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Cooler Master CM 690 III overview & build

Discussion in 'Cases, Modding & Electronics' started by caution, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. caution New Member

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    Hello fellow TPU people,

    it was about time I put my "all over the mobo cardbox" pc, in a nice mid-tower case. So when the new Cooler Master 690 III came along, I took the chance to spare my poor parts all that dust they were collecting, day in day out on my office.

    The CM 690 III is a rather compact looking ATX case (230x507x502mm) but it seems it's more that enough for my humble rig: 7+1 expansion slots in the back, USB 3.0 along with the regular I/O and buttons on top, and a rather understated and smart looking front, the way that I like 'em. Inside there's able room for my GTX 680 (up to 423mm long graphics card, with that 2.5"/3.5" cage removed) and a place to put an H100/Seidon 240 when I'll finally got my hands around one. It doesn't seem suffocating either, there's a 200mm fan in the front, and one 120mm exhausting air from the rear and every intake is dust filtered.

    But first things first. It all started with a box, being delivered and making it's way on the top of my tidy office (say what ?)...

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    Here are some external view angles of the case. The front is very clean looking. On the top there's a nice compartment for your phone or flash drive, but the plastic cover seems a tad flimsy. In the back, you can immediately see that the bottom mounted psu can be installed either with the fan up or down. There are three grommeted holes for external hoses for which I don't really care, above the 7 + 1 expansion slots. I don't care for side mounted fans too, so I'll definitely stick with the window side panel option, with this one.

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    Here is the bottom side, with that rather dense removable dust filter, that stays in it's place nice and firmly and the fat rubber feet. YUP that's a Trooper down there!

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    So let's get inside shall we? Well, no rubber grommets on those cable management holes seems kinda odd, but I liked the anti vibration rubber supporting the psu. The top 4 x 2.5"/3.5" cage seems handy for someone going for a crazy raid but I'll remove it, since I'm using only an SSD for the OS and one mechanical HDD for temporary storage, so the bottom one should do. I have a NAS after all. It's a smart touch that "transformable" top cage, I admit. There are three tool-free 5.25" drive bays none of which I'll populate in the foreseeable future.


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    This is the back view, and there's about 1,5cm (0.6") of space back there.

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    Nice honeycomb and dust filtering, and a huge 200mm fan behind it. It's a quiet one this one, so you'd most probably keep it there.

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    This is the top view and the way to get around that 2x120mm / 2x140mm space. It's just a thumbscrew really but the cover stays where it should and I didn't notice any vibrations, later on. Also there won't be any weird spacing issues with you rad, due to those oval shaped screw holes. Brilliant!

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    I stumbled across the screws so I started thinking about where to put that ssd...

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    I could put my SSD in one of the three 3.5" bays, in that bottom HDD cage, or under the ODD cage in front, or on the bottom in front of the psu, or behind the motherboard tray - hmm lots of options there. I'll go with the bottom cage one.

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    Both drives ready for installation. So queue the music and the drill and hammer sound effects, as I'm installing the motherboard, the PSU, and the graphics card. The air coolers can go as high as 171mm so I'm good when that Noctua NH-U12S shall arrive

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    A few hours later the case looked like this. The manual says microATX / ATX but I got away with my slightly wider (EATX) Maximus IV Extreme Z. It's a really tight fit, but it's in there. An i5 3570k, 2x4GB of cheapo 1600MHz DDR3 and a reference (but sexy matte black) GTX680 is pretty much the rest of my part list, along with my trusty Enermax 525w which is a few months older that the Highlander!

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    And here are some some angles, with the optional side window installed. Yea no cooler installed I know, God bless those courier companies...

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    ...and the 200mm wide reason my GTX680 stays on boost most of the time :)

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    And that's about it guys, thanks for baring with my mediocre photos so far.

    Overall I liked the CM 690 III a lot. I love the discreet design of it and the fact that I feel it won't look old, soon. The powder coating and the plastics parts were very nice too, and up to it's price point, apart from that plastic cover on the top that I find a bit flimsy but I can live with it. I'd happily trade the tool-free 5.25" mechanism (who needs optical these days?) for some rubber grommets on those cable holes, that would make it look more upscale, but other than that it's a pretty lovely all-around case. I have no doubt it could accommodate another GTX 680 for a hardcore gamer, and that I could put a AIO unit on top for some more aggressive overclocks. It will take 4 + 3 HDDs and if you have more than that, well you should already be looking for a NAS solutions imho. For anyone thinking about getting the CM 690 III I'd wholeheartedly suggest him to get the side window panel option, as well. It's a rather nice touch and makes the whole thing look even better and somehow more expensive than it really is. My crappy photos doesn't do it justice.

    Thumbs up to Cooler Master for letting me try their new 690. Feel free to commend or ask me anything about the new 690 III. I'd really love to hear your thoughts for the case or any suggestions about the build, on how I could make it look even better.

    Thanks for your time, everyone :)
     
  2. Marjan518 New Member

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    Looks like an awesome case. I will buy it for shure! :)

    Any idea when will it be available? (in europe) And what is the price?

    thanks
     
  3. HossHuge

    HossHuge

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    Great looking case. Attention to detail seems flawless. Nice pics.

    I've got the Enermax 625w Pro82+. 5+ years and still going strong!!
     
  4. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    Stick Hello Kitty stickers on.

    Seriously speaking, there is not much you can do to improve it, unless you are willing to shell out money for matching colour ram, sleeve the old PSU and such cosmetics.
     
  5. caution New Member

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    @Marjan518

    Some of the major Europe retailers have them shipped in allready, so it should pop up in your favorite shop from day to day. I don't actually know the price, but judging from the overseas listings I'll take an educated guess at the ~€100 area. But I hope they go a tad lower than that actually, at least for the no window version :)


    @HossHuge

    Long Live the Enermax Brotherhood :rockout: I'll actually keep that psu for ever, and I promise to edit this post in a case *knocks on wood* something happends to it, just for future reference :laugh: Thanks for your kind words :)


    @Fourstaff

    :laugh: I've wiped those ugly fingerprints off, for starters. I though about sleeving the psu but, yea... the sleeves would cost more than the actuall unit. But I'll consider getting some better looking DDR3 kit, since I got a decent IMC. I just hope that the whole Hynix-in-flames thing, won't skyrocket the prices soon.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
  6. ChristTheGreat

    ChristTheGreat

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    Hey question since you got it.

    Does it come with the Side window also? or you need to buy it separatly? I think t his will change my 690 II xD
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  7. Vario

    Vario

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    Great review thanks for the helpful photos! That window is awesome.
     
    10 Year Member at TPU

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