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CM 690 III Short Presentation & Build Log

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#1
Hey everybody!

This is not by any means a hardcore modification thread, but still I'd like to take some of your time and do a small presentation of the new CM 690 III.

Not too long ago, I had the pleasure to receive the CM 690 III, which is CoolerMaster's latest addition in the well-known 690 lineup. In spite of the fact that I quickly took a lot of pictures of it, and also created a short youtube video presentation, I had to deal with my university exams which put on a lot of pressure on my day to day schedule. Finally, the time has come for me to post my unboxing/presentation thread, take you through my system build and explain my thoughts on the 693.

As soon as I took a look in the press release and afterwards unboxed the case, the first thing that popped into my mind was to identify the differences between the 690 III and the previous 690 II Advanced model. The exterior retains the curved metal mesh look, but 690 III is a bit larger than its predecessors (230x507x502mm). It also features an HDD/SSD combo cage which can be switched between 3.5/2.5" without any screws (check the video I've posted in the end of the thread - i explain how it works) and has enough room for a 240mm radiator on the top or the front, and a 120mm in the rear.

Now let's move on to the parts I will be using for this build, and then to the unboxing of the 693. Actually I've had these parts since July on a Dimsatech benchtable, and I was thinking of integrating everything in a case. The 690 III was one of the most possible candidates for my likes and price range, therefore it all turned out nicely :D

It's a pretty common Z87 setup. Core i7 4770K, Cooler Master TPC600, Gigabyte Z87X-D3H, 4x4GB Sasmung HYK0 DDR3 RAM, Sapphire HD 5850 Extreme and a Corsair AX1200i. I know that the PSU is an overkill but that's what I had in hand at the moment. VGA-wise, I'm only playing League of Legends from time to time, so the 5850 is more than enough, but due to the fact that Watch Dogs and GTA V are soon to be released, I've ordered a Gainward GTX 670. So I'll update this thread soon with the final build.







Look at how small these Samsung HYKOs are, compared to a regular-size HyperX module :D









And here is the CM 690 III along with the side window. It was shipped from China and the box had a minor bump in the side as you can see in the photos, nothing to worry about though as the case is well protected. In the rear side of the package, CM has listed the main 693 features in various languages. Moving on to the case itself, the looks are pretty standard - nothing out of the ordinary. Stylish curves, lots of mesh and black color. In the back of the case there are holes for watercooling tubes and a pre-installed 120mm exhaust fan. In addition to this, CM has added a 200mm fan in the front of the case, thus the airflow is more than enough for a typical system. If you want you can use 2x120/140mm fans instead of the 200mm one on the front. You can also install 2x120/140mm or a 200mm fan on the top, 2x120mm or 1x180/200mm in the side, another 120mm in the bottom and one more 120mm in the HDD cage. Overall we are talking about 9 total fans max supported, but to be honest that's kind of an overkill.
































Here is the top compartment in which you can store whatever you want. Just remove the protecting cover and slide it out. There are more than enough front panel ports as well - 2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, audio/mic jacks.












You can see the inside of the 690 III. It supports up to 10 SSDs (4 in the removable HDD/SSD combo cage, 1 behind the M/B tray) and 7 HDDs with HDD/SSD combo trays. The HDD/SSD combo cage features a new ODD tool-less design EZ tray for quick SSD/HDD installation, which I've explained thoroughly in the video in the end of the presentation. Be patient and we'll get there. The inside of the case is fairly roomy as it can support long graphics cards (up to 423mm) and tall CPU coolers (up to 171mm). Both of the TPC600 and the HD 5850 Extreme fit perfectly with no problems at all! In the back of the case, there is plenty of space for cable management as long as the cables are not on top of each other. For example if the SuperSpeed USB cable is on top of the ATX cable, the side window doesn't fit. So make sure to tidy up a bit the back routed cables before trying to install the side window.
















In the bottom side of the 693 there are 4 rubber stands so that the case doesn't slip off and remains still no matter what. Depicted you'll see the bottom dust filter as well, which is easily removable. Apart from that, there are also 2 more dust filters (top/front) for improved system maintenance.












