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Cooler Master Cosmos SE Case Review

Cooler Master Cosmos SE Case Review
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Cooler Master’s Cosmos gaming cases are well-known for their extravagant carrying handles. The Cosmos SE is the smallest member of this line-up, selling for as low as $150 online. It has room for lots of fans and three radiators, attracting enthusiasts.

Until now, Cooler Master’s Cosmos line consisted exclusively of full-tower PC cases that distinguished themselves with sharp design elements and a lot of features. Great build quality wasn’t the only attribute landing Cosmos products in the high-end space, though. Prices from $250 to $400 for an enclosure made of steel, plastic, and in some cases aluminum certainly fit that category as well.

The Cosmos SE is the smallest offering in this line-up, and its family resemblance is immediately apparent. Nevertheless, it offers the same ostentatious curvy shape and carrying handles, supposedly able to support an entire system's weight.

Given that already-successful foundation, it's no surprise that the Cosmos SE gives off a good first impression. Cooler Master is clearly aiming for the upper echelon of buyer looking for high quality, but in a smaller form factor. That means this case exists in a more rarefied space than the company's own HAF portfolio.

There are currently two different versions of the Cosmos SE, both of which come in black. The first one has a side window, while the other sports mesh instead. We received the former for review.

What we want to know is just how much of that Cosmos DNA can you really cram into a $170 case? At least on paper, the prognosis is promising. You get enough room for up to eight hard drives or 16 SSDs, while 120, 280, and 360 mm radiators all fit at the same time (around back, up top, and in front, respectively). The case also features large and easily removable dust filters, along with blue LED lighting just waiting to illuminate your enthusiast-oriented gear.

Packaging and Accessories

The Cosmos SE’s packaging doesn’t rip easily due to its coating, and can consequently be reused to transport the case.

Cooler Master's box includes the expected assortment of screws needed to fill the chassis up with hardware. All of them (except for the motherboard spacers and the tool to install them) are black. The bundle also includes a number of cable ties, as well as eight rubber dampening pads and matching screws for installing two fans on the back of the hard drive cages. 

The bundle is rounded out by an optional fitting for a security lock on the side of the case, a piezo speaker with a very long cable, and two large holders for a front-mounted radiator (which we'll talk about later). The manual explains the steps you'll follow in order to install various components. And it covers the case's less common features in sufficient depth, with clear and detailed illustrations.

Control Panel and Connectors

The Cosmos SE's front-panel connectivity is actually on top of the case. You get two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, along with headphone output and microphone input. The audio I/O can be hooked up to your motherboard's AC'97 or HD Audio header.

The power and reset buttons are further back, behind the top ports and jacks. In addition, there's a button for turning the LED lighting on and off. All three provide a nice tactile feel, which I really like.

Technical Specifications

Technical Specifications and Features
Manufacturer
Cooler Master
ModelCosmos SE
TypeMid-Tower
Dimensions
(HxWxD)
57 x 26.4 x 52.5 cm
Weight10.8 kg or 23.8 lbs.
Material
Steel
Aluminum (carrying handles)
Plastic (front cover, top cover)
Form FactorATX, microATX, mini-ITX
Drive Bays3 x 5.25“ externally-accessible bays (the third is only useable after modifying the hard drive cage)
8 x 3.5“ internally-accessible bays (can also be used as 16 x 2.5“)
2 x 2.5“ internally-accessible bays
Expansion Slots
Seven
Fans
Front: 2 x 12 cm or 1 x 14 cm (Comes with 2 x 12 cm, 1200 RPM, blue lighting)
Top: 2 x 12/14 cm (Comes with 1 x 14 cm, 1200 RPM)
Back: 1 x 12 cm (Comes with 1 x 12 cm, 1200 RPM)
Side (Version without side window): 1 x 12/14 cm
Rear hard drive cage: 2 x 12 cm
Water Cooling
(Optional)
Front: 36 cm radiator 
Top: 28 cm radiator
Back: 12 cm radiator
CPU Cooler
Up to 17.5 cm
Graphics Card
Up to 27.6/39.5 cm (with/without hard drive cages)
Power Supply
Up to 28/41 cm including protruding cables (with/without hard drive cages)
Cable Management
Up to 3.4 cm between back of motherboard tray and pushed-out part of the side
Street Price
$170 (Selling on Newegg for $150)

