Connect with us

Review

Cougar Challenger

Published

on

challenger_14[1]

Introduction

Today, I have one of these cases sitting on the table ready to be photographed. That case isn’t coming from Cooler Master, Antec, Thermaltake or any other company known for gaming cases. This new case is coming from Cougar, you know the people known for making those black and orange power supplies and case fans? The case is the Challenger. The Cougar Challenger could not be mistaken for any other type of case but a gaming one. But one we did like.

If you have read any of my case reviews you will know that I have a personal preference for simplistic case no matter the reasons for the case i.e. gaming, workstation or whatever. I really enjoy the subtle lines of cases that fit into this genre. But every so often a pure gaming case will come around that will catch my eye and I would really consider build a personal rig around.

Today, I have one of these cases sitting on the table ready to be photographed. That case isn’t coming from Cooler Master, Antec, Thermaltake or any other company known for gaming cases. This new case is coming from Cougar, you know the people known for making those black and orange power supplies and case fans? The case is the Challenger. The Cougar Challenger could not be mistaken for any other type of case but a gaming one. But one we did like.

Cougar’s take on the Challenger

COUGAR, leading German PC case and power supply brand, officially announces their latest high-end PC gaming case, the COUGAR Challenger. The CHALLENGER mid-tower case is particularly targeting gamers demanding for huge upgradeability capacity, best airflow and optimized ventilation characteristics. COUGAR’s specific black and orange color combination paired with the large metal-mesh front bezel lends it an aggressive yet stylish appearance. But the ultimate design high-light is to be found right on the top of the case: to power up your computer you first have to lift a cover lid just like a pilot unlocks the missile button to fire. A safety feature to prevent accidental touch, which at the same time makes you feel in gaming mode right away. To play even most advanced games, the COUGAR CHALLENGER offers sufficient space for powerful graphics cards of up to 410mm length.

Specifications

Case Type

Middle Tower

Motherboard Type

Micro ATX / ATX

Dimension

268(W)x514(H)x523(D)

5.25″ Drive Bay

3 Exposed

3.5″ Drive Bay

1 Exposed & 7 Hidden

2.5″ Drive Bay

3 Hidden ( converted from 3.5′ ‘drive bays )

External 3.5′ ‘ & 2.5’ ‘ HDD/SSD Hot-swap

1

Maximum 3.5′ ‘ HDDs Instal led Quantity

9

Maximum 2.5′ ‘ HDDs / SSDs Instal led Quantity

8

I/O Panel

USB3.0 x 2 ( internal ), Mic x 1, Audio x 1

Cool ing System

 

Max Installed : 7pcs Fans

Front

120mm Fans x 2 / 140mm Fans x 2 / 200mm Fan x 1

Top

120mm Fans x 2 / 140mm Fans x 2 / 180mm Fan x 1 / 200mm Fan x 1

Rear

120mm Fan x 1

Bottom

120mm Fan x 1 / 140mm Fan x 1

Left Side

120mm Fan x 1 / 140mm Fan x 1

COUGAR 200mm Red LED Fan (front)

1 ( pre-instal led )

COUGAR 120mm Turbine Fan (rear)

1 ( pre-instal led )

Expansion Slots

7

Maximum Graphics Cards Length

410mm

Power Supply

Standard ATX PS2 ( optional )

RELATED:  ASUS ROG STRIX X370-F Gaming AMD Motherboard Review

Features

  • Innovative & revolutionary UI design takes inspirations from the pilot unlock missile cover then fire!
  • Interior black painting.
  • Advanced two USB3.0 ports for maximum data transfer speed and compatible for non-USB3.0 function’s motherboard.
  • Top access external 3.5” & 2.5” HDD/SSD hot-swap for easy mobile data transfer.
  • Support for 7 fans:
    • front 120mm fans x 2 / 140mm fans x 2 / 200mm fan x 1;
    • top 120mm fans x 2 / 140mm fans x 2 / 180mm fan x 1 / 200mm fan x 1;
    • bottom 120mm fan x 1 / 140mm fan x 1;
    • rear 120mm fan x 1;
    • side 120mm fan x 1 / 140mm fan x 1
  • Front COUGAR 200mm red LED fan x 1 and rear COUGAR Turbine 120mm fan x 1 are pre-installed.
  • Acrylic side panel.
  • Support for longer high-end graphics cards up to 300mm, 330mm & 410mm. (depending on varies graphics cards requirement to change position with HDD bracket)
  • 7 PCI slots provides flexibility for multiple graphics cards solutions.
  • Screw-less mechanisms on 5.25’ ’ devices.
  • 3.5’’ HDD trays x 7 compatible for installing 2.5’’ HDDs/SSDs x 7.
  • Provide 2.5’ ’ HDD trays x 3 to install depending on the graphics cards length.
  • Holes x 3 on the rear panel for water cooling solutions. (with rubber protection)
  • Installation opening in the MB tray for easy upgrade CPU cooler.
  • Cable feed through on the MB tray for easy routing and hiding cables.
  • Vented slot bezels for better cooling performance.
  • Air filter on the bottom cover & side cover to prevent dust from entering the enclosure. (magnet filters are easy to uninstall and clean)

Closer Look – Exterior

Why am I so up on the Challenger from Cougar? Even with it being put into the gaming category it still have a style and wit about itself that make it look really clean. It really isn’t over-the-top when it comes to the overall look of the case. And this even goes to say for the case’s rather large face aka front fascia.

