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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  • Xajel - Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - link

    This is one of the best designs I saw !!

    but I'm seeing it as very huge !!. I hope CM will make a smaller version of it... but not too small... the original Cosmos was the biggest I can think of as a case, so same size will be nice..
    Reply
  • dac7nco - Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - link

    Jesus Christ you are a pussy. Go to the gym or something. In every review you comment about being frail, small or skinny. Review servers, eat pasta-roni and gain some bulk.

    Daimon
    Reply
  • dac7nco - Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - link

    I love your case reviews, by the way... I am just a jerk. I bought a TJ-08 because of you.

    Daimon
    Reply
  • fausto412 - Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - link

    This case is HUGE and PRICEY. I wouldn't buy this but if someone game me one for free I would use it. Reply
  • tecwiz816 - Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - link

    I have the original Cosmos X for the past 4 years now and I love it. Reply
  • ven - Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - link

    first of all very massive case,and i think instead of having this much amount of 3.5 drive bays CM could have left some place there with mounts so that a 360mm radiator can be fitted there vertically i would prefer for obsidian 800D.And as pointed out earlier with previous cosmos line the handle gives the case a alien species look but it's look nice. a windowed side panel(or door in these case) will also be nice update feature. Reply
  • Etern205 - Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - link

    The massive size of this case even makes that ATX board look like a mini.
    Still have the very first Cosmos RC1000 and I still remember the day when it arrived in that gigantic
    card board box. But I could of sworn it didn't look that big in the picture.
    Cooler Master even let you build the original yourself (paper craft version) :)

    http://www.coolermaster.com/microsite/Cosmos/
    Reply
  • Stas - Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - link

    As an owner of the original Cosmos, I must say - this is disheartening on CM's part.
    CM Cosmos was large, quiet and beautiful; very elegant and easy on the eyes. I admit, it did lack in cooling performance for large video cards (I ran 5 HDDs in it and a volt-moded HD3870). When Cosmos S came out, I thought it was the perfection in its class - all of the great things from the Cosmos + cooling tweaks. Unfortunately, the "S" lost the padded side panels :(
    This is very different from what I would want to see in CM's classy flagship. Flashy, unrefined, almost pretentious. Yes, it has performance to back it up, and surely quality, too. But it just doesn't have that sophistication of the former model. Besides, I paid $220 for my case... wtf did extra $130 go? A couple of extra fans? o.O
    Reply
  • johnpombrio - Thursday, January 26, 2012 - link

    I believe that the reason for a separate LED power connector going to the mobo is to use it to FLASH the LED when the computer is in sleep mode. Don't be so quick to diss something that I find extremely useful. Reply
  • Captain Zero - Monday, January 30, 2012 - link

    This reviewer is an embarrassment. What did he expect to be reviewing, an ipad? Of course it's big. The Cosmos is the tractor trailer of cases, not a Mini Cooper but he complains that it doesn't perform like a spots car. Moron. The comments here are equally dippy. These cases are large and exceedingly well-built and worth every penny. No self-respecting builder would put top-tier components in a cardboard box or complain about price. If you want a solid, robust case that's outrageously versatile with room to grow, you can't best the Cosmos line of cases.

    And for you pussies that think it's heavy, go ask your mom for help.
    Reply

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