Cooler Master Cosmos S Case Page: 1
Introduction & Specs
If you're about the same age as me, there's every chance you'll look back fondly at the days of Cooler Master's ATCS series tower cases. They had understated style, high quality craftsmanship and used only the finest of materials. In fact, probably one of the biggest regrets of my life as a computer techie was selling off my extremely rare (well nowadays at least) Cooler Master Black Widow
. It almost didn't matter that you needed to sell body parts just to get one, the fact that it had a paint job better than most
£50k cars totally made you forget the substantial hole in your wallet.
Of course, a lot has changed since then - and although looks still carry significant weight, the success of a modern PC case is equally influenced by its ability to cool the latest Quad-Core, Triple SLI setup with minimal noise. In addition to this, many enthusiasts (and even average joe's) have made a departure from the regular heatsink and fan combination cooling in favor of more elaborate water cooling systems that often require quite drastic case modifications in order to house the bulky radiators.
Cooler Master did a damn good job of ticking most of these boxes with their previous Cosmos 1000 case
, but as the saying goes "there's always room for improvement" and today we'll be finding out if the latest addition to the Cosmos range has made it any closer to becoming the perfect all-round case. Enter the Cosmos S
Since its introduction, Cooler Master's COSMOS PC Chassis has garnering numerous awards and accolades around the world. Today, the best just got better as Cooler Master unleashes the COSMOS S Chassis, featuring a new racing design, a touch-sensitive panel, and a gamut of user-friendly features, the COSMOS S is the evolution of the ultimate PC enclosure.
When laying eyes on the COSMOS S for the first time, one is immediately drawn in by its sleek contours and exhilarating styling. Inspired by the some of the world's finest race cars, the COSMOS S exudes both speed and sophistication. From the meshed front and side panels to the brushed aluminum finish, the COSMOS S is pure lust, offering an enclosure fit for evolved sensibilities of the discriminating PC enthusiast.
While the previous Cosmos case used a combination of steel and Aluminium for the frame and side panels, Cooler Master have upped the anti on the Cosmos S, going for Aluminium all round. Of course, there are still some parts of the case that use plastic, but thankfully (as we'll find out over the next few pages) these blend in quite well with the overall appearance of the case and don't look too tacky.
Cooling has also been upgraded on the Cosmos S, with the case being able to support up to six 120mm fans (3 included) and a huge 200mm, 150cfm fan slapped on one of the case doors for good measure. This is a massive improvement over the Cosmos 1000 which only supported five 120mm fans and didn't feature any elaborate side panel cooling.
Cooler Master Cosmos S Case Page: 2
Packaging and External Looks
While Cooler Master have dropped the "Sport" part of the Cosmos' name since it was originally spotted at CES at the beginning of the year, the cases curves and air louvres are still akin to the looks of a race car. With this in mind, we dumped the usual Overclock3D photography booth in favour of the nearby car park (you liar, the case wouldn't fit in the booth - ed).
As you'd expect from any case manufacturer, the Cosmos S is shipped inside a large double walled cardboard box, with some pretty pictures and basic specifications plastered all over it. Whipping out my set of house keys and cutting through the Sellotape seal at the top of the box didn't reveal anything out of the ordinary either - just the usual Styrofoam molds that get a bit messy if you accidentally break it.
However, rather than being confronted by the usual clear Polythene bag that makes getting your brand new case out of the box so tricky, Cooler Master have opted for a rather rugged brown sack. This meant that all we needed to do was lift the case up by the knot in the middle of the sack and take it out of the box; avoiding any of the fear associated with Polythene bags ripping and a 13kg case falling to our feet!
Starting around the front of the case we can see that the Cosmos S has certainly borrowed a lot of its design from its elder brother; the Stacker
. A total of ten 5.25" bays are on show, each with their own meshed grill and fabric filter. Three of these bays are taken up by the case's hard disk rack, leaving the remaining seven for those of us with a lot of DVD-RW drives!
Any Stacker owners reading this review will remember just how much of a pain in the backside removing the drive bezels was. Thankfully, Cooler Master have added a hinged door at the front-right of the case, which can be opened allowing for easy removal and re-installation of the bezels.
The top of the Cosmos is where things really start to get exciting with a total of three 120mm fan grills partially stealthed underneath a meshed cover. Could this be one of the first (readily available) cases in history to support a triple radiator? We'll find out in just a sec.
Cooler Master have also given the power and reset switches a rather nifty makeover. Gone are the usual "clicky" style switches in favour of touch sensitive illuminated areas of the top console. This most definitely adds a certain "wow" factor to the case, but at the same time also adds a lot of nasty smudged finger prints.
Both side panels are made from heavily brushed 1.5mm thick Aluminum which is a nice departure from the razor thin, ultra flimsy aluminum sheets used on a lot of the mid-range Aluminum cases. As we've already mentioned, the left-side of the case features a 200mm fan, which pushes a whopping 150cfm of air out of the case. No overheating graphics cards here!
While the back of the Cosmos S is fairly bog standard, Cooler Master have placed two holes above the motherboard area to facilitate the use of an external radiator. Obviously the question on all watercooling enthusiasts minds at this point is "can it take 1/2" ID tubing?"....and yes it fits perfectly.
Cooler Master Cosmos S Case Page: 3
If there's one thing that annoys the hell out of me, it's having to jump through hurdles to get the side of my PC case off. Screws, thumscrews, latches and locks, it's all far too much hassle for someone like me who takes off the side of his PC more than his clothes. Thankfully, Cooler Master have come to the rescue with a lever located at the back of the case. Just lift it up and off pops the side panel....ingenious.
