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Cougar Challenger Mid Tower Case Review

Installing 2.5/3.5″ drives into the sturdy trays was a straightforward process. Each method is tool-less, with the exception of installing a 2.5″ drive into the 3.5″ tray, and perfectly secure.

Building a system in the Cougar Challenger was very easy, ignoring the form-factor-related constrictions. A centralised ‘guidance’ stand-off helped us position the motherboard over the correct area. Cougar uses an excellent tool-less 5.25″ drive installation method which was simple to operate and resulted in a secure mount.

With 44mm of clearance above the motherboard’s upper edge, 240mm radiators such as the Corsair H100 will fit perfectly in the roof. If you prefer the high-end air cooler route, an enthusiast-friendly 169mm of clearance can be used to house the market’s largest coolers such as Noctua’s NH-D14 and Phanteks’ PH-TC14PE.

In terms of our build’s cable tidiness, we had to settle for mediocrity. 22mm of clearance behind the motherboard tray and only 25mm of space behind 3.5″ drives made routing cables a difficult task. The omission of tie-down points didn’t help our efforts of securing a routed cable in place, meaning that, as soon as we stopped holding it, the lead would fall and disturb its neighbouring wire.

Granted, part of the issue can be put down to our 670W power supply’s thick cables, but their diameter is no greater than that of your average mid-range PSU’s leads. The fact of the matter is, Cougar simply overlooked the cable clearance requirements for a mid-range system comprised of a power-hungry graphics card and multiple storage drives.

Large power supplies up to 160mm in length can be installed in conjunction with a bottom-mounted 140mm fan. If a 120mm fan is used, the PSU’s length can extend to 180mm without any problems being caused.

Black front panel cables are easily camouflaged against the Challenger’s dark interior.

It’s worth noting that the obscenely large USB 3.0/2.0 header caused issues during our installation procedure. Due to its immense thickness, a pair of neighbouring fan headers was rendered inaccessible, forcing us to route 3-pin cables to a less-than-ideal location. If your motherboard’s internal USB 3.0 header is in a different location to that of our Asus P8Z77-V board, make sure that interference issues aren’t going to be encountered.

The recessed PCI and motherboard IO areas eliminate any issues that may arise due to protruding cables.

An optical drive which utilises a black bezel is highly recommended to maintain effective colour-coordination.

The 200mm front fan’s red LEDs emit a warming glow when in use. Subtleness is a key factor that ensures LED-lovers will find the intensity of glow sufficient, whereas LED-haters won’t condemn it for being too overpowering.

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  • Martin Porcas

    Not sure on the looks, those wings on the front make it look like a giant black lady love nest and the ‘amusing’ power button can only be described as a clitoris!

    … or perhaps it’s just me! 🙂

  • Xtreme

    Waste of time reviewing this chinese crap as you cant buy it in most countries. 0/10 for me im afraid.

  • R0xxy

    Arrrggh! My eyes!!!

  • Davis

    Fair review, but I have never seen any of our local stores stocking t hese cases. or anything else they make. Seems pointless they would seek reviews when they have poor distribution.

  • Harris

    Wow that is the ugliest case ive seen. looks like a cylon warrior from battestar gallactica mated with a cockroach.

  • Eran

    eye catching, but not my cup of tea, by a long shot.

  • Manucuna

    As a woman this is not appealing at all. it looks to be designed for young teenage boys who dream of being airforce pilots.

    ill stick with silverstone.

  • Chromium_Sun

    Urghh… that has to be one of the ugliest and cheesiest cases I’ve ever set my now horribly sore eyes on.

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