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Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

So recently i purchased a new case, the Cooler Master 690 II, with the hopes of improving airflow, lowering temperatures (for the HDD, CPU, mobo and PSU) and reducing noise (from the HDD thanks to the anti-vibration HDD sleds). The results for me are somewhat mixed with success and failures and i wanted to share my experience to see if others have some suggestions or to help potential buyers make an informed decision whether to purchase this particular case or not.

So here is my story/review:

A few days ago i received my package, from my e-tailer, which contained a Cooler Master 690 II Basic case and a Noctua NF-P14 FLX fan. After i checked to see if everything was fine i started to transfer my system to the new case.

The first thing i did was to remove both side panels and then the front bezzel and top bezzel. About the top bezzel of the 690 II i want to mention that it holds the start/reset button and other I/O ports (USB and others) but there is imo a problem. All the connectors of this cables are glued to the small PCB underneath the bezzel, as a result when you take out the bezzel you are forced to take out the whole pile of long cables as well (which to me seems like a huge inconvenient and i will revert back later with more arguments).

So after stripping the case to it's bones i started installing the standoffs, which is pretty easy and straight forward. CoolerMaster also include a small box wrench (which has a star shapped screw driver hole on top of it) to help you screw in the standoff, but i still had to use a screw driver to install the standoffs. I supose the paint covered the threads of the mobo tray standoffs holes and thus it needed a little brute force to remove the excess). The standoffs position for ATX and mATX is marked/stamped on the motherboard tray and can be easily understood.

Next i installed the motherboard I/O plate i placed the motherboard on the standoffs and i screwed that sucker tight. CoolerMaster provides black screws that go inside the standoffs. Be sure to use the ones provided because i doubt others would fit in, i compared the threads of the mobtherboard screws from CM with the screws from my previous case and they didn't match.

After the mobo was in place i installed my Noctua fan on top of the case but inside the case with the help of 4 silicon screws provided by Noctua. I installed this fan to blow "cold" air in because i wanted to check this configuration that i saw on the Silverstone Precision ps06, which has the top fan blowing air inside the case. It was my first experience with silicon screws and i must say that for somebody unexperienced it is rather difficult to install.

After i placed the fan i feagured it was time for the PSU to enjoy the new case which offered a bottom mounting position, separating it from the warm air inside the case. From the reviews i have red the wire management was supposed to be a brieze given the amount of cut-outs, width of the case and the fact that CM provided even a bag full of black zip-ties. Boy was i wrong...

Note: the PSU dust filter is not removable and it's provided in the carton box together with the accessories so be sure to take it out and place it under the PSU.

So i took out the dust filter, i placed it in the right spot, i put the PSU on the rubber feet and i screwed the PSU to the case. So far so good. I must confess that i didn't think that my PSU's EPS 12V 8 pin (4+4) cable would be long enough to be routed behind the motherbora tray and i was right. But lukily the Seasonic engineers know what they're doing and the PSU has actually another 8 pin cable for the CPU which is way longer and reaches the mobo connecter from all the way behind the motherboard. Neat stuff, i was really glad i chose Seasonic smile.gif

After a sigh of relief, i realized that the hard part was only just beginning. I took the cables and pushed all of them through the bottom WM cut-out to feagure out which one to use and which to tie down with zip-ties to the back of the mobo tray (my PSU is not modular so i was bound to have a few extra cables).

I started ofc with the ones i needed: mobo 24 pin, HDD SATA power cable, molex cable to power the fans (1 x 120mm blue LED stock fan in front, 1 x 120 mm rear stock fan, 1 x 140mm Noctua top fan).

At this point i had to stop with the power cables and turn my attention to my 3,5" Western Digital Caviar Black HDD which had to be installed. So I took one HDD sled/caddy out and tryed to put my drive in. I thought it would be easy, but i was in for a surprise. The plastic is very rigid and you are supposed to strech the sides so that the metal pins can go inside the 4 HDD holes on the sides (2 holes on each side).

After lots of attempts and frustration i managed to lock the HDD inside one of those contraptions and i tryed to put it inside the cage. I thought that now,surely, after all this effort, it would be easy to put it inside the cage, and yet it wasn't. The pins i mentioned earlier are sandwhiched between 2 silicon pads which are supposed to do all the anti-vibration work. Since they are removable they tend to stick a bit towards the exterior of the HDD sled even after you think you installed the HDD corectly inside of the sled but since the HDD cage is very tight it won't let you put the sled inside of it.

So now i was standing up starring at my case and rubbing my head thinking "This must be a mistake, how could this be the difficult part? The reviews made it look so simple....".Well it's not. To jam it in past the first 2 pins you have to put the sled inside 1/3 of the length of the HDD, on a angle and then force it down to the horizonatal position. Now when i tried to push the rest of the sled inside i noticed that the 2 "walls" of the HDD cage is not of equal width because the back pins of the HDD didn't go inside the cage at the same time.

The left one would go inside first and when you tryed to push in the right one by applying alot of force there wouldn't be enough space and the right pin would come out of the sled. I tried like 3 times with the same result....So i took the sled out i installed the HDD again and i pushed the pins in as hard as i could. Afterwards i repeat the process and when i got to the last 2 pins i pushed the HDD in and although it still required alot of brute force, through some kind of miracle, the sled got in without forcing the right pin outside.

[To be continued with WM]
Edited by Pentdragon - 8/11/11 at 6:57am