Removing this screw will let you take off the top part of the case, along with the dust filter.














Not all people are familiar with Cooler Master cases. Like 3 months ago, someone was asking in a forum how to remove the front panel of his CM case. It's too easy. See these 3 knobs in the right side of the front panel? There are 3 more in parallel on the other side. Start pressing them simultaneously from bottom to top, and voila, it's removed. That 200mm fan is massive and silent too! In order for you to understand how large it is, I'm comparing it to a Noctua NF-F12 PWM.








Assembling the case step by step.


















I think that the TPC600 is not such a famous CPU cooler, but it does the job. I've been operating my 4770K @ 4.5GHz @ 1.21V 24/7 for the past 2 months and the temperatures are great even at full load. Unfortunately here in Greece it costs a lot and it doesn't include a fan in the bundle, so there are more competitive coolers in the 40 euros price range.
























Here are some picutres with the build finalized. My 693 arrived with the side window as well, which is pretty cool as it highlights the hardware in a stylish yet not a flashy way. I'm a minimalist my self, so I chose not to use any LED fans or lights. I like it just the way it is.












Taking into consideration all the above-mentioned, here are the pros and cons from my point of view

Pros
- Supports large cpu coolers and long graphics cards
- I love the design and generally the looks, especially with the side window installed
- USB 3.0 support
- 240mm radiator support on bottom and top sides
- Supports up to 9 fans
- The HDD/SSD combo cage along with the EZ tray feature rocks
- Great price

Cons
- There are no rubber gromets. A case that costs ~90 euros, should have rubber grommets nowadays because they make cable management more efficient and add style points in the mix
- The SuperSpeed USB cable (directed to the front panel usb 3.0 ports) is incredibly hard. Watch out while performing cable management because if you pull it hard it may damage the usb connector.

Some of the users tend to be really picky when a case has a lot of plastic parts. But then again I wouldn't consider this a disadvantage, because we are talking about a case that costs 90 euros (~95 with the side window). There are tons of cases with better build quality but you have to pay premium price. That's why I don't believe it's a disadvantage :)

Last but not least, here's the short presentation video I was talking about - check it out so that you get an overall idea of the case. English is not my native language, don't be harsh on me please :) Soon I'll post another video in which we'll see if the CM 690 III is able to support a radiator with push pull fans on the top side (hint hint :D).


Thanks a lot for your time! If you have any suggestions or general thoughts about the case and the build, please do not hesitate to let me know, they are more than welcome :)
 
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#2
A lot of therm paste, eek!

But, very nice machine!
 
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#3
Hehe yeah sometimes I overdo it :p

Thanks!
 

Kursah

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#4
Nice machine and build! How easy is it to remove that upper HDD bay? Looks like a few screws and it's out of there...I'd totally do that and then put my drives and SSD in the lower bays like you did.

I've been wondering when there might be a case that pulled me away from my Lian Li PC-K62 Lancool. If I wanted to move on from a case this might be it! I love my Lian Li..not as well ventilated or modern now...but still a bad ass case. I love all the USB's the 690III has on the FP. And with the side window it's a sweet piece! That was a seperate order right?
 
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#5
Just like you said it, a few screws and it's off your way.

CoolerMaster shipped me the CMS-693-KWN1 that includes the side window. From what I can see in Europe retailers, the side window version costs ~95 euros, whereas the simple one (CMS-693-KKN1) costs ~90. So I'd highly suggest the side window version :)
 

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#6
Well let me get through the next year of college and see where summer puts me..too many other bills. You guys missed my money boat by a couple months! :p

I'll keep an eye on this one..I do like the looks of it and cable mgt. The rubber grommets inside would be a nice touch I agree... how do the side panels come off? Slide? Pivot?

Overall it looks like a very good case! I've had a few Cooler Master cases...loved them all. My last was a 932...just too large for my needs. All of them have been great to work with tho! Again nice build!
 
