In and Around the Cooler Master Cosmos II

Cooler Master's Cosmos II is a big, fairly attractive hunk of steel, aluminum, and plastic. The black finish with blue LED indicators isn't going to light the world on fire with its stunning originality, but the overall styling is actually just under being too gaudy. Gaming and enthusiast cases always run the risk of looking outlandish or ridiculous, but the Cosmos II is mostly able to avoid the same fate. Honestly, what you're really going to notice is the sheer size of the thing.

Unlike most cases, there's something happening on every side of the Cosmos II. The top has two heavy aluminum bars affixed to the case's steel frame, and those bars are designed pretty much exclusively to help you actually move the enclosure. Between them, to the rear is a giant vent made of tough plastic and metal that's designed to support up to a 360mm watercooling radiator. Towards the front is a control panel with four independent fan control channels, an LED toggle, and the power and reset buttons, masked with a sliding plastic hood.

This hood is where I first ran into trouble. Simply put, it's chintzy, and on my review unit it actually broke off. That hood is held in place with two plastic rails, but one of those was damaged when I received the case, and with a minimal amount of force (if I'm complaining about lifting a 50 pound case, trust me when I say "minimal") the whole thing snapped right off.

When we get to the front of the Cosmos II, under that hood there's a healthy amount of connectivity: four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA port, and the two audio jacks. The external drive bays are actually shielded by a cover that is held to the top of the case magnetically but slides down to reveal them. There are three 5.25" bays protected by plastic drive shields, and then two lockable (and removable) 3.5" hot-swap bays. The front vent is also removable by applying some force to the bottom and lifting upward, but the problem is that when moving the Cosmos II, this is going to be one of the places you'd want to grip it.

The sides are both covered with two hinged doors that have steel frames with aluminum finishes and ventilation at the bottom that lines up with six of the internal 3.5" drive bays; these doors open by pressing levers on the back of the case, but they're also easily removable by just lifting them off the hinges once they're open. Finally, the back is fairly mundane, sporting ten expansion slots plus an eleventh off-center one for extra ports or fan control, a single 140mm exhaust fan, and a removable power supply bracket.

The inside of the Cosmos II is just as spacious and copious as its exterior, and it's broken up into two chambers. The top chamber houses the motherboard (up to XL-ATX) along with a drive cage that holds five 2.5"/3.5" drives on sleds and the five 5.25" drive bays (two of which are occupied by Cooler Master's X-Dock 3.5" docking bay). There are a healthy number of rubber-grommeted routing holes in the motherboard tray, allowing for clean cabling for just about any configuration.

There are cut-outs in the metal divider between the top and bottom chambers, but you'll want to route most of the cable bundle back behind the tray. The bottom chamber has two 120mm fans mounted to an internal hinge that blow cool air across six additional 2.5"/3.5" drive sleds, and then the power supply is also mounted down here. Finally, the area behind the motherboard tray is spacious and easy to route cables in.

There's no real reason to expect assembling the Cosmos II to be difficult outside of its sheer mass, so if you're not a crybaby weakling like I am you'll probably have a much better time with it. Where I get concerned is with the use of chintzy plastic in parts of the assembly. The "fins" around the enclosure are easily bendable and I can see them breaking just like the control panel hood did (especially if you try and lift the case up by them), and while the aluminum finish on parts of the Cosmos II is nice, it's also prone to scratching.

In the reviewer's guide Cooler Master also tells us not to move the case by sliding it along the two bottom rails as it will damage the rails, but that seems ludicrous when the case is so heavy to begin with. I know it's counterintuitive to complain about both the weight and the use of plastic in this enclosure when the plastic is helping keep the weight down, but I feel that speaks to larger issues with the overall design. If you're not planning on moving the Cosmos II very often (and who would?) I can see where this won't be as much of a problem, but keep in mind that the dimensions of the case itself are enormous in the first place.

Introducing the Cooler Master Cosmos II Assembling the Cooler Master Cosmos II
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  • tzhu07 - Monday, January 23, 2012 - link

    Ridiculously large (in a very bad way) and ugly. Completely unrefined in every way. Look, I don't expect everyone to have great industrial design and precision like Apple, but this case is just tacky as hell, and you might as well label any owner of it as a person who has bad taste in aesthetic composition on a general level.

