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lightman
12-13-07, 05:42 PM
Ok, as I promised here it is, my review of the CM Cosmos 1000 case, along with the building of my new workstation.

(some pictures are of terrible quality, forgive me, the lighting in my office isn't really good)

First off, the package :

http://www.lightskies.net/cosmos/package1.jpg

http://www.lightskies.net/cosmos/package2.jpg

as you can see, the package is huge. The glass has been put there to give a sense of proportion, it is a normal glass, about 3.75" high.

Tha package is clean, with a picture of the top-front of the case on the side, the CM logo, and a couple of specifications, nothing much.

Let's open it and get the real case :

http://www.lightskies.net/cosmos/extern.jpg

now, what I was saying about the package ? Forget it, the package may be huge, but the case itself is a real monster! :D

The front panel is plastic, black, reflective, with a protective sheet on it.

On top one finds the usual Power and Reset buttons, four USB connectors, a Firewire one, an external SATA one, and the earphone and mic jacks. Towards the back there are some vent holes.

You can clearly see the two top handlebars, which are not there only for aestetics, but they help quite a lot when moving the case around, for it is really heavy.

The side panels have a satin finish, clean looking, with a little Cooler Master writing on the lower part, towards the rear of the case.

Now let's take a look at the back of the case :

http://www.lightskies.net/cosmos/back.jpg

bland looking, except for the two holes for watercooling, and those two small latches you see on the sides of them. Those latches are best seen here :

http://www.lightskies.net/cosmos/sidepanel.jpg

you push the latch up, and the side panel unlocks, revealing the interior of the case. Please take a look at that quite big bar that is keeping the side panel locked, I will talk about it later.

On to the side view :

http://www.lightskies.net/cosmos/side.jpg

here you can see the five 5"1/4 bays, with tool-less locking mechanism: you slide the drive in from the front, you push the blue button, and there you go, locked! Pushing it a second time unlocks the drive. Under them, the six 3"1/2 drive bays, with the six trays. The thing going from just behind the drive bays to the back of the case is what CM calls the "Wind tunnel", which should help lowering the temperature of the graphics card. You can then see the power supply area (which gets fresh air from the bottom, helping it staying cooler, and thus quieter), the bottom intake fan (which I will move on top of the hard disks area, to keep them cooler), and the back exhaust fan.


http://www.lightskies.net/cosmos/diskfan.jpg

(sorry for the out of focus picture)
here it is, the repositioned intake fan. You lose two 5"1/4 bays, but the hard disks are better cooled. It should be noted that I just used the bottom fan, with it's quite thick support, I'm not sure about it, but maybe the optional fan tray has a lower profile, thus using only one drive bay, don't quote me on this, though.

You can see the two big holes for the cables, too.

Let's go on:

http://www.lightskies.net/cosmos/fans.jpg

the top exhaust fans, and the sheet showing where to screw the standoffs for the different sized motherboards. The case can take any motherboard, from micro-ATX to E-ATX, by the way.

Now, see those hole just above the motherboard tray ? Here's where those sidebar I mentioned before comes into play. There is another analogue hole on the bottom of the motherboard tray, so you would think that routing the power cables behind the tray would be a great idea, right ? Wrong. The sidebar effectively blocks the passage, so you can't route the cables behind the tray. Bummer. (Ok, it has to be said that you should have some really long cables to do it anyway, the ones from the Corsair HX620W aren't nearly long enough to).

Now, last thing about the case, then will move to the new workstation ;)

http://www.lightskies.net/cosmos/toolbox.jpg

Just in front of the hd bays, CM kindly put a nice padded aluminum toolbox with zip ties, two screwdrivers (one cross, one flat), and a lot of screws and standoffs. Pretty, and usefull.

