Case Layout and Details
Enough with teasing, I know, here is the case.
I will start with the front of the case and work my way around.
The top front of the case, looks very firm and strong with its edges rounded off, held together by alen wrenched screws to give it a bit of an industrial feel it it. The front of the case, bares no openings for optical bays, but it does provide a honeycomb meshed design along the front and textured with indentations. This has the potential for amazing cooling if and when you cover the front of this case with additional 140mm or 120mm fans. You install up to 3 x 120 fans or 2 x 140mm fans, but it does not include any fans out of the box, they must be purchased separately.
Here are a few Cougar fan options, though of course you can use other types:
Orange LED CFD
Blue LED CFD
Green LED CFD
White LED CFD
Black Non-LED CFD
The bottom front, looks just like the top but has the golden Cougar logo, let’s take a closure look. This front panel can be removed by pulling the front cover outwards on the bottom of the case.
Looking closer, it seems like it’s not a perfectly smoothed finish, but it’s still nice.
The side is almost entirely made up of tempered glass, but not totally. The edges are the frame of the case, which actually aids in raising the case about half an inch off of the ground. This helps the power supply pull uninterrupted cool air from the bottom and allows a liquid cooling unit towards the front of the case on the bottom. Like the power supply, the liquid cooling unit has enough space to allow for cool air to be sucked in through the unit.
Each corner of the tempered glass comes tightened with a thumbscrew, that can also be removed with a Phillip’s head screw driver.
It is not a magic trick that all 4 thumbscrews are removed here and the side panel is still on. The sticker on the top center of the side panel reveals the trick, let’s get a little closure to see what it says.
These instructions show you how to remove the side panel. You remove each thumbscrew, then pull the glass out to a 45° angle, then pull it out. I will go over this shortly.
Removing the screws on the side, the side panel will not fall off, the lip that ensure you remove the side panel at a 45° angle keeps the side panel in place. I circled the removed thumb screw and the lip above.
Coming along to the back, we find a few other handy features. Along the bottom of the case, we can see what looks a bit like a place to slip your hand to lift the case and it can be used that way but it also lends itself to an air intake for the power supply.
Coming up a bit, we find the entrance to the powersupply. You would just slide the power supply into this grove then use the PSU bracket to screw into the case, then into the power supply but I will show you how this works in the build video coming up in the next page of the review.
Under the power supply, there are rubber feet to keep the grill from laying completely flat on the base of the case.
Here we see 7 expansion slots of PCI-E cards. The slots are held in place by the slot side cover. This not only allows you to screw in the PCI-E cards but also allows you to hold the slot in place against potential shipping damage. More case manufacturers have been using these instead of internal covers as they aid better in shipping cases/computers with less potential damage should something occur in shipping when you are going to a LAN party or selling a PC with this case.
Coming up a bit more, we find the I/O shield slot and the 120mm fan. This case only comes with a single fan on the rear of case which can also be used for a 120mm liquid cooling unit.
At the very top of the chassis, we find the plastic top and the “MADE IN CHINA” sticker. The top can be pulled off by sliding your fingers in the separate of the plastic and the steel and while gripping onto the plastic, pull upwards.
The top, like the front of the case has the honeycomb mesh, but we can also find 2 x USB 2.0 and 2 x USB 3.0 ports as well as an audio and microphone 3.5mm jacks and their logo of course. Behind the audio jacks, we find the reset and power button.
The 2 x USB 3.0 ports up close.
The microphone and headphone connections.
The buttons and nice large buttons that are easy to press, even the reset button is easy to push without having to use your pinky or a pen, you can easily push it with your index finger. The placement though is a bit awkward because if you have the audio jacks plugged in as well as USB devices, can be challenging to press.
The spring-loaded power and reset buttons. You will also notice that the power button is backlit as well.
Let’s take a look on the inside.
After removing the 4 thumbscrews and tilting the side panel at about 45° we open up the case.
At the bottom of the case, we find the 2 x 2.5 drive trays, and just behind them we can see 2 openings to fit the SATA power and data cables. Such a simple little opening was actually missed from a previous case I reviewed. These 2 little cut outs help cable a little better, though once the power supply was slid in, I was not able to use the one closest to the back of the case, but that’s OK.
Below the trays is the power supply cover and on the side of that cover in big orange text we can see the COUGAR logo.
Panning a little to the right, we can see the back side of the front of the case. This has a removable magnetized grill so that you can easily remove the mesh, screw in some fans then place the grill back on, very little effort.
On the front of this case, you can apply up to 2 x 140mm fans or up to 3 x 120mm fans. If you prefer using a liquid cooling unit instead of fans, you have a choice of installing a 360mm, 280mm, 240mm, 140mm or a 120mm liquid cooling unit.
Panning to the rear of the case we find the single 120mm fan included in the case. You can also swap the fan out for a 120mm liquid cooling unit. One other thing you will notice is that there is a big cutout on the back of the motherboard tray. That is to help you install a liquid cooling unit or a heatsink that requires a plate to be mounted on the back of the motherboard.
Looking up, we find another magnetized grill, like the front can be removed to install some fans then place the grill back on, very little effort.
Also like the front, you can apply up to 2 x 140mm fans or up to 3 x 120mm fans. If you prefer using liquid cooling instead of fans, you have a choice of installing a 360mm, 280mm, 240mm, 140mm or a 120mm liquid cooling unit. I did run into a problem here, though it was more of an issue with my motherboard, but we will get into that on the build video.
In the center, just to the right of the motherboard, we find a slit in the case. This is to allow for better cable management to string cables behind the case, then through the slit. Because I do have an E-ATX board (the EVGA X99 Classified, which oddly enough is smaller than CEB standard, I did run into an issue that systems using an ATX board will not run into. I will cover this a little later in the review.
Now we can see the flip side of the case without the side panel.
Starting off on the right, like we had on the other side of the case on top of the power supply cover, we have 2 x removable 2.5 drive trays. You can install 2.5” SSD’s or mechanical drives.
On the left of the case, we have 2 x 3.5” drive trays that can double as 2 x 5” drive trays, so it is flexible.
The large strand of cables, has the following connections.
A USB 3.0 header connection, along with an HD Audio header connection and a USB 2.0 header connection.
Somewhat standard in all cases, you have the motherboard front panel headers. Here we have the +/- Power LED, Power Switch, HDD LED and the Reset Switch.
The bottom of the case is actually raised a little higher than the panels let on. This allows for even more air flow. From the bottom of the case to the floor/desk it is 2 and a half inches raised.
The 4 feet on the bottom of this case are made out of rubber, to make sure this doesn’t slide around on your desk or on the floor… but why would you put this case on the floor?
Both filters are easily removable.
How easy is it to build a PC in this case? In the next section I run you through a complete build so that you can plan a build inside of it.