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7 Reasons Why You Need to Get The Dark Base Pro 900

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darkbase 900 pro review

We chose the Dark Base Pro 900 as our case for our ultimate Entrepreneur’s Custom Gaming/Work PC. Most entrepreneurs nowadays aren’t buying computers anymore due to the high cost of buying a laptop/work station every 2-3 years. Technology is fast moving and entrepreneurs are seeking to build their own Work/Play Rig. When building your own PC, one of the most important components is the Case. A poorly made case can make your space look unsightly, reduce the life and performance of your internal components, and also be loud and annoying to operate. And that’s why the Dark Base Pro 900 caught our attention. The company behind the Dark base 900 Pro is be quiet!…take a guess what they focus on. Be quiet! is a premium brand manufacturer of power supplies and cooling solutions based in Germany. This case is part of complete build that we will be finishing up within the next couple of months. We’re building the ultimate Work/Gaming PC for entrepreneurs and startup founders. And after months of research, we’d like to present you the 7 reasons why we chose the Dark Base Pro 900 .

1. Beautiful Design

First and foremost, we chose the case because it has a timeless look. It’s not too flashy, too edgy, or too over-the-top with all the curves and lines you’d find in other cases. The beauty is subtle and controlled. Our first impression of the case is one of awe and admiration. We reviewed it in our conference room and our staff constantly peaked in to see what we’re reviewing. You can choose between Orange, Silver, or Black trim. We chose the orange trim. It’s a full tower case featuring brushed aluminum & ABS casing all around, and 4mm thick tempered glass side panel. Coming in at 14.39kg without parts inside and measuring at 577mm deep, 243mm wide and 585mm tall, it’s definitely not a case you can easily move around. But then again it wasn’t designed to be portable.

 

We also appreciated the subtle and tastefully branding placed on the metal side of the case and in front. The orange outline is a solid color and doesn’t glow, which we don’t mind. The case does come with RGB lighting kit and it’s relatively easy to install.

When placed on a desk presents a timeless beauty that doesn’t beg to be noticed.

2. Functionality

We needed a case that was going functioned as well as it looks. Below are some attractive features of this case that sold us.

Good ventilation: It’s a highly breathable design with ventilation mesh surrounding the entire casing on both sides ensuring abundant airflow.

Motherboards Compatibility: The Dark Base Pro 900 (and even non-pro version) is compatible with a wide range of motherboards. You’ll be able to fit XL-ATX, E-ATX, ATX, Mini-ITX, and even Micro-ATX motherboards. We like to keep our options open when it comes to motherboards.

Front Ports: On top you have the  I/O  button with 2 USB 2.0 ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports, and HD audio jacks. Your Audio and Microphone ports are in front and easily accessible instead of having to plug from the rear. We wish it included a USB-C port, but it’s not a deal breaker.

QI Charger: On the top Panel there’s a QI charger for you to place a compatible device there to charge. This is the first time we’ve ever seen this feature on a case.

Fan controller and RGB LED color switch: You can adjust the fan speed directly from the front panel and cycle through multiple color scheme of the RGB lighting. All these can be controlled without turning the computer on and going into some sort of interface.

One small aesthetic thing we didn’t like was the misalignment of the orange line (pictured below). It’s not a turn off, however would’ve been nice if it was perfectly aligned.

 

3. Cooling

No high-end machine can function for long if it wasn’t built with cooling in mind. The fans alone in this case make it worth the extra money. Instead of having to shell out money for decent fans, be quiet! includes 3 SilentWings 3 fans installed out of the box. The fans are 140mm PWM fans with a unique blade design which be quiet! claims to improve air circulation. There’s a fan in the rear and 2 fans pre-installed on the front panel. You can install an additional fan on the top deck (most likely for CPU cooler) and you can also install a single 120mm fan on the bottom. We also liked how accessible both air filters are on this case. Both can be accessed from the front panel with ease.

 

4. Build Quality

As noted above the entire construction is made from brushed aluminum, ABS, steel for internal frame, and 4mm thick tempered glass. The Dark Base Pro 900 Pro’s entire case is also lined with a fairly thick (about 4-5mm) high density sound absorbing foam that serves to reduce noise level. The front panel door is held shut by a magnet. Our complaint about this is that the magnet is awfully weak and doesn’t hold the door in securely. However the door does open and close properly.

