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Friday, 19 March 2010 18:00

Cooler Master 690 Advanced reviewed - 5. Installation and testing

Written by Sanjin Rados


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Review: The new king of the middle








Removing the side panels will require a slightly stronger tug but when in place, they are very stable and won’t vibrate and make noise. The sides are held in place by thumb screws, so again - no tools required. As you can see from the picture below, Cooler Master 690 Advanced can take ATX or micro ATX motherboards.

You’ll get three quiet fans with the case, where each of them features a 3-pin native connector as well as an additional connector allowing for direct connection to the 4-pin molex connector from the PSU. If you want to monitor the fans’ RPM you can connect them to the motherboard using three pin connectors, but we used our Scythe Kaze Master Ace controller.

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We used CoolerMaster’s GX750W and the photo below will paint paint a picture of just how important cable management can be.

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CoolerMaster’s GX 750W is the latest PSU from CoolerMaster and it comes with one hefty +12V rail with up to 60A. SLI or CrossFire setups will require up to four 8-pin PCIe power connectors, and while this PSU will provide, it’s still a mini forest of cables that you won’t need when using slower graphics cards. The rest of the cables can be kept elsewhere in order not to hinder in-case airflow.

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On the back of the case you’ll find that there is about 15mm of free space between the side panel and the case, and you can use this space either to route cables or to keep those you don’t need. We didn’t do much of a tidy job here, so we’ll leave that to you. As you can see, the CPU cooler can be mounted with ease, as the tray comes with a large hole behind the CPU. The CM 690 Advanced does not come with a removable motherboard tray, but the case is roomy enough so that should not be an issue.

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All the 5.25’’ slots come with a toolless system that will definitely make your life easier. All you need to do is to put the handle in “open” position, place your drive into the slot and move the handle back to “lock”.

Mounting HDDs won’t take up much of your time, but you’ll have to connect the cables from the back. One of the HDD bays will allow for mounting two 2.5’’ HDD or SSD devices. 

If you want to mount a water cooling radiator you can do so on the bottom of the case, after you take the bottom four HDD bays out, or on the top of the case, which is probably a wiser solution.

The case will take any CPU cooler up to 177mm long, and we almost matched that height with CoolerMaster’s Hyper Z600 (160mm tall). For our testing we used Radeon HD 5870, and it fit like a glove, but note that the case will take cards up to 304mm long.

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Testbed:

Motherboard: 
MSI P45D3 Platinum,
Processor:       Intel Core 2 QX9770 Extreme Edition at 3.6GHz,
Memory:          Corsair Dominator 12800 7-7-7-24,
Storage:           WD VelociRaptor 300G 10,000RPM,
Fan controller: Scythe Kaze Master Ace.


Although our test cooler is passive, the case’s airflow allowed for stable operation of our CPU. After half an hour of Prime 95 testing, the temperature hit 51°C, which is pretty nice for a passive cooler. The fans were set at maximum RPM during our CPU testing, but they weren’t too loud.

We used Scythe’s Kaze Master ACE controller to regulate the RPM and it read 1200RPM, which coincides with what the case specs say. As we already said, the case features three fans – two 140mm ( A14025-10CB-3BN-F1 : 1200 RPM, 19 dBA) are placed on top and front, whereas the remaining 120mm fan (A12025-12CB-3BN-F1 : 1200 RPM, 17dBA) is located on the back panel. Note that the front 140mm fan comes with a nice blue LED lamp which can be turned off or on via the I/O panel key.

As you can see from the picture below, there are 7 horizontal expansion slots on the case with an additional vertical one, which we used to put Firewire and additional USB connectors.

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CoolerMaster did a great job with the 690 Advanced, and the case has proven that it has what it takes to take on some much pricier competitors. Furthermore, the 690 Advanced has nicely built on the success of its predecessor – the 690 PURE.

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(Page 5 of 6)
Last modified on Friday, 19 March 2010 19:48
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