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CM 690 III going E-ATX, an overview [56K warning!]

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hello fellow overclockers,

it was about time I put my "all over the mobo cardbox" pc, in a nice mid-tower case. So when the new Cooler Master 690 III came along, I took the chance to spare my poor parts all that dust they were collecting, day in day out on my office.

The CM 690 III is a rather compact looking ATX case (230x507x502mm) but it seems it's more that enough for my humble rig: 7+1 expansion slots in the back, USB 3.0 along with the regular I/O and buttons on top, and a rather understated and smart looking front, the way that I like 'em. Inside there's able room for my GTX 680 (up to 423mm long graphics card, with that 2.5"/3.5" cage removed) and a place to put an H100/Seidon 240 when I'll finally got my hands around one. It doesn't seem suffocating either, there's a 200mm fan in the front, and one 120mm exhausting air from the rear and every intake is dust filtered.

But first things first. It all started with a box, being delivered and making it's way on the top of my tidy office (say what ?)...

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Here are some external view angles of the case. The front is very clean looking. On the top there's a nice compartment for your phone or flash drive, but the plastic cover seems a tad flimsy. In the back, you can immediately see that the bottom mounted psu can be installed either with the fan up or down. There are three grommeted holes for external hoses for which I don't really care, above the 7 + 1 expansion slots. I don't care for side mounted fans too, so I'll definitely stick with the window side panel option, with this one.

1152-albums206-picture14905.jpg
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Here is the bottom side, with that rather dense removable dust filter, that stays in it's place nice and firmly and the fat rubber feet. YUP that's a Trooper down there!

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So let's get inside shall we? Well, no rubber grommets on those cable management holes seems kinda odd, but I liked the anti vibration rubber supporting the psu. The top 4 x 2.5"/3.5" cage seems handy for someone going for a crazy raid but I'll remove it, since I'm using only an SSD for the OS and one mechanical HDD for temporary storage, so the bottom one should do. I have a NAS after all. It's a smart touch that "transformable" top cage, I admit. There are three tool-free 5.25" drive bays none of which I'll populate in the foreseeable future.


1152-albums206-picture14896.jpg
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This is the back view, and there's about 1,5cm (0.6") of space back there.

1152-albums206-picture14902.jpg
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Nice honeycomb and dust filtering, and a huge 200mm fan behind it. It's a quiet one this one, so you'd most probably keep it there.

1152-albums206-picture14904.jpg
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This is the top view and the way to get around that 2x120mm / 2x140mm space. It's just a thumbscrew really but the cover stays where it should and I didn't notice any vibrations, later on. Also there won't be any weird spacing issues with you rad, due to those oval shaped screw holes. Brilliant!

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I stumbled across the screws so I started thinking about where to put that ssd...

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I could put my SSD in one of the three 3.5" bays, in that bottom HDD cage, or under the ODD cage in front, or on the bottom in front of the psu, or behind the motherboard tray - hmm lots of options there. I'll go with the bottom cage one.

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Both drives ready for installation. So queue the music and the drill and hammer sound effects, as I'm installing the motherboard, the PSU, and the graphics card. The air coolers can go as high as 171mm so I'm good when that Noctua NH-U12S shall arrive

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A few hours later the case looked like this. The manual says microATX / ATX but I got away with my slightly wider (EATX) Maximus IV Extreme Z. It's a really tight fit, but it's in there. An i5 3570k, 2x4GB of cheapo 1600MHz DDR3 and a reference (but sexy matte black) GTX680 is pretty much the rest of my part list, along with my trusty Enermax 525w which is a few months older that the Highlander!

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And here are some some angles, with the optional side window installed. Yea no cooler installed I know, God bless those courier companies...

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...and the 200mm wide reason my GTX680 stays on boost most of the time smile.gif

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And that's about it guys, thanks for baring with my mediocre photos so far.

