The Build and Finished Product
Adding a drive or two in the front is easy enough. Slide the drive in and set the lock, remove the appropriate slot cover or covers and snap the front bezel back in. The drive detracts from the cleaner front that I saw out of the box, but I have to have a way to load discs.
It takes a bit of time to get the chassis to look this clean, but the management holes worked like a charm. I was able to hide most of the cabling, but this is where I would have appreciated a black covering on the USB and audio wires; they are unsightly in beige to say the least. Oh well, the door will cover them!
I didn't rig this up with SLI, but I did want to highlight how the fan system worked. Using a mATX, I had to "rig" the fan into place; it isn't meant to sit this high. Be aware of that if your dual GPU setup is in fact on a smaller board. With a full ATX this won't be an issue and the fan can be mounted as specified in the instructions.
The back has a lot less holes in it now since the components were all installed. Honestly, at this point I don't see much use for the holes at the top. With the possibility of two internal radiators, what tubing would need to go through here? The option is nice to have, though, if you plan to hang a radiator outside anyways.
If you plan to water cool in this chassis, I strongly suggest using a modular power supply. I was able to hide quite a bit in the unused bottom hard drive racks, but if they were gone I would really be at a loss for room to do it cleanly. The spacing behind the panel is nice and allowed me to run quite thick wires anywhere I wanted and the punched out tie downs really came in handy and were placed well.
If your buddies come over and they happen to have an issue with a hard drive, or you simply want to quickly back something up, simply slide the SATA hard drive into place and wait for Windows to recognize what you did.
All closed up and powered, the CM 690 II Advanced is almost dead silent during operation. With the push of a switch, there is an option to turn on the front blue LED, or leave it off if lighting isn't your thing. As far as lighting goes, with all the optional fan holes, it can be as bright or as plain as you want it. I for one am pleased with both the looks of the finished product and the utter silence when powered up.