    Who cares about its features and performance when it looks like that monstrosity.
    Reply
  • nevertell - Monday, January 23, 2012 - link

    Well, I for one, don't care about the look. The PC will sit underneath the table, all I care about is noise and cooling. There is nothing worse than having insomnia due to lengthy file transfer because you skimped on the case a while back :( Reply
  • Death666Angel - Monday, January 23, 2012 - link

    In the end though, the case is just the last part in determining the noise of a PC. The component choice (CPU heatsink+fans, graphics card+fans, case fans and fan control) are much more important. :-) Reply
  • TGressus - Monday, January 23, 2012 - link

    This case is part of the Cosmos series from Cooler Master. The design should be no surprise to anyone who follows the industry.

    http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/category.php?categ...

    The priorities you express don't align with the intended market of the product. You have wasted electricity by superfluously posting.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Monday, January 23, 2012 - link

    So if you don't like something you have to shut up because it was obviously not meant for you? Can you be more condescending?.... Reply
  • Tetracycloide - Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - link

    In his defense that's just returning in kind. The OP was a pretty condescending ass too. Probably more so than TGressus actually. Reply
  • Tetracycloide - Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - link

    I see, so it's an absolutely perfect case for the people who think it's perfect. That makes total sense. Reply
  • Stewox - Friday, February 3, 2012 - link

    pretty much what i had in mind

    The Apple guy who thinks this case looks bad is probably not in this category of hardcore enthusiast PCs ...

    Cooler Master made a gread job and im very pleased with the effort that went into this, just like Western Digital making those Hard Drives with a window ... it was a marvelous technological achivement , it was made for the enthusiasts who know to appreciate and see the quality, obviously those glass HDDs wouldn't bring WD tons of new customers and brand popularity, and Cooler Master in this case doing in the same way as any great company would. In this case Apple is a crap company, they put out budget shit that is sold for premium and they never make enthusiast products that push the limits of tech, they don't even design anything except the packaging, the looks and color and their software, everything under-the-hood is all customized PC or Mobile parts which are made with over 200 suppliers and assembled at suicide-infested Foxconn in china. What do you think the MAC is ... it's a console with PC hardware, a closed system, it's a disgrace in morality, PCs are supposed to be open - ofcourse people found a way to delete MAC OSX and install other systems ... but then you don't need a MAC anyways, DIY custom PC hardware part-by-part is cheaper , a lot cheaper.

    I would go to the grosery store and make a hamburger:
    (optimal example)

    - cheapest
    - modest
    - medium
    - great
    - Best

    Me: (optimal financially, not hardcore setup)
    - i pick a great ham
    - i pick a great chese
    - i pick a great salad
    - i pick a great ketchup and mayo
    - i pick a medium bread
    - paper bag package
    - i would pay 10$

    Apple: ...
    - would pick the cheapest chese (GPU)
    - would pick the modest ham (CPU)
    - would pick the cheapest salad (RAM)
    - would pick the cheapest ketchup/mayo (storage space)
    - would pick the best and most expensive bread ever (ex Casing)
    - would package it in a super glossy shiny flashy silver plate package
    - + bonus a FREE ticket to download of your item of choice on iTunez
    - attach a price for 15,99 $

    Which would you eat, the manual/custom hamburger or Apple hamburger ?

    It's really sad to see many newer generation people who are complete ignorants how this works and this should not even be a debate here, the debate should have been about the Case and it's total win. I have always wanted handles for a case and they just fit on this design so nicely, it's not a thrown-up thing it's really part of the design.

    And i don't know what wouldn and Apple fanboy be doing here talking shit about PCs. get out and go to your own wonderland.
    Reply
  • Stewox - Friday, February 3, 2012 - link

    Who cares about an apple fanboy not having idea about PCs.

    If you even are a PC enthusiast, and you would not buy the a hardcore case just because how it looks, is probably a very shallow reason and excuse.

    Second, Apple looks so shiny and nice to attract noobs and tech-gadged buzz people who aren't technical people at all.

    If you aren't in this category of enthusiasts please stop posting useless comments and go away, plenty of people will find this case a must buy, plenty of them also hate apple as they should.

    Tech people will always hate Apple, that's because we know the inside of wha Apple does, they sell overpriced shiny packaged shit.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Monday, January 23, 2012 - link

    With aluminum finish, you seem to just refer to the steel having texture as opposed to just being glossy/smooth, right? If that is the case and since aluminum can have a different texture as well, shouldn't you use different words? :-) Reply

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