Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced Black & White Edition Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on June 12, 2012
The CM 690 II Advanced is one of Cooler Master’s most popular cases, and now they are releasing a new version, called “Black & White Edition,” featuring USB 3.0 ports, white side panels, and a big transparent window. Let’s take a look at it.
The left panel has a big transparent window with a mesh for an optional 120 mm fan, but in other countries Cooler Master also offer this case with a solid left panel. There is no air filter for this panel.
The front panel of the Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced Black & White Edition has four external 5.25” bays, using meshed covers with air filters. The case comes with a 140 mm fan on its front panel (1,200 rpm, 19 dBA), which glows white when turned on. The case has a button on its top panel for you to turn off this fan’s LEDs. The fan uses a standard three-pin fan power plug, and it comes with an adapter if you want to connect it directly on the power supply. As you can see in Figure 5, you can move this fan down, if you want, or replace it with a 120 mm model. There is an air filter for the front fan.
The top panel of the Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced Black & White Edition is meshed, and it comes with one 140 mm fan (1,200 rpm, 19 dBA) installed. This fan uses a standard three-pin fan power connector, and it comes with an adapter, in case you want to connect the fan directly on your power supply. You can install a second fan, which can be either a 120 mm or a 140 mm model. The top panel has an air filter. It supports the installation of a radiator from liquid cooling solutions up to 280 mm.
The case comes with two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and the traditional audio jacks on the front side of the top panel. It also has a button for turning on or off the LEDs of the front fan. The USB 3.0 ports utilize an internal connector, so you must use a motherboard with a USB 3.0 header if you want to use these ports. (All newer motherboards have this kind of connector.) One of the highlights of the reviewed case is the presence of an external 3.5”/2.5” docking bay. A plastic lid protects this bay (compare Figures 6 and 7 to see it). The eSATA port that was available on the original CM 690 II Advanced was removed to make room for the two USB 3.0 ports.
The bottom panel has air filters for the power supply fan and for the optional fans.
The rear panel and the interior of the Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced Black & White Edition are painted black.
The case has seven expansion slots, using solid covers. It has an additional expansion slot above the regular slots for you to install an I/O bracket containing connectors or a blower to pull hot air from inside the case.
There is a 120 mm fan on the rear panel (1,200 rpm, 17 dBA), using a standard three-pin fan power connector and also coming with an adapter in order to allow it to be installed on standard peripheral power connectors.
On the Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced Black & White Edition, the power supply goes on the bottom part of the case.
There are two holes protected with rubber covers for hoses of liquid cooling solutions, each measuring 1” (25 mm) in diameter.
Both panels are attached to the chassis using black thumbscrews. The motherboard tray has a huge hole for you to access the backplate of the CPU cooler without having to remove the motherboard from the case, several holes protected with rubber covers for you to route cables behind it, and several metallic clips for you to fasten cables using cable ties.
There are some differences here between the original CM 690 II Advanced and the new Black & White Edition. The original version didn’t have the rubber covers for the holes in the motherboard tray, but it came with a retention mechanism for video cards that doesn’t come with the new model.
Figure 12 gives you another overall look inside the case. Expansion cards are fastened using black thumbscrews. The Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced Black & White Edition supports video cards up to 11.4” (290 mm) long. The top panel supports radiators up to 280 mm.
As already explained, the power supply is installed at the bottom of the case. Note that it can be installed with either its bottom fan facing up or facing down, so you can decide if you want the fan of your power supply pulling air from inside the case or from outside of it. As already shown, there is an air filter for the power supply fan.
The Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced Black & White Edition supports the installation of two 120 mm fans on the bottom panel. For installing the second fan or a radiator (up to 280 mm) for liquid cooling solutions, you need to remove the bottom hard drive cage. With the first fan or a radiator installed, you can install power supplies up to 180 mm deep. There is an air filter for these optional fans.
The Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced Black & White Edition has four 5.25” external bays and six 3.5” internal bays. Installation of 5.25” and 3.5” devices can be done without the use of tools or screws. The case comes with one adapter to convert one of the 3.5” bays into a 2.5” or 1.8” one and another adapter to convert a 5.25” bay into an external 3.5” bay.
The 3.5” bays are available in two hard drive cages, one with two bays and the other with four bays. As previously explained, you can remove the bottom if you want to install a second 120 mm fan or a radiator from liquid cooling solutions on the bottom panel of the case.
Each 3.5” bay is actually a small drawer, as you can see in Figure 17. The pegs that hold 3.5” devices have rubber rings to reduce vibration and absorb noise. We don’t understand why Cooler Master didn’t add holes in these drawers to make them compatible with 2.5” devices.
The main specifications for the Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced Black & White Edition include:
This new version of the Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced provides a terrific cost/benefit ratio. It is affordable, has a great look, and provides all the features that users are seeking. The only negative is with the internal 3.5” bays: Cooler Master could have added holes in them in order to make them compatible with 2.5” devices.