Cooler Master CM 690 III Computer Case Review

Cases & PSU/Cases by leeghoofd @ 2013-11-25

Cooler Master's CM 690 series has received again a face lift, logic as it remains one of the core products of the Cooler Master enclosure range. Today we introduce you to the third installment of the infamous 690 series. At first glance no big cosmetic changes are detectable on the outside. This CM 690 III still carries the heavy weight on its shoulder of its predecessors regarding the looks, thus most changes are made on the inside to make this medium tower lineup 2013 proof. Time to open the box and explore the goodness the Cooler Master engineers came up with this time...


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At first glance this new installment in the oh so popular CM 690 series doesn't carry much new under the hood. However it's once we remove the side panels we can appreciate at how much work has been done to update this case to the end users demands of 2013.

First of all the cooling is completely overhauled with a massive 200mm front Fan; the rear 120mm fan remains the same in size. A total of 7 or 9 fans (depending if you opt for the windowed model or not) can be installed in numerous sizes and shapes. If massive airflow is a must, then the end user has the option to install up to three gigantic 200mm fans inside this medium tower sized CM 690 III. The added water-cooling support is also a welcome upgrade to make this case even more popular than before.



Storage wise the CM 690 III also received some nifty modifications. The modular top HDD cage either supports a massive amount of SSDs or similar sized HDDs. Or after being manually widened, the 3.5 inch platter support accounts for up to 7 x 3.5 inch drives. The new HDD trays sport an exclusive screwless design.  The installation for the SSD behind the motherboard tray is again a clear indication that this design has been completely overworked. This solution will probably become a concept, which will be eagerly copied by the competitors.

The graphics card compatibility has been increased from 304mm to 423mm. Since some non-reference coolers designs are completely oversized for older cases, this critical point had to be addressed by the CM engineers. The front USB panel receives the addition of two USB 3.0 ports. Some minor criticism now,  the only weird design point with this case is situated in that front panel area: one can only get access to the power/reset switches, the USB ports or audio jacks after sliding the smoked cover latch. Maybe the CM head designer has kids that regularly push one of these buttons... The removal of the X-docking is a miss in my personal book. However most brands have abandoned this or similar hot swappable feature too, thus we can't blame Cooler Master for doing likewise.

Those who are in for a nice looking and feature rich case, which sports great hardware compatibility, excellent cooling and great storage capacity, then certainly have a look at Cooler Master's CM 690 III. This face lifted model is ready to withstand the test of time and will probably remain one of Cooler Masters most popular cases. If it are not the new clever features that might turn you around, the Cooler Master build quality might do so.




  • Sports traditional lines of the 690 series
  • Top class cooling potential
  • Enhanced GPU compatibility
  • Cable management
  • SSD mounting sytem on the motherboard tray
  • Modular SSD/HDD cage system




  • No initial rubber grommets on cutouts (are offered on request for free by CM) - issue resolved with the new production batches. Besides rubber grommets, the new batches will also feature additional thumb screws.
  • Access to the front panel






I wish to thank Ruben from Cooler Master for the CM 690 III sample


Sven from ASUS for the Sabertooth X79 motherboard


Harry from Corsair for the Vengeance Pro RAM kit


And finally but not least the nutty crew from for the hardware access !!



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