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Cases CM 690 III Short Presentation & Build Log

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by George_o/c, 23 Sep 2013.

  1. George_o/c

    George_o/c What's a Dremel?

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    Hey everybody! Newbie here, nice to meet you all :)

    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.

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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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

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    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.

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    Assembling the case step by step.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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).

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    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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