Display 30 Comments.
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  • -6 Hide
    VVV850 , February 12, 2014 12:57 AM
    Why put "carrying handles" on a 10KG (when empty) case? IMHO they are useless and add to the total weight and from my experience, when you have finished assembling your new PC you add approximately 5KG to the weight of the case. 15Kgs with carrying handles...
  • 5 Hide
    SessouXFX , February 12, 2014 1:09 AM
    The handles, more or less adds to the look, and strangely enough, some guys take theirs to a Lan party. I once read a review where some guy complained about not having a way to carry his Corsair 800D around to Lan parties,and complained about the case feet breaking off. So there's some numbskulls out there that can't seem to figure it out for themselves...The way I see it, in the case you need to move your case around, at least you have them. You may not want to move it around all the time, but it's better to have them and not need them, than to need them and find your back thrown out of whack because of lifting it without them.
  • 1 Hide
    blackmagnum , February 12, 2014 1:13 AM
    $170 gaming god of a case. Nothing can beat it at this price. If only it would come in pink... for Valentine's...
  • 1 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , February 12, 2014 2:36 AM
    Was this case not available 3 months ago?
  • 5 Hide
    cypeq , February 12, 2014 2:58 AM
    Quote:
    Why put "carrying handles" on a 10KG (when empty) case? IMHO they are useless and add to the total weight and from my experience, when you have finished assembling your new PC you add approximately 5KG to the weight of the case. 15Kgs with carrying handles...
    No one is forcing you to get this one with carry handles... CM and others provide you with plenty of choice. I for one would prefer to have them on quality case. Even if I have to move it only few times a year ( I have CM Storm Scout ).I say bless that handle it's so much easier to pick up and move around, and I have one hand free to open doors grab cables whatever. I is just very convenient.

    P.S. 15 kg one handed should not be a problem for you, bro do you even lift ? ;-D
  • 5 Hide
    pf12351 , February 12, 2014 3:50 AM
    I am actually quite glad this review is out, I bought this just last week. I got all my components in!
  • 2 Hide
    pf12351 , February 12, 2014 3:50 AM
    Also, it is 10.8 KG. The handles do help a tonne.
  • 0 Hide
    ubercake , February 12, 2014 4:46 AM
    I never really got the point of putting front fans in a case whose airflow is immediately blocked by HDD bays or mounts turned sideways (even those not occupied due to design). I understand turning the mounts saves space in the depth direction, but completely blocks the intake's airflow. This is why I think it is key for any advanced case to be designed to allow you to remove the HDD bays that aren't in use. Why even bother with fans whose output has to pass through a bunch of obstacles? This renders the intake of airflow virtually ineffective.
  • 0 Hide
    GoliathPtXs , February 12, 2014 5:37 AM
    This case needs a REV.2 with that 3rd optical issue solved. waiting for it. either that or the new fantastic corsair graphite 760T...decisions... decisions...
  • 2 Hide
    Au_equus , February 12, 2014 5:41 AM
    "The screw holes for the radiator could have been a bit more toward the side of the case to avoid collisions between tall CPU coolers and thick radiators (or radiators with fans on both sides)."

    Is it not the idea of using radiators is to avoid using tall CPU coolers? The biggest concern for watercooling in regards to the top radiator mount is clearing the tall memory heatsinks that some memory manufacturers use.
  • 0 Hide
    ubercake , February 12, 2014 5:47 AM
    Quote:
    "The screw holes for the radiator could have been a bit more toward the side of the case to avoid collisions between tall CPU coolers and thick radiators (or radiators with fans on both sides)."

