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Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced Chassis Review

The Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced USB 3.0 is an update to one of the most popular cases released in recent years and this enhanced version will assuredly prove popular with the enthusiast audience.

There is plenty of physical space inside for water cooling and the chassis can accept up to ten fans, all within the confines of a mid tower chassis design. Cooler Master have also incorporated locking mechanisms for the 5.25″ bays as well as an easy to use tray system for 2.5 inch and 3.5 inch drives. The upgrade capabilities ensure that the more demanding enthusiast user will find the case a viable proposition.

The cooling potential ‘out of the box’ isn’t that impressive, but with the addition of another intake fan, it could easily accommodate highly overclocked system configurations. It wouldn’t cost much to add another intake fan, or even re-arrange the stock configuration.

There are many areas which deserve a positive mention. The inclusion of the external SATA dock is a very useful feature, as well as two USB 3.0 ports that are easily accessible for high speed external devices.

Personally I have never enjoyed chassis with complex lighting configurations however the CM 690 II exudes class, with only the gentle, reassuring glow of a blue fan at the front. The fact that Cooler Master have included a power switch for this light is inspired because they are aware that some people will prefer to turn this off, permanently. We also appreciated the choice of oversized rubber feet on the underside… this really does help to provide stability and reduce vibrations on a variety of surfaces.

When we look back to our original review of the CM 690 II Advanced in October 2010, we find that actually the changes are minor. They have added two USB 3.0 ports and removed the eSATA port and the graphics card holder. That said if it’s not broke, why fix it?

Originally when we reviewed the case it scored 8 out of 10, with the updated feature list we still feel this case offers the same balance of quality build, comprehensive upgradeability and solid performance.

Aria stock two versions of the chassis, a black and a white version. They are available now for £83.99 and £86.39 respectively.

Pros:

  • Can fit 10 fans of varying sizes.
  • Has an external SATA dock.
  • Large space behind motherboard tray.
  • Easy to use HDD mounting system, includes 2* 2.5″.
  • Lots of mesh to aid cooling performance.
  • 2*USB 3.0 ports.
  • Good cable management.

Cons:

  • Limited cooling performance in stock configuration.
  • Tray covering SATA dock easily slides off.
  • No real improvements have been made.

Kitguru says: An updated version of a very popular chassis.


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Rating: 8.0.

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