be quiet! Pure Base 500FX Review
be quiet!s FX World lineup was a complete success until now. Whether Air or Watercooler, the needed Light Wings upgrade created a better performing product with an extra touch of RGB. Let's find out if the Pure Base FX is just as good!
- Good Fans out-of-the-Box
- Highly Airflow Efficient
- Superb Quality for the Price
- RGB/Fan Controller included
- Up-to-Date IO
- GPU / CPU Cooler Support
- Included Light Wings
- Watercooling Support
- TG Side panel mounting mechanic
What's in the Box?
Although it may be a special sub-version, the Pure Base 500FX is still part of be quiet!'s budget-oriented "Pure" series. Therefore, the case comes inside a pretty standard brownish-carton box featuring just some light imagery.
Inside, we will find the case itself wrapped in a plastic bag and secured with two styrofoam blocks.
Once the case rests on the table, we can open up the pretty thick 4mm tempered glass side panel. This one is mounted using the relatively old method using thumb screws and 4x holes in the glass. Probably a necessary measure to keep the low pricepoint.
Although this is supposed to be a mid-tower & mid-tier case with an according price tag, the Pure Base 500FX can house quite a lot of hardware. Down below we added a short summary of everything that the case offers:
|Name||be quiet! Pure Base 500 FX|
|Mainboard Sizes||ATX - mATX - miniITX|
|PSU Size||258mm - Case Length if HDD cage removed|
|PSU Position||Separate compartment in the bottom|
|Side Panel||Tempered Glass Side Panel 4mm|
|Front Panel||Mesh Structure|
|CPU Cooler Height||Up To 190mm|
|GPU Length||Up to 369mm|
|3.5" Drives||2x in HDD Cage|
1x Behind Motherboard
2x in HDD Cage (shared with 3.5")
2x on Cable Management Bracket
USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type A
USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C
Front: 3x 120 / 2x 140
Top: 2x 120 / 2x 140
Back: 1x 120 / 1x 140
Front: 3x Light Wings 120 PWM
Back: 1x Light Wings 140 PWM
Top: Up to 240mm
Front: Up to 360/280mm
|Extras||ARGB Controller with Fan hub present behind the Motherboard|
Due to its relatively small size, we would not expect the Pure Base 500 FX to be able to house server-grade motherboards. However, in the realm of reality, there it little to wish for. ATX, mATX & miniITX are all an option inside the budget-friendly case.
The PSU is located in its separate compartment below the motherboard and accessible through the back of the case. By default, we can mount up to 258mm long PSU inside the Pure Base. However, if we decide to ditch the HDD Cage sitting right behind the front fans, we can enlarge that potential length to the case's full depth. Just don't that cables, be they modular or not, also take up some space.
The GPU length support inside the Pure Base 500 FX is truly impressive. With up to 369mm long cards, there is nothing out as of now which wouldn't fit inside the beast.
For CPU coolers and their height restrictions, there is slim to none. With up to 190mm high coolers, it will be hard, or even impossible to find anything that can exceed this limitation.
As long as general case cooling and the necessary airflow are concerned, the Pure Base 500 got you covered.
In the front, we can mount up to 3x 120 or 2x 140mm fans. The top allowed for 2x 120 or 140mm air pushers while the back adds another 120/140mm spot to that list.
Considering this is a mid-tower case, and a relatively small one at that, there is nothing more that we would have hoped for.
However, there is more. The Front of the Pure Base 500 FX is covered in a highly airflow-let-through mesh structure. This paired with the excellent magnetic dust filter on the top portion allows for some serious air cooling.
Although the case scored many points so far, this will end now.
In the front of the case, we can install an up to 360mm long radiator (or 280). The Top allows for another up to 240mm rad. And as the last spot, we got the back fan spot which could potentially house another 140 or 120mm radiator.
All of this said, the Pure Base 500 FX is definitely an Air-cooling focused case. While the 360mm Rad spot in the front might sound impressive, this one is bound to the removal of the HDD Cage at the bottom of the case.
Additionally, each additional Fan or Radiator in the front will eat away the potential GPU length. Something that you should always consider if you were planning to use something like an Arctic Liquid Freezer.
The Top spots don't look very good either. While we can mount an up to 240mm rad at that spot, this will seriously limit our ability to touch the cables coming in at the top. Additionally, if we were to install a thicker radiator, such as an LF II, we may even start to get in front of the VRM heatsink.
As the cable cutouts in the top of the case are sitting directly against the front panel and are relatively thin, we have very little space to work with if we slap anything even remotely thick.
This is probably also the reason why be quiet! stays quiet about 140mm-sized radiator support at the top. Something that would immediately block all of the holes from the get-go.
All of this said, we are certain that the Pure Base 500 FX's strengths lie within the Air Cooling world.
As mentioned above, the Cable Management inside the Pure Base 500 FX might be a tricky subject. With very little space to work with on the top, we cannot slap the thickest possible radiators on there and expect easy cable management.
