Gaming laptops are traditionally full of compromises.
Cooler Master Cosmos 1000
- e-SATA on front I/O panel, 4 USB 2.0 ports on front I/O panel, comprehensive fan mounts and filtered cooling system, tool-free 5.25in drive installation
- Minimal room to run cables behind the motherboard panel, not as quiet as it should be with all the soundproofing
There was definitely a feeling of anticlimax when we finally got our heads around this enclosure. Although this case has a lot of potential and some very nice features, it somehow didn't quite live up to what it promised.
Price$ 289.00 (AUD)
CoolerMaster has really gone all-out to make this case live up to the CoolerMaster name, and in many respects it's a well built enclosure. However, we cannot help but feel a little disappointed by its inability to deliver the goods to our expectations.
Straight out of the box this case looks like it has potential. The bold carry handles make lifting easy and the comprehensive front I/O panel with four USB 2.0 ports, headphone and microphone jacks, FireWire and even an e-SATA port screams with utility. Two metal latches on the rear quickly release the side panels, at which point more excitement ensues.
The steel reinforced aluminium side panels are layered with a thick soundproofing that is cushy enough to pack glassware with. There is also a rubber sealed skirting around the edge of the enclosure where the panel clips to the side. The rubber seals also help cushion the power supply where it sits at the bottom of the case. The case oozes with fan mounts (even though there are only two fans included). There is one 120mm intake fan at the bottom of the case, drawing air through a dust-filtered gap underneath, while the hot air is extracted via another 120mm fan at the top of the case. Other mounts reside at the top, the rear and in the middle, near the hard drive cages. There is also a clever shroud with a fan mount that draws cool air from the rear of the case and blows it over the expansion cards, or extracts it from the case, depending on your fan placement.
Six internal 3.5in hard drive cages mount each hard drive separately with rubber spacers for reduced vibrations. The five 5.25in (or four 5.25in bays and one 3.5in external) use a one-button tool-free installation design; the best we've seen yet. A space behind the motherboard has been left with gaps for cable routing.
Unfortunately, despite all of this fancy work, the case is a little bit of a disappointment. There isn't really enough space behind the motherboard to route cables as the cushioning is so thick. We found that the side panel barely closed and looked like an over-packed suitcase about to explode when thick cables were run behind.
We also found that, despite all the soundproofing, much of the noise was able to escape via the large open spaces at the rear. Another disappointment came from the lack of fan controls. Although it's not fair to expect external fan controls at this stage (though more vendors are including this feature), the omission of internal fan controls was a little shameful. Instead you have to change the speed using the BIOS of your motherboard.
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