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John Weland | June 3, 2020

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Pure Base 500DX mid-tower case by bequiet!

Coming hot off the heels of our Pure Rock 2 review, bequiet! asked us if we would like to check out the Pure Base 500DX: a mid tower computer case based off their Pure Base 500 chassis, re-imagined for airflow.

Unboxing

In true bequiet! fashion, the Pure Base 500DX came well packed with plenty of hardcell, and wrapped in a plastic cover. Although, aside from the chassis, there wasn’t much else in the box. A small 25-page booklet highlighting some of the mounting areas for SSDs, fan mount locations, and the ARGB setting.

Inside one of the 3.5″ drive bays within the case was a small box of various accessories, from mounting screws and a standoff tool to zip ties. Not a lot of things, but plenty to get you up and running. It’s always nice to see a few zip ties included for cable management.

Features & Build Quality

The Pure Base 500DX is structurally rigid, thanks in large part to its rolled steel frame and panels (right panel and front mesh). But the front panel I/O is a mixed bag for me. On one hand, it is great to see more chassis with a USB 3.1 Gen 2 (type-C) port. On the other hand, that uses a mechanically and electrically different header than the USB 3 port does and that header is more than capable of driving more than one USB 3 (type A) ports. There is plenty of room on the front O/I so seeing only one USB 3 (Type A) was a little disappointing but certainly not a deal breaker.

One of the neatest features is that the front panel is completely removable despite having electrical component on it (ARGB). This is because rather than a trail of wires to connect up those LEDs, they use Pogo Pins or Pin & Pad connections. However, this is a really nice feature. It would be great if more cases would utilize little attention to detail/quality of life things like this.

The Pure Base 500DX chassis is built for airflow – in other words, there’s an allowance for a maximum of seven 120mm fans or five 140mm fans to be installed (three of which are already included). You can also fit an array of radiators in here for closed or custom water cooling.

The top, bottom, and front intakes are fully filtered with removable mesh filters, therefore it’s easy to keep your PC relatively dust-free.

front120, 140, 240, 280, 360
top120, 240
rear120, 140
Radiator Support

Pure Base 500DX – Visually

I received the white (white and black) version of the Pure Base 500DX, which looks great. At first, I was on the fence with regard to the issue of the white and black vs making the case all white. It was a stark contrast and I really wasn’t sure about it. However, after sitting with it for a week, I don’t really notice the black accents as much anymore.

The ARGB accents are nice. It’s one of the few devices in the RGB realm I’ve found that hits a nice deep orange color. You can change the colors and color/patterns with a click of a button on the front I/O or, if you have a compatible motherboard, you can plug in the ARGB header and control it with your motherboard’s lighting software suite.

Pure Base 500DX – Acoustically

I feel like I’m always beating this drum about bequiet! living up to their name. and this review is no exception. Between the three 140mm Pure Wings 2 fans and the sound dampening foam on the right side panel, this was a dead silent build. We are getting into the heat/humidity of summer here at the office, but using my new decibel meter I was able to get my office noise floor down to about 40.0dbA. With dehumidifiers, AC units, and room fans all running, it was difficult to get any lower.

As my decibel meter sat exactly 1 inch away from the PureBase 500DX front panel, we dialed in our ~40.0dbA noise floor, then powered the system on. Running at idle for 15 minutes, our noise levels came up to 40.5dbA (unnoticeable to my ears). Once we put our system under stress and had the chassis fans, CPU cooler fans, and GPU fans kicking up, we finally reached noise level of 41.2dbA. Keep in mind: from what I remember about working in a mine, and MSHA safety regulations, an increase of 3dbA is twice as loud as the 3dbA before it. So for example, 43dbA is two times louder that 40dbA. That being said, under full load it was only barely audible to me while I sat only about arms length from it.

Performance

Since bequiet! really wanted to focus on air cooling when they revised the Pure Base 500, an air cooling test seems only fitting.

CPURyzen 7 1700x
CPU Coolerbequiet! Pure Rock 2
MBASUS Prime B350-Plus
RAM16GB T-FORCE 2400MHz
SSD240GB Kingston
PSUbequiet Pure Power 11 (700w)
GPUSapphire Pulse 5600 XT
Test Build Components

I opted to run AIDA64 Extreme for my stress tests, to figure out what cooling configuration worked out best. Hardware Canucks ran a more in-depth set of tests with temperature probes to check for chassis hot spots.

For our tests we ran in three fan configurations and measured CPU and GPU temps as well as noise:

Test 1 (stock configuration)1 front 140mm intake, 1 top 140mm intake, 1 rear 140mm exhaust
Test 20 front 140mm intake, 2 top 140mm intakes, 1 rear 140mm exhaust
Test 32 front 140mm intake, 0 top 140mm intakes, 1 rear 140mm exhaust
Fan Configuration Per Test

For Test 1 (stock configuration), we saw our Ryzen 7 1700x hit a maximum temperature of 69c and our GPU hit 68c. For Test 2, our CPU climbed one degree to 70c while our GPU came up a fair bit to 72c. In our final configuration for Test 3, we saw the best over all performance with our CPU hitting only 66c and our GPU also only hitting 65c.

Final Thoughts

This case is a little smaller than my current daily driver, the Antec P120 Crystal. Both cases compete at the $99 price point. While I love the P120, I think when I upgrade to my new motherboard I’ll be changing cases as well, as the Pure Base 500 DX does really well with air cooling and is extremely quiet. It’s also a little more desk-space-conscious and looks really great.

The price, performance, build quality, and aesthetic really drive this home for me. The only caveat would be the single USB 3 Type A. When building in it, you may want to pre-run your USB header cables and your CPU supplemental power. Once your motherboard is installed, routing these may be a little more work depending on your motherboard layout.

This may be my new favorite case, right up there with the Fractal Design Meshify C and the Antec P120 Crystal. This is a 10/10, highly recommended.

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