Overall, I can't stop the smile from creeping up on my cheeks as I think about the Cosmos SE and what Cooler Master has delivered here. Externally it is everything a Cosmos chassis should be, and there is no question even from all the way across the room that you could mistake this design for something else. Even with the overall reduction from a super-tower to a full-tower design, that is only partially right. In reality, you are given a roomy mid-tower chassis, but the support bars made of aluminum that all of the styling and angle play comes from; taking the dimensions outside of the realm of what is permitted in the mid-tower market, so it is classified as a full-tower for this reason. Access to the top panel, removing the front mesh section, or taking out the bay covers is all very easy and makes cleaning and accessing certain parts of this design very pleasurable to deal with, and even while the wiring took quite a bit more time than usual to tend to, the end result is very pleasing and easy to accomplish.
Inside of the chassis there is more than enough air flow from the four 120mm fans installed around the chassis. While only delivering 33 dB of noise level to the environment at full speed, the thermal results are very good for this system on air cooling. Of course, that can be taken further by adding more fans for a total of eight of them, but there are also options for up to three radiators inside of this chassis at one time.
CM even offers plenty of ways out of the chassis for external water cooling solutions too. Then there is the storage configuration offered inside of this chassis. With room for a total of 18 2.5" drives as the chassis is delivered, even removing six of the bays, you can still accommodate six 2.5" drives, or a pair of 3.5" drives and a pair of 2.5" drives in the hidden racks on the back of the motherboard tray. Inside and out the chassis is loaded with styling, innovative ideas to simple questions, and delivered a solid, yet trimmer version of the larger Cosmos cases.
When you look at the Cosmos SE as far as the chart scoring is concerned, there is really nothing to fault them on. Performance is good out of the box both in cooling and in what is offered to help simplify builds. The quality is top notch, and even with the chassis completely stripped of panels, plastic fascia, and most of the HDD racks, it was still as strong as it was right out of the box - there is no flex or wobble to this design. The Cosmos SE is as feature rich as just about anything out there, and is only lacking a HDD dock if it is lacking anything, but in a design like the Cosmos, I would keep the lines and styling over a HDD dock that I would rarely use. The wiring is complete, long enough, and blends in well, the storage options are outrageous, and this offers some of the best cable management in any case. We know the packaging is top end, when you can gut one side of the box and the product arrives in perfect shape, and there was more than enough hardware to get any build completed.
While at the start I sort of frowned on the pricing, the more I got to know the Cosmos SE and what it has to offer, I found myself relaxing my grip on the money gauge and coming to the realization that there is nothing else quite like this, and with great end results in the build, I am really hard pressed to try to knock them down for the $169.99 asking price. I think they will have no issues at all over at Cooler Master selling the Cosmos SE, the chassis that finally took an amazing design and made it small enough for the masses to enjoy.