First we decided to try a build inside the Dark Base Pro 900 using the standard out-of-the-box configuration.
Given how large the case is we didn't find a need to remove the motherboard tray and instead dropped the Gigabyte Z97X-SOC motherboard in without first preinstalling any other components. Securing the CPU and then the massive Silverstone Heligon Series HE02 heatsink with the motherboard already in the case was easily done.
There is even room to reach the motherboard's 8-pin power connector with the HE02 heatsink installed.
Speaking of power connectors, the massive Corsair AX1500i fit without having to remove any hard drive cages. This power supply measures 225mm long, but if you remove the hard drive cages you can go as long as 284mm -- good luck with that!
Installing the power supply is a bit more messing around than normal as it doesn't simply just slot into the rear of the case where it can be accessed externally. Instead it sits internally and requires a separate panel for rear access. This means the rear panel must first be removed to secure the power supply into the internal bracket. It's not difficult but quite a few extra steps are involved.
Helping streamline the process is the fact that Be Quiet! has preconnected the case fans to the controller. It's all very neat.
Finally, we installed a pair of GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition graphics cards and found that even with the drive cages installed there was still 55mm of clearance. At this point we decided to hit pause on this build, rewind by removing everything and pull the Dark Base Pro 900 apart for an inverted setup.
With a pretty good idea of what it is like to build inside the Dark Base Pro 900 in its standard configuration, we decided to change things up. The most unique feature of this case is its ability to be deconstructed and reconstructed as an inverted case, so we though that needed to be checked out.
In the above photo you can see just how heavily the case can be stripped down and getting to this point only takes 20 minutes or so.
Minus the large panels and the motherboard tray this is what you end up with once the Dark Base Pro 900 has been fully pulled apart.
This time we went with a different massive cooler, the Thermalright Le Grand Macho, which was able to be orientated in such a way that is almost pressed up against the exhaust fan, removing the need for a dedicated fan on the heatsink.
When inverted the CPU cooler sits just above where the power supply will be mounted. Unfortunately, the Gigabyte Z97X-SOC does have a bit of an awkward PCIe layout which forced us to place the primary card right up against the Le Grand Macho cooler. The single slot spacing also meant that we couldn't use the 3-slot HB SLI bridge.
This time we mounted three 6TB WD Black hard drives in the top three 3.5" drive cages and removed the remaining cages, leaving a huge open section in the front of the case. This is the type of layout those going with custom water-cooling setups would use. Alternatively, you can populate this section of the case with storage drives.
Overall the Dark Base Pro 900 was a lot of fun to work with and I can only imagine the different configurations enthusiasts are going to come up with.
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