Cooler Master CM 690 II Case Review

Written by Harry Butler

February 18, 2010 | 09:21

Tags: #atx #comparison #performance #rated #recommended #steel #tested

Companies: #cooler-master


Sliding the side panels away reveals the CM 690 II’s spacious interior, finished in the same, almost-powder coated texture as the exterior panelling. With two large fan mounts in the roof, moving the PSU mounts in the floor of the case and pushing the motherboard (and therefore CPU cooler) toward the installed 140mm roof fan and 120mm rear exhaust fan. Even stock CPU cooling should be rather good, then.

Just as with the exterior, the build quality throughout the internals is superb thanks to a reinforced and very solid motherboard tray and rolled edges on the drive days. You’d be surprised how often we open up cases and find a plate out of place, or a sharp edge waiting to slash our fingers, but this wasn’t so with the CM 690 II.

While it’s not removable, the motherboard tray has generous amounts of room around it for you to work in, and a whole host of cable routeing holes for tidying away unwanted PSU cabling. There’s plenty of space behind the motherboard tray too, enough even for a thick 24-pin ATX power connector, so with some patience it shouldn’t be too hard to achieve a really neat build. Cooler Master even throws in a handful of cable ties to help tame your wiring.

Cooler Master CM 690 II Case Review Interior Cooler Master CM 690 II Case Review Interior
Click to enlarge

The tool-less drive bays are, as usual with Cooler Master cases, a delight to use, with the CM 690 II offering four 5.25in drive bays and six 3.5in drive bays, all with easy to use and high quality fittings. Even better is that it’s possible to completely remove the lower hard disk cage (and its four 3.5in bays) to expose two dust filter-equipped 120mm fan mounts beneath. You could even use another dual 120mm radiator here, or just further enhance the case’s cooling.

If you opt to keen the lower disk cage, there’s even a 120mm fan mount point at the front of it to keep those hard disks cool. Cooler Master has really gone to town when it comes to offering as many cooling options as possible with the CM 690 II.

The floor mounted PSU is lifted off the floor of the case via four rubber risers, with a ventilation grille below. Cooler Master does include a dust filter for this mount (a necessity for a floor mounted PSU if you don’t want it to act as an increasingly hot vacuum cleaner) but it didn’t fit properly on our review sample. This is the only build quality issue from an otherwise flawless report.

Cooler Master CM 690 II Case Review Interior Cooler Master CM 690 II Case Review Interior
Click to enlarge

As well as all the usual bits, Cooler Master has also included a couple of little extras as well. There’s a 1.8in and a 2.5in conversion mount for those looking to fit an SSD of any size, and a beefy graphics card retention bracket that attaches above the expansion cards to support up to three separate graphics cards. The latter might be handy if you plan on moving the system much – either via courier or your car’s boot. It’s these extra touches that combine to lend the CM 690 II a feeling of completeness – this is a case that Cooler Master has built ready for almost any setup you care to mention.

While the cooling setup and flexibility is excellent though, we still need to know how the case performs out of the box, so let’s grab out standard testing gear and find out.
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