Cosmos II – The Mother of all Computer Chassis!
Cooler Master started building massive computer chassis a few years ago. If I recall correctly, the first huge chassis I owned from Cooler Master was the CM stacker. It was one of my favorites as I can put any motherboard on it and I can do BTX configuration. Then came the Cosmos S. This was a big hit in the market. Most enthusiasts did several modifications on the casing (Just google it and you will surely find a lot!). This year, Cooler Master is celebrating its 20th year in the market with the introduction of the Cosmos II Ultra Tower Casing.
I consider myself very lucky to be given the chance to try out the casing for a few days. And based on that few days, I’m sharing with you what this casing has to offer.
Let’s run thru with the outer look of the chassis. The front of the chassis looks classy with the mesh/honey comb accent on the lower portion. Based on memory, the previous version of the Cosmos comes with full door. This time, the door is just in the upper half portion; a magnet and slider is used to gain access to the 5.25” bays. Using half a door maybe a good idea, as more air can get through the chassis as compared to the previous design.
The side panels are almost the same from a distance but you will notice that one of them has more air vents. This is the side where you will actually place your motherboard while the one with the fewer vents is the back of the chassis where most cable routings should be done.
Let’s take a much closer look at the chassis.
For portable device hogs like me, you will love what’s in front of the chassis: 4 USB 2.0 and 2 USB 3.0 ports! Yes, you read it right - a total of 6 USB ports just for you. We can also see that there is an eSATA connector, if you have one eSATA HDD. The standard mic and head phone connector are also present.
A closer look at the front reveals that there are 3 usable 5.25” bays for your optical drives, card readers, or fan controllers. Removal is pretty easy. Pull the latching mechanism and you can easily remove the bay cover. Going down a bit, there are 2 HDD docks. A simple setup in the BIOS from IDE to AHCI will make your HDD hot swappable.
You will be amazed with what you will find after sliding the cover on the top area of the chassis. No! This is not the keypad of your cellphone. This is the main controller of casing. This is where you will control the fan speed, turn the power on and reset your system.
So how do we open the side panels? Hmmm … There is a couple of locking mechanisms which you need to push down so that the casing will open. A closer look reveals that there is a pin that actually locks the side panels and the latch is a sliding metal with a slot.
Upon opening the side panel, we can see that the area where the motherboard is to be mounted is larger than the conventional chassis. There are also 6 holes covered by some rubber material for your cable management. Most people love to see the inside of their casing neat and clean. Not only will it be pleasant to look at but it will also help optimizing the air flow.
Oooppps! Don’t be shocked with the cables that you see. Let’s do a rundown of the cables to see what they are for.
The cables below are for the HDD dock. You need to connect this to the molex connector of your power supply. The 2 SATA cables are intended for your motherboards SATA connector.
We also have the USB connectors. The big one is for the USB 3.0 and the 2 with connectors (with USB label) are the USB 2.0 connectors.
WE have the HD audio, AC97 and the eSATA connectors. The power SW, Reset and HDD LED connectors are also present. A molex connector can be seen again and this is to power on the fan controller which is built in the system.
There are several fan connectors which are properly labeled like the HDD, Top, and GPU connector. The black connectors are intended for the LED. The LED can be turned on/off via the switch on the connector on the top. You need to buy a fan with a separate connector for power and LED. Most of Cooler Master’s LED fans have these connectors.
Still inside the chassis, we can see that Cooler Master spent a lot of time in these guides as they are not plainly printed on the motherboard tray. Obviously, the chassis supports different motherboard types.
Going to the right part of the chassis we can see that there are 5 HDD bays. You can use your ordinary 3.5” HDD or your SSD on this connector. Placing regular HDD will not require any tool as CM provided us with a tool-less installation of the 3.5” HDD. But for SSDs, you will still need your handy dandy screwdriver to tighten up.
The 5.25” bay is also tool-less. You can easily plug in your ODD. Just press the locking mechanism to lock your ODD or
other 5.25” bay parts in place.
The lower portion of the chassis is covered by two 120mm fans. Upon opening the latching mechanism, we can see that there are additional 6 HDD bays. You can install a total of 11 hard drives on top of the 2 HDD docks! I bet your next problem will be how to find a motherboard with that much SATA ports!
On the left most part, we can see that CM has added a better PCI cover, and it is definitely not just your conventional dull and ugly cover. It is good to let the hot air out faster especially if you have those high end video cards that generate a lot of heat. The motherboard plate also comes with a large hole. If you are a fan of air-cooling (no pun intended) and usually try different heatsinks, then replacing the heatsink will be very easy and will no longer require you to remove your motherboard. A 120mm fan is also included on the rear portion of the chassis.
I already mentioned that there is a major division between the power supply area and the motherboard area, right? Well even with that, routing the cable will not be a problem as there are 2 large holes for you to route your cables if needed.
The bottom part is where you install the power supply. It comes with a washable filter and the power supply is also a bit elevated.
Let’s discuss cable management. We can see that there are big spaces in between the plates and side panel. Even sleeved cables will not be a problem as there are several locations at the back of the chassis for you to put them in.
So can this chassis handle water cooling? Hell yeah! A single thumbscrew in the back lets you remove the upper portion of the case. My initial assessment is 240 rad can be placed on the upper portion of the chassis. I am a bit doubtful on the 360 rad as I can see that there is a possible hindrance which is the plastic material on the front panel.
Can it really accommodate big boards? Well I have a couple of big boards on hand and I tried placing them in the chassis. This chassis can definitely fit E-ATX and XL ATX boards.
Upon powering on the system, we can see that the top portion of the chassis lights up. This is the dispIay for fan control. When you press the designated button (example is the front) the light’s color will change along with the fan speed. Blue means cool or low fan speed; the pinkish color is the medium setting while the red is the full speed operation of the fan.
Cooler Master has done a tremendous job in putting this chassis together. This is a massive chassis packed with features. I am willing to bet that both enthusiasts and Modders will drool over this. Huge motherboards will not be a problem with this chassis. You can easly plug and screw the board on without thinking “will it fit?“ My assessment is that even multi GPU with long video card setups will not be a problem with this chassis.
There are a couple of downsides that I see. First is the weight. The chassis alone weighs more than 20kg. So if you are small and thin, better get a buddy to help you bring home and setup this chassis. Next, is the pricing. I heard that this chassis will be selling for around 20,000 pesos in the Philippines. Well, if you have the money to burn, why not? You get what you pay for and you cannot expect features like this on an el-cheapo chassis.
Here are some more pictures for you to appreciate the beauty of this casing.