When carrying the case around you won’t get a wobbly contorted feel of a cheaper case. It’s solidly built and stays in shape even when being manhandled a bit. Looking at the 4mm thick tempered glass gives you an idea of the attention to detail that goes into the build. A this point it probably sounds like be quiet! paid us a lot of money to toot their horn, however that is not the case. We really do enjoy reviewing and showcasing the craftsmanship that goes into building this product. The 4mm thick tempered glass is precisely beveled to ensure it doesn’t scratch or damage the case or your furniture when disassembling.

Tempered glass thickness

 

5. Attention to detail

We’ve reviewed hundreds of products and we can tell when the people who made it actually loves the product or not. And it all shows in the attention to detail that they put into designing and building it. The Dark Base Pro 900 ‘s easily removable thumbscrews for tempered glass panel, the rear, and most of the internal components are a nice touch. This makes adding/removing parts and disassembling a breeze.

The glass panel also doesn’t just sit on a metal screw. We’ve seen this in a lot of cases and it hurts our souls each time we remove and put the glass back on, knowing we’re scratching the inside ring each time. Be quiet! didn’t just put a rubber seal on top of the screw, no that’s not enough. They have the rubber seal secured in place by a plastic housing which lodges itself snuggly inside the case. From a manufacturing standpoint, they could’ve easily gotten away with a much cheaper solution. But gladly they didn’t.

And do you see the orange rubber washer protecting the case from the screw? It’s the little things that could’ve gone unnoticed, but didn’t, that truly makes a this case a product of love and care.

 

6. Carpet and Wood Friendly

Why is this even a selling point you may ask? It’s a small touch thats often overlooked and not appreciated until you see damages on your carpet, desk, or expensive wooden floor. You won’t find small pointy feet here. Nor will you find cheap plastic caps that could damage wooden table or floor. The foam inserts are glued tightly into a specifically carved cavity. This makes the feet extra secure when sliding or moving around. And the large dimension feet serves a dual purpose of protecting your flooring and providing enough clearance between the floor and the case.

 

7. Highly modular and customizable

This was one of the best selling features that sold us. The Dark Base Pro 900 was built to be highly configurable to your specifications. You can have the glass panel on either the left or the right. Inside there’s two 5.25″ drives, seven 3.5″ drives. If you’re not using 3.5 drives and instead uses 2.5 SSD, you can fit 15 SSD here. Not entirely sure why you’d ever need that much space, but it’s there. You can also remove the cages to improve circulation and fit larger 1080 GPU’s. The entire case is highly configurable and can be customized for whatever configuration you want to put inside.

 

 

Final Thoughts

The Dark Base Pro 900 Pro isn’t just a case. It’s a beautiful piece of art, an engineering beauty, and a product made to withstand the test of time. They didn’t skimp on any parts to save money. The engineering team at be quiet! did quite a lot to the case, but the one thing they didn’t do is compromise it’s quality. A few pictures can’t tell the whole story. Once you start working with the case and installing components, you start to see all the little things they did and all the details they didn’t skimp on. We’re glad we chose the Dark Base Pro 900 as our case for the build. Please stay tune for our complete build coming soon.

Top 5 GTX 1080TI GPU of 2017

5 Best Gaming Mouse for Work and Play

 

Interested in buying? Get it for $250 on Amazon.

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Business

Increase Business During The Holiday Season

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holiday season

The holidays are quickly approaching and when running a business there is plenty to do to get ready. The holiday season is a busy time for shopping, gift giving, and should be a busy time for sales in your business. This is the time to ramp up with marketing in creative ways because of the influx of sales that will be coming your way. Making sure that your business is prepped for the return of loyal customers and for any new customers that may come your way will be vital. Here are some tips to prepare your business ahead of time for the holiday season.

 

Make sure your information is up-to-date

During the holiday sales rush, especially during Black Friday and Christmas you may see an influx of new customers. In order to prepare for this you must make sure that your information is up-to-date. Your website must have accurate contact information on it and your social media must be customer appropriate. If you have an office or location is the address on the website correct? You do not want to risk losing out on potential business because of careless errors or typos that could quickly make the customer lose interest. If someone is taking time to visit your website, making yourself easily accessible takes the hassle off of the customer.

