1 in 500; take a look at it for a moment. Few concepts are able to draw such an emotional response like exclusivity. In our mass produced, stamped steel world, many go to extremes to show their individualism with custom cars, boats, bikes and I am pretty sure that on more than one occasion a few unique mods have made their way to the TweakTown News section as well. There is a fine line between truly unique and unique to you. Not to belittle those that put their blood, sweat and tears into modding mass produced products, but owning a true limited edition from the factory can have a huge impact on the ego.The Cooler Master Black Label is not the company's first product or group of products to come in limited numbers. Many of the CSX cases were produced in batches as small as 25 units and each was labeled with an identification number such as Number 15 of 25. The Cooler Master Medusa that currently houses my personal gaming system is 1 of 300. Still, the Medusa is just one of many from the CSX line, so the feeling of having a real limited product is somewhat diluted. The Black Label, at least for now does not share this stigma and currently there is only one product in what may become a Black Label product line. But for now at least, the feeling of owning one puts me on top of the world.Ego aside, the chances of actually owning a Cooler Master Black Label is in the un-obtainable category. Once you factor in the three reviewers that received one, Owen from Benchmark Reviews, Shane McGlaun of I4U.com (who is also our new Note/Netbook Reviewer here at TweakTown) along with myself, that only leaves 497 available for the rest of the world. I expect to see a few Black Label systems handed out to a few of their closest partners; mainly system builders. The rest of the units will trickle down, but with a vast network of distributors, retailers and e-tails that have employees taking small bites out of the supply, I honestly expect less than 300 will be for sale on the open market. At the time of writing I have yet to actually see a Black Label listed for sale at any retail or e-tail location.The good news is that a few are out there, somewhere. In the exclusive Black Label Forum a couple of lucky individuals have proclaimed their personal stories of purchasing a unit. At this time no one has mentioned the possibility of purchasing two or for that matter seen two together. Of course, actually purchasing two would be difficult for even the most enthusiastic collector. One member in the Black Label forum claims to have paid 500 Pounds for his unit. The Black Label is supposed to have an MSRP of 600 USD here in The States. Let's move on and have a look to see what is all included for your hard earned 600 Dollars, providing you can actually get one.
Specifications, Availability and CostSpecifications
The Cooler Master Black Label is comprised of three parts, two are special editions and the third appears to be right off the retail shelf. The first and most desirable of the Black Label components is the black Cosmos case that many will call the star attraction. Adding to the special black theme is the Cooler Master 600R CPU cooler in tricked out black livery, exclusive to the Black Label package. The third product is the new Cooler Master UCP-700W power supply, in all black attire of course.The specifications of the case and the cooler are identical to the standard retail release.
The power supplies issued for the Black Label left us a little puzzled. Cooler Master sells several PSUs at 1000 watts or higher and for the premium price we expected to see a premium PSU with the system. Not that the UCP-700W or Real Power M850 are not good or even premium power supplies, but since the case has a window, the modular Silent Pro M 700W would have been a better choice. Then again, the massive power of the Real Power Pro 1250W could also have been chosen since users will want to keep the entire package together as one unit and the big power 1250W would ensure a future reserve for whatever Intel, AMD and NVIDIA have to throw our way. Availability and Cost
The Cooler Master Black Label has an MSRP of 600 USD here in the US. As you can imagine, with only 50 coming to the country, availability is very limited. We have not been able to find a Black Labeled listed for sale on any website, in any country. This can be a problem if you really want one, but that also leads to the appeal of the product.
The PackagingThe Packaging
Cooler Master has done an excellent job with the packaging on the Black Label. The system is housed in two boxes, one for the case and one for the accessories which are the PSU and cooler. Everything is then placed inside of an additional thick box, allowing you to keep tracking labels and such off of the limited edition boxes. Here we see the box that houses the Cosmo Black Label.
Each of the two primary boxes are numbered, the Cosmos box is 1 of 2.
The accessory box talks a little bit about the cooler and power supply on the side.
Here we see the box 2 of 2 designation listed on the side of the accessory box.
Once opened we see that everything is set in place with two inches of foam on each corner.
The Z600R comes in a special Black Label package as well.
Unlike the Cosmos and the Z600R, the UCP-700W does not have a special Black Label themed box.
Here we see the specifications for the PSU listed on the back of the box. I was really surprised to see that the power supply did not come with a special box. In the long run it doesn't really matter much, but it would have been nice.
