow you to route cables through from the rear to the front compartment. I can see the positives of both designs, and to me, this implementation looks good, especially if you're rocking custom cabling from your PSU.
Performance-wise, there's plenty of air flowing through this case. The intakes on the front are large enough to support five 120mm fans installed — two intakes and three exhaust. Temperatures were competitive against other mid-tower cases, and sound levels were very low, thanks to the sound dampening. While not a large tower PC case, it's easy to get carried away and create some killer-looking systems with the Pure Base 500.
An almost flawless chassis design
It's difficult to pick apart this case when hunting for flaws. Sure, the protective packaging is reasonably hard, but so too is the packaging for other cases within this price segment. The only gripe I have is with the tempered glass side window. Companies like NZXT have managed to come up with a hinge system that makes it easy to extract the panel without causing irreparable damage.
There is one disappointing design choice that may leave you feeling confused — the omission of SUB Type-C on the front panel. More devices are making use of Type-C USB cabling, and it seems a little strange that be quiet! chose not to include said port with the front I/O. Granted, most Type-C cabling has female Type-A connectors, but it would have been nice to have both options available.
There's also no mounting options for custom water cooling loops out-the-box, which is a shame given you can fit some beefy radiators inside the Pure Base 500.
So should you buy be quiet! Pure Base 500?
You should consider the be quiet! Pure Base 500 PC case if you plan on building a compact system. This chassis offers a clean foundation to work with, packing many features found in the company's more premium (and pricier) cases, all wrapped up in a sleek-looking shell. For most people who simply wish to have an easy case to build a functional PC without issue, this is a great option.
There's also not very much to complain about, aside from the lack of any Type-C port on the front I/O, no mounting options for pumps and reservoirs for custom water-cooling setups, and a tempered glass side panel you'll need to be very careful with when removing. Overall, be quiet! has made a compelling PC mid-tower case at a solid price. This thing should cost more than it does.
A somewhat affordable wonder to behold
I was skeptical about a more budget-friendly chassis from be quiet!, believing a few corners would be cut, but the Pure Base 500 is a solid-looking well-built PC case.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.