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#7
Yeah you just slide them off. Generally, it's pretty easy to fully disassemble the case even for an amature user!

If you do get it at some point, let us know :)

//EDIT: Forgot to add the short presentation video in the first post! Added :)
 
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#8
Nice pictures. Just ordered the same ram (or similar).
 

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#9
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#10
As I said in ocn, 2 fellow hwbox hellas o/c team overclockers and myself, bought 18 HYK0 sticks from ebay (dumo sent them to us) and binned them. The ones I have do 2666MHz 10-12-12 1.65V SPi 32M with tRFC 350 and kinda relaxed subs ;) Superb ram, loving them.
 
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#11
Boy, I got the wrong impression at first. I saw the thread through the mobile version of TPU, and your title wasn't visible. So I was like: What is this? Some kind of hidden CM agent among the members? Similar to the Girl Intelligence Agency - where women aged 7-29 are "recruited" as a agents of certain cosmetics of whatever brand and create "random" events where "random" items appear to be tried out. You get the point- I thought this was a nasty advertisement capmaign on my favourite tech-related website :). But now that I logged through the laptop I see - it's all good now.

On the case: It's a wonderful case, just as its predecessor. Hands down. I've never doubted CM will come with a good iteration of the series. For me though, personally, I will never go back to a regular sized ATX case. mATX or mini-ITX that's the road I took until the end of my life. I just don't need regular sized motherboards anymore. For a friend or client, yeah I will highly recommend, but for me not really.
 
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#12
Great case!! Now I want to upgrade my CM690 rev 1!
 
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#13
I have the older YKO and it's been great ram same low profile stuff and got them a year or so ago for $46 for 2x4GB.

Not sure how much a like those are but if any thing like these there sweet

http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=159320
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Samsung/MV-3V4G3/

Nice build btw
I paid $70 for a 2x4 the other day :( . Then again, I got my HyperX Black new for around $75 in Dec 2012 and they go for $120, its the ram price inflation of the past 8 months or so.
 

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#14
I paid $70 for a 2x4 the other day :( . Then again, I got my HyperX Black new for around $75 in Dec 2012 and they go for $120, its the ram price inflation of the past 8 months or so.

At least it good ram

Well Newegg have the blacks ( as i can see ) for $79 but maybe yours have different timings ?..

The samsung ram has been really nice runs well in T1 too.
 
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#15
At least it good ram

Well Newegg have the blacks ( as i can see ) for $79 but maybe yours have different timings ?..

The samsung ram has been really nice runs well in T1 too.
Nah I got the blacks ddr31600 with the looser 9/10 timings 2x8GB for practically nothing last December lol. The auction on Ebay said the greens passed memtest, well I'll run memtest 24 hours and see myself before I try overclocking the greens:)
 
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#17
1st off you have fitted the cooler the wrong way as only half of the heatpipes are going over the ic in the cpu.

2nd i still like the old cm690 more :eek:

3rd, do you have share's in that tim company? only thats way too much dude.
 

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#18
1st off you have fitted the cooler the wrong way as only half of the heatpipes are going over the ic in the cpu...
I have my Noctua mounted the same way as he does...last time I tried the vertical exhaust method I had higher temps. That could be because with a horizontal exhaust configuration, the cooler was closer to the rear 120mm fan which moves more air than either 140mm in the top of my case. Either way, for me on my haswell setup I see better temps with a horizontal exhaust configuration, letting the top exhausts remove excess heat as necessary. Just thought I'd throw that out there since I played around with both solutions to see which worked best for my configuration.

:toast:
 
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#19
d14 and this coolermaster heatsink are not the same dude.

if you had your d14 blowing out the top of the case your heatpipes wouldnt all be going across the ic core of your 4770 either.

you have to think about the way the heatpipes go thru the base of the sink and across the ic in the cpu.

d14 blowing up and this as it is are wrong.

you want tyhe pipes to run across the mobo from the front near the dimms to the rear near the io plate as the ic in the chip runs down the mobo from top to bottom.

edit


not the best image but you want all your pipes running across that, not some down and the rest parallel you get me?
 