    Is it not the idea of using radiators is to avoid using tall CPU coolers? The biggest concern for watercooling in regards to the top radiator mount is clearing the tall memory heatsinks that some memory manufacturers use.


    True. Also, the heatsinks over the power section of the motherboard need to be considered. This usually becomes an issue with a lot case designs. A case with a motherboard that mounts too close to the top of the case itself is definitely a design flaw in the age of radiators and low-cost self-contained liquid coolers.
  • 1 Hide
    VVV850 , February 12, 2014 7:08 AM
    The reason I wrote that I don't find the point in putting handles on a heavy case (15Kgs built PC is not by any chance LAN party material even if you lift bro :) ) is because I would love to see handles on quality cases made of aluminum (Lian Li for example) from which a full ATX case weighs about 5-6 Kgs empty. Believe me: a 10kg full ATX PC (that I drag around at the end of the week) is significantly light than a PC built using this case.Another thing, cases made of plastic and steel are not quality cases (my opinion) even if they are properly built and properly designed.In the end, I agree that the handles may help some.
  • 0 Hide
    ram1009 , February 12, 2014 7:33 AM
    I wish I could still buy an Enlight.
  • 0 Hide
    burkhartmj , February 12, 2014 7:37 AM
    I think the reason the handles don't necessarily make huge sense is because if you're looking to lug a desktop to LAN parties, it's becoming more and more feasible to get a mini-ITX or even micro-ATX case that is WAY smaller and WAY lighter than this. This is the route I'll be going for my next desktop build, either with a Cooler Master Elite 130 or a BitFenix Prodigy.

    On the other hand extra features don't hurt, especially when they're executed well, and we all have to transport our desktop at some point, even if it's only once in a blue moon or when moving. On top of that, while smaller computers are getting feature parity fast, they can't quite measure up to something like this yet, and will never have the expandability of something this size.
  • 1 Hide
    James Mason , February 12, 2014 7:38 AM
    From my experience with the original Cosmos S, the handles on the bottom actually make the case super easy to push around on a carpeted floor, which is nice because when you have 4 hard drives 4 graphics cards and a 1000W psu in the thing it gets pretty freaking heavy, and the handles on top do make carrying it around a bit easier, the Cosmos S was freaking huge for a computer case, carrying it by like you would a mid tower or mini tower is a bit unfeasible because it's so big it blocks your vision.
  • 0 Hide
    chumly , February 12, 2014 9:13 AM
    Ugly!
  • 0 Hide
    lp231 , February 12, 2014 9:43 AM
    Those who had this case says the motherboard tray isn't enough room to allow easy installation of SATA cables and other connectors that needs to be plugged along the edge.
  • 0 Hide
    jimmysmitty , February 12, 2014 10:12 AM
    Quote:
    The handles, more or less adds to the look, and strangely enough, some guys take theirs to a Lan party. I once read a review where some guy complained about not having a way to carry his Corsair 800D around to Lan parties,and complained about the case feet breaking off. So there's some numbskulls out there that can't seem to figure it out for themselves...The way I see it, in the case you need to move your case around, at least you have them. You may not want to move it around all the time, but it's better to have them and not need them, than to need them and find your back thrown out of whack because of lifting it without them.
    In all honesty, I have lifted one of these filled with components and the handles do not help in lifting the case much in that case as it puts all the weight pulling down. It is still easier to properly lift it with your legs and arms around it. I honestly was never a fan of the Cosmos series, mainly as I don't know who would want to move such a large case around very often. If I got a case like this, or the Corsair 900D which I would over this, I wouldn't move that thing around much at all. Just too large and too heavy for that.
  • -2 Hide
    ZippyPinhead , February 12, 2014 4:46 PM
    Another cheap wannabe NERD case from CM, the king of the nerd case mfg's!
  • -1 Hide
    toddybody , February 12, 2014 6:28 PM
    170.00 for that? Oh gosh, its one ugly case. I hope the feature set provides value to folks though...
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