However, be quiet! managed to win this one anyway.
Right next to the front fans we have an innocent-looking bracket. The left side of this bracket is shaped in a cover-like 90° bend and therefore houses the connection point between the back and front of the case.
But the basket is not only a glorified hole. That 90° acts as an additional hider providing you with an easy way to route the cables into the front of the case without creating any visual connection to the back. This creates an incredibly easy-to-manage and good-looking cable setup in the front. In some sort, this bracket is like a lite- version of the iconic NZXT Cable hiding plate.
In the back of the case, there is also quite some room to work with. This paired with a bunch of zip-tie & velcro-tie slots make it relatively easy to work inside the Pure Base.
The IO is definitely up-to-date. With a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C and 3.2 Gen 1 Type A, we have everything we need in a small package that looks simple and works well.
However, be quiet! hit a little suspire for us. Although the IO portion is located on the front panel and looks like it is a part of it. It is not.
Once the front panel is removed, we can see that the IO portion is actually bound to the chassis and will stay in place. Although this might sound banal, it makes things a lot easier if you need to work on the front fans as there will be no cable blocking your way.
To repeat our previous statement: We believe the Pure Base 500 FX is an Air-focused case.
While the water cooling support lacks some serious sizes and creates all sorts of issues such as the necessary removal of an HDD cage or the blockage of some cable holes, the air cooling support is a completely different story.
With an up to 190mm high air cooler paired with an excellent high-performance Front and Top Mesh filter, there is nothing standing in the 500 FX's way.
As this case is part of the FX world, its "outstandingess" comes in form of be quiet! Light Wings.
In the front, be quiet! pre-installed 3x 120mm Light Wings PWM while the back houses another 140mm PWM.
Thanks to the high-airflow case design and parts, these 4 fans will set you up from the get-go and allow you to focus your money on other components that deserve more attention.
As we said in the dedicated Light Wing review, the complete Fan lineup was a success. While the High-Speed versions are better used in high-static pressure operations like radiators, heatsinks, and sound absorption panels, the setup inside the Pure Base 500 FX and its airflow-capable panels allow the regular speed version to operate just fine. Barely bearable at max speed, they will definitely do a great job.
As we just finished the Fans, let's get back to the Fans.
All 4 included Light Wings come in the usual Light Wings ARGB fashion. With an ARGB ring around the front side of the fan and 4x cutouts in the back, they can shine in any color or effect you desire and light up your entire room.
Additionally, be quiet! re-purposed the two ARGB strips going from top to bottom of the front panel adding come, class, while still looking simple.
All in all, classy but simple is a perfect description of the Pure Base 500 FX's design. Without any outstanding and remarkable optical features, the case delivers exactly what you need, without any unnecessary extras. A design approach that we particularly enjoy.
Working inside the Pure Base 500 FX was a joyful ride. Thanks to the decision of using an Air cooler, we had the possibility to install additional Light Wings 140 PWM onto the top panel without creating any cable issues at the top.
Finishing off the work behind the case wasn't an issue either as there was more than enough space to cram every cable in.
The ARGB and Fan controller in the back came particularly handy during the building process. By default, every Light Wing is already pre-connected on both PWM and ARGB signals. Thankfully, be quiet! though this through and the included controller can cause another 2x devices, which are conveniently the exact amount of fans that can be added to a stock Pure Base 500 FX.
A small but impressive package.
During our builds inside the Pure Base 500 FX, we came to the conclusion that be quiet! thought this one through. Every aspect and corner of the case is exactly how it's supposed to be without any unnecessary additions that may make things harder in the long run.
The ARGB/Fan controller works perfectly fine and can house EXACTLY the number of fans that the case can handle. (and yes, the default color of the ARGB is of course be quiet! orange).
The GPU length support is superb.
The Air cooler height restriction is basically not present.
And working inside the case was a delightful experience.
However, there were a lot of miniature things that left a positive experience.
The Top Panel mesh cover got a great-looking plastic border with a be quiet logo. This not only looks great but also helps to hide the magnets that keep it in place.
The ARGB signal for the 2 front ARGB strips is not cable bound. be quiet! used a push-pin system that makes removing and installing the front panel easy.
The top side of the PSU shroud is plastered with little triangular cutouts. This paired with the incredibly long bottom air filter and the corresponding air hole makes it easy for some air to travel through the bottom panel immediately into the GPU. This might not make the difference between a Good and Bad GPU temperature situation, but it definitely helps.
And we could go on and on.
However, we believe the Pure Base 500 FX's most important aspect is its out-of-the-box readiness. Thanks to the 4x included Light Wings, everybody, no matter the hardware, can build inside this case and expect an excellent airflow situation without the need to think about additional fans. Something that first-time-builders might particularly enjoy.
All in all, we fell in love with the Pure Base 500 FX. And if it wasn't obvious until now, we are definitely recommending it.
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