The Pure Base 500DX is a mid-tower chassis from the German manufacturer be quiet!, and is looking to improve on the already successful Pure Base 500. The 500DX has been re-engineered and optimized for improved cooling and allowing for maximum airflow. Featuring clean, subtle ARGB lighting, it looks amazing whether you chose the black or white option. Let’s take a look at what the Pure Base 500DX offers.
Features and Specifications
The 500DX is constructed primarily of steel. The left-side panel is thick tempered glass while the front panel and a few of the other smaller pieces are constructed of ABS plastic. Overall, it has a sturdy feel to it without being too heavy.
The case offers lighting in two places: the front panel features a pair of frosted ARGB light bars and the inside has a single light strip that provides a subtle, yet pleasing ambiance.
At the front on the I/O panel are a pair of USB ports: one being a super speed 3.0 (USB 3.2 Gen1) and the other a 3.1 Type-C (USB 3.2 Gen2). High definition audio in and out ports are located between the power button and the ARGB controller button.
Included with the 500DX are three ‘Pure Wings 2’ 140 mm fans. At full speed, they are rated to produce 55.8 CFM of airflow creating only 17.1 decibels at 900 RPM. Whether air-cooled or water-cooled, be quiet! made sure this case was capable of keeping its components cool. The 500DX can manage CPU coolers of up to 190 mm tall and radiators as large as 360 mm long.
The Pure Base 500DX can house up to two 3.5 mm Hard Drives or up to five 2.5 mm Solid State Drives thanks to its HDD/SDD caddy and SSD mounting trays.
Here’s a list of the specifications per the be quiet! website.
|be quiet! Pure Base 500DX Specifications|
|Product Name||Pure Base 500DX|
|Available Colors||White, Black|
|Materials||Top Cover, Front Panel, & Stands: ABS Plastic, Steel Mesh
Body & Right Side Panel: Steel
Left Side Panel: Tempered Glass 4 mm
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||450 x 232 x 463 mm / 17.7 x 9.1 x 18.2 in|
|Motherboard Support||Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, & ATX|
|I/O Ports||USB 3.2 Gen 1 x 1
USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C x 1
HD Audio In & Out
|Liquid Cooling Support||
|Removable Dust Filter||Front, Bottom, & Top|
|Price||Newegg $99.99 / Amazon $124|
We have also included a list of features sourced from the be quiet! website.
The Pure Base 500DX is shipped in a traditional brown cardboard box with the usual information including the model number, features, specifications, etc. There is also a pair of QR codes that when scanned will take you to be quiet!’s web page. Inside, the case is wrapped in a typical plastic bag and capped at the top and bottom with Styrofoam for stability. A small central piece of foam is added for additional protection. Overall, the contents were secure and protected well.
Located inside the removable hard drive caddy is the accessories box which contains the assorted screws, zip ties, and a motherboard stand-off adapter tool. The 500DX also has an instructional booklet that is highly illustrated and in partial color. This is a warm welcome as most manufacturers will only include a fold-out pamphlet or list a link to a website for you to download a manual. There aren’t a ton of extras with this case, but you are provided the essentials needed to complete a build.
Exterior At A Glance
The Pure Base 500DX is not a radical eye-grabbing gaming case but gravitates more towards a clean, sophisticated look with its white and black hardware. This chassis also comes in black as well if white doesn’t tickle your fancy. The edges are made with straight lines and even the mesh gives a calmer, relaxed atmosphere.
The front panel is ABS plastic and is bulged forward to lessen that natural boxy-look cases are known to have. There is a depression at the top where the chrome be quiet! branding is located. Two nearly full-height mesh panels provide fresh air to the internal components. Down the center of the front panel are a pair of grey colored strips – these are actually ARGB light strips that, when powered on, provide beautifully colored accents.
Rotating to the left we get a crystal clear view into the left side of the case. Opting to forgo window tint, the 500DX’s clear tempered glass provides an unobstructed view of its internals along with a white bezel surround, which continues the look be quiet! was trying to achieve. Finally, securing the left side panel with four thumb screws makes for easy access when needed.
