Impressive Case – be quiet! Pure Base 500 Review
Well hello good people, I’m Dmitri and welcome to my review of the Pure Base 500 from be quiet!. This is my favorite enclosure from them so far, and I feel like it puts them on the radar for people who are looking for a case in this price category and size. It’s not too large, it’s not trying to do too many things at all, and I think they did a pretty good job. Price wise you’re looking at $70 for the black model and $75 for the metallic grey and white models, plus a $10 premium for the windowed editions. As for US pricing, there is a $5 USD premium on all the models, which is not terrible, but it’s slightly chipping away at the whole value argument. I’m guessing all case manufacturers are facing this price increase for the US market due to new tariffs. That is unless you’re Phanteks, who for some reason don’t have US and global pricing, they are absorbing the extra expenses in order to stay extra competitive.
Now before we get into noise, temperatures, and assembly procedure, let me tell you about this beautiful new colour: metallic grey. I really appreciate be quiet’s departure from their traditional black and orange colour scheme, and I’m really surprise that there are no orange accents anywhere on the Pure Base 500 series at all. We have our traditional black and white models, but metallic grey looks absolutely gorgeous. It’s a darker grey, it’s not a light aluminum gray, and I love that it almost reveals hints of green or hints of orange depending on the angle. It’s awesome. The metallic grey is both on the outside and the inside, and I appreciate that it is dark enough to compliment black hardware nicely.
Front Panel & I/O
The front panel is plastic with a brushed texture, which is awesome for this price point. It also looks very premium without leaving a bunch of fingerprint marks. I appreciate the rounded corners both on top and the bottom of this front panel, it’s a little bit less conventional than be quiet’s usual designs, but it’s like an evolution of the Pure Base series. I also appreciate the matching metallic grey colour scheme for the dark out perimeter on the glass, so it hides whatever frame is underneath.
As for the front I/O, it’s pretty basic with dual USB 3.0 ports, a power button, no reset button, and audio jacks. Unfortunately, there is no USB Type-C port, but the only case in this price category that actually has a Type-C port is the NZXT H510, but it does only have a single USB Type-A port. Behind the front panel you can install dual 140mm fans or triple 120mm fans with their respective radiator sizes, and you can also remove the hard drive cage completely to give yourself a lot of space for push-pull configurations and thick radiators. You can also mount the hard drive in a second position slightly further away from the front to give you a little extra clearance for a radiator.
The Top Panel
Given how the frame is designed the fan can be installed on either side of the fan mount. As for dust filtration, we have the side plates on the front panel and this massive dust filter that you can slide out from the front. Initially, I was wondering why is the dust filter that large spanning the entire bottom of the case, but if you remove the hard drive cage there are some exposed cut-outs and this large filter covers them. As for the top panel, I really love this ventilation pattern design. I was kind of hoping we would see something similar for the front panel to keep the whole ventilation pattern consistent, because we find this ventilation pattern on the power supply shroud as well.
Back to the top panel, there is a magnetic cover that you can either remove or flip around, and it does have a little bit of ventilation holes that are perfectly matched to the ventilation pattern underneath it. I think the main purpose of this panel is to contain the noise, and it actually does block out a lot of it. It also provides a little bit of passive exhaust through whatever ventilation is available, because once I installed the 120mm exhaust fan at the very back the top panel did cover it up a little bit.
Thankfully, there is an additional magnetic panel that you can install at the top if you’re using that area for either intake or exhaust. Since the mounting locations are offset closer to the side panel, you could mount a 240mm radiator up there without interfering with your RAM modules. Now the issue is that the filter is very restrictive for either intake or exhaust. As you will see in my temperature testing, it’s better to not use it because it does actually increase temperatures if you have any exhausting fans at the top. Furthermore, this panel is actually not doing anything for the noise profile when it’s installed. I wish that it would block out a little bit of noise, but it doesn’t. If you want a more silent system, that’s where the other more solid panel comes to play and it does make system actually quieter.
All right, so moving inside, we have two fans included. These are the Pure Rings 2 140m fans that can spin at up to 900 RPM, up to ATX motherboards are supported, but nothing larger. There is a dual SSD bracket with the be quiet! logo in the middle, and the SSDs face each other which is kinda cool. At the back we have an additional bracket for dual SSDs and some Velcro straps to help with cable management and plenty of cable ties. Now the SSD bracket beside the motherboard can be removed, so you can mount your drives outside of the enclosure which helps with cable management when that whole area is completely open. However, I did find the area to be a little bit tight when I was mounting the bracket back into the enclosure, especially with that USB 3.0 cable. I feel like that 90 degree cable exit is a little bit too tight for individually sleeve cables. They would not look pretty, but for regular power supply stuff I think we’ll be fine. As for the back, everything is pretty straightforward. In terms of cable management you can definitely do a better job than me. Just keep in mind that there is sound dampening material applied on the panel itself, which reduces the total spacing between the motherboard tray and the panel.
Temperatures & Acoustics
As for temperatures, here our stock results. What I open that front panel there’s a seven degree difference for the CPU while the GPU stays the same. I then mounted the front fan to the top exhaust and both our CPU and GPU dropped significantly versus the stock configuration. I’m surprised that be quiet! did not actually ship the system like this, but it’s probably because they want to keep the top panel to isolate some of the noise. We tested with the front panel on and with the top panel off. Look what happens to the temperatures when the add the top filter, both the GPU and CPU spike up a little bit but still gives us a much better results versus the stock configuration. As for the temperatures, at stock configuration it’s nothing to brag about, but in my front fan to top reconfiguration it is definitely much cooler than the majority of cases that I’ve tested. I definitely recommend you doing this if you buy the Pure Base 500. As for system noise, mean the fans are spinning at 900 RPM, definitely slower than anything else in my comparison. It is a very quiet enclosure indeed, and you will definitely increase the noise profile if you do relocate the front fan to the top, but not significantly.
Where do we go from here? Well the Pure Based 500 isn’t super innovative. It’s not doing anything too drastically different versus everything else on the market. They are just trying to be competitive with the NZXT H510, the Phanteks P350X and P400A, and I don’t mind that at all. I really love the new metallic grey colour, the compact form factor, and everything about the assembly procedure and the cable management. It satisfies everything that I would want in a mid-tower of this caliber. It is a very quiet enclosure, but they are using lower RPM fans versus the competition. Also, relocating the front fan top the top of the case definitely improves the temperatures, but it doesn’t increase the noise profile, at least not significantly anyway. I was hoping for a slightly better designed filter for the top, because while it looks pretty and it’s magnetic, it’s just quite restrictive for airflow and it does not block out the noise anyway so you might just well keep it off to get better temperatures.
This case does not have a USB Type-C port and some of you might complain that it does not have any integrated lighting, but I kinda like the plain interior with my own purple illumination on the inside. If there was one thing to complain about it would be the price delta between the black, metallic grey, and the white variants. I understand paying $10 more for the tempered glass models, but it feels like the $85 metallic grey tempered glass model versus $70 black with a solid panel model is a bit too much of a price difference in the really competitive $70 case market.