It can get very difficult when a manufacturer makes a new case and only changes the colour, to find enough to say about it to make it worth an entirely new review. One such occasion for me at least is when they finally "make me a white one" because it's quite commonly known we are suckers for a sleek white case. It seems now however that monochrome is cool and Cooler Master has revamped the 690 II Advanced to join in this new craze by releasing the 'Black & White Edition'.
Seeing as nothing else has changed apart from the colour and a couple of USB3 ports on the top with an internal header we thought we would take the excuse to show you what a great case this is if you are looking for either your first case or something of a reasonable size to watercool.
Supports two USB 3.0 ports (internal)
Enlarged front and top mesh design for superb ventilation
Can accommodate 120 x 240 mm radiator at the top and bottom
Dust-control filters for all meshed areas
Supports up to 10 fans (up to 5x140 mm fans)
External SATA docking station (X-dock)
Rear tubing holes for water cooling
Includes 1.8" & 2.5" HDD and SSD adapter
More and redesigned rubber grommets for improved cable management
Larger CPU heat sink cut-out on the motherboard tray
|Available Color||Black & White (w/ inner black coating)|
|Material||Steel body / Plastic + Mesh bezel|
|Dimension (W / H / D)||214.5(W) x 496(H) x 528.8(D)mm / 8.4 x 19.5 x 20.8 inch|
|Weight||9.56 kg / 21.08 lb|
|M/B Type||Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX|
|5.25" Drive Bay||4 (without the use of exposed 3.5" drive bay)|
|3.5" Drive Bay||6 hidden (4 removable), 1 exposed |
(converted from one 5.25" drive bay)
|2.5" SATA HDD Drive Bay||2 (converted from one 3.5" drive bay)|
|I/O Panel||USB 3.0 x 2 (internal), USB 2.0 x 2, Mic x 1, Audio x 1 |
(supports HD/AC97 audio)
|Cooling System||Front: 140 x 25mm white LED fan x 1 / 1200 RPM / 19dBA|
Rear: 120mm fan x 1 / 1200 RPM / 17dBA
Top: 140x25mm fan x 1 / 1200 RPM / 19dBA
(supports 120/140mm fan x 2)
Bottom: 120mm fan x 2 (optional)
|Power Supply||PS2 (optional)|
|Maximum Compatibility||VGA card length:304mm / 11.96 inch|
CPU cooler height:177mm / 6.96 inch
Starter Kit £173.29
Optional Radiator 1 (35mm) £39.99
Optional Radiator 2 (45mm) £43.59
Alphacool Pump £17.99
CPU Block £53.99
Radiator Fans £18.99
For the most part here you have to go and watch the video. Yes we know its 30minutes long but its full of information and explanations that would take up page and pages of text to try and type out.
CPU Only Loop. (RX240 Kit)
The long and short of it is if you take your time choosing your parts this case is perfect for a mid sized watercooling rig. We would honestly start with something like the RX240 watercooling kit linked above and this in itself is a perfect CPU loop that will slide in the bottom of the case with a single set of fans no problem. Just follow what we said in the video and keep the barbs to the front of the case and make sure your PSU is a maximum 160mm length (standard ATX). We would opt for a 60mm thick radiator and a single set of fans over a thinner rad and push pull fans any day. Adding a second set of fans bring minimal benefits other than look and being able to run stupidly low fan speeds for silence freaks. The kit comes with everything you would need except coolant so you are done now if you want a CPU only loop. There are options to make a tidier loop with 45 and 90 degree barb fittings and obviously fan choices but we could go on for ever, so lets move on to a completely custom loop including adding in a GPU block.
Custom Loop Including GPU
Adding in a GPU to the loop may seem complicated but again if you take your time and choose your parts wisely its actually quite easy. You will to start by buying all the parts separately because we would need to make some changes to the loop. We'll use the RX240 radiator from the kit before but we will also need to add an extra radiator in the loop for extra cooling. The quickest and easiest option here is to fit the 35mm thick XSPC EX240 in the roof as this will not interfere with your motherboard components at all and all you need to do is bolt the fans to the outside of the case underneath the mesh. If, like the board in the video, you don't have any mosfet heat sinks at the top of your motherboard then you can squeeze in the Koolance 45mm thick rad but its tighter than a nuns naughty bits and we would probably just use the EX240 anyway. Once you've got the rads, next up is a pump and reservoir within 7 - 10 days of this review going live Alphacool will have some new ceramic pumps hitting the market, they are small, quiet and move quite a bit of fluid considering their size. There is also a single bay res available that you can fit 2 of the pumps to for a single loop and they reportedly perform as well as a 10w DDC pump. This dual set up in a single bay res would be perfect for your CPU - GPU and dual radiator set up.
So you have the radiators the pumps and res you then just need to pick a CPU block. I've linked the Raystorm above but feel free to pick and choose what you like. When you choose your GPU block please make sure the block is 100% compatible with your GPU PCB because there are many many different types, so put some time in before making a purchase. If in doubt take a photo of your bare GPU PCB and email Specialtech / post on the OC3D forums for advice. (we will only search the net anyway so this you could and should do yourself). Make sure you order a minimum of 2m of hose, we normal choose 7/16 hose on 1/2 barbs. It is a little tight to fit but is actually secure enough once fitted you don't actually need any hose clips! Should this keep you up at night worrying you'll have a coolant dyed carpet in the morning a simple ziptie is fine for an extra bit of security. Again you can tart your system up a bit with some 45/90 degree fittings to keep things uber tidy and obviously there are many LED fans out there should you wish to get creative. For the absolute ultimate in radiator fan performance we couldn't recommend anything other than the Noctua NF-F12 they are not the cheapest option but you can pretty much run these fans at 12v and not hear them and they'll out perform fans making 4x as much noise!
We know this has become more of a watercooling guide than a normal review but as said before we have covered this case before and thought we would show case how ripe this case is for all you modders and watercoolers out there. The case looks awesome, build quality is great, it wont cost you your left kidney being only £93, and is ripe for some creative watercooling. How could we give it any less than the OC3D gold Award!
Thanks to Cooler Master for the 690 II B&W on test today, you can discuss your thoughts in our forums.