Spinning 180° takes us to the right side of the case. This all-steel panel is relatively featureless. Key points to mention will be the rear thumbscrews and pull flange to aid in removal. This is also a great time to cover the paint that be quiet! used: it has a satin finish, providing a slight shine without creating the glare that high gloss finishes have. In the white sample here, fingerprints are completely invisible and it did not need a single cleaning throughout this review process. This is highly unusual, and if fingerprints on your case are your bane, then you should take note.
Moving to the back, we get to the less desirable side of cases. We’ll go into more detail further down the review, but we should mention the two key features located here: the Pure Base 5000DX employs a PCI extension cover panel as well as a PSU mounting plate. It also provides the option for either a 120 mm or 140 mm rear fan.
To see the top better, the 500DX was laid on its right side. This allows for a great view of how well the top is ventilated – it’s possible to see all the way to the PSU shroud, and that is with the top filter still in place and through the case mesh. The top filter is removable and has a black plastic frame with be quiet!’s name branding. We also get our first look at the I/O panel; while it is located at the top, it’s also angled slightly down and ‘presented’ to the user, this should provide easy access to the functionality here (USB ports, power/reset buttons).
Rotating 180° again to view the bottom, we see the removable bottom filter. This is a full-length filter even though the lower PSU intake mesh is only roughly half the length of the chassis. The four trapezoidal feet are fitted with a fair amount of rubber padding to ensure a stable platform.
The Pure Base 500DX surely is a beautiful case from the outside. It looks to have some very noteworthy features at a glace, so without further adieu let’s see what this case has to offer in detail.
Starting at the left of the front I/O panel are the two USB ports: the first is a USB Type-C that is labeled “USB 3.1” and a second labeled “USB 3.0”. We reached out to be quiet! and confirmed these are USB 3.2 Gen1 (5 Gbps) and USB 3.2 Gen2 (10 Gbps) ports under the latest naming convention. The specifications pages have been updated, however, some of these were already produced before the change.
What is important is that you are provided with two ports capable of transferring data at very high speeds. At the center of the I/O port is the power button. Moving to the right is the microphone input jack and the headphone jack; these are both high definition ports which essentially come standard with all cases. Finally, at the far right, is the addressable RGB controller button. This button steps through the many pre-programmed LED settings.
The front panel is removed by firmly pulling at the bottom edge. It does take a bit more force than expected which led to some concern about breaking the retaining posts, but after removing the panel several times for this review, these concerns were unfounded. With the front panel off, we get a fantastic look at the front filter.
Looking a bit closer, you will notice at the right side is an electrical connector with three contact pads. These are the connection points for the front LED bars. This is a convenient addition as having to disconnect wiring while handling the front panel can be obtrusive. It is details like this at an “essential”-level case piques a curiosity about what be quiet!’s “high-end” and “premium” level cases offer. Hopefully, we will find out in the future. Looking at the backside of the front panel, down the center, is where the ARGB light strips reside, and near the top is where the spring-actuated electrical contact pins are located.
Casting aside the front panel we bring the focus back to the front intake filter. There is a small pull tab that allows the filter to swing open and pull out – it’s retained on the left side by several tabs and a long magnetic strip at the right. It has a black ABS plastic frame with honeycomb inner supports and the mesh is made of a fine grade fabric. This type of filter proves to be the best at reducing dust entering the case during normal operation.
With the filter removed we get to see the front intake fan that comes pre-installed. It is centrally located but can be repositioned if desired. Looking at the fan attaching slots, it is evident that there are accommodations for either 120 mm or 140 mm fans as well as radiators of up to 280 mm or 360 mm long.
