|Cooler Master Cosmos II Computer Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Monday, 02 January 2012|
Page 6 of 7
Building a System
The Cooler Master Cosmos II doesn't have a removable motherboard tray, but there's so much space that building a system is pretty easy anyway. The dramatic swooping rails at the top and bottom of the case, though, mean that it won't lie flat on its side; it will rock a little front-to-back as you work in it. A standard ATX motherboard (an ASUS P8Z68-V Pro) shows how much room is available in this case. Like the Cooler Master Storm Trooper, the Cosmos II has a couple of pre-installed motherboard standoffs with little lips machined into them. These fit into the corresponding holes on the motherboard to precisely locate it so all the other motherboard mounting holes are aligned exactly over their standoffs, and putting the remaining screws in is very easy.
A huge cutout, about as large as is possible without encroaching on the motherboard standoff mounting points, means you should never have a problem mounting third-party coolers with back plates.
With everything installed, the build looks reasonably neat from this side. Note how much room there is between the end of the video card (an NVIDIA GTX280) and the drive bays. There's 15.1" between the back of the case and the drive cages, which is more than enough for the very longest graphics cards.
In the previous image, note how short the power supply looks. This is because about 1" of it protrudes from the rear of the case, as shown below. In fact, the power supply is installed through the rear of the case after attaching it to the mounting shell; the shell is then secured to the case with four thumbscrews.
There's about 3/4" of cable clearance behind the motherboard tray. I prefer an inch of clearance when I can get it, but this will be enough if you're careful with your layout.
At the rear, things aren't as neat. The problem is the morass of fan wiring: with nine separate cables each for fan power and LED, plus a power connector, there are 19 fan-related cables to deal with. I used three of the nine possible fan power connectors (front fan and two lower side fans), and one of the LED connectors (for the front fan, which is the only LED fan delivered with the system). The rear and top fans were connected to fan headers on the motherboard. This left 15 rather long cables to tie up and stuff somewhere out of the way. Despite the bulging wad of cables you can see here, the right side panel closed and latched with no problem.
With the system powered on, lights on the top panel illuminate the various controls. Note that the FRONT and GPU fan speeds are set to their lowest (blue) setting, while the HDD fan is set to medium (purple) and the TOP fan is set to high (red). These speed controls are illuminated and functional even when no fans are connected, as is the case with the TOP and GPU fan headers. The power button looks as if its icon should be illuminated, but the power light is actually the tiny lightning bolt below it; the HDD activity light is visible just to its left. You can slide the top panel down to cover these switches.
In the next section I'll go into my final thoughts and conclusion about the Cooler Master Cosmos II.