So the Cooler Master CM690 III or CM693 if you don’t do the roman numerals thing has been on the desk with a Play3r test rig installed for around a week now but it’s that time again where I give you the low down. Is the CM690 III a worthwhile purchase and does it deliver like the previous versions before it have? Let’s get cracking…
Starting off with the performance, the CM690 III has a lot going for it and let me tell you why! Of course the CM690 III has performance comparable to the Aerocool DS200 but what makes the Cooler Master option stand out more is the 200mm intake on the front; this is a much quieter option than 1 or 2 x 120mm fans and of course a 200m fan pushes a considerable amount of air which is exactly what you want for an intake! The CM690 III does very strong on all four of the performance graphs and shows that it certainly isn’t a push over.
Design wise the CM690 III has a pretty similar design to the previous version but with a couple of new twists. There is support for up to 10 x SSD drives which I find pretty decent for a mid-tower chassis; this also includes up to 3 x 3.5” mechanical drives but these bays also support SSDs which help make it up to 10 supported. I also like the addition of a SSD slot behind the motherboard tray! One of the drastic improvements over the previous version is the inclusion of a 200mm intake fan and as previously mentioned, it not only attributes to cooling performance but is also quieter. Touching more on the build quality, the CM690 III has a very solid feel about it; the side panels being solid with little to no flex whatsoever. In fact the overall case has a very solid steel structure and even the plastic components have a premium solid feel to them; something which is hard to do in my opinion.
The case however doesn’t come without its downfalls and the removal of the e-SATA connection as that was one of the main reasons of my purchase of the CM690 II Advanced back in the day; helped me no end in diagnosing faulty hard drives and making quick storage transfers. Other than that, the CM690 III is pretty much a golden case!
So combining support for graphics cards up to 423mm long and of CPU coolers up to a maximum height of 171mm, the Cooler Master CM690III has options available that most full tower cases have which is a credit to themselves really because the CM690 II is one of the best all-round cases budget wise I have ever used. So it goes without saying that my experience with mark 3 has been nothing but pleasurable too; despite the lack of e-SATA which is something I won’t let Cooler Master off with!
Price wise, the CM690 III is available for around £75 including the side window which in my opinion, is worth every penny spent! Given all the features included and the sleek subtle design, I would easily recommend this case to anyone looking for a solid mid-tower offering which has superb build quality and doesn’t cost the earth!
Overall aside from the obvious lack of e-SATA the Cooler Master CM690 III is a gold award worthy case and performed brilliantly due to the included 200mm intake fan. If you are looking for an all-black mid tower chassis with solid construction, great access throughout during installation and of course superb customer service, then put the CM690 III on your list; you won’t be disappointed!
Huge thanks to Cooler Master for sending the CM690 III in for review and I look forward to seeing more in the near future.
– Great performance
– Amazing build quality
– Nice subtle aesthetics
– Good value for money
– Great support for coolers and graphics cards
– Excellent water cooling support available
– No e-SATA port or hot swap dock like previous version
– Effectively a “shinier” version of the CM690 II
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