Nathan Edwards Nov 14, 2012

Cooler Master Cosmos II Review

At A Glance

Cosmic Love

Huge interior; great build quality; loads of cooling options and hard drive trays.

Interstellar Gas

So very many fan control wires; enormous; unnecessary beeping.

The once and future king (of cases)

IT'S BEEN five years since the debut of Cooler Master’s wildly popular Cosmos chassis, and its successor is finally here. The Cosmos lineage is strong with this one—from the hinged side panels, to the top carrying handles, to the slide-out hard drive trays—but the Cosmos II is a thoroughly modern product with massive cooling potential, strong cable-management chops, and wide-open spaces. The chassis frame is steel, while the shell is plastic, with aluminum cladding on the panels. Our review unit is matte black, but Cooler Master also offers a silver model.

The Cosmos II, which Cooler Master bills as an “ultra tower,” is more than 27 inches tall, 26 inches deep, and 13.5 inches at its widest. It weighs a staggering 47 pounds empty.

The Cosmos II has three toolless 5.25-inch drive bays, two front-panel 3.5-inch hot-swap SATA bays, and 11 internal hard drive trays in three removable drive cages. Take out the lower two and add an included bracket, and you can install a 240mm radiator in their place; remove the upper hard drive cage, and you can improve airflow in the main compartment.
The main compartment has 10 PCIe expansion slots, plus one on the side, and it supports motherboard form factors as large as XL-ATX. It can accommodate CPU coolers up to 7 inches tall, and 12.2-inch GPUs with room to spare. The motherboard tray contains eight grommeted cable-routing cutouts to the right of the motherboard, two cutouts above it, and two in the divider between the PSU and main compartments. There’s more than an inch of room behind the motherboard tray for cable routing.

The Cosmos II’s door panels swing open smoothly on their hinges and can be removed for easier access.

The case’s front panel includes two USB 3.0 ports (with an internal header), four USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA port, and two audio jacks. The case’s power and reset switches reside above the front-panel connectors, as does a sleek fan controller that can power as many as nine fans on four different channels.

The Cosmos II ships with five fans: a 20cm front intake, 14cm rear exhaust, 12cm top exhaust, and the previously mentioned two 12cm hard drive bay fans in the lower compartment. The top panel can accommodate as many as three fans, or a radiator as large as 360mm. Each intake fan has a removable dust filter, and the front-panel fan controller manages all but the rear exhaust.

We’d love the Cosmos II even more if the fan controller didn’t beep whenever we changed fan speeds.

The nine 3-pin connectors are color-coded and labeled, with three for the top fans, three for the hard drive fans, two for the GPU fans, and one for the front fan. The fan controller also has nine 2-pin LED controllers for CM’s LED fans, although only the 20cm front fan actually has LEDs. Thank goodness Cooler Master includes plenty of cable-routing options and tie-downs behind the motherboard tray.

Aside from the plethora of fan-control wires (which are, thankfully, removable), building into the Cosmos II is a snap. The cavernous interior leaves plenty of room for all your high-powered components, and with plenty of support for both air- and water-cooling setups, you’ll be able to keep even the hottest rig chilly.

The Cosmos II has plenty of cable-routing options, and a giant tangle of fan-control cables to go with them.

Aside from a few minor quibbles—the sheer size of the case, the fact that the fan controller beeps whenever you change fan speeds, and the inevitable tangle of fan wires if you choose to use them all—the production version of the Cosmos II is a great case. We foresee it being very popular with folks who need plenty of room for high-performance components, have the space in their offices for the Cosmos II’s bulk, and don’t mind forking over $350. It’s an unabashedly prestige enclosure, but sometimes that’s just what we need.


Cooler Master Cosmos II

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