|Cooler Master Cosmos Black Label Computer Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Friday, 12 December 2008|
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Cosmos Black Label Interior
Some hardware enthusiasts may not believe that the new Cooler Master Black Label series is more than just a paint job over the old Cosmos 1000. But as we will discover in this section, Cooler Master has learned to teach an old dog a few new tricks. This section is meant as a supplement to the original (non-Black Label) review, so for those new to this series of product there is more in-depth information available in the RC-1000 article.
From the side view of the open Cosmos Black Label computer case pictured below, there are a few new features added to others which Cooler Master has successfully implemented into past products. The tool-less drive bay retaining clips may look familiar, since the ones used on the previous Cosmos products and share similarities to the Cooler Master Elite 332 and 333. Back again in this revision are the vertical hard drive trays, removable video card wind tunnel, and lower directional focused-flow fan.
There is one rearward 120mm exhaust fan and two 140mm top-mounted fans on the limited edition Cosmos Black Label case. The large amount of negative internal case pressure comes is created to help front-side vents seep air past the components (primarily the hard drives). The removable wind tunnel feature is back in black, and helps provide cool airflow to graphic cards. This raises a concern however, since nearly all modern video cards require neutral or positive inner-case air pressure to blow heated air over the fins and out the back of the case (such as the entire GeForce GTX series).
Cooler Master most likely determined a negative air pressure concept would ultimately benefit end users. Obviously the Cosmos wasn't designed with every single person in mind, and perhaps those hardware enthusiasts who utilize liquid cooling are the best candidates for this E-ATX case. Serious gamers should consider their equipment though, because the negative internal air pressure may affect the cooling ability of their equipment. Of course, it wouldn't take much to drop a fan or two to reverse this, and just leave them as open-air vents.
The 5.25" device retaining clips are now colored completely black, and by simply pushing the extended Cooler Master button in the center each clip detaches from the steel cage. No screws are necessary, as the retaining pins fit into the device screw holes.
The opposite side of the Cooler Master Cosmos is more technical than most cases. The Cosmos Black Label has two very large oval openings for cable management running vertically, and one small oval horizontal port beneath the motherboard. These openings are more than large enough to accommodate every cable that can reach them, but there is very little room for cables to run to/from these large cutouts from behind the motherboard.
A 120mm focused-flow lower intake cooling fan returns in the Black Label edition, after an absence in the Cosmos S. I'm not entirely sure why Cooler Master decided on putting this particular fan at the bottom of the Cosmos, granted there's plenty of room along the bottom of the case to accommodate it, but I won't question anything that creates positive air pressure at this point. This fan has an adjustable deflector that can turn 360° so that the air flow can be aimed at particular components.
The original Cosmos 1000 had one major design flaw: it cooked high-performance hard drives, such as Western Digital's Raptor series, because of the reduced amount of active airflow. The honeycomb grill offers passive ventilation, but because of the compartmentalized structure of these six pull-out bays, this vent does very little good. The once-optional fan (identical to the adjustable-direction fan at the bottom) now comes standard, and is installed atop the drive cage. With a little craftsmanship, installing an additional 120mm cooling fan over the outside of the honeycomb vent could offer the best cooling configuration.
Six individual trays house hard disk drives in the Cosmos Black Label, just as they did in the original RC-1000. Each tray is constructed of aluminum with soft rubber mounting grommets, and has a large opening which allows heat to escape the tray. The aluminum handle snaps into a pair of retaining holds, and a thumb screw secures the tray to the cage. These trays are all removable, but because of a solid "front" face, the cables must all be run from the opposite side. Since the trays have only one opening for power and data cables, your cables will be relegated to enter/exit though the large vertical ports. This is fine, except that removing the hard drive now requires opening both side panels to remove cable connections, and remove the thumb screw securing the tray.
The image above gives an excellent view of the power supply vent, which includes a nylon filter screen accessible from the underside of the Cosmos for cleaning. The power supply vent chamber will accommodate standard sized ATX power supplies, however the larger 7.9" PSU's will mount with a slight overhang with no negative impact on cooling.
Cooler Master has given me something to think about with the placement of the PSU. Because the location is moved to the bottom of the case, it really offers more room for fans at the top of the Cosmos. But there's still more to the Cosmos PSU location than meets the eye. Consider that most power supply units have a fan on the underside, and then notice the vented opening which has insulating strip around the frame. This design approach removes the PSU from the positive/negative pressure effect of this particular mid-tower ATX case, which proves there was some extra planning involved.
In the next section, I will summarize my impression of the Cooler Master Black Label Limited Edition set, and offer some notes on the new Cosmos Black improvements.