The Cosmos SE is the smallest member of Cooler Master’s Cosmos portfolio. It shares a number of qualities with its larger siblings, and consequently ends up providing a solid foundation for new PCs. Its parts appear well-made. Even the plastic ones. And then there's the sporty design to consider, which includes robust carrying handles and case feet, as well as blue LED lighting that can be turned on or off.
Other high points include capable stock cooling, courtesy of several factory-installed fans that yield copious airflow and, consequently, thermal performance, along with removable dust filters everywhere they’re needed. Sufficient installation options for radiators and good cable management are also admirable characteristics. Additionally, there’s space for a huge stack of 2.5-inch drives, including spaces away from the regular hard drive cages. Finally, tall CPU coolers and long graphics cards don’t pose any problems.
But there's also room for improvement. Taking into account the Cosmos SE’s price, at least a basic fan controller would have been nice, especially since the bottom 5.25-inch drive bay can’t be used without sacrificing one of the two front fans in the process. The two 3.5-inch drive bays that are accessible from the front (after removing the dust filter) represent another lost opportunity. An option for hot-swapping would have been the way to go. Finally, installing radiators the size that Cooler Master says it supports inside is only possible with a lot of planning and the loss of drive bays. In the end, the Cosmos SE just lacks that little last big of finesse to push it into award territory.
With a list price of $170, and currently available for $150 online, Cooler Master's Cosmos SE is a solid and high-quality ATX case. Its target audience is looking for great airflow and reasonable acoustics straight from the factory, but not necessarily silence. With that said, putting some effort of your own into customizing this unique enclosure should certainly be worth it.