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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  • zappb - Monday, January 23, 2012 - link

    Oh yea Reply
  • Death666Angel - Monday, January 23, 2012 - link

    it just doesn't look very pleasing to me. Too much "1337 gamz0r pwn4g3".
    But that's just me. :-)
    Reply
  • ReachTheSky - Monday, January 23, 2012 - link

    I'd be proud to own that. I'm honestly getting a bit tired of minimalism. There's not a whole lot of flashy "HEY LOOK HOW BADASS I AM!" cases that are also functional. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Monday, January 23, 2012 - link

    Like I said, just my own opinion. Nothing more, nothing less. And "badassness" and "functionality" are also very subjective, I wouldn't give this case high marks in either category, much less so considering the price. :-) Reply
  • michaelheath - Monday, January 23, 2012 - link

    Agreed. This case is aimed at the crowd of people who pay through the nose for features that accomodate the other components they paid through the nose for. As a person who lives within his means and requires no more case than what provides room for a modest gaming/entertainment machine, the Cosmos II is pretty overboard in most aspects, and I could put $350 to better use. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Thursday, January 26, 2012 - link

    Actually, I think this case is made so people like you can get swelled heads about how well you manage your money.

    I have a suggestion: give up your gaming/entertainment altogether. After all, it's really nothing you actually require. It's not only a waste of money because you spend it on things you don't need, it's even more a waste of money because it takes up your time, as well, time you could be using to make money instead of spend it.

    ;)
    Reply
  • aguilpa1 - Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - link

    At this price I honestly expected it to have an integrated liquid cooling radiator with dual fans not just holes for one. I like to buy high end stuff but I still expect to get my money's worth. This isn't it. Reply
  • ZeDestructor - Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - link

    You'd like the Lian Li PC-A71F then. Its a big, black monser of a case that I'm planning to build my next rig in, complete with dual watercooling radiators... Reply
  • Tetracycloide - Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - link

    The thing is, it's really not that flashy in many respects. They basically took an ostentatious design and painted it matte black. Why they wouldn't go with cleaner lines or a color scheme that better accents the lines it currently has I have no idea. I think it fails on the aesthetic front by trying to split the difference between minimalism and snazzy, never quite reaching either and attempting to appeal to two tastes that are fundamentally opposites. Reply
  • Tetracycloide - Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - link

    Now that I've looked at it a little more and seen some additional close up shots from other review sites I've decided to change my mind. The case is flashy but in tasteful way although the tastefulness is largely left up to the builder. The mesh areas have a unique polygonal design layered into them that's almost fractal. With the matte black brush aluminum finish and the right color backlights (blue was the wrong choice IMO) the case could be very beautiful. Personally I'm thinking amber LEDs myself. Without backlighting many of the aesthetics of the case are lost IMO and it just looks like minimalism in areas that don't make sense because the other areas aren't very interesting without lights so the minimalist areas don't contrast with them enough. If you can imagine those areas backlit with LEDs it's a completely different case. The unlit pictures don't do it justice I think. Reply

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