Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced Case Reviewjlqrb - January 6, 2010
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The CM 690 II Advanced is an astounding case that met, and even managed to exceed, all of the expectations I had going into the review. During the cooling benchmarks, it performed very well and managed to keep each internal component cool and did so with fans that were extremely quiet. During the installation, the new cable management system worked very well, allowing the cables to run nicely behind the motherboard tray keeping them out of view and preventing any reduction in airflow. While not all ten fans are included, the latest revision of the CM 690 can be equipped with up to that amount. On top of that, Cooler Master really paid attention to the water cooling needs of the enthusiast market. The predecessor to the this case, the CM 690, was a popular case for water coolers, but it required quite a bit of modification to get the radiators to fit. Not any more! This is the only mid-tower chassis that can accommodate two radiators without modification to the case. If that's not a step forward, I really don't know what is. These are just a few of the positive aspects the CM 690 II brings to the table and I could go on and on about the case, but I will stop myself here and just say that all of the development time and feedback applied to the CM 690 II really paid off. Of course, as with all products there are some issues, but when the biggest of these issues was that the side panels felt a tad flimsy, you know there really is not very much to complain about.
With two versions being released, Cooler Master has really set up the 690 II to do very well in the sub $100 market. The CM 690 II Advanced will retail for $99.99 and give you looks, cooling performance, price, and features that would be hard to find on any case regardless of the price range. For 79.99, you can get the non-Advanced model which includes most of the same great characteristics that the Advanced has, but just loses a few of the more unique features. With all that these two cases offer, Cooler Master has really created a great product that is functional, economical, and will fit nicely in the CM line-up.
After using the case for some time now, I would highly recommend it to any mainstream user, gamer, enthusiast, or just about anyone in the market for a new computer case. Sadly, the only people that need not apply are users or future users of the ATI HD5970 graphics card, which is just too long to fit (without modification) in the supplied 11.96" of space. In the end, I liked the CM 690 II so much that it will be retiring my current computer case that has been in use for the last two years.
- Looks good
- Great cooling performance
- HDD dock (Advanced Model)
- Cable management
- VGA retention bracket (Advanced Model)
- Dual radiator support
- Dual SSD mounting bay (Advanced Model)
- Easy installation
- Finally no hacking up the case for water cooling
- Small CPU Back-plate access hole
- Not enough room for a HD5970 graphics cardÂ
- Side panels feel a little flimsy