Casings Guide

Cooler Master N600 (KWN1) review

Cooler Master N600 (KWN1) - Getting the Basics Right

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Launch SRP S$129
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Overall rating 7.5/10
Aesthetics:
7
Functionality:
8
Usability:
7.5
Value:
7.5
THE GOOD
Numerous cooling options, with support for liquid systems
Flexible HDD/SDD combo cage
Different variants to choose from
THE BAD
Simple design, finish can be better
Not a tool-free case
Could be more competitively priced


Interior Design, Installation and Conclusion

Interior Design and Features

After removing the front panel, we can see the 120mm Xtraflow fan with white LED. The exposed control panel stack must be removed, in the event of a need to mount additional front intake fans. This is certainly not very convenient.

The chassis has a removable HDD/SDD combo cage, and with the bundled drive rails, the case is able to fit up to seven 3.5-inch HDDs. The combo cage can fit up to four 3.5-inch HDDs, and the fixed bottom enclosure takes up to three such drives.

The cage can be reconfigured to fit four 2.5-inch drives. At the same time, it can be removed altogether to accommodate long graphics cards. Configuring the combo cage isn't a tool-free affair as it involved fiddling with a number of M3 mounting screws and re-positioning the cage's side panel. Only the installation of the optical drives can be perform without the use of tools.

The motherboard tray has an extremely large cutout for mounting custom CPU coolers. There are also cable management cutouts that are covered with flimsy rubber grommets.

The top of the chassis has a removable dust filter. According to Cooler Master, there are options to mount a pair of 120- or 140mm outlet fans or a 240mm radiator.

Installation and Conclusion

As mentioned earlier, only the installation of the ODDs were a tool-free affair as fixing up our test build components involved heavy usage of our Philips head screwdriver.

Turning to the rear of the motherboard tray, there are options to mount a single 2.5-inch drive. Below the 5.25-inch ODD drive bay, we see the mounting options for the side 120mm intake fan.

We powered on the system to see the lighting effect of the Xtraflow fan.

 

Conclusion

It appears Cooler Master is right on the money with the N600 series. We have no serious complaints with the KWN1 variant of the series, except that the we would have preferred a slightly better finish, less use of tools and more flexible drive trays like those we saw in the CM 690 III casing

The casing's removable HDD/SDD combo cage offers much flexibility to the configuration of the interior of the chassis. We are able to install more 3.5-inch drives, especially if we are building a file and storage system. It can also allow us to accommodate more 2.5-inch drives. In the event of freeing up capacity, we can opt to remove the cage entirely. Given today's system building needs, the casing's versatility will appeal to many users. However, we wish the case was more tool-free in nature. The bundled drive rails meant extra work for us to secure them to their respective drives; it's not a tough job, but less work is always beneficial.

In addition, we are impressive with the excellent cooling features of the chassis. True to the casing's DNA that's designed to accommodate plenty of cooling options, the chassis supports a total of ten cooling fans. If air cooling isn't sufficient, the KWN1 supports liquid cooling. But it is advisable to check the manual carefully to ensure you've enough clearance to mount your desired liquid cooling kit. This is because our suspicions, though they may be unfounded, that Cooler Master may be cutting too close to the bone, by touting support for 240mm radiators for liquid cooling systems. For a typical mid-tower chassis, space can quickly become constrained when trying to outfit such large radiators. To be perfectly sure and save time, you could opt for some of Cooler Master's own Seidon liquid cooling kits that have been checked and recommended on the N600's product page.

If you are sticking strictly to the air-cooling route, you can throw caution to the wind as the N600 chassis already has a pair of bundled cooling fans, along with ample ventilation options to keep your system running cool. 

From a functional standpoint, the casing address all the basic needs, but at the same time, we've also seen better options for its recommend retail price of S$129 and come out looking better.