Cooler Master Cosmos II Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - Physical Look - Outside

The Cooler Master Cosmos II takes on an exterior design like that of previous Cosmos branded cases by Cooler Master. Such design elements include the Cosmos signature race car inspired side panels a smooth aluminum brushed finish, highly functional and sturdy steel rounded handrails and stand, and other elements that boast "racing", "speed", and "luxury". So not only will one be purchasing a highly functioning and powerful enclosure, but also a true piece of art. Of course, the "true piece of art" statement I just made was that of Cooler Master's description of the unit, and to some extent, I will have to agree. There is no doubt this chassis is quite sexy, for a lack of a better word. And although exterior looks are one's opinion and vary from individual to individual, one simply cannot ignore the sleek lines infused with a touch of supercar that makes this enclosure a one-of-a-kind.

The front bezel of the Cosmos II is a good start when taking a look at the exterior of the chassis. The front bezel strikes a near-perfect balance of the sleekness I was talking about earlier with the matte black slide cover, and the front intake high air-flow mesh that we see so frequently on enthusiast gaming chassis nowadays. Taking a quick glance at the above image, we can further see the design elements found on the tower. The side panel includes several really well done features. The race car inspired door swivel design is definitely a great addition for any luxury case, as it also allows an easier access to the internals. As well, the side panels include a stylish meshed area for the option of adding additional cooling to the side of the case. What is missing from this side panel, however, is an acrylic window for internal viewing. There is a chance that Cooler Master will introduce an acrylic window for the side panel in the future, but don't quote me on that.

The case measures in at 704mm in height, 344mm in width, and 664mm in length, which is considered massive. In fact, in September of 2011, I reviewed the Xigmatek Elysium, which, at the time, was one of the largest case ever reviewed at APH Networks. The Cosmos II is larger than the Elysium in all three dimensions (Some by over 100mm), and easily takes the "largest case ever reviewed at APH Networks" trophy, haha. The net weight of the case is around 48.5 lbs, which is simply crazy. Unfortunately, I would have to say that such a heavy enclosure will be quite troublesome to lug around, even with the bold steel handles.

There is a total of three 5.25" bays found on the Cooler Master Cosmos II. Under the optical drive bays are two 3.5" hot swap hard drive docks. Both of these bays include a lockable mechanism with two different keys provided in the accessories. All 5.25" slot bays have a cover with no mesh, matching the design style of the 3.5" hard drive docks. The entire process of installing optical drives and/or hard drives in the hard drive docks is entirely tool-free, which is quite a convenient feature.

Apart from the standard tool-free optical drive bays and the hard drive docks encompassing the top half of the front bezel, the Cooler Master Cosmos II also features a meshed air-flow area in the bottom half. The mesh panel can be removed for easy access to the front 200mm intake fan and for cleaning the air filter behind the meshed area. Additionally, the front bezel is also the sliding cover for the front bezel. This idea is not exactly new to the enclosure market, but the implementation is definitely close to, if not perfect. The sliding cover allows one to hide the optical drives and hard drive docks for a clean look to the case. The cover sticks to the top of the case via magnets, and requires little force to remove the contacts between the magnets, allowing for a perfect slow speed fall of the cover.

One area of the case that is always interesting to look at are the front panel connections. This area provides the user with a host of connection options that will make everyday operations more convenient. First off, the input and output connections are all found on top of the Cooler Master Cosmos II. This is the ideal location for such a tall tower, since the majority of users will naturally place their system on the floor due to its sheer size. Using the above picture as a direct reference, the Cosmos II has two areas of the front panel connections. The first area is located at the more northern position, with a host of controls in commanding the Cosmos II, so to speak. The second area is found below perpendicular to the ground, and features all of the input output connections of the front panel connections hub. Beginning at the top section is a very large power button in the center, with the power LED and HDD activity LED situated below labeled with small icons. To the left and right of the power button includes three buttons for a total of six different functions. The first two buttons of each side controls the various fans around the case, and can be configured in a low, medium, high setting indicated by a blue, purple, and red LED, respectively. The left side controls the front and top fans; a reset button is also found here. The right side controls the HDD fans and the GPU side fans, with a LED on and off control below the two. The LED button controls the single front intake 200mm blue LED fan provided with the case. Lastly, when all buttons are pressed, with the exception of the reset and power button, will make a 'beep' sound in response. When the highest fan speed setting is reached with the fan controller, the button will beep twice to indicate the highest RPM of the fans have been reached. The second area features all of the input and output connections of the front panel connections section as stated previously. Using the above picture as a reference, starting from the left side, the chassis incorporates a 3.5mm microphone and headphone jack, eSATA port, two USB 3.0 ports, and lastly, four USB 2.0 ports.

