Today we are reviewing a case from be quiet! – this is Pure Base 500DX, which is a new version to their Pure Base 500 case released last year.
We will cover what you get for your money, our experience building in it and benchmarking its performance.
Let’s jump straight into it. It features a full size tempered glass side panel and comes in two colours. White and also black.
500DX is a brand new version from the 500 series but what are the differences? The main and probably the most notable difference is the change of front panel. It is now mostly mesh for increased airflow with an included filter behind it. More on the filter later on.
Also this is the first case to feature addressable RGB, and I want to say they have executed it with style. You find two strips at the front, and one inside the case just off the side panel illuminating the components. These lights can be controlled using a dedicated button at the font of the case or by the motherboard. They connect using a standard 3 pin 5V cable.
It’s nice that be quiet! also includes an additional pre-installed Pure Wings 2 140mm fan with this case, making it a total of three: one at the front, one at the back and one at the top.
The last big change is the inclusion of USB 3.1 Gen2 type-C at the top of the panel. Other than that we also have USB 3 type-A, microphone and audio ports as well as the aforementioned lighting control button.
The case itself is not terribly large, but it can support up to a full size ATX motherboard, as well as a bunch of fan and radiator options, so you can pick and choose here. If you want to install all the possible fans then it can fit one extra 140mm fan at the front and one at the top. Bringing the total to five 140mm fans. Or you can install three 120mm fans at the front and two at the top, plus one at the back. To be fair it would be a little weird buying a case with three fans and changing them out.
In regards to radiators, here you can fit up to a 360mm at the front and up to 240mm up-top as well as all smaller sizes. If you wanted to upgrade the cooling, I’d suggest moving the front fan to the top and then installing three 120mm fans or 360mm liquid AIO cooler at the front. This would provide you with plenty of cooling.
500DX has three sets of air filters. A sliding one at the bottom, a sleek magnetic one at the top and one behind the front panel. This one I have an issue with. To access the filter you have to rip the front panel off and then you can remove it for cleaning. While be quiet! has definitely done great by users by including contact pads for the front RGB strip so you cannot damage it – every time I need to access it, I feel uneasy as it requires a considerable amount of force. Then again, even in the best case scenario this panel will not be opened that often so I suspect it can last a while.
When it comes to hard drive support – we can fit up to five 2.5 inch drives. Two of them just to the right form the motherboard next to the be quiet! sign, and two at the back behind the CPU, plus one more on the bottom of the hard drive cage. Do bear in mind that it will reduce the 3.5 inch drive capacity from 2 to 1.
In the box we have an accessory pack which includes screws for the motherboard and drive mounting as well as some cable ties. These are extras, as there are already pre-installed velcro straps behind the back panel.
Moving on to the build itself. Here we will be putting together a high end AMD system with: Ryzen 9 3900XT on ASUS TUF B550 motherboard with ASUS Strix 2080 Super graphics card and KLEVV NVME SSD KLEVV CRAS X RGB RAM 8GB with 3600 speed and for cooling we are using BeQuiet Pure Rock 2 Air cooler without any additional fans to create a realistic build using just what is provided with the case.
Moving on to the build itself, we are setting up as much as we can outside of the case. First put in CPU, making sure to align the triangles. Then we install the NVMe drive, and as you will see throughout – we have opted for all RGB build, but I feel this case looks great either way. As to RAM, I already did a test fit and there is plenty of space so mounting larger RGB sticks won’t be a problem, the two sticks will perform and look nice here. Lastly we need to mount the cooler, starting with the mounting brackets. One thing I like about this air cooler from be quiet! is that it comes with a pre applied thermal compound. We set it down and tighten, then add the fan and plug that in. It is important to start cable management as soon as you can, so take your time to route the cables out of the way and ensure to plug them in. This is why I prefer building as much as I can on top of the desk where I have better reach.
This case comes with a power supply bracket so first you will need to mount to that and then the whole thing slides in and locks in place using thumb screws. Make sure to install your IO shield, providing it is not integrated, then we are ready to start mounting inside.
