Removing the side panels of the Cosmos S is, just as it was on the Cosmos, an incredibly easy task. There’s none of this fart-arsing around with screws or latches or ferrets that have been specially trained to stand next to the case and hold the sidepanels onto the chassis no matter what happens.
No, instead, the Cosmos and the Cosmos S have a simple lever on the back of the case that, when lifted, releases the side panels. Watch out though – they literally release the side panels, so if you aren’t standing by to catch them then you stand a chance of dropping and damaging said panel.
Worse, if the 200mm fan is connected at the time then you’ll risk breaking the cable for it.
It seems to be that although all the additions to the case have been made on the exterior of the Cosmos S, the inside is where the design has been reined in and the Cosmos S starts to look more like a streamlined Cosmos than an enhanced version.
The noise-cancelling foam panels are the most obvious absentee on the Cosmos S. Good riddance, I say – they may have hypothetically kept things quieter, but I imagine they didn’t do a lot regarding dust problems and they certainly impeded on the amount of space in the case.
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Other design changes include the cooling system, which has been drastically overhauled. The original Cosmos had a directional fan in the base of the chassis that could be aimed at a number of components that the user thought were particularly combustible.
In practice though it could only be aimed at one or two things and Cooler Master must have come to its senses and finally realised how such a thing could easily mess with the thermal dynamics of the interior because it’s no longer there.
The Cosmos S does still have plenty in the way of cooling through. There’s a 120mm in the back of the case, with another 120mm directly above it in the top. The HDD cage has a third 120mm on the front and there’s a 200mm fan built stylishly into one of the sidepanels.
On top of that the case then has ventilation points all over. There’s room in the top of the case for a decently-sized radiator if watercooling is your thing. In fact, this case could be the next best thing to the Silverstone TJ07 – there's space for a 120mm radiator in the base and the back and a 3x120mm in the roof! This potential for watercooling is absolutely massive then and means that you could easily have a powerful water-cooler juggernaut all contained within the one shell... without the need to cut up your expensive home for your pride and joy. If water is what you're after then you probably can't do any better than the Cosmos S.
Since the PSU fan will breathe through the base of the case (it’s raised a few inches off the floor) there’s an included air filter. The filter isn’t of excellent quality, but it’ll do the job and stop the fan sucking up too much carpet. Yes, there’s a rude joke in there somewhere.
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All in all, the inside of the case looks fairly snazzy and it was plainly obvious that there was going to be plenty of room inside for working too – no need to worry about your oversized, over-blinged (or is that over-blanged?) graphics cards here.
That said, there is perhaps a little room for improvement. Having room to work is one thing, but a removable motherboard tray is even better and we’d have been even more confident about where we threw our elbows if we could get the tray out completely.
The HDD cage, which has changed away from the drawer system of the original and reverted to a more traditional design, still retains vibration dampening but also turned out to be a bit of a problem, though we’ll get to that later.
Overall though the case design is still miles above and beyond most other chassis’ and everything from the tool-less drive bays (i.e. those big blue buttons) to the removable hood on the outside of the case speaks of a high build quality and thoughtful approach to the design.
How successful the new design proves to be though is something that will be tested in the next section of our review.