The Cooler Master Cosmos II has pretty much everything with regards to this section of the case. As well, the top fan control section of the front panel can also be hid by a sliding bezel. This feature helps keep the chassis looking sleek and simple, while also assisting in preventing dust and dirt from accumulating on the control deck. Lastly, it keeps the input output connections available to the user. In my opinion, a very nice touch.

One prominent and highly anticipated feature to the Cooler Master Cosmos II are the two side panels. From above pictures, it is already fairly clear as to how the doors swivel, and how functionally benefiting it can be. Standing alone, however, we can get a closer look at the materials used in the panels, thickness, appearance, weight, and most importantly, functionality. First off, since the case is very large, the panels themselves are also very big. The thickness at its thickest section reaches to almost 2.5cm, which is unheard of in a case. The weight, however, is surprisingly lightweight, considering the size and thickness. This is because the majority of the materials used is plastic, with thin metal strips and braces used for the hinges, and brushed aluminum plating on the outside. Featured on both side panels are the air filters for the optional side GPU and HDD fans. Both side panels differ from each other, one with an additional filtered and meshed area for the GPU fan placements. The air filters are fastened onto a large piece of plastic that can be removed from the entire side panel by removing the screws. Lastly, using the above image as a reference, the rectangular cutouts on the inside of the side panel are used as handles in carrying the side panel, and removing it from the hinges on the case.

Stylistically, the side panels look magnificent, incorporating a very nice material finish on the outside, a matte black interior finish, with stylish and sporty mesh cutouts for side fan options. The slight bend in the side panel also gives off a great race car vibe that translates well onto the entire case.

At the back of the Cooler Master Cosmos II, we can see that the overall layout is quite conventional. The unit utilizes a bottom mounted power supply unit, but mounting the PSU slightly differs from other chassis. The PSU is mounted by removing the bracket via unscrewing four thumbscrews and using the provided screws to screw the bracket directly onto your device. The PSU can then be mounted back onto the case using the previously removed thumbscrews. Above the PSU bracket is a total of ten expansion slots, which will fit almost any setup. These expansion slots allow air to flow through them, which is nice. Above the expansion slots, one will find the I/O shield opening. To the right of that is a circular stamped fan vent for the 140mm exhaust fan. It will spin up to 1200 RPM, and should be way more than sufficient in handling heat exhaust. Just above the fan is an array of three pre-drilled and pre-fitted water cooling holes for those who want to use external water cooling radiators. Lastly, two switches on the sides of the back are used to effortlessly open the side panels, which is a great addition to have.

There really is not much happening on the floor of the Cosmos II. Apart from the bottom fan filter for the PSU fan intake, the only other interesting feature are the legs themselves. The legs are rounded steel bars designed much like the steel handles at the top of the enclosure, which give the unit a more unified look. As well, four high quality rubber pads are firmly screwed onto the bars to lessen the chassis vibration on hard surfaces and provide grip.

Overall, the build quality is close to magnificent. Apart from some plastic parts here that can seem a little flimsy, the case is pieced together nicely. The enclosure is one of the sturdiest I have ever come across. Since the side panels and steel frame give no bending tolerance at all when weight is put onto the unit. The front panel sliding door and top bezel sliding cover is also very well implemented. The only complaint I can find is that Cooler Master decided not to build the Cosmos II from an aluminum frame. The material itself is more expensive, but will shed the much needed weight problem off the case.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion