Opening the shuttle bay doors
We've worked with some large cases in our day, but the Cosmos II takes the cake—then eats it for good measure. Even Corsair's Obsidian Series 800D is humbled in the shadow of this colossus, which measures 27.7" tall, 13.5" wide, and 26.1" deep. When it finally came time to peek inside the enclosure, we were greeted by a blacked-out interior with enough space to shoehorn the state of Texas, complete with cattle and Rick Perry campaigners.
Like its predecessor, the Cosmos II employs a split compartment layout. The PSU and six of the HDD bays are separated from the CPUs, GPUs, and other flame-throwing components. This design may have debatable merit from a thermal efficiency standpoint, but it does serve to keep the insides of the case looking neat and organized. The panel dividing the two compartments features a pair of grommet lined holes for cables and coolant tubing.
On the cooling front, the lower hard drive bay is covered by a hinged shroud containing two 120-mm intake fans. The case's other pre-installed fans include a 200-mm wind machine in front, a 120-mm exhaust up top, and a 140-mm exhaust at the rear. The ability to house a versatile array of cooling solutions is one of the Cosmos II's trump cards. In addition to the five fans that come installed in the case, the Cosmos can accept five more: two more up top, a couple more in the side panel, and one more in front.
As far as motherboards are concerned, the spec sheet for the Cosmos II should probably just read: "Yes, please!" Officially, the case supports microATX, ATX, E-ATX, XL-ATX, SSI CEB, and SSI EEB form factors. A Mini-ITX board could also be wrangled into the chassis, but it might get lost in the expanse.
When dropping this much scrilla for a computer case, we'd expect to find a suitably sophisticated cable management system. The Cosmos II doesn't disappoint on this front. There's room aplenty for routing, bundling, and stashing cables behind the motherboard tray, which is lined with two columns of grommet-wrapped cutouts to account for different motherboard sizes.
Let's talk drive bays for a minute. Cooler Master must have missed the memo about the flooding in Thailand, because the Cosmos II flaunts 13 places to stash a 3.5" hard drive. In addition to the two external hot-swap bays, there are 11 internal, traditional sleds that also accept 2.5" drives. Five drive caddies are stacked vertically beneath the hot-swap bays, while the remaining six sleds are located in a fan-shrouded bay at the bottom of the case, just to the right of the power supply (in the picture above). The drive bays are all removable to allow for ludicrously long expansion cards up top or a 120-mm radiator down below.
The drive sleds are pleasantly simple to use; just bend them a bit, insert a hard drive onto the grommet-laced metal posts, and then snap everything into place. Mounting 2.5" drives like SSDs onto the sleds will require the use of some old-fashioned screws, though.
In addition to the five-star hard drive accommodations, the Cosmos II comes equipped with three tool-less 5.25" bays. It would have been nice to see some more external 5.25" bays in a case this large, but Cooler Master apparently believes internal drives are where the action's at these days.
The retention mechanism for the optical bays uses a novel push-button design similar to that of the original Cosmos. To install a drive, simply slip it into place and push the button to lock things down. To remove a drive, press the button again and yank the drive out. The mechanism works well, but it's not rock solid. Fortunately, screws can be added to shore up drive stability.