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Nathan Edwards

Jun 25, 2008

Cooler Master Cosmos

At A Glance

Galactus

Perfect for both air cooling and water cooling; almost all parts are easy to access.

Abraxas

Where's the connection for a front-panel hard-drive activity light?

Consider this month’s batch of case reviews to be a second chance of sorts, as both companies highlighted this month have previously built total clunkers. Cooler Master threw down the iTower 930 in February, which was the functional equivalent of bringing a wiffle bat to a gunfight. And NZXT troubled us with the Adamas—which sported a relatively mediocre design when stacked up against its competitors.

We tipped our reviewing hand when we chose this case to house last month’s Dream Machine. But that’s just how sweet the Cosmos is. This case looks as good as it functions, and there’s nary a blemish in either area. More important, the case retains enough of a unique look and feel to distance itself from the bevy of generic models we frequently see.

You don’t need to grab a screwdriver to make major changes to any parts in the Cosmos case (aside from the motherboard). The five front 5.25-inch bays use an awesome push-button locking mechanism that, to date, is the best we’ve come across. Tiny thumbscrews hold the six hard-drive trays in place—an elegant improvement over standard drive bays.

The Cosmos caters to the water-cooling crowd with its ready-for-a-radiator ceiling grills, but lovers of the air won’t be left out. A detachable 12cm fan bunker pulls in air from the bottom of the case, and a plastic bar running horizontally across the case draws cool air right into the videocard area. Strangely, there’s no airflow across the hard drives in this case, one of the very few oversights we were able to find with the Cosmos.

A lack of functioning drive-activity lights on the case’s front panel is another stinger, but it’s not enough to destroy the taste of this sweet, sweet chassis.

THE VERDICT

Cooler Master Cosmos

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