October 2, 2018 // 1 p.m.
Manufacturer: Cooler Master
UK price (as reviewed): MSRP £414.99 (inc. VAT)
US price (as reviewed): MSRP $439 (exc. tax)
The super-premium case market has gotten more entries at higher price tags in recent years as companies like Cooler Master, Corsair, Thermaltake, Be Quiet!, Phanteks, and more seek to wow crowds with showstopping set pieces and appeal to the lucrative high-end PC builder with minimal budget restrictions. The Cosmos C700M was one such case at Computex 2018, and today sees it officially launch as a refinement of the Cosmos C700P, which it will supplant as the flagship Cooler Master chassis. For the remainder of 2018, it will only be available in the UK via PC Specialist as part of full PC builds, opening up in 2019 for general availability in individual units.
The C700M is clearly worthy of its Cosmos title. The iconic cast aluminium handlebars retain the updated flat look from the C700P and are worn just as proudly. They may divide opinion, but their sheer quality is undeniable, and they actually prove very useful when it comes to manoeuvring this 23kg, 650mm-squared beast. Updated front and roof panels see the welcome addition of brushed aluminium, and the front door this time has a lot more airflow thanks to side mesh strips, although conversely the covering of aluminium on the roof will limit exhaust airflow a little compared to before.
There is still some external plastic, most notably the rear shroud which seems to be purely aesthetic. It really feels cheap and out of place, and it gets in the way of removing the side panels too; as you lift them and pull them back out of their hinges (this mechanism is at least decent enough considering the panel size), you invariably knock the shroud out of place. Luckily, the curved tempered glass is a real treat, and this time the tint has been lightened, which is certainly a good thing. The black steel throughout the chassis smudges too easily for our liking, but a cloth is provided for you to give everything a wipe down once your build is finished.
Accessibility is pretty good on all fronts. The front door pulls forward and lifts out, exposing the mesh front cover and double optical drive bay covers; you can leave the case like this if you prefer the extra airflow. That mesh cover itself clips out too, and now you have access to the front fan and radiator bracket. Similarly, the central roof section lifts out from the back exposing exactly the same model bracket up top, and usefully these brackets can be removed for working externally via two simple screws. The side doors are held strongly with magnets at the front, and the bottom is covered by a front-accessible, full-length dust filter which aligns very easily on the way back in. The mesh on the front and roof, meanwhile, is tightly packed enough to filter dust.
The RGB lighting from before has been upgraded to addressable RGB, and this time it runs in continuous strips on both sides of the case and spanning the top, front, and bottom, which makes for some eye catching rainbow effects. The front door has been fitted with electronic contacts so that you can remove it (and the lights here) without fiddling with cables.
The case ships with four 140mm fans, so default cooling should be decent, though this is clearly a chassis intended to be used with more exotic cooling solutions. This might be why the default fans are simple plain black units and wholly unexciting for a £415 case.
Supporting both the aRGie-Bargie lighting and fans – via an internal hub – is the I/O panel, which has four fan control settings (50/75/100 percent and motherboard PWM control) and 12 RGB settings (seven static, four colour cycles, and motherboard aRGB control). The lighting is bright and consistent in tone. Cooler Master also sticks with the strategy of getting rid of USB 2.0, instead having four USB 3.0 plugs and one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C connector alongside headset and microphone 3.5m jacks – we can’t imagine this will leave anyone wanting.