In our build we are using a Micro ATX board, but a full ATX one would fit just as well.
Moving on to GPU – we remove the PCI Express bracket and then the covers. I like that these are on the outside of the case for easier reach with the screwdriver. For this specific build we are using a ROG Strix 2080 Super which is a chunky and long card and it fits just fine with even some space to spare. If you were to mount the radiator to the front of the case with the fans towards the GPU you should really check clearances, but if you put fans on the other side you should be fine with most cards.
For cable management around the motherboard we have plenty of cutouts and they are reasonably tucked away with plenty of space. All with exception of one. I had to temporarily remove the top fan to plug in the CPU power cable. This could have been avoided if I plugged it in before fully installing the motherboard or if my cooler wasn’t as big. To be fair this is a very small issue as you can always take off the fan and put it back on after the cable is plugged in.
For cable management at the back – well this is just a breeze. First I took all the velcro straps off and pulled the cables to the middle, then tightened them one strap at the time. It was very easy and the result was a very clean back panel. To be fair we don’t have a bunch of hard drives and cables associated with them, but I feel there wouldn’t be much problem as the bottom part of the case is still very empty.
Since I just quickly pushed the cables together they did create a slight bulge. This is something that can be avoided if done more neatly. Because of this when closing the back panel, it needed a little push.
All that’s left to do is to turn it on and, oh boy, it looks slick with those two LED strips at the front and all the RBG goodness on the inside.
Overall this case is certainly aesthetically pleasing, plus very easy to build in with plenty of options for expansion. Even though this is a mid size case, it actually feels really large. And personally we prefer the white version. What do you guys think?
But looks alone is not enough though – let’s jump into some benchmarks. While doing these tests, our ambient temperature was 27 degrees Celsius. First test here is Cinebench R20 and we have scored just shy of 7000 points on the multicore test.
The temps here reached mid to high 80s which is very reasonable and PC remained silent.
Next we wanted to carry out a much longer test so we fired up Blender and here it quickly gets to high 80s and peaks at 93. Pretty hot but still within reason and still very quiet.
We also ran a few games at 1080p with all the settings maxed. In Shadow of the Tomb Raider this PC averaged 126FPS and 106FPS at 1 percentiles. CPU temp staying in mid 60s and GPU temp in low to mid 50s.
In Doom Eternal we have an average of 268FPS and 205FPS on 1 percentiles. Here we can see CPU temperature staying at around 67 degrees and GPU temperature around 58.
In both gaming examples this PC was extremely quiet and this leads us into the next section. Let’s quantify how loud or in this case how quiet it actually is. To start we checked the room noise floor and it is 35 decibels while everything is turned off and 36.5 with only AC on. For the test we have two scenarios. In the first one the PC is 30cm away. This simulates someone having a PC right next to them. Here at idle the registered noise while measuring from the side is 38.6 decibel and from the front is 39.1.
When we load it up with both Prime95 and Furmark the fans spin up to max and we have 43.5 decibel from the side and 44.2 decibel from the front.
In the second test we are measuring from 50cm, this simulates a more realistic scenario of a PC being an arm length away or under the desk.
While idle we have 38 decibel from the side and 37.5 decibel from the front. When we have applied the same load, at full speed the noise goes up to 40.5 decibel from the side and 40.8 decibel while at the front.
So what do all of these numbers mean? The general loudness levels of someone whispering is around 30 decibels, and the library is around 40. 50 decibels is equivalent to light rain. Based on this, while at idle even sitting right next to the PC it is in between whispering and sitting in the library and when pushing the PC to its highest we are only ever getting light rain noise levels which to me is pretty quiet. Of course there will be people who are very sensitive to the noise, but you also have to consider that it only gets audible when being really pushed to the max.
To conclude: if it was not clear yet – we are very big fans of this case. The balance between aesthetics and performance is superb. It has great airflow and cooling at its stock configuration and plenty of flexibility for an upgrade. If someone is looking for a well rounded case at around 100 USD you really can’t fault it.
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