bequiet! Dark Base 900

Expect to pay: $260-330 AUD

When it comes to building a high-end gaming rig which doubles as a work-station, buyers are likely to run into a peculiar problem, at least in Australia: seemingly no cases have room for a DVD drive. You can choose between that dinky little cheap box which just may fit a decent graphics card and just keep everything cool enough but has room for a DVD drive, or that slick, fan-studded case which looks spectacular but which will condemn you to forever burning your discs using an external DVD writer.

Fortunately, this is where the Dark Base 900 comes in. A huge black monster of a case, it has plenty of room to spare, with its capacity for up to nine HDDs and two DVD drives. For those interested in cooling, it comes already fitted with three Silent Wings 3 Fans, and has enough room to add nearly seven more, or your own custom water-cooling rig. And while you can’t see through the black, brushed steel (though there is an option for a side-panel with a window), the Dark Base 900 has another massive advantage: it’s soundproofed. Even with the GPU and CPU fans running flat out, you’ll barely notice it.

This case was a delight to build in, and even more of a delight to run, keeping components well within operating ranges even with the front-panel door closed. In fact, I found only two issues with this case. Firstly, the front panel can be easily scratched, so making sure its in a place where nobody is likely to run into it is important (that, and to have a few decal stickers handy, just in case). Secondly, and more severely, installation of the PSU require some screws holding the back-panel grills to be undone. This in itself is not a problem, but the softness of the metal the screws are made out of, is. One particularly tight screw, despite using the correct screwdriver size, deformed meaning it simply couldn’t be removed without drilling it out – a course of action I happily did not have recourse to, because I later realised I was trying to loosen the grill panel one-above where I actually needed, and wasn’t going to use in any event.

Yes, its imposing design, size and weight – a hefty 14kgs before you install anything inside it – may not be for everyone, and yes, the screws could definitely be better, but there’s simply no denying that the Dark Base 900 does the job, and does it very well. If you’re looking for a large, spacious and cool case, the Dark Base 900 is hard to go past. ■

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