CoolerMaster CM690 II Advanced mid tower case

If you own one of these, you should know this..I do because I have one.

I bought mine in May of last year and I do like it except for the fact that the cabling to the drives can be a bit of a tight fit when putting the back cover in place. I can live with that.

However, there is another bigger problem. When plugging USB devices into the top I/O panel, the computer can suddenly power down without warning. It may not always do it, but it can. Also, passing ones hand across the top of the USB ports when handling a drive in the X-port can also result in a sudden shutdown.

The problem appears to be a static charge across the ports. I put the question to CoolerMaster support and they didn’t challenge my findings. As the case was still under warranty, they agreed to send me a new I/O panel which duly arrived last week. I fitted it and have not had a reoccurrence of the problem since.IO panel It is sent as the complete top of the case and is easy to fit, apart from the fact that you have to re-cable everything.

There is more. The design of the panel has changed. It now looks like this one. The most obvious differences are the positioning of the reset button which is now above the main power button (it used to be to the left of the main power button), and the USB 2.0 ports which are now both to the right of the AC’97 sockets. Also, the LEDs are blue instead of red.

BUT, the most significant change is hidden underneath. There is now a ‘grounding’ strap coming off the USB/Firewire circuit board which is presumably designed to be located under a screw which would normally hold in the DVD drive. This feature negates the quick release of such a drive and I will be relocating the wire elsewhere in time.

The nVidia branded CM 690 II Advanced case sporting USB 3.0 ports in place of the Firewire connector has the newer style panel, but I don’t know if it too has the ground strap. If you are in the market for such a case, check that it has the ground strap before buying it.

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