Manufacturer: Be Quiet!
UK price (as reviewed): MSRP £79.99 (inc. VAT)
US price (as reviewed): MSRP $79.90 (exc. tax)
The Pure Base 500 is described by manufacturer Be Quiet! as its first approach to a compact ATX case, although it isn’t a great deal smaller than the Silent Base 600 or Pure Base 600 from the company’s back catalogue. Regardless, it comes straight out of the gate in three different colour options (black, metallic grey, and white), and each colour has a choice of window and non-window. Pricing varies slightly by SKU, ranging in the UK from £70 (black, windowless) to £85 (grey or white with window).
Given the price, build quality is decent on this case. The majority is hewn from steel, but the front panel is largely plastic, though it does have a decent brushed finish, and the smoothly angled corners are a nice touch. The tempered glass side panel has a slight tint and has only the edges blacked out, so most of your hardware (or cable mess) will be visible.
You’ll also find plastic on the roof in the form of a largely-sealed cover that blocks out the air vents, leaving only a small section of triangular ventilation at the back. This can be easily swapped, however, to a fine-mesh cover that allows air from radiator or case exhaust fans out but will also prevent dust falling in. To be honest, this seems like the better of the two covers both aesthetically and in how flush it sits (though both are magnetic), so it should perhaps have been the default, though it’s not a big deal. Note that the more sealed roof cover also comes with sound dampening material that’s also found behind the plastic front fascia and lining the inside of the right steel side panel.
A standard tower layout inside means a standard front-to-back airflow configuration, with Be Quiet! assisting this with two pre-installed 140mm fans, specifically the Pure Wings 2 variety that cap out at 900 RPM. This is a very low speed rating that will definitely impact available airflow, especially in a case that’s so sealed at the front and in the roof when using the default cover (another reason the permeable one might be better, even if you don’t install fans here). The fans are the three-pin variety (operating voltage 5V-12V) and not PWM-controllable, though this shouldn’t matter if they cap out at 900 RPM anyway, as this will be very quiet.
Naturally, the airflow can be boosted with additional fans, with room for another 140mm or 120mm in the front, where air is drawn in through a small gap beneath the front fascia and through the vented sides. These side sections and the lower gap are shielded with dust filtering material, removing the need for Be Quiet! to have a separate filter behind the fascia like many other cases have.
The rear mount is fully filled by default, but the roof has space for three 120mm or two 140mm exhaust fans, meaning the maximum fan capacity is six. The bottom, meanwhile, has a fair bit of ventilation but no additional fan mounts. Still, the dust filter here is excellent, as it’s full-length and pulls out to the front of the case, making it easy to access even if your system is pushed up against a wall. Another positive about the bottom of the case are the feet, since they have proper rubber soles and not cheap foam.
From the back, we can see a PSU installation bracket and otherwise nothing of real interest. Note that vertical GPU mounting is not supported in this chassis.
The front I/O panel is easily accessed, though it doesn't include support for USB Type-C connectivity of any speed. The blacked out USB 3.0 ports keep things consistent, and Be Quiet! uses separate audio jacks for 3.5mm devices. There is no reset button on this case nor an HDD LED indicator.
January 24 2020 | 12:00