The External ViewThe External View
The case comes wrapped in a cloth bag that is re-used for transport. I am not exactly sure why brown was used; I just call it like I see it.
If you are like me and love piano black, the Black Label is the case you dream about. The front has more shine than the sun after light hits it. Forget about measuring the amount of shine a CPU cooler has, put it next to the front panel on the Black Label Cosmos and the Cosmos will win every time.
New for the Black Label Cosmos is the window door that we see here. The window is smoke colored, but lets just enough light through to be able to see the number plate attached to the air screen just inside of the case. Adding a couple of case lights (not included) would really bring out the internals of the system.
Cooler Master didn't leave anything out of the spray booth; the back of the case also gets a few nice coats of black. The two latch keys were also molded with black plastic. The standard Cosmo cases were molded in gray.
Here we are able to see the brushed aluminum with a layer of black over the top. The case is an aluminum work of art from all sides.
The carry rails have also been hit with paint, making for a completely black case.
Just in case you were wondering, like I was at first, the inside of the door had a little paint work done as well. Cooler Master didn't cut any corners when it came to the system; everything was as it should be.
The InternalsThe Internals
Little has changed on the inside of the Cosmos Black Label. Cooler Master did add a fan to the top of the drive cage, something that I felt should have been added to the first Cosmos. As you can see, the black theme made its way to the Black Label.
Each system is numbered in a four digit code; this was a little odd since only 500 were made. As stated before, only 50 were sent to the US market and after looking around at where the known Black Labels were sold, the cases were sent in random order. So don't expect 0001 through 0050 to have made it to the states. Ours is number 0077; if I couldn't get my hands on 1-5, 77 is a good number for me since it is the year I was born, adding to the special touch of the system.
Here we see the additional fan added to the top of the drive cage. This blocks the lowest ROM drive, but with so many I don't think anyone will have a problem with it.
With so much talk about positive and negative case pressure going on these days, Cooler Master added vented block off plates to the case to help remove and introduce air into the system as needed.
The Add-OnsThe Add-Ons
The Z600R CPU cooler received a special black treatment for the Black Label package. I would have really liked to have seen the cooler come with dual 120mm fans, but most users will be fine with a single fan.
Looking at the Z600R from the top, we see how it will look in the case; black like everything else and hella sexy.
Cooler Master already had a black power supply and they chose the UCP-700W for the North American market. There are some reports of other continents getting an 850 watt PSU.
The PSU is vented at the back and matches the vents on the back of the case.
Cooling for the PSU is provided by a large fan that faces south of the case and draws fresh clean air through a vent system that is filtered at the bottom of the chassis.
Here we see the entire PSU package complete with black screws for installing the PSU into the Cosmos.
It turns out the UCP-700W was a really good choice for this system; the cable lengths were perfect for my installation.
Accessories and DocumentationAccessories and Documentation
Here we get a good look at the accessory package for the Black Label. I love the screw driver key setup and have a set on each of my key rings.
Cooler Master included a special set of Black Label branded air deflectors as well as an extra set of fan attachment pieces so that you can add a second fan to the Z600R.
When I say Cooler Master made a complete 360 degree black system, we really mean it, all the way down to the screws included with the system.
The documentation goes beyond what these three products come with separately. In the top right corner you will notice the credit card style card that has your serial number listed in the left corner. This number is used to make your forum account on the special Black Label Forum found on Cooler Master's website.
Compared to the special documentation that came with our sample CSX Medusa, the Black Label's paper package appears to be a little on the weak side. Cooler Master does have an option to obtain a certificate of authentication from what they are calling an Appraisal Service. The down side to this is that Cooler Master is charging a 50 USD fee for this service.
The Black Label package also comes with many other perks for their owners. Here you can see a list of everything that is included.
Final ThoughtsFinal Thoughts
Cooler Master has really surprised the market by releasing the new Black Label while we are in the middle of an economic downturn. The economy may explain why such a small number will be sold here in the US, a mere 10%. The limited numbers will surely make the Black Label a collector's item among those of us who collect rare parts. Still, others who do not consider themselves collectors will surely want to get in the action as well.The pricing breakdown comes out like this; all prices taken from Newegg. The Cosmos 1000 is available for 189.99, the UCP-700W is another 189.99 and the Z600R is 59.99, so the total comes out to less than 460 USD. That leaves a pretty high price premium for the Black Label and it is up to the buyer to determine if that premium is worth it to them. I would be willing to say that there are more than 500 people in the world that would agree that the price is fine for such a limited product.