 

Holiday Promotions

It never hurts to treat your current and new customers to discounts or promotions. In fact, this is an effective way to get customers excited about what is to come and gives incentive to loyal customers to return. Find creative ways to promote the deals through social media, giveaways, or contests so that it keeps people engaged. This will help your sales and also potentially bring a new wave of clients through the doors. If you have loyalty or rewards programs, modifying them during the holidays is a good idea, even if you need to offer bigger rewards or discounts.

 

Update your website

Many people want to avoid going out to stores during the holidays and do the majority of their shopping online. This growing trend can be an advantage for you if you have a functional, optimized, updated website. If you sell products or services online you need to have your website prepared for traffic. There are a number of factors that need to be in place before your website is ready. Your images should be high quality and related to the products, your content should be optimized for SEO, and your inventory should be up to date. You should be paying close attention to what items are available so that you can quickly re-stock what sells out. Having deals for online shopping customers only is another way to present incentives to customers and bring traffic to the website.

 

Create a gift guide

Creating a gift guide is a fun way to get customers excited about your products. The holidays are the time that people are searching extensively for what to buy their loved ones. There are even holiday gift guides for pet owners! In this case, a gift guide is a great way to influence those decisions. Getting a spot in the gift guides of influential websites and blogs can be huge for your brand’s marketing campaign! In some cases you may have to pay for this promotion, but in many cases it can be earned through general interest in your product.

 

Engage on social media

It is great to have a holiday gift guide, an up-to-date website, and marketing campaign but without an audience these things are pointless. If you have a brand that has been running for awhile the rise of social media should be one of the biggest outlets that you use for promotion. Your campaign cannot market itself, and social media is key for expanding your reach in a fast way. A creative visual campaign on social media can go viral and cause your business to blow up in hours. Take advantage of the direct connection to customers and engage your base while humanizing your brand.

 

The holiday season is a festive time and can be a great time for your business if you make sure that all of these things are in order, this holiday season can be a successful one for your business. Some things to remember: reach out on social media even when you are not in promotion mode, create a visual campaign, promotions and loyalty rewards programs go a long way, and make sure your website is updated. If your holiday sales season goes great that can snowball into bigger and better things for the rest of the year and the new year.

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Startup Central

Pixio PX347c Prime Review

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pixio px347c prime review

Today we’re reviewing Pixio’s latest Gaming Monitor the Pixio PX347c Prime. Pixio was generous enough to provide us with the monitor for this review. When we review products we try to pair the product with the correct demographic that would actually buy and use the product to ensure the review is accurate. Our Gaming Unit, which specifically write and review gaming products, were tasked to review the Pixio PX347c Prime and test it in real-life gamer-appropriate settings.

Our gaming unit built a custom PC for hardcore gaming and we decided to use Pixio PX347c Prime as our monitor of choice due to it’s 21:9 ultrawide screen format and the promised 100hz at a ridiculous price of $599. Our gaming unit review team comprised of hardcore competitive E-sports level gamers, your typical noobs, and technical savvy hardware geeks.

The Specs:

-34 inch WQHD (Wide Quad High Definition) 3440 x 1440 pixels

-100Hz liquid smooth, blur-free Refresh Rate

-Flicker Free, Low Blue Light

-Adaptive-Sync (80-100hz)

-178˚ Viewing Angle

-Anti-glare screen

-3000:1 Contrast Ratio, 50000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio

-1x HDMI, 1x DVI, 1x DP connection

-21:9 or 4:3 Aspect Ratio

-PIP, PIPPOS, PBP

Price: $599 MSRP

If you’re looking at the list of features the Pixio PX347c Prime comes with and then look at the price, you’ll be hard press to not think it’s either a cheap Chinese knockoff or low-quality reproduction of an Acer Predator or BenQ monitor. Our doubts were put to rest upon opening the monitor. The monitor is definitely on the heavier side (never a bad thing) weighing in at easily 15-17 lbs.

Build quality & design

The Pixio PX347c Prime offers an elegant and simplistic design. Despite being a gamer-centic monitor targeting serious e-sports crowd, it doesn’t come with the angles, flares, and accents other gamer gear sports. Instead, it features an edge-to-edge curved monitor with a luxury matted black that’s fingerprint proof. It’s a heavy monitor, may require 2 people to assemble (to be safe), and it’s weight is reassuring of the build quality. The overall construction of the PX347c Prime is sturdy and feels reliable.

