intel E6600 Core2 Duo 2.40GHZ 4MB
....@ 3.30 GHZ (1.32V) : CoolIT Eliminator
ATi Radeon X1900XTX 512MB 650/775
....Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 w/ Turbo Mod
Corsair 2x1GB DDR2-667 4-4-4-12
....@ DDR2-735 (1.95V)
Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi XtremeMusic
WD 74GB Raptor (10K)
WD 250GB Caviar (7.2K)
Ultra X3 600W
NEC 16x/16x DVD±R/W
NZXT. Apollo Orange Chassis
All testing was done at an ambient temperature of 22C. Results were recorded using RivaTuner v2.1. Idle situations consisted of a blank WindowsXP desktop, and load situations were simulated using the following tasks: defragmenting the main harddrive, ripping a DVD to the secondary harddrive, running an instance of Folding@Home on each core of the processor, and running the ATi Tool 3D View feature. Together, that put a nice, hot load on each component. Idle situations were always measured after load situations to ensure that components were not still cool after boot, and each temperature was let to stabilize for 15 minutes to ensure that it was not still rising or falling. Because the Eliminator renders two fan ports unusable and the Accelero S1 is too wide for another, the side and rear fans were moved to the top two fan slots. In total, there were four fans: the front intake, the CoolIT exhaust, and two ceiling exhaust fans. The PSU exhaust fan is separate from the system by nature of its position in the case.
At idle, the cooling implementation in the CM690 is obviously superior, knocking 5C off of the CPU temperature!
At load, the trend holds true, as this new Cooler Master case proves that it is truly a cooling master. The only unimpressive aspect of these results is the harddrive temperature readings. The Apollo has a very small, restricted harddrive cage and I would have expected the CM690 to achieve at least slightly better numbers. All in all, though, very good results for the CM690!
Usage and Conclusions
There are very few negative things to be said about the CM690. Though my complaints about the case are small and arguably preferential, they concern daily use of the case. The first and most aggravating problem is the side panel implementation. It is beyond me why they would put so many extra flaps on the side panel but not reinforce it at least a little bit to make it easier to use. Furthermore, the case itself is also very loud. Though it sports all very quiet fans, there are a lot of them and the mesh obviously doesn't do much for the dampening of sound.
Beyond these few negative aspects, I can't help but rave about this case. The cooling is obviously superior to an average mid-tower case such as the NZXT Apollo. At a price of $65 at a popular online reseller, it is also much cheaper than any case of its caliber on the market today. The toolless features are also very well designed, and the cable-management features are very practical if your power supply has long enough cords. With all of these great things going for it, we cannot help but award the Cooler Master CM690 with the OCIA.net Seal of Approval!
+ Great cooling
+ Great value
+ Cable management features
+ Good looks
- Flimsy side-panels
- Awkward power buttons