CoolerMaster CM 690 III Review
Published: 16th September 2013 | Source: CoolerMaster | Price: £85 |
Up Close: Interior Overview and Drive Bays
The CM690 has a spacious interior with a large CPU cut out. Although it's by no means the largest we've seen it should be plenty big enough to allow hassle free installation of CPU coolers up to the 171mm in height that the case permits.. The three vertical cable management holes are on the slim side and again although they should be fine it would have been nice to see rubber grommets in a case at this price point. Turning our attention to the 3x5.25" bays we can see that as expected they are of the tool free variety.
It's when we start to look at the internal storage area that things start to get really quite interesting. With the prices of SSDs dropping faster than a Granny on ice skates we're starting to see manufacturers come up with ever more ingenious ways of handling them and their older HDD siblings. with the 690 III CoolerMaster have opted for a fully modular system of two cages, each of which can be either dismantled or re configured. At point of delivery the drives are configured as you see them below left, the set being 3x3.5" underneath 4x2.5". In this configuration the 690 III will be able to accept a GPU of up to 310mm (not including plugs). Undoing a few screws and moving the end wall of the upper rack outwards converts the assembly into 7x3.5". Obviously changing the drive configuration is going to affect the maximum GPU length, reducing it as it does down to a maximum of 260mm.
Not too bothered about storage, but have an old school monster GPU to find a home for? No problem, dismantling the upper rack will up the max GPU length to 423mm. And if you really need to you can always remove the lower rack. And what do we see when we do? Mounting holes for a 240mm rad, that's what.
Whereas the lower rack comes out in one piece, the upper rack comes apart on removal, giving you that slight "oh crap what have I done" feeling. It is in fact a piece of piddle to put back together so you can keep a firm grip on your man card for now.
As necessity is the mother of invention CoolerMaster have come up with a rather clever method of adapting what appears to be a standard HDD caddy to accept both 2.5" and 3.5" drives. Releasing a small catch underneath allows the caddy to be pulled open to just wider than the desired width allowing the drive to be slotted in and the caddy slid shut around it.
Manufacturers are also coming up with other ingenious hiding places for the slim line SSD, with CoolerMaster being no exception the 690 III has a mount on the floor of the lower 5.25" bay as well as the floor of the actual case. At least that'll stop people putting fans down there.