Navigation & Menu

Buttons to navigate the menu are hidden underneath the display panel and they’re embossed to give your fingers tactile clues to their function. Menu is fairly easy to navigate and Pixio added FPS gaming mode for their first person shooter gamers to enhance titles such as Call of Duty, Battlefront, Wolfenstein etc.  And there’s also RTS gaming mode for their real time strategy fans playing titles such as Starcraft II.

There’s also your basic functions to change various settings such as brightness, contrast, and other essentials. The menu was intuitive and easy enough to navigate without referring to the manual. It’s also responsive with very little delay time between inputs. Due to the size of the monitor, Pixio included PIP (picture in picture) feature in case you want to utilize the screen’s real estate to it’s fullest potential.

There’s also an added feature call Low Blue Light to protect your eyes from straining during long hours of work or using the monitor. These are well thought out features and their enhancement is highly noticeable, especially RTS mode.

Connectivity

Pixio went with the bare essentials and provided Dual link DVI, HDMI, and Display Port options. HDMI works, however Display Port is recommended to achieve consistent 100hz performance. Pixio included a beefy Display Port connector with the monitor.

The back panel where the ports are located has an annoying cover that’s difficult to take on and off.  Removal of the cover requires unnecessary and strenuous effort. Our gaming unit left the cover off after several attempts to put it back on.

“Removal of the cover requires unnecessary and strenuous effort.”

anonymous gamer

The Stand

The stand is an obtuse angled V-shaped base made from a solid piece of metal. It’s a no-frills stand with limited tilt adjustability and easily screws onto the back of the monitor via a few small allen screws.It’s not pretty but it feels strong enough to securely hold up the monitor.

No Vesa Mount?

This was a bit of a surprise, given how well the build quality is and also the fact that Pixio sells their own custom Vesa mount. However, it’s a large enough monitor that you’d want to keep it at a distance rather than up close as you would with a 16:9 ratio monitor. For us, the monitor’s exceptional viewing angles and tilt adjustability was more than sufficient and didn’t seem to bother our gaming unit.

Screen Quality

We appreciated Pixio for not cheapening out on the screen. They could’ve used a cheaper alternative to meet this price point, but they opted to use a Samsung SVA screen panel with Adaptive-Sync support to produce the beautiful 34″ display at 3440×1440 resolution. This resulted in higher image quality, incredible blacks, great consistent whites, and vibrant range of colors. The viewing angle was good and didn’t suffer from any color shifting.

testing the pixio px347c prime

“The screen delivers incredible blacks,  great uniformity on whites, and vibrant colors.”

Pixio PX347c Prime’s Refresh Rate

100hz at 3440 x 1440 resolution typically are found between the $700 – $1200 range of monitors. The Acer Predator X34 offers 60/100hz ultrawide at $999, AOC AG352UCG runs similar specs at $952, and Samsung C34H890 will cost you $1139. So you can see why the $599 price tag is literally one of the best selling proposition Pixio has to offer. But does the refresh rate truly hold up or is this just a diluted promise that’s only applicable under specific settings/configurations?

pixio 347c review

In order to get the best performance and crank out consistent tear-free 100hz gaming, you’ll need to use Display Port. This monitor supports Adaptive-Sync and will boost performance if you’re using an AMD setup that supports it. If you’re using an Nvidia graphics card, you can disable Adaptive-Sync and still get rock solid performance if you’re running a higher powered graphics card (1070+).

From our test, the monitor was able to deliver great performance at 60 – 80hz in 60hz mode.  Built-in Adaptive-Sync range goes up to 100hz and provides tear-free rendering of games. However the benefits of the 100hz is only good if you’re running over 60+ FPS. Anything lower than 60FPS, you’ll notice significant performance drop and tearing.

pixio tearing

The Pixio PX347c Prime delivered exceptional tear-free silky smooth gaming experience when we played Doom on ultra setting using an Asus Strix 1080Ti outputting over 100FPS. There were no screen tears, monitor delays, or even a single skipped frame when running at 100hz. Pixio lived up to their “liquid smooth, blur-free Refresh Rate” promised under our tests.

On the other hand, when using a lower-end graphics card that couldn’t muster even 60FPS, we were better off turning Adaptive Sync off. Once we turned Adaptive Sync off, performance was fine.

