Cougar Evolution Chassis ReviewBluePanda - April 1, 2012
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Now that the boring pictures and talk are out of the way, we can take a look at the case itself. Like it was shown on the box, there is a honeycomb structure patter on the bay slots and entire front portion of the case. It’s symmetrical and very clean in appearance, with a small COUGAR logo at the very top. Above that, you will see the fan controller knob sitting even in height with the top rails of the case. I expect this case to give lots of air flow from the front to back, especially as I can nearly see through the chassis from the bay slots.
The back of the case is about the same as what you’ll find on any other case. It has the rear 120 mm mounted COUGAR fan, 8 PCI-E slots, PSU bay, and the motherboard I/O plate holder. There is also a handle for the fan filter below the PSU bay, which we’ll take a little closer look at up ahead.
Taking a look at the two sides of the case, you’ll find pretty similar appearances, each held on by thumb screws. The left panel features a window and spot for a 140 mm fan if you want some extra cooling across your GPU. Under it, blue lettering spells out “Evolution”, as if you want to brag about exactly the case you have. I generally prefer cases with few or no logos, so I surely don’t see how this gives me an incentive to buy this chassis over something else. It would be nice to not have the lettering in my opinion. The right panel is pretty much the same; just lacking the window.
Looking at the top of the case, you can see the fan controller that we previously mentioned. The full I/O panel is complete with 2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, a mic jack, headphone jack, an HDD light, and a tiny reset button (you might need a pen for this one). The center of the fan control knob is the case power button. I’m not sure that placement was really thought out, however, by having the power button on something that you may be frequently changing. The left and right of the knob houses buttons to select between controlling fan group A and B, respectively (all the connecting fan cables are marked for grouping). Best of all, these buttons light up; I’ve got a couple shots at the end after everything was hooked up.
If you were like me, based on the previous pictures, you might have thought that the rubberized COUGAR pad was a nifty little drink holder or pad for placing screws while you are working. Well, you don’t want to be setting a full drink there…it’s actually a trap door for a hot swap bay for an HDD or SSD. Press it down and you will see power and SATA connectors inside. Sliding in your drive, you will find that the rubber helps hold it in place, as well as reduce noise of older HDDs. When it’s not in use, the spring-loaded door closes for a nice streamlined finish.
From an external perspective, this is a pretty nice looking case. It’s not monstrous in size, but it’s not a tiny shoebox case either. Besides the blue lettering, the outer body has a very nice appearance in my opinion. It’s not too plain and not too over-the-top either. The case features lots of potential for modding and making it your own, or otherwise leaving it as is for a nice subtle look that says, “Look at me” without saying, “I’m the most important thing in this room.”