Overall I liked the CM 690 III a lot. I love the discreet design of it and the fact that I feel it won't look old, soon. The powder coating and the plastics parts were very nice too, and up to it's price point, apart from that plastic cover on the top that I find a bit flimsy but I can live with it. I'd happily trade the tool-free 5.25" mechanism (who needs optical these days?) for some rubber grommets on those cable holes, that would make it look more upscale, but other than that it's a pretty lovely all-around case. I have no doubt it could accommodate another GTX 680 for a hardcore gamer, and that I could put a AIO unit on top for some more aggressive overclocks. It will take 4 + 3 HDDs and if you have more than that, well you should already be looking for a NAS solutions imho. For anyone thinking about getting the CM 690 III I'd wholeheartedly suggest him to get the side window panel option, as well. It's a rather nice touch and makes the whole thing look even better and somehow more expensive than it really is. My crappy photos doesn't do it justice.

Thumbs up to Cooler Master for letting me try their new 690. Feel free to commend or ask me anything about the new 690 III. I'd really love to hear your thoughts for the case or any suggestions about the build, on how I could make it look even better.

Thanks for your time, everyone smile.gif
Edited by Ccaution - 9/6/13 at 7:09pm
post #2 of 8
handprints!!!

my ocd screams WIPE THEM OFF!!!

other than that nice case.
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Gaming Rig
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Core i7 4790K ASUS Z97-WS Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980 
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16 Gb's Mushkin DDR3 @ 1600 MHz Crucial M500 SSD 240gb 4 Seagate Cheetah 15.7 15k rpm 300Gb Drives in... Coolit ECO C240 
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Windows 7 Ultimate ASUS PB287Q 4K Monitor HTC Vive Coolermaster Silent Pro M 1000W 
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Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra Razer Deathadder 2013 Steelseries Qck Mass Super Thick Cloth Mouse Pad Genius SW-G2.1 1250 4PC Gaming Speakers 
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Core i3 2120 Supermicro X9SCM-F 4 Gb Kingston 1600mhz DDR3 ECC 12 Segate 2tb drives (RAID 6) 
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ADATA SP600 SSD 24 Toshiba DT01ACA200 drives (2 RAID 6's) Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit. OCZ ZT750 Supermicro PWS-665-PQ 
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Norco 4020 and Norco 4224 LSI 9260-4i Raid Card Intel RES2SV240 20 port Expander. HP SAS 24 por... Voltaire 410Ex Hca Infiniband HBA 
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
You' re right, handprints look awful and I didn't even had greasy hands at time... :/
post #4 of 8
It will be interesting to see how it performs as a air cooling case rolleyes.gif

I have chosen to go water in mine thumb.gif
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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
^ For what it worths I did a bit of performance testing VS my CM Trooper. Original fans in both, and the HDD cages in the same orentation in both.

My GTX 680, with the same manual fan speed, toped @ 78C in the Metro LL Bench in the 690 III and @ 80 C in the trooper. It's a significant difference there, I did every test twice and I'm convinced that the CM 690 III offers better cooling for the gpu.

CPU-wise, unfortunately as I said in the OP I don't have an aftermarket cooler yet, but using the stock with LinX, it seems as the Trooper is just better due to the 140mm fan in the rear. We're talking 77C vs 81C (!), in favour of the Trooper. And those results were very easily reproducible.


I hope that gives you an rough idea of the performance smile.gif
post #6 of 8
They're being sold now? I couldn't find it on Newegg awhile ago after seeing this being announced at...was it Computex?

Looks nice. More minimal than the CM 690 II but still not my style. Better though.

Curious what it would look like if it had one large piece of mesh on the front like what Spider did in her Viper build.
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post #7 of 8
Can it fit Corsair H110 ??
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
@HybridCore You 're right, newegg doesn't have it listed yet, but the Cooler Master CM 693 product page is up, so it should be just around the corner, I guess smile.gif

@itomic Yes it can get an H110 on top (2x140mm), and another one in the front, if you sacrifice the 4x cage. The botton 3x cage can be mounted a tad closer to the psu to get the extra space in the front!
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Overclock.net › Forums › Case Mods & Cases › Computer Cases › CM 690 III going E-ATX, an overview [56K warning!]