Ok, enough for the case, on to the next post for the talk about the workstation.

lightman
12-13-07, 05:43 PM
Alright, the workstation:

http://www.lightskies.net/cosmos/components.jpg

all the components, neatly aligned, from left to right, front to back:

Supermicro X7DAE+ motherboard
Gainward Bliss 8800GT
LG GSA-H55N dvd burner
2 x Intel Xeon E5345
3 x WD Raptor 150GB
1 x WD Caviar RE2 400GB 16MB SATA-II
4 x Kingston KVR667D2D4F5K2/4G (2 x 2GB FB-DIMM each, for a total of 16GB)
Corsair HX620W (before stating that it is not enough, it is, trust me)



Let's go on with the installation :

http://www.lightskies.net/cosmos/mobo.jpg

the motherboard, with the front (or should I say top ?) panel cables attached. As you can see, even with a full E-ATX motherboard, there is plenty of space to work with, so the non-removable motherboard tray does not pose a problem.


http://www.lightskies.net/cosmos/disks.jpg

the four disks, mounted on their trays, which will slide nicely into the case. The trays have rubber grommets on them, so vibrations are reduced to a minimum. By the way, This machine will run a Fedora 8 x86_64. The 400GB Caviar will be (or I should say is, since it's effectively already installed and running) the system disk, and the three Raptors will be configured in software RAID-0 to serve as scratch space.


http://www.lightskies.net/cosmos/complete.jpg

almost ready, everything's in place, except for the wind tunnel:

http://www.lightskies.net/cosmos/windtunnel.jpg

and here it is, in all its glory ;)

As you can see, it's clean, except for the power cables, too short for any other kind of solution, alas. With longer cable it would've been possible to route them through the big holes to the right, up to the top of the motherboard. In any case, they're not impeding air circulation, so they will do.

Here's the BIOS:

http://www.lightskies.net/cosmos/bios.jpg

a total of 850GB of disks, and 16GB of ram. Yummy! :D

And to finish, the first boot!

http://www.lightskies.net/cosmos/firstboot.jpg

absolutely lovely... :D


Ok, kinda long post, but I hope you liked it.

Oh, by the way, the machine is up and running nicely, the noise is really low (big help from the foam padded side panels here), the drives can't be heard, even when seeking.

For the curious, that's my workstation at work. It is used for biophysics simulations, visualization and programming. The 8800GT serves a dual purpose, first off, big molecules visualization, and secondarily as a testbed for CUDA. If our codes will see some interesting speedup with it, the next build could have a top end 9xxx series in it ;)

Ok, off to bed now, please leave any question/remarks, and I will kindly answer them as soon as I see them. :)

DiscipleDOC
12-13-07, 05:47 PM
I got that same case and I LOVE it.

Good review. ;)

lightman
12-13-07, 05:53 PM
I got that same case and I LOVE it.

Yeah, it's an amazing case, apart from a couple of details, like the side bar I mentioned, other than that, I love it too :)

Good review. ;)

Thanks! My first try at it, so if you or anyone else has any suggestion to make it better, I'm more than open for it ;)

crainger
12-13-07, 05:55 PM
Too many RAMs

Too many CPUs

Worst PC ever...


LOLz I kid I kid. Looks great my man.

lightman
12-13-07, 06:01 PM
Too many RAMs

Too many CPUs

Worst PC ever...


Hehehehe... it looks like you could use some of that ram and cpus ;) :D

LOLz I kid I kid. Looks great my man.

Thx :) It's being put to good use. We're studying protein folding and associated diseases (think e.g. Alzheimer, some types of cancer, and, not in the usual sense, but still connected, HIV).

crainger
12-13-07, 06:08 PM
Awesome work dude. Great a killer PC is being used for a good cause.

As for needing some RAMs and CPUs, sure send some over. I need all the help I can get before I get too consolised. :D

Buckeye
12-13-07, 06:20 PM
Very, Very Nice !

Great that your working on Alzheimer stuff. I was a care provider for my mother for 7 years who has that, she is in a care facility now.