With the front of the case fully covered we can rotate back to the left side. Removing the four thumbscrews we can see the glass is supported by posts surrounded by rubber bushings and the screws are also rubber-lined – typical of all quality cases that feature a tempered glass side panel. The rubber not only protects the glass from damage but also helps reduce noise caused by vibrations. The glass panel feels thicker than average and a quick check with the micrometer gives a reading of 4 mm. This is thicker than both the Phanteks Entoo Evolv ITX and the Antec P120 Crystal, very nicely done.
With the side panel removed we look at the rear of the chassis and notice the 140 mm rear exhaust fan. Below the fan are seven PCI extension cover plates. Looking inside to the top of the case is the final 140 mm fan. This one is located in the rear position and is set to exhaust. There are provisions for either two 120 mm fans or two 140 mm fans as well as radiators of 280 mm or 240 mm long.
When we continue around to the front, at the top are the I/O cables being routed to the back of the motherboard tray, and further down is the backside of the front fan and radiator mounting slots. The bottom of the case is taken up by a full-length PSU shroud. The shroud is vented to help air reach any graphics cards or other PCI devices. The front of the PSU shroud has an opening to make room for a radiator should one chose to add one here. Finally, there are three cable pass-through openings for routing USB, HD audio, front panel cables, or any other connections that need access to the bottom of the motherboard.
Directing our attention to the motherboard tray we find it has motherboard standoff locations for ATX, mATX, and mITX motherboards. The Pure base 500DX comes with standoffs pre-installed for an ATX board. The CPU cooler cutout is quite large and from here we can see one of the SSD trays. At the top are two large pass-through holes for CPU power cables, fans, and other cables. To the right is a removable SSD tray that is formed to allow a nearly full-length cable opening. The piece in the center of the SSD tray, with the chrome, be quiet! labeling is also removable and its purpose is to hide the SSD cables and aid in connecting them.
Moving to the other side of the case takes us to the right side. The two captive screws allow us to remove the panel, and we are pleased to find a sound deadening foam pad attached to it. This is certainly not a feature you will find on an entry-level case as be quiet! continues to surprise us with little details like this.
Proceeding to the top of the right side, we can count four hook and pile cable straps. These can be attached to any of the 15 attachment points. Towards the front is the removable SSD/Cable hiding tray. This is retained by a single captive thumbscrew at the top and a pair of tabs that fit into slots in the motherboard tray. Covering the CPU cut-out is the other SSD tray. This one is secured in the same fashion and both trays can hold a pair of 2.5″ SSD’s.
Proceeding down to the bottom, at the left is the HDD caddy. This is removable with a pair of captive thumbscrews and the underside also has a tab that slides into a slot at the bottom of the case. The caddy can also be relocated towards the rear, reducing the available space for the power supply and cables, but allowing a radiator to be mounted to the front of the case. We should also point out the proximity to the front fan mount when in the forward position – there is not a lot of venting with this HDD caddy, so when it is located in the forward position, a fan mounted in the front lower position would have its airflow severely hampered.
Moving to the back we get to the PSU mounting area. Here we plainly see adequate ventilation for a PSU’s lower intake. Four rubber pads are affixed to the bottom to further dampen any noise caused by vibrations.
As promised, we will now go into detail at the rear of the case. Starting at the top is the rear exhaust – this can utilize either a 120 mm or a 140 mm fan. Adjacent to this is the standard motherboard opening. Be sure to install the motherboard I/O plate before installing the motherboard. It’s rudimentary advice, but we’ve all done it, even if you refuse to admit it.
Moving on are the seven PCI extension covers. These are vented and secured with thumbscrews and another cover plate -this one is not vented and is added to prevent any large openings from allowing dust to enter. Finally, at the very bottom of the rear, is the PSU mounting plate. Four captive thumbscrews allow the removal of this plate and once removed we are yet again surprised with another hidden feature: there is foam padding on the backside of the PSU mounting plate that, when installed, will help to further reduce noise.
Laying the case back on its right side we return to the top. The filter here is the more coarse metal type. It is easily removed as it is held in place by four magnetic strips and another four magnetic buttons. Under the filter is the steel case mesh and the fan/radiator mounting slots. These slots are offset to the left to provide maximum clearance to the installed motherboard.
