Introduction

The Cooler Master Cosmos is more or less legendary among top-of-the-line enclosures. It's not hard to see why, either: it's big, it has loads of expansion, and it looks like a giant refrigerator...for your computer. That said, some time has passed since the Cosmos originally landed with very little in the way of updates. Today, Cooler Master brings us the long-awaited update, the Cosmos II. With a $349 MSRP and a shipping weight of nearly fifty pounds, this enclosure is oversized in every way. Will it retain the cachet of its predecessors, though, or have advances in the computing market since the era of the original Cosmos left the Cosmos II a shiny relic of a bygone era?

I remember when I was going to school back in 2006; a custom-painted Cosmos was on display in the local Fry's Electronics as pretty much the paragon of what a chassis could aspire to. The Cooler Master Cosmos was expensive, big, and beefy. Yet today interest in monster computers with Full ATX boards is waning somewhat. When you can get a motherboard like the ASUS Maximus IV Gene, an X79 monster with all the trimmings in a Micro-ATX form factor, the market for a case that can handle an XL-ATX board starts to shrink. More than that, when something like Rosewill's Thor v2 offers most of the same creature comforts at nearly a third of the price, it can be hard to justify shelling out $349 for an enclosure. But let's see what you get with the Cosmos II, and then we'll hit the assembly and testing and see how it all comes together.

Cooler Master Cosmos II Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor XL-ATX, ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
Drive Bays External 5x 5.25" (2x Occupied by X-Dock, supporting 3.5" drives)
Internal 11x 3.5"
Cooling Front 1x 200mm LED intake fan
Rear 1x 140mm exhaust fan
Top 1x 120mm exhaust fan (supports 1x 200mm/2x 140mm/3x 120mm)
Side 2x 120mm fan mount; 2x 120mm fans on HDD cage
Bottom -
Expansion Slots 10+1
Front I/O Port 4x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, mic and headphone jacks, eSATA
Top I/O Port Fan and LED controls, power and reset buttons
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearance 15" (Expansion Cards), 190mm (CPU HSF), 200mm (PSU)
Weight 21.5 kg / 47.3 lbs
Dimensions 13.5" x 27.7" x 26.1" (344mm x 704mm x 664mm)
Price $349

When I look at the spec table, two things jump out at me. First, how am I going to move a case that's nearly fifty pounds? (Very carefully.) Second, expandability is at an all-time high. I have no trouble burning as many hard drive bays as an enclosure can give me, but the Cosmos II has me beat. It supports up to thirteen 3.5" drives, and up to eleven 2.5" drives. That's on top of having eleven expansion slots, four USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports, and a built-in LED and three-speed fan controller capable of supporting seven fans and at least as many LEDs. Like the late, great John Candy, there's a lot to love in the Cosmos II.

In and Around the Cooler Master Cosmos II
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  • Rictorhell - Monday, January 23, 2012 - link

    I am a big fan of this site and I read the reviews and articles all of the time and I find them very informative and useful, but, I have a request.

    When a review is written, particularly about a certain smartphone or tablet, it is mentioned whether the device has an SD card slot and you always tend to differentiate between whether it is a “full-sized” SD slot or a “micro”SD slot. That is useful to know, but there are several actual types of SD cards available, each with a different maximum storage capacity, and you don't specify in your reviews which types of SD cards are actually supported by the device being reviewed and I think that is a bit of an oversight.

    To the best of my knowledge, standard SD cards only have a maximum capacity of up to 2gb, while SDHC cards can go up to as high as 32gb, and SDXC cards, while only available right now in sizes up to 128gb, are supposed to theoretically be able to be manufactured in sizes up to 2tb.

    There is a huge difference in size between 2gb, 32gb, and 128gb. Given that smartphones and tablets have substantial built in limits as far as storage capacity, I think it would be very helpful to know which type of SD card is supported by which device, if that is possible.

    If I read two reviews about two different Android tablets and both reviews mention that both cards have a full-size SD card slot, as a user with a lot of media files, I'm going to be interested to know if one of those tablets can support SDXC cards while the other one cannot.

    I consider that to be a major feature, to me, just as important as battery life. If you do reviews of tablets and smartphones, or even ultrabooks, and neglect to specify how much storage potential these devices have or do not have, you are making it very easy for the hardware manufacturers to simply put in second rate storage and format support, knowing that it will not be covered in reviews by sites like Anandech. Not only is this going to stunt the evolution of these devices but it's also going to mean less options for consumers.

    Anyway, thank you for your time.
    Reply
  • ExarKun333 - Monday, January 23, 2012 - link

    Huh? Everything you said is not relevant to this review at all. Reply
  • Sladeofdark - Monday, January 23, 2012 - link

    if the USB front panel was facing up like the Cosmos S it would be PERFECT! But i still cant wait to purchase this case to replace my Cosmos S. It has all the improvements ive been wanting in a Chassis for YEARS.. serious cable management, and Serious consideration for hard drive placement. It is like they finally made a case that was not only about making the price point. Reply
  • sviola - Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - link

    Agree with you. I too have the Cosmos S, and I wish it would have some of the improvements here like the drive cage facing the side of the cage (but I prefer the red leds on the S model, a bit of the change from the blue led theme that seems to flood the industry). Reply
  • Solidstate89 - Monday, January 23, 2012 - link

    After I've had my full of my current build in my Silverstone FT02B case, I'm definitely buying this case and building a behemoth of a system in it. Combined with Windows 8's Storage Spaces, you don't even need a separate Home Server anymore, and that's where all those drive bays will especially come in handy. Reply
  • Risforrocket - Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - link

    It's for a build with lots of drives, I agree.

    I have 4 drives in RAID 10 and am wanting 6 and then the SSD (or two) for the OS. That's 8 drives right there. Lol, I love this case.
    Reply
  • Tetracycloide - Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - link

    Or a build with a radiator. You loose all of the drive bays in the PSU chamber if you mount a radiator and some pumps down there. I'd argue that's what the chamber was designed for and the bay cages are just tact on so the space still looks useful if you're not water cooling (although it's still wasted space if you don't have all the drive slots filled). Reply
  • Bonesdad - Monday, January 23, 2012 - link

    have to agree with some other posters here, this case, though top of the line functionally is big, ugly and fugly. Just my opinion, but no way would I ever own this. I don't think I could even be friends with anyone who owns this. Reply
  • whitehat2k9 - Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - link

    The Maximus IV Gene is a Z68 board. Perhaps you meant the upcoming Rampage IV. Reply
  • ggathagan - Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - link

    Which doesn't change the overarching point that you can get a fully packed motherboard in the m-ATX form factor, diminishing the need for the full ATX size board in a large majority of situations. Reply

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