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CM 690 III Mid-Tower PC Chassis Review

  1. Introduction
  2. Packaging and Specifications
  3. External Impressions Part 1
  4. External Impressions Part 2
  5. Internal Impressions Part 1
  6. Internal Impressions Part 2
  7. Installation Impressions
  8. Conclusion
  9. View All

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The transparent window is protected with 2x plastic sheets from both end, and it was then known that this is black tinted transparent sidepanel.

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There has been a number of change on the internal panel, most notable ones are the dedicated 4x 2.5” SSD/HDD trays, followed by 3x 3.5” HDD trays. On the motherboard tray, you see cut out for the EPS cable on the top left corner and a larger cut-out next to it, to re-route cables and wiring.

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To install the 5.25” drive, all you have to do is slide it in. There are also mounting holes, in case you need it to secure any 5.25” drives.

The top 2.5” SSD/HDD is modular, and this modular design is impressive.

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The top tray rails can be set for 2.5” and 3.5” drives. The rail cages are removable, which means you have a choice of either removing them, using them as a 2.5” bay rail support or even removing one of the rail and extending it to install 3.5” drives.

The rails also have a mounting for 1x 120mm fan, but you cannot do so for the base HDD cage. CM made up for it by providing the 120mm fan mount on the base.

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the trays are also modular, therefore, you can extend or retract any trays for 2.5” and 3.5” drives.

There was a con I’ve mentioned in CM 690 II Plus:

The case lets you install 6x HDDs and 4x 3.5″ devices. Each tray uses 4 rubber grommets with 4 of these pins to secure the hard drive. The issue is that the pins are pretty stubborn to fit in place once you install the hard drive on the HDD tray. You need to make sure that they are inserted properly or else you’ll have problems sliding it in. Also,this comes with a dual SDD add-on tray, but Coolermaster could have taken a step ahead by providing mounting holes on the HDD trays itself for 2.5″ drives.

This is one of the perfect little examples how pointing out cons in a product is considered as a feedback and used to improve the product when the newer rev comes out. CM implemented 2 ways to install 2.5” drives, so that you won’t be at a dis-advantage when switching to 3.5” rail configuration.

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The tray has retractable support rail on the 3.5” modular tray when switch to 2.5” setup, perfect for drives with 9.5mm and lesser thick 2.5” drives. You can secure the drive via the side mounting holes.

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But if you switch the rail to 3.5” configuration, you’ll also end up expanding the tray as well, of which you can install it on the base and secure it via the base screw mounts.This will accommodate any 2.5” drives, irrespective of the thickness.

As you can see, the drive maintains adequate distance from the 2.5” drive, therefore unlike CM 690 II Plus you don’t need to remove the pins.

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3.5” mechanical drives is secured by the pins on the tray, but there’s also an extra screw hole on the side, should you require to do so.

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There are 2 ways to mount the 2.5” bays, whether you set the rails for 2.5” or 3.5” drive mounting. The 3.5” drive mounting pins do not require to be removed, unlike CM 690 II Plus.

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CM ditched the ‘large’ rectangular cut out for the CPU backplate that CM 690 II Plus had and went to a more reasonable sized cut out which should be generous enough to anyone installs a CPU cooler irrespective of the CPU socket layout on the motherboard.

As you can also see there are a lot of cable tie loops on the other side of the motherboard tray. Just below the CPU mounting hole, you can also install a 2.5” drive behind as well.

That is not all:

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Not only you can install a 1x 120mm fan on the base, but in its place you can install another 2.5” drive.

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Just on the base of the 5.25” drive cage, there’s another mounting hole provide to install another 2.5” drive. So in total, you can install up to 7+ 3 2.5” drives! CM has put a lot of thought into providing multiple ways to install 2.5” drives!

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The top panel has dedicate space to install 2x 120mm/ 2x 140mm/1x 200mm fan. You can install the 240mm radiator on the top, but you can install the 2x 120mm fan between the removable top panel mesh and the top panel mounting frame.

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CM provided lot of screws, standoffs, cable tie, security lock loop, an HDD cage standoff and couple of anti-vibration pads for the fans.

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