Looking at the bottom of the case, we find that the removable filter pulls out from the front. There isn’t a need to pull the case away from the wall and fight with cables when it comes time to clean this case. This is by far the most preferred and easy method for removing a bottom-mounted filter. This filter is also made from the same fine grade fabric as the front filter. This will keep the power supply happy and dust-free. With the filter removed, we can finally see the HDD mounting tabs and lower steel mesh clearly.
Included with the Pure Base 500DX are three ‘Pure Wings 2’ 140 mm fans. While these fans don’t have RGB lighting, what they do offer is an engineered nine-blade design touted to reduce noise-generating turbulence. Equipped with rifle bearings, the Pure Wings 2 provides an operational lifetime of 80,000 hours at a maximum speed of 900 RPM. Power is delivered via a standard 3-pin connecter (DC control) and the speed can be controlled by the motherboards fan speed software. Finally, all Pure Wings 2 fans come with a three-year warranty. This matches the duration of the warranty for the case, so no need to worry about replacing them.
‘Pure Wings 2’ 140 mm
For attaching hard drives and solid-state drives, the 500DX employs three different options. The first is a standard SSD tray that can hold two drives and mounts behind the motherboard tray. It is a tried-and-true method and is available in most enthusiast-level cases. The second method is a removable cable routing cover that allows the user to display their SSD’s through the left side of the chassis. Clipped to this is another removable piece that effectively hides the SATA power and data cables. The third method is a removable HDD/SSD combination caddy. With this one, either a pair of 3.5″ hard drives can be mounted through the rubber isolation grommets or a single HDD in the top slot, and a single SSD can be attached in the bottom slot. In total, the Pure Base 500DX can manage up to five 2.5″ drives and one 3.5″ drive, or four 2.5″ drives and two 3.5″ drives.
We’ve analyzed each section of this case and what we are seeing has been impressive. Now it’s time to grab some parts from the benching station and look at its potential. Here, we will focus on the 500DX’s ability to house custom water cooling components, large air coolers, manage cable routing, and of course see how beautiful she can look.
Water Cooled Build
First up is a mock-up custom loop. The Pure Base 500DX has the potential to be a capable water-cooling foundation. Starting at the front, builders will have the option of installing up to a 280 mm or 360 mm long radiator. With the HDD Caddy relocated to the inboard position, be quiet! has allowed room for up to a 35 mm thick radiator. Keep in mind the fans mount to the front side of the mounting slots. If one were to forego the HDD caddy altogether there is an impressive 87 mm of clearance. This was just enough room for the 60 mm thick radiator in the push/pull configuration you see in the first image. Of course, if you choose to use a 240 mm or 280 mm long radiator you can mount it in the top position and the HDD caddy will not be a concern at all.
At the top of the chassis, be quiet! has included mounting options for up to a 280 mm or 240 mm long radiator. Due to the mounting slots being offset to the left of the case, radiator thickness will only be hindered if the motherboard’s heatsink or ram heatsinks are exceptionally tall.
Water pump and reservoir mounting options are not included in the 500DX so a builder will need to be creative when attaching these components. In these situations, padded double stick tape can be your friend.
Air Cooled Build
Moving on to the air-cooled build it was necessary to remove all the water cooling components. For this build, a 160 mm tower air cooler is installed as well as a pair of SSD’s to showcase the SSD tray. In this configuration, it’s easy to see airflow will be completely unrestricted, allowing for maximum cooling.
Now, on to the messy portion of this review. The 15 cable tie points are great, as are the four cable straps, but with only 25 mm of clearance to route everything, this was the most frustrating part of this build. The SSD tray that mounts over the CPU cut-out was fine, but the one that showcases the SSD from the left side of the case was difficult to work with. Connecting two SATA power plugs and two SATA data connectors in that small of an area was quite the chore. If you plan on using this feature, I would highly advise using cables with 90° ends wherever you can. Also, if you try to remove this plate after you’ve routed the motherboard 20+4 pin connector, it’s just not going to happen.
