Beginning with the front of the case we see a brushed aluminum finish and a glossy plastic insert for the front door panel. The silver and black colours set each other off very nicely, so you should have no issues with aesthetics. The entire case has a high degree of eye appeal and simply looks good.
While much of the exterior paneling is made of aluminum, do not have any fears regarding the sturdiness of the enclosure since the entire interior chassis is steel. This combination of materials offers both strength and good looks. It also means that this is one heavy beast you probably aren't going to want to lug around too often. Packaged weight of the shipped case (empty of course) runs in the neighborhood of 19Kg (about 42 lbs for those metrically challenged folks).
Overall dimensions of the enclosure measure out to (H)266mm x (W)598mm x (D)628mm. That works out to roughly 10.5" x 23.5" x 24.75" in overall size. While the width and height are not terribly out of the ordinary, the depth of this thing is going to make it a requirement that you have a large space to devote to the new system you build. Of course that added depth also allows you to go to town and check out some of the newer Extended ATX boards that are hitting the marketplace. Of course, the COSMOS 1000 also easily handles ATX and mATX boards without any problems, so you can always upgrade later to the bigger toys.
Opening the front door shows a front bezel that is all mesh. While not that effective as a cooling aid (there is a closed door here), it does give a nice appearance. Cooler Master seems to have taken a lot of pains to make this enclosure look good and it shows.
Above is a bit of a closer look at the mesh material on the front. In this area you can install four externally accessible optical drives and one 3.5" drive. For those who have no need for a smaller drive being accessible from the front, this fifth bay can be converted to handle another optical drive. If you like to burn multiple disks at once, this could be a huge benefit for you. If not, it still gives you the ability to update later on or stash an internal water reservoir behind the unused bay covers.
Located just above the front door you will find the I/O ports of the COSMOS. This small panel includes the power and reset buttons, the HDD Activity and Power LED lights as well as the I/O ports that we have come to expect on our modern enclosures.
Of course, I normally expect to see a couple of USB ports, maybe a IEEE1394 Firewire port and your standard headphone and microphone jacks. While all these appear on this product, I also was happy to see two additional USB ports and an eSATA port built into the front I/O panel. Having some extra USB ports is always a good thing and most motherboards nowadays have more than enough headers that will allow you to take full advantage of this feature. The eSATA port was also a very pleasant surprise since many of the external hard drive enclosures are now taking advantage of this faster interface. Simply connect the cabling from this port to an empty SATA port on your motherboard and you are ready to roll.
Moving to the side panel shows off that brushed aluminum surface area. While not all shiny like many cases being sold, it provides a very classy appearance that will still make others turn and look.
And while I mentioned that, you may not want to move this beast around too much, it can still be (relatively) easily transported to your next LAN event by means of the carrying handles mounted to the top. You may want to enlist the help of a friend however, since the COSMOS loaded with your system will easily top 50-60 lbs depending on your hardware.
Also make sure to take note of the same carrying rail system on the bottom of the case. No, this isn't for you to set up your system upside down, but is designed for the cooling aspects of this product. Those rails lift the entire enclosure off the ground and allow for ventilation to allow for a cool interior, but we'll dig a little deeper into that in a bit.
The rear of the case is pretty standard fare, but this is always to be expected since all enclosures still need to satisfy certain industry standards when it comes to accessing the ports and slots of your motherboard. It would be rather useless to change up the back plate and then not be able to, say, install a video board.
There are a few items to take note of however. First is the fact that this enclosure is mounting the power supply at the bottom of the box instead of high up. With modern power supplies becoming so strong and hot, the warm air inside a case that is circulated through the PSU just isn't handling the task anymore. This design allows for cool outside air to be brought in from the raised base of the case and does a much better job keeping that power supply cool. It also keeps the hot PSU away from the primary heat producers in your case, the processor and video board. It is simply a more efficient manner of keeping both the power supply and the case interior at more reasonable operating temperatures.
Secondly, take a look at those two rubber grommets mounted above the rear fan. These grommets allow for both incoming and outgoing water tubing that run to an external reservoir/ pump setup. While not everyone will find this useful, more and more enthusiasts are taking the plunge and using water cooling with very good results. Those little grommets keep you from having to bore holes in your new case and also allow for any normal sized tubing you may be using.
Finally, the two tabs to either side of the grommets are the tool-free method of opening the side panels. Just lift the tab and pull the corresponding side panel outward and you're in. Very simple and you don't have to worry about lining everything up then sliding it home to close the system up again. Very convenient.
Moving up just a bit shows the venting of the top fans on this unit. Since these fans are exhausting heated air, filtration is not a requirement. In the event you need to clean the grating for these fans, just lift the tab and slide the panel off. Small features like this make it obvious that some thought has gone into the design of the COSMOS.
Now that we've taken a tour of the exterior features, let's pull off the side panels and see what is hiding inside!
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