- Packaging and Specifications
- External Impressions
- Internal Impressions Part 1
- Internal Impressions Part 2
- Comparison: Corsair 400R and Coolermaster 690II Plus
- Installation Experience and Conclusion
I would like to thank Gigabyte, Kingston and Western Digital for providing resources required to review other Hardware.
The test rig is as follows:
As said in previous pages, there are some minor inconvenience that I wish Coolermaster could have dealt with it with ease.
You need to put the air filter between the bottom mount and the psu- there’s no other way. Also I wasn’t able to push through the 8 pin EPS connector from the rear but if you can split the connectors- all well and good.
You will need to remove the top panel fan towards the left and install it on the right side of the top panel, especially if your CPU cooler is large, depending on the motherboard layout.
There’s enough space around the case to install SATA connectors and headers easily unless you have a card that comes in the way. Having a longer access next to the power supply helps a lot especially if you have a unit like TX750 to reduce the cable mess on the front.
The issue is that in can really use more space between the back of the motherboard tray and the right side panel. Most of the cable tie clips turned out to be useful, unfortunately I had to remove one of the HDD trays since the front panel fan’s Molex connectors were in the way. If you have about 2-3 hard drives and a modular power supply, you should see most of the cable clutter, but if you want to do anything more and if the power supply’s cables are very thick and non-modular, you will need to spend some time with the case. Do note that I kept couple of 6+2 PCIe Power connector over Asus Xonar DX, which needs a floppy power connector.
As one will expect, you get space enough to install a card upto 10.5″- 11 inch, depending on where the PCIE connector on the card is.
The rear should have come with a 140mm mount at the very least if they couldn’t afford to bundle a 140mm A14025-10CB-3BN-F1 rear fan. The front section could use fan to push in more air. They’re silent whether you’re using with 3 pin or via Molex connector. The case design still as it always did, it just needs more space on the back and Coolermaster needs to work on few rough edges- like letting the end user install 2x 140mm fan on the front, having a dust filter on the underbelly rather than stuffing it between the bottom mount and the psu, more space to push through the EPS connector….
I wish Coolermaster’s fan mounting holes has rubber grommets too.
Good part? Its a strong case. It has 2x USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports. Other than that, its just a CM 690. Corsair has really spent a lot of time designing their cases and you can see their effort paid off since day 1: 600T, 800D, 400R, 500R and a 300R that I just have. Best way to know if a case is really good is by installing all the hardware inside the case and then work on its cons as much as possible. I appreciate CM 690 II Plus, but 400R is more “polished” product, although their I/O section is weak.
Its been sometime, but in both scenarios I recommended a Lian Li K60 over Corsair 400R and Coolermaster 690 II Plus. Both type of users has same requirement- rendering setups. They preferred fans with the case over USB 3.0. They wouldn’t use anything more than 2-3 drives but wanted a solid case- and both hated LED fans. The internal wasn’t painted, but they got a case with 140mm front fan, 2x 140mm top fan and 1x120mm rear fan. Lian K60 is a very strong case and that’s something that will keep such users happy. If you need all the jazz such as painted internals and LED lights, there’s K62. Sure, it has only 4 HDD bays, but anything more than 4 HDD bays (and it makes sense to go 6 HDD bays all the way) then one should make a room to have 2x 120/140mm fan mounts.
I would very much like to include Bitfenix Shinobi in the list. The case is also well-made. But if it had more fans and the HDD bays were right angled, it belongs to the same rank as Lian Li K60/K62.
Haven’t seen anything from Antec yet. Wonder what they’re upto…hmm.. don’t get me wrong. There was a time I used to believe that Antec can produce some really good cases and go head-to-head with Coolermaster- this was well before Lian Li and Corsair being available in India.
If I am doing comparison with 2-3 cases am I saying its not a good buy? Not really. CM 690 II Plus needs few tweaks and changes to keep up with the times. Unless you are bored of seeing CM 690’s design that is being followed for a very long time, I don’t see why this case wouldn’t be in people’s list, but it will be followed by Corsair 400R. What would have turned people’s attention is if the case has a VGA support bracket that does the job properly for atleast 2x dual slot card- and that’s where Coolmaster 690 II Advanced steps in. But if the advanced version has the same cons as this case, you may have to re-think your purchase decision.
Goes without saying that Coolermaster’s upper hand is ease of availability of their cases compared to other manufacturers in India. Not many would appreciate spending bit more on shipping cases compared to getting a case from a shop available locally.
Speaking of moving with the times, I would appreciate if Coolermaster ditches blue LEDs for good.
Update: Coolermaster India said that CM 690 II Plus has 1 year warranty on the case, however the fans/front panel connector/buttons have 2 years of warranty period.