“Pixio lived up to their “liquid smooth, blur-free Refresh Rate” promised”

Gaming Experience

The spacious digital real estate of the Pixio PX347c Prime’s gorgeous 34″ WQHD 3440 x 1440 pixels screen provided a whole new experience for many of our testers. The sheer amount of visibly you gain can provide a competitive edge in shooting and rts games because you can see at least 35% more of the map.

We tested titles such as Battlefield 1, Dishonored 2, Witcher 3, and Doom. The overall gaming experience on the 347c is mesmerizing and once you’ve experienced it, you can’t go back to a regular 16:9 aspect ratio monitor without feeling the loss.

Tltan fall 2 1080 ti test

Response time 

The Pixio 347c Prime’s response time was around 8ms, which isn’t terrible, but higher than we’d preferred.

 

Verdict – A Definite Buy

It’s clear that Pixio knew who their customers were, what their customers wanted, and engineered a monitor to fit exactly that. The Pixio PX347c Prime is an absolute beast when it comes to gaming performance. It packs silk smooth performance at 100hz, Adaptive-Sync, stunningly beautiful monitor that displays beautiful colors & rich black, and comes in at 34″ with 3440 x 1440 pixels…for $599. Like every monitor on the market the Pixio PX347c Prime certainly has a few cons, however we’d hardly call it “cons” since they weren’t building a monitor for everybody. They built a gaming monitor for gamers, and the gamers that tested the monitor only cared about one thing – performance. And the one thing that gamers cared about was the one thing that Pixio delivered with flying colors.

Interested in buying the Pixio PX347c Prime? Get it for $599 on Amazon. 

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Dreampad: Sleep Technology That Calms Anxiety

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Some people can fall asleep anywhere in any situation. Unfortunately for others, that is not the case. Randall Redfield, Co-Founder of Dreampad is trying to solve this problem. He appeared on Shark Tank to pitch Dreampad. Not only did he create a pillow, Randall Redfield is on a mission to create products that uses neurotechnology to improve brain function. Dreampad is a pillow that converts music into vibrations that travels internally to your inner ear at prices starting at $149. It can be set to play your favorite soothing music or even sounds of waves as it guides your mind into relaxation. You can control the volume, music, and timer through an app. They even allow you to test out the music for Dreampad so you’ll know exactly which one is right for you.

What’s fascinating is the technology and science behind the pillow. You’ve heard of devices like the Fitbit measuring your sleep, but Dreampad has a goal to put you to sleep. As stated on their Kickstarter, “The Dreampad plays music through Intrasound Technology™, which converts sound into gentle vibrations that travel directly to your inner ear. This process signals the nervous system to relax, calming your body and mind. It’s safe, comfortable for all ages, supported by research, and it works.” Not only that, but they also make the music in-house for the Dreampad, like their rhythmic breathing breathing program that mimics the sound of a wave.

There may be nights where you’re stressed about your startup, thinking about how to get your next 100 customers or how you will make your employees lives easier. The best thing to do in this situation is usually to relax so you can tackle those business details with an open mind. Startup leaders suffer from multiple levels of anxiety. The technology that Dreampad introduced is trying to cure your sleepless nights. The Dreampad pillow is scientifically proven to reduce stress and engage the nervous system’s relaxation response. So instead of sitting at your desk at home basking in the glow of your computer, take a moment to free your mind.

 

We gave the pillow a try to see if it lives up to the hype. And, IT DOES! The music is very much contained to the pillow itself, and anyone laying next to you will not be able to hear it. It works in any sleeping position, so you don’t have to alter how you sleep. We received the medium Dreampad and it was delightfully fully and comfortable. It was like sinking into a cloud while listening to beach waves. The bluetooth option is fantastic if you don’t want your phone directly next to you. The only concern was having a pillowcase to fit the pillow. Not only is there a fear of getting it dirty, but it always makes your hair staticky. However, the material feels very high-end and soft to the touch. Overall, Dreampad really helped with falling asleep and decreasing anxieties.

It may take a few tries before getting use to the Dreampad pillow, as with any pillow. Knowing your favorite type of pillow is key when choosing one that fits your comfort. Dreampad comes in slim, medium, firm, and memory foam. Because of the technology that’s inside the pillow, it cannot be machine washed, so having a pillow case for it is something to keep in mind. As the hard-working entrepreneur that you are, it’s definitely worth a try. There are many things that you need to think about during the day. Figuring out how to fall asleep should not be one of them.

dreampad

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