The HDD caddy wasn’t much better. It sits so far to the right of the chassis that the cables need to really be smashed down just to get the right-side panel back on. With all that said, the Pure Base 500DX is able to manage the cable mess rather well once everything is situated where you want it.
The Pure Base 500DX may not be a radically designed, open-air, gaming case, but it’s not without its own touch of flair. There are a total of three addressable RGB light strips to add a fair amount of bling and when combined with the white and black contrast, it really doesn’t take much. The first two ARGB strips we discussed provide a dazzling show when looking at the front of the case. The third ARGB remains out of sight. You need to look up inside the top-left edge to see this strip. This one is responsible for all the interior lighting, and as you will see, plenty bleeds out to the outside as well. When combined with the 500DX’s built-in ARGB controller you are presented with 27 pre-programmed light settings that cycle through white, red, green, blue, orange, purple, and various rainbow colors. Below are just a few examples but please forgive my camera’s color sensor. It’s not the greatest.
Thermal Testing Procedure
Now that we’ve seen what this case can house, it’s time to test whether it is getting adequate airflow. With the case in its stock orientation and all the fans at full speed, an overclock will be applied to the CPU and GPU. The overclock will be as high as possible, maintaining stability and staying within the thermal limits of the components. To apply a load to the CPU and GPU, AIDA64 Extreme and 3D Mark Firestrike will be run together for about a half-hour, providing for the maximum internal case temperature. Then, remove the side panel and continue for another full run of Firestrike measuring the temperature drop. If the case is getting proper airflow then the case temperatures will remain within a few degrees of the original result. If there is a significant temperature drop with the side panel removed then the case is starving for fresh, cool air.
|be quiet! Pure Base 500DX Testing System|
|Case||be quiet! Pure Base 500DX|
|Motherboard||ASRock Z97 OC Formula|
|CPU||Intel i7-4790k 4.30Ghz @1.225 v|
|CPU Cooler||Cooler Master Hyper 212X|
|Memory||2×4 Gb G.Skill Sniper 2133 Mhz|
|GPU||Gigabyte RTX2070 Gaming OC 8G (not pictured)|
|Storage||Samsung 256 Gb 850 EVO|
|Power Supply||EVGA 850 W GQ|
|Operating System||Windows 10 64 bit|
|Stock fans||3x 140 mm ‘Pure Wings 2’ @900RPM|
|Temperature Probe||Amprobe TMD-52|
Looking at the results, the Pure Base 500DX was able to keep temps within a few degrees of ambient and only noticed a 2°C temperature drop with the left side panel was removed. These are excellent results demonstrating it’s very capable airflow. As you can see from the comparison chart the 500DX is on par or better than the other cases in this test.
The Pure Base models are advertised to be “the best combination of silence and flexibility features for a good price”. Based on this review, it is easy to determine that be quiet! has delivered on this statement. With the full front mesh panel and three Pure Wings 2 fans, the 500DX has nailed the proper mixture of adequate airflow while maintaining relative silence.
The extra-thick tempered glass and ARGB lighting provide the perfect balance of flair without excessive glare. There are added touches that were surprising to find such as the sound-deadening padding on the right-side panel, the foam padding on the back-side of the PSU adapter, and even the removable cable management cover that eloquently hides the cable mess while displaying the internal SSD’s to the user. There were some frustrations along the way but the overall experience with the 500DX was a pleasant one.
So how much does a Pure Base 500DX cost? Well, going through Amazon they only offer the Pure Base 500DX through third party vendors and will cost you $124 for the Black variation. However, going through Newegg you can choose between the White or Black models for only $99. Are these fair prices for what is offered? Absolutely. With all the features listed above and factoring in the build quality and warranty, it’s really a no brainer. The be quiet! Pure Base 500DX is Overclockers.com Approved.