Just wondering why the raptors and not just go with bigger disks, say Western Digital 750 gig. I have often thought that the difference between Raptors and newer drives is becoming less and less important. I know that servers are a different machine than a work station but with SATA II drives is there that much difference these days between the two drives types ?

I would have to do a test on my machine to see what the difference is between my two Raptors in Raid 0 is vs the 500’s, hmm.. what is good software to test that with ?
With server software by the tons with a MSDN OS sub I have often thought about building one and now that Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V is up it might be something fun to play around with.

But I love the review, thanks !

HDTach 3-0-4-0 Results (not sure how good this program is)

Western Digital 10,000 rpm 74 gig SATA2 Raptors in Raid 0 in the top graph.
Western Digital 7,200 rpm 500 gig SATA2 in the bottom graph. (single drive)

Raptors Win ! :)

238.3 MB/s
187.5 MB/s

http://img154.imageshack.us/img154/3041/drivespeedspz5.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

mythy
12-13-07, 06:36 PM
I often considered running a setup like that for my rig since I do a **** load of media coding.. hows it game? :p

a12ctic
12-13-07, 07:03 PM
I often considered running a setup like that for my rig since I do a **** load of media coding.. hows it game? :p

This machine will run a Fedora 8 x86_64.

I doubt hes planning on gaming.

mythy
12-13-07, 07:09 PM
lol I figured still I wonder how it would game

crainger
12-13-07, 07:10 PM
Needs too many GPUs to game.

breathemetal
12-13-07, 10:06 PM
thanks for the review! im definitely getting this case.

crainger
12-14-07, 12:51 AM
thanks for the review! im definitely getting this case.

Just note it doesn't cool as well as some other similar cases.

nekrosoft13
12-14-07, 12:55 AM
especially the HDDs

ryan29121
12-14-07, 09:39 AM
I have the same case. Just mount a 120mm fan to the hdd bay and you get some nice cooling. If thats not enough mount two. This case has great cooling.

lightman
12-14-07, 12:53 PM
I have the same case. Just mount a 120mm fan to the hdd bay and you get some nice cooling. If thats not enough mount two. This case has great cooling.

Indeed, and that's exactly why I moved the bottom fan to the top of the hd bays :)

By the way, this thing is really, really quiet (well, at least given the number of fans in it).

Ricardo888
12-16-07, 09:53 AM
*DO NOT DOUBLE POST SALES OUTSIDE THE FS/FT SECTION*

ViN86
12-16-07, 10:56 AM
awesome rig man :drooling:

8 CPUs and 16GB of RAM made me change my shorts. :eek:

(and i reported the spammer above me)

grey_1
12-16-07, 11:17 AM
Exclamation Awsome Sale !!!!!!!!! 8800 ultra
ai selling this awsome pc



Your sale belongs in the FS thread, and locked because of breaking the FS rules for the forum. Please stop hijacking other users threads.

@ lightman - Fantastic review and pics. Thanks!

breathemetal
12-16-07, 11:21 AM
Everytime i look at your pics the urge to buy this case grows! I cant wait to swap out everything in my Zero for this monster.

lightman
12-16-07, 05:37 PM
Thanks, I'm happy to see you all appreciated my effort :)

By the way, if you want me to run some benchmark, just let me know, as long as it runs under linux, I will.

I'm gonna try some povray, for sure, as soon as the new threaded beta comes out, then probably HPL. I will install Gromacs (both scalar and MPI), too.

Q
12-16-07, 05:44 PM
I've got the bottom fan in the bottom, but I put TWO additional 120MM fans on the hard drive area. One pulling air through on the top (like the bottom fan would be doing), but I also used zip ties to mount one on the front of cage (pointing towards the motherboard) to help pull air through. Temps are sweet.

Nice review!

breathemetal
12-16-07, 09:56 PM
Looks like a COSMOS 1010 is coming out!

nekrosoft13
12-16-07, 10:04 PM
info?