The Cooler Master N600 Chassis
While Cooler Master has been manufacturing various computer peripherals for many years, they are constantly looking at the market and designing new cases to fit various needs. Recently, they have introduced a new line of cases, the “N” series. So far there are three cases in this series, the N200, N400 and N600. Legit Review recently took a look at the N400, now we will be taking a look at the N600.
The N600 is a mid-tower case that supports micro-ATX and ATX motherboards. In addition it offers advanced features such as SSD, dual SuperSpeed USB 3.0 front ports, the largest graphics cards (up to 430mm/16.9inches), water cooling compatibility and other options. The N600 has two sub-models, one of which is currently on sale for $80.46 under the part number NSE-600-KKN1. Or for slightly more, at $89.99 you can get the same case with a side panel window with the part number NSE-600-KWN1. With either case, you will receive a solid-black mid-tower case with many advanced features and a 2 year warranty.
The N600 will support both 2.5” drives and 3.5” drives in various combinations. Hidden behind the motherboard tray is a hidden 2.5” SSD location. There are two different hard drive cages inside the case; one can support either four 2.5” or four 3.5” drives. The second will handle three 3.5” hard drives.
One nice feature that Cooler Master has included are fan filters on most places an intake fan could be found. One location is on the bottom, this filter fits over two intake locations; the power supply fan and an optional bottom mounted 120mm fan.
Cooler Master N600 Key Features
- Front panel and I/O area feature a premium mesh for a modern look
- Dual Super Speed USB 3.0
- 3 designated places for radiators: 240mm - top, right side, 120mm - rear
- Both XtraFlo fans are arranged for optimum airflow with support for up to 10 fans (KKN1/KKN2: 10 fans, KWN1/KWN2: 9 fans)
- New ODD tool-less design "EZ tray" for quick installation
- Supports up to 5 SSDs (4 in the removable HDD/SSD combo cage, 1 behind the M/B tray) and 7 HDDs
- Supports all high-end graphics cards up to 430mm / 16.9 inch
- Multiple dust filters (top, right side, bottom) for easy maintenance
Next, let’s take a look at the packaging and the accessories that came with our review sample.
N600 Retail Packaging
Cooler Master has packaged the N600 inside a strong retail oriented box. The front has a very basic feel to it, presenting a view of the case and a few of the features. For a mid-tower case, it measures 8.1 x 17.9 x 18.9 inches (WxHxD), and weighs in at 17.8lbs. However, adding in the packaging and accessories, it takes the shipping weight to close to 21.2 lbs.
While the front of the box shows very basic information, the back provides substantially more. Here a view of the front, interior and back panel are shown with the features of each location pointed out. In addition, at the bottom of the back side the features are listed in eight languages.
The sides of the box look similar to other case boxes. One side provides the specifications of the case, while the other provides little more than a view of the case.
Like most companies, Cooler Master packages the N600 in a plastic bag between two large Styrofoam blocks. While the box might have received minor crush damage, this packaging method kept the case form receiving damage.
As always, Cooler Master makes sure you have the various accessories necessary to install your components. They have included seven sets of tool-less hard drive clips, cable ties, a tiny speaker, security lock, motherboard standoffs (two are already pre-installed), standoff installer bit, and plenty of screws. In addition, a large fold-out user manual is included to aid in the installation.
N600 External Impressions
The front bezel is almost entirely a wire mesh to help with airflow. At the top there are three 5.25” drive bays, and no 3.5” bays. On the right side of the bezel we find the front I/O ports and buttons; starting at the top is a small reset button, power button, headphone, microphone, two USB 2.0 and two SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports.
The front bezel comes off with just a slight pull from the bottom. On the backside of the bezel there is a simple fabric mesh filter. The 5.25” drive bay covers are held in place by simple clips. In the case behind the front bezel we find the 5.25” drive bays exposed, and right below those are the two front fans. Cooler Master has included one 120mm fan with White LED’s; a second 120mm fan can also be installed.
The left side panel is plain except for the fan install location for two 120mm fans or one 180/200mm fan. Looking online, the other version of the N600, NSE-600-KWN1, has a large window instead of fans.
The N600 back panel should look pretty familiar as it features many common items. At the top there are two holes for external water cooling solution, these are protected by grommets. The motherboard I/O port key and 120mm fan is below those. In the middle is the normal seven motherboard expansion slots, and extra expansion slot has also been included as well. Finally, at the bottom is the power supply.
On the N600, Cooler Master has taken an added step in ensuring the power supply and bottom fan keep clean by installing an easily removable filter.
The right side panel looks like the left side panel, however the fan vents are stacked vertically. In addition, a single 120mm fan can be installed.
The top of the case we have some additional air vents; two 120/140 mm fan can be installed here.
