Mid-Tower Case Final Thoughts
At the time of this article, the N600 has already been on the market for more than a year. While still remaining a solid product for the price, other cases have been released that can provide better options in the same price range. One that springs immediately to mind is the Phanteks Enthoo Pro. Newegg sells the non-window version at the same price as the N600 and the windowed version for just $10 more. Overall, what keeps the N600 from being a top choice for a chassis is the poorly thought out interior design and the aforementioned competition from more recent releases.
Cooler Master N600 Conclusion
Cooler Master set out to create a case that featured better water cooling than competitors at a budget price tag, and in that it succeeds well. With the ability to mount up to two 240mm radiators and a 120mm, you can’t get better options in a mid tower case for the same price.
If you’re looking for a cheap mid tower that looks good without going overboard, the N600 is for you. The glossy finish on the front panel sides can detract a bit, but beyond that its a good case for someone who wants a chassis that will blend in with its surroundings. Also, having the option of such a large side panel window is nice to see.
The exterior is a sturdy mix of plastic and metal, but the interior leaves me questioning what the designers were thinking. Flaws such as front mounts being obstructed by the 2.5″ bays and the I/O panel, the top dust filter not being flush with the top panel, the SSD bracket being to small, and the difficulty of mounting AIO radiators, could have all been fixed with very simple changes prior to release, such as moving the I/O and 2.5″ mounts to a slightly different spot. I also think the back plate could have included a second 2.5″ bracket.
As discussed before, building in the N600 can be something of a headache. The front mounts and the side mounts, along with other issues such as the filters and the SSD mounts, reduce the overall functionality of the case. Also, if you plan on installing water cooling in the side you forfeit being able to install more than one SSD. Given the fact that the N600 can mount so many fans, I’m also disappointed in the LED and fan speed controls, as they can only hook up to one and two fans respectively.
As of July 2014 the N600 sells for $87.76 at Amazon, or $89.99 at Newegg with a $20.00 rebate that drops the price to $69.99.The rebate is necessary, because at full price the N600 faces stiff competition from popular cases such as the Antec Nine Hundred, Raidmax Smilodon, Enthoo Pro, and Cooler Masters own HAF 922 and Storm Enforcer. It’s only advantage is it’s liquid cooling options, which are better than most cases in this price range.
When released more than a year ago, the N600 was a solid case that offered more options for liquid cooling than comparable cases in the market. But now it’s somewhat outclassed, again in particular by the Phanteks Enthoo Pro, which offers superior cooling options at the same price. The main difference for people would likely be size and installation. Do you want a smaller case with a more complicated build, or a large case in which building your system is a breeze and you have additional expansion options?
With the $20.00 rebate offered by Newegg, the Cooler Master N600 is a solid case that is easily recommended to builders on a tight budget who want to build their first water cooled system, but otherwise it shows its age against some of the latest cases in the industry.
+ Clean, attractive design.
+ Plenty of water cooling options.
+ Good cable management.
- Poor design hinders fan / radiator installation.
– Limited functionality of fan / LED switches.
– Filtered ventilation, but only the bottom filter is removable.
– Potentially better options at full price.