COUGAR Challenger Case ReviewWaco - November 8, 2012
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COUGAR isn't a company that I usually think of when listing out chassis manufacturers, but as seen by the previous COUGAR cases reviewed here at OCC, they produce very competitive products. Founded back in 2007 by computer enthusiasts and professionals in Germany, COUGAR is dedicated to delivering high-performance and high-quality components for gamers. I haven't personally used anything from COUGAR, except for their cases and fans, but they have held up well to normal and even abnormal abuse.
Today I'll be taking a look at COUGAR's new Challenger case. This is a new case in the COUGAR gaming lineup that takes its inspiration from, and I quote, "the pilot unlock missile cover then fire!". If you're as confused by that as I was when reading through the features of the case, don't feel bad — but more about that when we get to it. The Challenger, at $85.99, sits firmly in the affordable category for performance mid-tower cases and looks to be large enough to house any hardware you can potentially throw at it. The styling, as you'll see in a bit, is fairly extreme and I have the feeling most will either love it or hate it — there's not much room in the middle.
When this box arrived at my doorstep it was immediately obvious what had arrived. Good packaging makes its contents known at a glance and this box surely does that! The front of the box sports a zoomed-in view of the front panel of the case along with the name of the case in a large font. The side of the box reveals an isometric profile of the case along with a fairly large table detailing the various specifications and features (seen in detail on the Specifications & Features page). The back side of the box details the physical features of the case with an exploded view of the chassis. Along the bottom of the box there is a diagram explaining which GPUs will fit with the three different HDD cage configurations. The last side of the box is a mirror image of its counterpart. The whole box is printed with a single color of ink, which is always a good sign that the manufacturer hasn't wasted all of the cost on fancy packaging and not on what really matters — the contents of the box!
Slipping the COUGAR Challenger out of its packaging was a simple affair and revealed a case protected by the usual plastic bag and foam end caps. The side window of the case is clearly visible here as is an unusual hole on the side panel — as you'll see in a bit this is where the integrated side panel fan filter attaches with a fairly ingenious mounting mechanism. The packaging itself is quite sturdy and arrived with no dents, dings, or scratches. The foam end caps are a bit thicker than I usually see on less expensive cases and this is definitely a good thing!