Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Cooler Master Cosmos II Ultra Tower Overview!

2nd Generation Cosmos! An Ultra Tower

Bit of a change for today’s post, instead of the normal reviews about design and performance, I’ll be doing an overview of the latest beast of a tower to come out of the Cooler Master production line, the Cosmos II.
This is self-described as an Ultra Tower and you should take its word. This is a gigantic case. It took two of us to bring it upstairs to the office to unpack and present. The box itself is just ridiculous large for a case, so be warned if you’re planning to pick one up, come prepared with a buddy and a decent sized car to put it in. before we get into the ins and outs of the tower, let’s take a look at its specifications.
  • Material: Exterior: Aluminium, Mesh, Synthetics; Interior: Steel-Alloy, Synthetics, Rubber
  • Dimension (W / H / D): 344 x 704 x 664 mm / 13.5 x 27.7 x 26.1 inch
  • Weight: 22 kg / 48.5 lb
  • 5.25" Drive Bay: 3
  • 3.5" Drive Bay: 13 (2 from X-docking with key locks, 5 HDDs in the Middle cage, 6 HDDs in the bottom cage)
  • I/O Panel: USB 3.0 x 2, USB 2.0 x 4, e-SATA x 1, Audio In and Out
  • Expansion Slots: 10+1
  • Cooling System:
    • Front: 200mm LED fan x 1, 700 RPM, 19 dBA(converted from 120/140mm x 1)
    • Top: 120mm black fan x 1, 1200 RPM, 17 dBA
    • 200mm fan x 1 / 140mm fan x 2 / 120mm fan x 3
    • Rear: 140mm fan x 1, 1200 RPM, 19 dBA
    • Side: 120mm fan x 2 (optional)
    • HDD: Mid.HDD: 120x25mm fan x 1 (optional);
    • HDD: 120mm fan x 2, 1200 RPM, 17 dBA
  • Power Supply: ATX PS2 / EPS 12V (optional)
  • 2.5"/3.5"- SATA HDD Drive Bay: 11 (converted from 3.5" cages)
  • Maximum Compatibility: CPU cooler height: 190mm / 7.48 inch, VGA card length: 385mm / 15.15 inch 
So there you have it, a 22kg (without parts) case standing at 700mm off the floor. Once you start putting in a power supply, a CPU heat sink and a few hard drives, expect this to hit the 30kg mark. So if you’re planning on using this as a LAN computer, I’d strongly suggest buying a trolley or some sort of transportation device, however if you’re looking for a solid piece of case for your home system setup, this is definitely a solid runner.
Unpacking the box was quite simple, even though it is quite big; once you slice open the taped seals you see a big piece of foam stretching the length of the box. Removal of the foam reveals a few paper manuals and the case itself wrapped in plastic. Taking it out is as easy lifting the case by the handles, or if you’re a bit of a shorty or don’t have the power to lift it up, tip it to its side and slide it out with ease. The plastic wrapped simply slips off the top revealing your tank of a case.

Once out the box and freestanding you see what the fuss is about its size. It stands out like the ugly duckling, except this ugly duckling looks brilliant and makes other duckies look like dog food.
Looking at it closer, we see the front panel featuring 2 USB3.0 ports, 4 USB2.0 ports an eSATA port and audio jacks. More extensions than anybody would really need for the front. Beneath the inputs and out puts you have 3x 5.25” slots which are very easily opened by pulling back on the left side of the panels then sliding in your devices. Beneath them there are 2 3.5” slots which are your quick removable slots which give you hot-swappable option. The rear of these 2 panels can be wired up ready to go, so basically you have yourself two hard drive docks. This area can be covered by the vertically sliding lid which feels like it is controlled by hydraulics, very smooth yet sturdy. The lower section has a mesh, which by pulling from beneath it removes to reveal one of the intake fans. There is also a fan slot beneath it to install a 2nd 200mm fan.
An amazing feature is the top of the panel where the section of the top where the name is branded on slides back with a very slick feel to reveal the power panel. The buttons on this panel feel and look like a mobile phone, except the power button feels a bit cheap than the rest. If you roll your finger gently on it, it basically will click with every bit of pressure applied to it.

Opening up the side panel via the push down clicker on the back of the case reveals its guts and why it’s labelled as an Ultra Tower. The side panel opens like a door via pretty strong hinges attached to the case. This panel is removable via simply lifting it up. The panel does have two handles towards the top which is a bit over the top. The side panel is very thick compared to other cases. It has a good 5-6mm in thickness at its thickest point. The side panels also feature an aesthetically pleasing mesh grill
Looking inside we see the motherboard area with the 5.25” bays and 5 3.5” bays. The lower section of the case houses the power supple, and a simple opening of the fan brackets in a door manner reveals an additional 6 drive bays, more than enough for most users out there. The fans attached to this bracket have very short and simple 3-pin plugs with both coming out of the same spot suggesting good wiring job within the fans. One of the first things you’re faced with when opening the case is the amount of cabling. This is quite a fair bit, so ensure to read up on the manual to take full advantage of it all. (Nothing wrong with reading manuals no matter how much of an expert you think you are). You’ll also find a tall thin box which has addition power adapters and brackets.
A good thing about this case is with its size it allows for good cable management. You’ll see a fair amount of rubber enforced cable holes to thread through you cables from wherever to wherever. There is enough on both the back plate of the motherboard and bottom plate to thread all your thick power cables. There is plenty of room between the back plate and side panel to store all your extra cabling at. The hard drive bays have sufficient space to use normal straight plugged SATA cables and you won’t find your cables bending when closing the panel. This is a big plus for this case; the extra room just makes it much easier to handle cable management. 

The hard drive holders though lack the strong build of the rest of the case. In my hand they feel quite bendy and flexible. Cooler Master has stuck with the pellet like clips to lock in the drives, which I really am not a fan of. I’ve seen much better options for the drive mounts and would’ve liked to have seen some improvement on these made.

The top of the case is where this really excels. It features a single 120mm fan with support up to 3, however above the fans you find yourself with an enormous amount of space. This area is perfect for your water blocks and radiators. The rear of the case has rubbery holes ready for your water cooling hosing. 

The back plate of the case supports up to 10 PCI slots, enough to support the hungriest of users. It even features a vertical PCI slot. The power supply area is more than sufficient enough to support the larger PSU’s up to the 1500w size range.

To sum this case up, it provides the high-end user with mammoth amount of space to put in all the best and biggest parts you can buy while keeping a slick yet elegant look to it. It would have been nice of Cooler Master to include additional extra fans to fill up those empty spaces if wanted considering the price tag of the case. For the price you get yourself a case that will last a lifetime. The case is also perfect for those looking to build a NAS-like build, with plenty of bays to fill up with drives.


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