Cooler Master CM 690

Written by Joe Martin

November 29, 2007 | 08:04

Tags: #690 #black #budget #case #chassis #cheap #cosmos #fans #praetorian

Companies: #coolermaster #mod

I’ve never had an A- before!

So, in terms of ease of use, the CM 690 is a clear winner. It could still all come unravelled though if the system doesn’t manage the heat produced by the system very well or if the fans in the system are too noisy for us.

Our heat testing isn’t just as simple as bunging a thermometer in the case and waiting a few minutes though. Well, OK, the first one is. We thread a digital thermometer cable in through a small hole in the case and position it in the centre of the case, then leave the case running for a while to test the idle performance.

The next test is one designed to stress both the CPU and RAM together, pushing them to their limit and driving system temperatures up as high as possible. While this is going on we note down the temperature of the CPU, the GPU and the case interior.

The last test involves using a graphics test called RTHDRIBL, which stands for real-time high dynamic range image base lighting demo. It’s a complex lighting demo which we run for a few minutes to drive up the temperature of the graphics card, with all the settings maxed out and the automatic demo looping. The RTHDRIBL program is free to download and is worthing picking up if you want to give your own graphics card a quick work out.

The result we take is always the highest peak that each component reaches and all results are measured against an ambient. Between each test the machine is given time to cool down.

Cooler Master CM 690 Results
The results of our thermal testing on the Cooler Master CM 690 case

So, as you can see above, the results are in. No more testing to do, so put your pencils and thermometers down.

In terms of performance, the case doesn’t do too badly at all. In fact, it actually performs pretty well. The temperature inside the case never gets more than a degree over the ambient and the CPU gets warm, but never hot. In fact, it out performs other cases like the Hiper Anubis.

The graphics card temperature is pretty good too and though it does get a tiny bit warmer than some other cases at its highest peak, it remains colder than a lot of other cases at its lowest point. Those extra ventilation points, combined with the tidy cables and the fact that the hot air from the PSU is being funnelled out directly, obviously make all the difference in the world.

Conclusions

That table brings our testing section a close and now all that is left is for me to summarise our findings, wrapping it all up nicely before the folks at Cooler Master come and demand that I return to them the rather nice CM 690 chassis. My time with it has been short, but memorable.

The Cooler Master CM 690 is a nice looking case, there’s no doubt in my mind about that, and the fact that its available for around fifty quid in the UK only sweetens the deal. On top of that, the cooling performance is pretty admirable.

Cooler Master CM 690 Results Cooler Master CM 690 Results
Click to enlarge

Does the case have problems? Sure it does, but nothing is perfect. The plentiful ventilation grilles mean that the case can get pretty noisy, especially if you have it on your desk right next to you monitor. That’s only going to get worse the more fans you put in the case too, though it can also be solved pretty easily by putting the case in a desk alcove.

The main problem with the case though is the apparent flimsiness of the material and the fact that the build quality is occasionally a little suspect. The front of the case doesn’t meet the side panels or the top of the case all that well, even on the side that I didn’t damage.

Regardless, the Cooler Master CM 690 is still a very worthy addition to the catalogue and the cheap price means that pretty much anyone can justify the expense. It may not be the most flash case we’ve ever seen, but it does what it says on the tin and it does it well at that. There’s not much more you can reasonably ask for.

  • Features
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  • -
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  • 8/10
  • Build Quality
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  • 6/10
  • Ease of Use
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  • 9/10
  • Performance
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  • 9/10
  • Value
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  • Overall
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  • 9/10
What do these scores mean?

Cooler Master CM 690 Results

Cooler Master CM 690


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