Page 4 - Installation and Conclusion
The entire installation process on the Cooler Master Cosmos II was fairly straightforward, although it did take some time to learn how to install and utilize some of the cases features like the fan controller. Since the standoffs were already pre-installed onto the motherboard tray, I installed my Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5-B3 motherboard in before my OCZ ZX Series 850W power supply unit. Both of these steps were quite simple, and apart from attaching the PSU bracket onto the PSU first before installing, the overall installation process required no change from the usual method. Since I already had the Thermaltake Jing aftermarket CPU heatsink already attached to the motherboard, I did not have the opportunity to test out the backplate cutout provided on the Cooler Master Cosmos II. However, it was quite obvious that there is a very large area with plenty of spare room to be able to install most, if not all, aftermarket CPU heatsinks backplates without much effort. A simple visual inspection confirms this. Also, since the Cosmos II is such a wide chassis, and without a side fan obstructing the area around the CPU heatsink, the chassis is most likely able to hold the tallest heatsinks in the market today.
As aforementioned, since all of the front port connection wires are already fed through to the back and tied together, installing the majority of cables requires little effort in organizing. It is, however, extremely complicated when plugging in all the fan headers into the integrated fan controller. That said, it is very well organized, and all the cables are color coded to match the four different fan controller areas (Front, top, HDD, and GPU).
I have also installed my Gigabyte Radeon HD 6850 1GB OC next, which allowed me to get a feel for the expansion slot system. Although I do not necessarily need tools to remove and install thumbscrews, it is a good idea to keep a screwdriver handy anyway. The expansion slot covers themselves are made out of steel, are quite durable, and include vented holes for additional airflow.
The Cooler Master Cosmos II may not have the most open motherboard tray layout. However, as previously mentioned, there are a plethora of cable routing holes to deal with all your wires, no matter the position. The flexibility in routing cables through the two sections of the chassis, along with the two large cable management holes at the top of the motherboard tray. add a large amount of flexibility when building your computer.
Once it was all set up and plugged in, I pushed the power button with everything working superbly. The system lit up brightly with a blue glow found on the front bezel.
In terms of sound, on a scale from 0.0 to 10.0, where 0.0 is silent and 10.0 is the loudest, the Cooler Master Cosmos II would come in at 2.0 on low fan settings with a 4.0 on high fan settings in my personal opinion. Since we here at APH Networks are fairly sensitive to sound -- we are some of the pickiest people around -- the Cosmos II is definitely not considered silent, but is surprisingly quiet on low fan settings. As expected, the system will gradually get louder the more fans added to the system. Although the Cosmos II is not marketed towards the silent PC enthusiasts, one can expect the 2.5cm thick side panels to improve the sound performance of the chassis as a side benefit. It would have been more convenient, however, if the fan controller had the option to turn the fans complete off. Such a feature will drastically improve the potential sound performance of the unit, while giving more flexibility.
Glancing at all the chassis on the market at the moment, there really is nothing like the Cooler Master Cosmos II. I have found that the majority of cases excel on one end of the spectrum, but fall short on another. Such situations could include enclosures that include high airflow mesh and other features to create a cooling-intensive case, with downfalls including several entry points for dust, an extremely loud system, and somewhere along that line. Other situations could include cases focused on sound isolation, but result in high temperatures. The list goes on. The Cooler Master Cosmos II, however, focuses on the section of the market for individuals that have, simply put, money to spend. Let's briefly go over the list of pros and cons. First off, the chassis features a highly exclusive and functionally practical exterior that give the case its "enthusiast" atmosphere, while not too much as to scare away the minimalists. The front panel connections along with the fan management touchpad give the case a sense of control, convenience. and of course, style. The side panels themselves are built with high quality materials. Looking at the internal features, the Cosmos II utilizes a smart two chamber design for flexible cooling configurations and awesome cable routing features. The functionality of this case is almost near perfect, with the majority of its features complimenting each other. With such a long list of pros, it is hard to imagine what can be improved upon in this case. However, no matter how short, there unfortunately are some things that should be addressed. First off, I believe that the weight of the overall enclosure should be reduced. Whether it is using expensive but more lightweight materials like aluminum, or reducing the size, I don't think a 50lb case is reasonable -- especially since it will weigh over 65-70lbs with hardware installed inside. Personally, I found that moving this case -- with installed hardware -- from the basement all the way to the second floor required two individuals at the very least. Another suggestion is allowing the fan controller to completely turn off the fans, which will improve sound and increase functional flexibility. An acrylic side panel option would also be a great addition towards the case, especially for those who want internal hardware viewing. Lastly, the price of the Cooler Master Cosmos II is quite steep. Personally, this is not a problem, since I sincerely believe this case is worth every dollar. Priced at over $349.99 USD MSRP at press time, this case is definitely not cheap. However, since it is targeted towards the 'extreme' enthusiast market -- so to speak -- it is no doubt that such a 'performance meets style' type case would cost a few more extra dollars. In essence, you should do the math. The list of pros are unspeakably long, whereas the things-to-improve-on-list only contains two short items (And one of them is more of a suggestion). Worthy of your hard earned 350 dollars? I think so!
Cooler Master provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.
APH Recommended Award | APH Review Focus Summary:
9/10 means Excellent product with very minor drawbacks that does not affect the overall product.
8/10 means Definitely a very good product with drawbacks that aren't likely going to matter to the end user.
-- Final APH Numeric Rating is 8.2/10
Please note that the APH Numeric Rating system is based off our proprietary guidelines in the Review Focus, and should not be compared to other sites.
In short, the Cooler Master Cosmos II is an ultra enthusiast chassis with performance, style, expandability, functionality, convenience, and quality; all for $349.99 USD -- I can personally guarantee that it is worth every penny.
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1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion