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Arctic Freeze II 420 AIO & Be Quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 rev.2

Discussion in 'Watercooling' started by hkintheuk, 24 Jan 2021.

  1. hkintheuk

    Associate

    Joined: 5 Nov 2018

    Posts: 28

    Good evening,

    This post is more a public service for other AF 420 AIO owners, wondering if your rad will fit a Dark Base Pro 900 rev.2

    Countless hours reviewing 50+ case manuals and trying to decide on a case finally led me to choose the Dark Base Pro 900 rev2. It wasn't my first choice, but with stock levels for pretty much most things being unpredictable at the moment, it was the only thing I could find that was :

    1. Available and in stock
    2. Could mount a 420 AIO in the Front position (It does the 420 in the Top as well)
    3. Not too large to render the length of the AIO tubing to the processor impossible.

    I did not have a case budget in mind and was prepared to go up to £900 for a decent case, but nothing in that arena enthused me (The Phanteks Enthoo Elite is 75 cm tall, and my case needs to sit under a desk 67 cm tall, so that ruled out that case). I currently have a Phanteks Enthoo Primo which is 65 cm tall and fits, and I could have used this but it is my main gaming and work rig, so zero downtime is essential.) I also have a Corsair 1000D but that's a VR rig elsewhere in the house and I don't fancy lugging that beast up the stairs again. (It orignally was my work rig, but got recommissioned for another role).

    My first choice was the Fractal Design Meshify 2 XL, but sadly no stock is available. I may still decommission the Dark Base Pro 900 rev.2 if and when a Meshify 2 XL becomes available at some point down the line as reviews indicate it being a better case than the DBPro rev 2.

    So, the question...does the AF LF 420 fit in a Front mount position ? The answer is yes, with some provisos. I have pictures below showing it in position.

    Photo 1 shows the whole assembly mounted in the Front. (Yes, I know the fans are on the wrong side for pushing air in. They have been moved to the other side of the rad now. It is important to note that a standard 25mm 140 fan there WILL nudge against the metal housing, marked in red. Thus making it not practical for a pull configuration. What I will need to do is find a 140x140x15 mm fan, which should not touch the housing due to its reduced depth. Or remove the whole bottom shroud completely (allowing for a 25m thick fan in a pull configuration. Or get the dremel out and hack a bit more of the bottom shroud.

    [​IMG]



    Photo 2 is a closer look at photo 1 with a bit more detail, and shows how close the bottom radiator fan is to the shroud. It touches it.

    [​IMG]

    Photo 3 shows what the radiator looks like when mounted. Because the 5.25 Drive bay is removed, it leaves a gap. The top of the radiator hence has no mounting holes. However, since 10 out of 12 holes will mount, it holds pretty firm and won't be going anywhere. (Yes, that is a Mandalorian Helmet in the background which my wife has made from leather and is awaiting silver spray painting)

    [​IMG]

    Photo 4 is just a close up of photo 3


    [​IMG]




    Photo 5 shows the radiator in position with the Dark Base Pro 900 rev 2 bottom shroud completely removed. Note that this position will block 1 of the 2 possible bottom fan placements for a 120/140mm fan. That doesn't worry me as I will have 3 x 140mm fans in the Top to evacuate air, plus the rear fan of course.

    [​IMG]

    I hope the information is of use to other potential 420 AIO users considering this particular case.
     
    Last edited: 24 Jan 2021
  2. SirConfused

    Hitman

    Joined: 3 Feb 2009

    Posts: 564

    Out of curiosity have you actually spun up the fans yet? You say that the bottom fan actually touches the shroud but do you mean the blades or the frame?
     
  3. hkintheuk

    Associate

    Joined: 5 Nov 2018

    Posts: 28

    I haven't no, but I manually rotated the fan and the centre motor section was impeded by the shroud. Photo 2 shows where it makes contact in the middle.

    It's ok, I'll either source a 140x140x15 (a brief look found nothing however), or I'll just remove the shroud entirely.
     
  4. SirConfused

    Hitman

    Joined: 3 Feb 2009

    Posts: 564

    Good to know, thanks.
     
  5. Ross Thomson

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 7 Nov 2017

    Posts: 1,305

    why not put the fans on the outside or the rad? Does the front not fit over them?
     
  6. hkintheuk

    Associate

    Joined: 5 Nov 2018

    Posts: 28

    Photo 1 shows the whole assembly mounted in the Front. (Yes, I know the fans are on the wrong side for pushing air in. They have been moved to the other side of the rad now.
     
  7. Ross Thomson

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 7 Nov 2017

    Posts: 1,305

    no I mean in front of the metal where you attach the fans. my fans sit in front of the bracket with the rad behind it.
     
  8. hkintheuk

    Associate

    Joined: 5 Nov 2018

    Posts: 28

    Hello Ross,
    Ah I know what you mean now. Mount the radiator on the outside or opposite side.
    I had a look and I think it's going to be very hard to mount a 420 on the opposite side because, if the radiator sat that side, then the fans on front of the radiator would prevent the case front from fitting on.

    My set up will be

    Inside case.....FANS¦RAD¦FANS

    If that makes sense ?

    The DBP already comes with 3 fans at the front. I could put the rad behind them, but it would pus those fans out another 35mm or so towards the in to the front shroud..and there is no room for that.
     
  9. Ross Thomson

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 7 Nov 2017

    Posts: 1,305

    Wouldn't bother with push pull TBH. one set of fans is all you need
     
  10. hkintheuk

    Associate

    Joined: 5 Nov 2018

    Posts: 28

    Hello. Well, when I finally get my motherboard (last part of my build), I will be doing a temp test with fans in Pull and also Push/Pull.
    What would be a fair and equitable way to test this to get meaningful results I wonder ?
    I will have a temp probe wire in the case itself, and can take a measurement from that. But I wondered if there were other proper tests I should be doing ? I'd like to prove the results for myself.
    Thank you.
     
  11. Drumroll

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 5 Mar 2017

    Posts: 1,347

    Location: Cambridge

    No reason to push/pull, really.
    Supplied fans are more than enough, while quiet.
    Tried push/pull as have some extra similar P series fans and no gains. Running between 50-60% would give you almost maximum performance while keeping noise acceptable. As with any AIO, you may have to try and increase slowly until you find the point which your unit doesn't generate unwanted noise. Every unit will be different, but that's easy to do.
    Just as example, if the point of acceptable noise/performance for your unit is, let's say 60%, even if under load you may have to run at 70% (worth checking the next point where noise is acceptable), noise is likely to be similar to push/pull, and others fans likely to be noisier than the AIO's ones.