Cooler Master Cosmos SE Case Review

Introducing Cooler Master's Cosmos SE

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

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Technical Specifications and Features
ManufacturerCooler Master
ModelCosmos SE
Dimensions(HxWxD)57 x 26.4 x 52.5 cm
Weight10.8 kg or 23.8 lbs.
MaterialSteelAluminum (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 SlotsSeven
FansFront: 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 cmRear hard drive cage: 2 x 12 cm
Water Cooling(Optional)Front: 36 cm radiator
Top: 28 cm radiator
Back: 12 cm radiator
CPU CoolerUp to 17.5 cm
Graphics CardUp to 27.6/39.5 cm (with/without hard drive cages)
Power SupplyUp to 28/41 cm including protruding cables (with/without hard drive cages)
Cable ManagementUp to 3.4 cm between back of motherboard tray and pushed-out part of the side
Street Price$170 (Selling on Newegg for $150)

  • VVV850
    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...
  • SessouXFX
    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.
  • blackmagnum
    $170 gaming god of a case. Nothing can beat it at this price. If only it would come in pink... for Valentine's...
    Was this case not available 3 months ago?
  • cypeq
    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
  • pf12351
    I am actually quite glad this review is out, I bought this just last week. I got all my components in!
  • pf12351
    Also, it is 10.8 KG. The handles do help a tonne.
  • ubercake
    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.
  • GoliathPtXs
    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...
  • Au_equus
    "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.