Kursah

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#20
:rockout:

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Intel/Haswell_OC_Guide/3.html

I read the guide here. :D

Once mounted into the socket, the CPU die sits parallel to the DIMM slots in most motherboards, so coolers with heatpipes might work best with the heatpipes lining up horizontally, not vertically (as you can see in my mock-up picture above).
That just doesn't work for me. I get better cooling results the other way.

All I'm saying is for me and my configuration, my U14S (not D14) my heatpipes are running in parralell with the ic, and for me in my situation I recieve better results than if all heatpipes run across the ic. That's all I'm trying to say. So maybe you recieved better results with that method, I however did not. I wasted a bunch of TIM messing around with it because to me it makes sense that running all the heatpipes across the ic would show the best results. Could be my airflow config, could be that my GPU doesn't exhaust all it's hot air out of the case (770GTX with windoforce 3 fan cooler) that heats it up more in this config? Could be my single intake fan that feeds my GPU and CPU needs the CPU cooler in a horizontal exhaust fashion because then at least the suction created by the CPU fan would move more fresh air in from the front filtered mesh maintaining more consistent airflow? I don't know..but I spent some time trying it and for my config, you're wrong on the cooler orientation being the "correct" way. I believe it's worth users trying on their own to see what works best for them. My last build in this same case with my i5-760 I had my Xig cooler mounted for vertical exhaust and that was in-fact the best solution...but the GPU put out far less heat and more of it was exhausted out of the case as well.

His heatpipe config with that wide heatpipe may benefit though...honestly it would have a greater surface area contact if the center area where the wide heatpipe crosses recieved the bulk of the heat from the CPU itself I would imagine. Maybe I'm wrong though. It makes sense to me! lol

:toast:
 
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#21
i get you :eek:

i did the same dude, tried both ways and for the twin tower coolers i have the pipes going across the ic gave around 5c better results than running down the ic.

it does sound like it is the airflow in your case which is making it run better for you in that config.
 
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#22
Why this PSU? You could easily had stable comp with 600w...
I've mentioned in the thread that this PSU was a sample I received back in the day, so it doesn't matter if it's an overkill. If I had to buy one for this rig, of course I would go for a 650W or 750W model, tops :)

1st off you have fitted the cooler the wrong way as only half of the heatpipes are going over the ic in the cpu.

2nd i still like the old cm690 more :eek:

3rd, do you have share's in that tim company? only thats way too much dude.
1) I've fitted the TPC600 just to test it out a little bit, see the distance from the DRAMs with a 120mm fan installed and of course, take some photos of the case with an air-cooler installed. Temperatures are still ok even with the CPU at 4.5GHz @ 1.21V though, so no problems.

2) That's up to you of course :D I'm here to shortly present the case and receive feedback. Can you tell me exactly what you don't like in the 693? Is it just the looks in general, or something else? :)

3) Yeah, people at linustechtips noticed that as well. Sometimes I tend to overdo it, but I have to swap coolers regularly or even mount the system on the SS, so I don't pay much attention.

Boy, I got the wrong impression at first. I saw the thread through the mobile version of TPU, and your title wasn't visible. So I was like: What is this? Some kind of hidden CM agent among the members? Similar to the Girl Intelligence Agency - where women aged 7-29 are "recruited" as a agents of certain cosmetics of whatever brand and create "random" events where "random" items appear to be tried out. You get the point- I thought this was a nasty advertisement capmaign on my favourite tech-related website :). But now that I logged through the laptop I see - it's all good now.

On the case: It's a wonderful case, just as its predecessor. Hands down. I've never doubted CM will come with a good iteration of the series. For me though, personally, I will never go back to a regular sized ATX case. mATX or mini-ITX that's the road I took until the end of my life. I just don't need regular sized motherboards anymore. For a friend or client, yeah I will highly recommend, but for me not really.
For the first part, lol :p

For the second part, again, it's up to the end-user to decide what's suitable for his needs. I'm still glad you like the case :)