|Cooler Master Cosmos II Computer Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Tuesday, 03 January 2012|
Page 7 of 7
Ultra Tower Case Final Thoughts
You can tell the market demographic Cooler Master's aiming at with the Cosmos II case when they call it an "ultra tower". This is a large, very expensive case with enough features to keep anyone happy.
Very expensive cases must be judged to a different standard than less expensive cases. On a less expensive case, I'd praise the multi-speed integrated fan controller, with power and LED connections for nine fans; here, I must criticize the huge mass of separate fan cables, which will be one of your greatest obstacles to a neat build. At this price I'd expect there to be more than one LED fan, and I'd expect all the case fans to be pre-wired. The Thermaltake Level 10 GT case has all of its fans pre-wired to the fan speed and LED controllers (although you can't add any more fans to the controller). A small printed circuit board "header" for all the fan connections would have been a much cleaner solution.
There are other misses: only the two hot-swap bays have SATA backplanes, and their oddly-long data cables mean you'll have to tie the extra length out of the way for your build. The lack of a 3.5" mount for one of the 5.25" bays will limit your choices in card readers and similar accessories.
The weight and size of the case will make moving it difficult for one person; and front-hinged design of the beautiful swing-out side panels, which open and shut with silky authority, mean that you'll need to remove the side panels if you need to get inside the case while it's on your desk or the floor. Rear-hinged panels would have been more convenient.
With three possible radiator mounting points (rear fan area, top fan area, and bottom of the case once the lower drive bays are removed), the Cosmos II is an excellent case for water coolers. The only potential downside is for those who prefer bay reservoirs: with only three 5.25" bays, space can be tight.
All that said, this is still a spectacular case, even with its flaws.
Cooler Master Cosmos II Conclusion
Although we strive for objectivity here at Benchmark Reviews, please remember that each author perceives these points differently, and our conclusions and recommendations will necessarily differ from others. Also, prices can fluctuate and designs change after publication, so that the product we review might not have the same price and specifications of a product that's available later. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested, which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary of each of the areas that we rate.
Although the case is very large, it uses most of its space well, with room for thirteen 3.5" drives, two of which may be hot-swapped. I'd like to see more than three 5.25" bays, though. Being able to gracefully handle XL-ATX motherboards puts this case in an elite group.
Although the case is has the standard solid black color scheme that's so common these days, its size and dramatic styling make it stand out without appearing garish. Rather than the faux-military/industrial look adopted by some (including, I must add, all of Cooler Master's "Storm" series cases), the Cosmos II has a stark elegance.
As you might expect at this price, the quality of the case was impeccable, comparable to Lian Li, although the latter's ascetic design philosophy was obviously not something Cooler Master was interested in! The doors fit perfectly, despite being a lift-off design, and the various buttons and sliding panels excude precision and quality.
Functionally, the Cooler Master Cosmos II is a mixed bag: for every cool feature like the swing-open doors, auto-ejecting hot swap bays, and quad-channel fan controller, there are offsetting misses like the lack of a SATA backplane, only three 5.25" bays, and the immense tangle of wires from the fan controller.
At a suggested retail price of $349.95, this is very expensive case. If your rig will be built on an E-ATX or XL-ATX platform and you have lots of drives, it might be right for you...but even then, from a value point of view, it's hard to justify over much less expensive cases such as Cooler Master's own Storm Trooper.
+ Styling makes "all black" look good
- Very large. Very heavy. Very expensive.
Final Score: 8.8 out of 10.
Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.
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