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Cooler Master CM 690 II Case Review

Removing the side panels was initially quite frustrating, because although they are closed by two simple thumbscrews, we found that they could only be removed with a screwdriver, they were screwed in that tightly.

Internally, the case is finished in high quality black paint which looks great in the flesh. There are no inconsistencies or finishing issues with any of the surfaces.

The internal structure and design is first class, with no sharp edges and a tidy clean layout.

There is a CPU cutout for back mounted coolers and the dual fan configuration is a classic exhaust design which is proven to work great. It is possible to fit a water cooling radiator at the top of the chassis. On the right hand side panel you can fit an 80mm fan to help cool the motherboard if you wish. It is a nice touch although unless the system is in a massively overclocked state I don’t think this would really be needed. Cooler Master also include a dedicated graphics card support and cooling system, but more on this later.

A two fan radiator can also be installed at the bottom of the case, you have to remove the bottom section of the drive cage however which leaves you with two usable bays in total. Plastic rivets for an extra fan are provided.

The top drive slot has an adapter for 2.5 inch drives, so its really easy to fit an SSD as seen above. It only takes a few minutes – you need a screwdriver for this however. We don’t fit optical drives anymore at KitGuru, prefering to utilise USB drives for OS installation – however the Coolermaster fitting system is a pleasure to use. There are little levers to lock and open the drive bays, meaning any 5.25 inch drive can be easily slotted in.

Installing a power supply and motherboard is straightforward and painfree. The locking system for expansion cards is a traditional design with thumbscrews. Again we found them to be rather tight and needed a screwdriver to release the first time. We couldn’t fit in our Arctic Cooling Xtreme HD5870 card at 31cm length, but a standard size HD5870 was fine (304mm is the maximum Cooler Master recommend). The drive cage in this area isn’t removable either so it is impossible (without a hacksaw) to get a HD5970 installed. Another centimeter is all it needed, so this is quite a disappointment.

Cooler Master include a graphics card support bracket which is used to help stabilise a heavy card, especially for transit. This case system can also fit a 80mm fan for additional cooling, but we try to stay away from 80mm fans at Kitguru.

On the side panel we fitted a Noctua 140mm fan as intake (bottom) and a 120mm as exhaust (top).

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