Inside the case is pleasantly spacious with no annoying wind tunnels or up-side-down motherboard layouts to get in the way of some good water-cooling action. Interestingly during the installation of the PSU, we noticed that it could be installed either way up without the need to mess around with PSU blanking plates (a la Lian Li).
While having fans and PSU's installed at the bottom of a case can often cause problems where dust is concerned, Cooler Master have installed two slide-out filters over the PSU grill and 120mm grill to assist in keeping the inside of your beloved PC dust mite free.
Now I'm not really sure if this should be on the Internal or External page of this review, but the main question everyone has been asking in our forums
since the press release
for this case a few days back is: will it take xyz radiator? The technical answer to this question is that it will work with all radiators that have a ~15mm space between each of the fan mounting points. Of course this doesn't really mean much to most of us, so with the help of Rob from WaterCoolingUK
, we've come up with the following list.
HWLabs BlackIce GT Stealth III
HWLabs BlackIce GT Xtreme III
HWLabs BlackIce Pro III
HWLabs BlackIce GT
Watercool HTSF 360
Aquacomputer Airplex Evo
Aquacomputer Airplex Pro
Alphacool NexXxoS Pro III
Magicool Aluminium 360
Magicool Xtreme 360 Radiator
Magicool Slim 360 Radiator
Swiftech MCR320 QP 360
The above picture shows an XSPC RS240 installed (unfortunately we didnt have a RS360 to hand), but as we can see the Cosmos S provides enough space to install 25mm depth fans on both sides of the radiator without obstructing the motherboard. What more could you ask for!
Cooler Master Cosmos S Case Page: 4
While stuff like graphics cards and power supplies are always extremely easy to test and the results they produce easily comparable, cases are a different animal all together. You can't (unfortunately) just install a copy of CaseMark06 on the machine and read back some numbers once it's done. Therefore, Overclock3D has a standard testing methodology and set of hardware that is used in times like this, so that we can at least get a rough feel for how the case performs.
CPU: Intel Core2Quad Q6600 @ 3.2ghz (1.45v - toasty)
Graphics Card: Sapphire Ultimate X1950 Pro
Motherboard: Asus P5K3 Deluxe (stock heatpipe cooling - even more toasty)
Hard Drive: 1x Hitachi Deskstar 80GB 7K80 SATA2 7200RPM
CPU Heatsink: Stock Intel (burning hott!!)
Cases can be fiddly little buggers, so naturally the first test for the Cosmos S case was to see if we encountered any problems getting the hardware listed above in position.
OK, so it's a bit of a mess in there, but I'm pleased to say that installing hardware inside the Cosmos S was a total breeze. Finding the correct screw holes to place the motherboard stand-off's was especially easy thanks to Cooler Master's card sheet (pictured right), which assigns each of the screw holes a letter and provides a corresponding chart for ATX / E-ATX motherboards.
To ensure that we didn't give the Cosmos S any unfair advantages, only the stock fans provided with the case were used during the testing. In addition to this, all fans were connected directly to a +12v molex to prevent any potential skew in the results from the motherboard trying to manage the fan speed.
Temperature readings for the CPU and Case were taken using Asus' PC Probe, GPU was taken using ATITool and Hard Disk directly from S.M.A.R.T. While we fully understand that these results may not be entirely accurate when compared with a digital thermal probe, they serve perfectly well when results conducted with the same core hardware.
Idle temperatures were taken after 30 minutes of the machine being....idle. Ambient temperature outside the case at this point was 22 °C
To get the system hot under the collar, both OCCT, ATITool (artifact scan) and HDTach (Long Bench) were run simultaneously for 30 minutes. As we can see from the graph above, the temperature inside the case rose by a total of 11c, which isn't too bad considering components such as the CPU and GPU were kicking out between 50-60°C of heat. In comparison, a recent test of Lian Li's V2000 chassis (under same conditions) saw a slightly larger increase of 15c. Good work Cooler Master.
The 120mm and 200mm fans that Cooler Master has included in the Cosmos S are extremely quiet to say the least. With the PC at idle all that can be heard is the gentle whisper of air out of the rear of the case. In fact, under load conditions the noise of Cooler Master's fans was totally drowned out by the stock Intel heatsink fan and graphics card fan.
Cooler Master Cosmos S Case Page: 5
The Cooler Master Cosmos S is without doubt one of the most well thought out cases I have ever encountered. From small things like the easily removable fan filters and quick-release doors, to the ability to install a monstrous triple 120mm radiator in the top of the case with no modifications needed, the Cooler Master Cosmos S has it all.
Normally I'm not a fan of the 'pre-modified' look, but Cooler Master have managed to make a totally unique case that is simply gorgeous. Sure there's still some plastic lurking in certain parts of the case's construction, but such a good job has been done with the styling, it would almost be a shame if it wasn't there.
While the original Cosmos 1000 has always been very popular, the Cosmos S takes things to a whole new level, improving in almost every area that its predecessor lacked. These improvements do however come at a price. With a retail price of £152. 69 over at WaterCoolingUK
the Cosmos S is certainly not cheap, but do I personally think it's worth it? Yes, every penny.
• All-Aluminium frame and side panels.
• Full support for a triple 120mm radiator.
• Masses of space, with no obstructions.
• Ability to install radiator externally.
• Ten 5.25" bays - plenty of room for expansion.
• Touch sensitive switches.
• Easily removable dust filters.
• Effortless installation with no cut fingers!
• Design of the case may not appeal to everyone.
• Maybe a little too much plastic still.
• Cooler Master want it back!
Thanks to Cooler Master
for making this review possible. Discuss the review in our forums