Taking a look at the bottom of the case, there are four feet to raise the case. In addition, we can see the enter filter for the optional bottom fan and power supply. The case has little rails to ensure the fan slides into the proper position.
N600 Internal Impressions
The side panel is easily removed after taking out two thumb screws on the back. Here we find the exterior paint has also been done internally as the entire surface area of the inside portion of the case is painted black. The three 5.25” drive bays are tool-less using push button type of clips. While the other drive bays use a drive rail system. The motherboard tray has a large hole to access the back of the motherboard to make it easier to change CPU coolers. There are three large holes which have rubber cable guards installed and two small holes which do not have rubber cable guards for cable management.
There are three full time 3.5” drive bays at the bottom of the case. The other four are user configurable to support either 2.5” or 3.5” drives. Three screws hold the left side support in place and is easily changed. A 240mm water cooling radiator could be installed on the left side support
At the bottom of the case, there is the standard power supply mounting location. Cooler Master has installed several rubber feet to help keep the vibration from the power supply fan from making noise. In addition, there is another 120mm fan mount in the bottom of the case.
After looking at the back panel from the outside, the inside view looks as we would suspect. Each of the expansion slots have real covers and are secured to the case by thumbscrews. The fan can be removed and a water cooling radiator could be installed here.
The top of the N600 we find another filter. This area will support two 120/140mm fans, in addition up to a 240mm water cooling radiator would fit here.
Removing the right side panel is just as easy as the left side panel; two thumbscrews and it slides off. Cooler Master has installed another filter here as a fan can be installed in this area.
On the back of the motherboard tray, located right above the bottom cable management hole is the location to install a 2.5” drive. This is the optimal way to install a 2.5” drive on the back of the motherboard tray, it allow the drive to be easily changed should it need replacing. Behind the 2.5”/3.5” drive cage is a 120mm fan mount bracket.
The 120mm fan mount bracket is removable so that it is easier install a fan. Putting a fan in this location will increase the airflow across any drives placed in the 2.5”/3.5” drive cage.
N600 Hardware Installation
Taking time to do cable management is easy in the N600, with the holes in the motherboard tray the cables can go back there for the most part. There was room behind the 3.5” bottom hard drive try where the extra power supply cables could have gone, or perhaps under the bottom 3.5” drive.
Installing the hard drives involved installing the included drive rails. One little gotcha though, they only work as tool-less rails for 3.5” drives. When using them on 2.5” drives you will need to use screws.
After the rails are put onto the drives, the drives slide into place. A nice loud click tells you when they are in place.
Installing 2.5” drives is done the same was, slide the drive rails into the slots until the click and they are done.
Taking a look at the back side, there are plenty of ways to route cables, and with room to install a 2.5” hard drive there is ample room for the cables. A 120mm fan was installed in the fan mount to cool the 2.5” drives. The holes for the motherboard tray could be a little bigger as the CPU bracket and fan mounting holes are almost right at the bottom edge of the hole.
Installing a 2.5” drive on the back of the motherboard tray is easy, two screws and it is installed. This can be installed with the connectors at the top or bottom.
Final Thoughts and Conclusions
Cooler Master has included almost every option an enthusiast would want on the N600. The cooling features are top notch, allowing for multiple water cooling radiators or up to 10 fans spread across every side of the case. A simple looking case will appeal to some, while others will want one that has more flash to it. The N600 fits in the middle, being simplistic while having the ability to have enough flash to look great.
The entire front bezel has a honeycomb pattern, allowing for a large amount of airflow. Behind the metal bezel there is a fabric filter; the same type of filter is on the other three fan intake locations, but not the left side panel fan intake. Making the filters removable would be a great feature, but of course that might increase the cost a little.
While installing components in the N600, I kept looking for flaws. However, everything went into place with ease. Most video card will not have a problem being installed even if 3.5” drives are installed in the convertible drive cage. For those that need the extra room, the drive cage wall can be removed to allow the extremely long video cards.
Cables are easily hidden behind the motherboard tray allowing for a very clean installation. The extra power supply cables could have been hidden better either below the 3.5” drives, behind the tray or behind the 3.5” drive cage.
If I was to be extremely picky for improvements, I would have to say making the rails fit 2.5” drives without the need for screws would be my first recommendation. Secondly, more 2.5” drives can fit on the back side of the motherboard.
There were no major issues with the N600, installing components is a breeze, cable management is done easily and there are many options to keep everything cool. For between $80.46 and $89.99 plus shipping you will get an extremely well-built case, with 2 SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, multiple cooling options and a 2 year warranty.
Legit Bottom Line: If the styling of the “N” series is to your liking, the N600 offers the advanced features that enthusiasts demand at a budget friendly price.