Cooler Master SL600M Review
Published: 30th October 2018 | Source: Cooler Master | Price: |
The release of the MasterCase SL600M marks the dawn of the company's "Sleek" SL series of products, offering a blend of professional design and gamer-grade performance. The SL600M is designed to act as the centrepiece of your workspace while delivering more than enough cooling potential to handle a bit of gaming on the side.
With the SL series, Cooler Master has taken a bold step away from traditional case designs. Here we have no bottom PSU mount, shroud or front-mounted intakes. Instead, we have a bottom-to-top airflow design, taking advantage of the chimney effect to maximise airflow while minimising dust intake and noise output.
Yes, this chimney design has a few shortcomings, especially for users of air coolers that don't support bottom-to-top airflow configurations, but it is hard to argue with the stock noise levels of this enclosure and the clean aesthetic that this sand-blasted aluminium clad chassis has to offer. If you want this case, you should be willing to purchase an air cooler that supports bottom-to-top mounting, or an AIO which can be mounted at the top of the system.
Even with their out-of-the-ordinary design, the SL600M is still able to offer end-users a lot of versatility, providing support for four 2.5-inch SSDs out of the box as well as four custom storage mounts that support 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives as well as water cooling reservoirs and pumps. On top of that, the SL600M also supports radiators that are up to 360mm in size at both the top and bottom of the enclosure, even when using the case's vertical GPU mounts.
Our only issue with the SL600M's versatile mounts is that one of them is located at the rear of the case, where a 120mm fan is typically found in modern design, an odd location for an HDD or SSD mount from a cable management perspective. That being said, even if you discount that mounting position, this case offers enough space for four 2.5-inch drives and three 2.5/3.5-inch drives, which is more than enough for most users. Let's be frank; if you need more than three 3.5-inch HDDs in a single system, you should probably invest in a NAS.
To be honest, there isn't much to complain about here, as you shouldn't have read this far if the SL600M's chimney cooling design was a dealbreaker for you. Yes, some cases can offer more airflow and could probably result in a system that runs cooler, but what the SL600M provides is an opportunity to have great airflow with minimal dust intake and low noise levels. Airflow isn't the be all and end all here; the SL600M is about offering a great balance between airflow, silence and workstation-grade aesthetics. With this in mind, we cannot call the MasterCase SL600M anything less than a success.
If you watch our video review, you will see that the SL600M is currently acting as a video rendering testbed with AMD's new Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX processor, which means that we are more than happy to use this enclosure to house one of OC3D's rendering workhorses. The fact that we want to use this case as one of our daily drivers says a lot about the pro-credentials of this chassis.
When looking at cases, we have become used to seeing designs that are carbon copies of one another, so much so that some manufacturers have released the same enclosures time and time again with no changes outside of its external aesthetic. With this in mind, the Cooler Master SL600M is a breath of fresh air, daring to be different while offering their users a wealth of features.
With its usual design and excellent execution, the Cooler Master SL600M is deserving of nothing less than an OC3D Innovation Award. As a publication, we cannot wait to see what Cooler Master will bring to their "Sleek" SL series next.
- Endnotes - The Cooler Master C700M will be available in the UK with an MSRP of £189.99. Stock is expected to arrive in the country during the month of November.