This week, Will, Gordon, Dave, and new producer Andy talk about all the
crazy things going on in Maximum PC's epic lab, including why we frown
at Vista, Cooler Master's big new product line, and Will's obsession
with getting smoked by the computer in real-time space strategy games.
In yet another example of a design that likely looked way better on
paper than in practice, we find ourselves struggling to come to terms
with the Cooler Master 690’s more unique features. We can’t fault the
company for trying; in some ways, we applaud Cooler Master’s attempts
at distinguishing the 690 from the rest of its cadre in the crowded
Consider this month’s batch of case reviews to be a second chance of sorts, as both companies highlighted this month have previously built total clunkers. Cooler Master threw down the iTower 930 in February, which was the functional equivalent of bringing a wiffle bat to a gunfight. And NZXT troubled us with the Adamas—which sported a relatively mediocre design when stacked up against its competitors.
If we could give points for looks, Cooler Master’s new Aquagate S1 liquid cooling system would rank among the top products we’ve tested. But sadly, we base our judgments on performance. This thing is supposed to be able to cool a quad core, but it’s obviously designed for CPUs less powerful than even the FX-60 in our test machine.
It's always a happy day when a new, mysterious box of unknown product arrives at the gates of Maximum PC. Specifically, my desk. Today's latest offering comes straight from Cooler Master, and it was wholly unexpected -- as we say at magazine, "surprise and delight!" Like a kid on Some Major December-ish Holiday, I tore open the packaging to find three new goodies: Cooler Master's new CM 690 chassis, a Glacier 600 cooler for ATI 2900XT video cards, and a Hydra cooler for Nvidia 8800-series cards.