Casings Guide

Cooler Master CM 690 III review

Cooler Master CM 690 III - Never Judge A Book by Its Cover

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Overall rating 8.5/10
Aesthetics:
7.5
Functionality:
9
Usability:
8.5
Value:
8.5
THE GOOD
Drive enclosures and trays able to accommodate either 2.5 or 3.5-inch drives
Excellent ventilation options
THE BAD
Flexible drive trays do not make installing SSDs any easier
Drive trays feel a bit flimsy


Interior Design (Part I)

Interior Design

With all the panels removed, we were able to view the bundled 200m front intake fan. At the same time, we were able to have a clearer view of the redesigned interior of the CM 690 III.

From the side of the chassis, we see the 5.25-inch drive enclosure, as well as those for 2.5- and 3.5-inch drives. It is worth noting at this point that the 2.5-inch drive enclosure can be converted to fit 3.5-inch drives. Intrigued? We'll get to those details later in this page.

Let's start with installation aspects of each drive enclosure type. Mounting an optical disc drive is a tool-free affair as the user will only have to insert the drive and it will lock itself into place. Releasing the drive only requires a push of a button on the side of the drive cage.

As we have mentioned earlier, the 2.5-inch drive enclosure has a nifty feature that is not immediately apparent. Unlike the bottom HDD enclosure, the top enclosure is actually comprised of two panels which are independent. As such, the panel deeper in the casing can actually be moved to fit either 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch drives. Additionally, there is the option to also mount a 120mm fan on its side, although doing so would reduce the amount of space for  long graphics card.

Since they are independent panels, it also means that the 2.5-inch drive enclosure can be removed entirely to accommodate larger graphics card to fit into the chassis. This will also allow the user to fit a 240mm radiator at the front if required. 

One of the interesting features of the chassis is the ability to fit up to ten 2.5-inch drives or up to seven 3.5-inch drives, without requiring any adapters of any kind to be purchased thanks to the flexibility of the drive cage configuration shown above. We examine how this is possible on the mid-tower chassis. There are a total of seven bundled drive trays that have the flexibility to fit either 2.5-and 3.5-inch drives. The tray that is pictured below was removed from the 2.5-inch drive enclosure. It has a pair of flaps that can be lowered in order to accommodate the 2.5-inch drive. Once the drive is in place, we used four M3 8mm screws to secure the drive.

 

In order to install the 2.5-inch drive into the 3.5-inch drive enclosure, the drive tray is able to be expand to fit into one of its three 3.5-inch drive bays. One the drive tray is expanded, you'll notice there are four mounting screw holes so that the 2.5-inch drive can be fastened to the bottom of the drive 3.5-inch drive tray. Therefore, both the 2.5- and 3.5-inch drive enclosures combined can accommodate up to a seven 2.5-inch drives.

There are three additional mounting options for 2.5-inch drives that enable the CM 690 III to fit up to ten such drives in total. However, before installing the 2.5-inch drive into the any of the three additional options, the drive has to be installed with four bundled anti-vibration pads.

 

Following which, we are able to install this drive at the following options; at the bottom of the optical disk drive (ODD) bay, at the bottom of the chassis, and behind the motherboard tray. Therefore, this allows the user to install up to a grand total of ten 2.5-inch drives. We had to slide the 2.5-inch drive with the four pads into their places provided by the four mounting holes, available at each aforementioned position of the chassis.