The Challenger comes in three favorable colors which would include black and orange a color combination Cougar is known for, black on black and gray and black. The Challenger is a mixture of sturdy plastic and steel. It is classified as a mid-tower standing just 20.2” tall, sits 20.6” deep and measures just 10.55” wide.

The front of the Challenger is far from being symmetrically as it has ‘flares’ allows the sides two at the top and two larger ones starting at the mid-point of the case going down. These ‘flares’ is what changes colors when you move between the three different color combinations of the case. The ‘flares’ serves no real purpose but to allow the case to stand out from the rest.

RELATED:  InWin 915 Case Review

Besides the ‘flares’ the rest of the front is all mesh giving it a nice sporty look. The top one half of the case is three 5.25” bays with a single 3.5” bay at the halfway point. The rest is the covering for the front mounted 200mm red LED fan.

The top of the case has a styling all its own. The most forward part of the top has a red flap similar to that of a fighter pilot’s gun handle. Flipping the flap expose the power button. A nice little touch. On each side of the button are the power and activity lights. Just behind that are two USB 3.0 port and audio jacks.

Like many cases today the Challenger also contain a SATA hot-swappable dock for 2.5”/3.5” drives. Lastly we have a vented area that would protect whatever size fans you would elect to purchase and install in the case. The Challenger will support two 120/140mm fans or one 180/200mm fans in the top.

The bottom of the case uses four 1” rubber feet to elevate the case off the ground. Also a magnetically attached dust filter keeps dirt from entering from the underside.

The rear of the case is pretty standard but it does offer a lot of ventilation from air to enter or exit. The three tubing inlets have metal pieces that will need to be punched out. Once punched out the accessory box includes rubber grommets to cover the edges.

Like the bottom fan filter the one for the side panel is also held on using tiny magnets. By default it is not attached out the box but is included.

The opposite side panel is clean.

Closer Look – Interior

The interior of the case is painted completely black with bright orange highlighted in several locations which would include the HDD brackets and fan blades. Besides the colors uses the one thing that stands out is the large CPU cutout in the motherboard tray. The tray has motherboard stand-offs integrated into the tray.

The rear comes with an orange bladed 120mm cooling fan for exhaust. Even with the rear having a lot of vented locations it does not offer thumbscrews for the expansion slots.

The bottom of the case is suited for any length power supply but using units 7” or less will allow you to still mount a 120 or 140mm cooling fan.

The top of the case can support various size fans from 120mm to 200mm. But if you want to apply some water-cooling a dual 120/140mm rad can easily be mounted.

RELATED:  Kingston SSDNow V300 128GB Solid State Drive Review

Drive mounting of any type require tools except if you plan on using 2.5” drives. And in that case you will have to secure them using screws to the plastic 3.5” HDD brackets but there is one alternative to this. The side plate that makes up the middle HDD cage can be moved closer to the front panel now making it a 2.5″ HDD cage.

Were we have a quick shot of the back of the motherboard tray. One thing that can be said is there is plenty of room here for cable storage.

Build Images

Measurements

Conclusion

There are some cases out there that take the term gaming to a whole other level. To a level many would call extreme. And these are cases only a mother could love. The Challenger from Cougar is not one of them cases. It is every bit considered a gamer’s tower but it is done in a very tasteful way. It begins with the nice touch of the orange flares along the outside and end with the well thought out interior. And everything in between is a plus.

The offers plenty of room for a dual GPU install and has the capacity to house a ton of data storage drives. The setup is ideal for those that want to take advantage of the cooling but you will have to do these by adding additional monies as the case only comes with two fans. And to protect these fans plenty of dust filters are offered. These filter dusts are magnetically attached to the chassis making them easy to remove and clean.

I like the ideal of the adjustable middle HDD cage as it makes it easy to install 2.5” drives without tools. This is something that many very high dollar cases do not offer. And with the adjustment of the cage will allow the builder to use longer video cards.

If I was reviewing this case in 2009, you would be asking what is up with the orange color scheme. But here in 2012, we are seeing orange in cases becoming quite standard. Many manufacturers are putting out cases using orange as the highlight and there are many case fans to accommodate building on this. We are seeing motherboards with orange in them these days.

We really didn’t find anything wrong with the case and even though we like the style of the designer it is still something many may not like. Too each his own.

The COUGAR Challenger can be found for $73.99 at Amazon.

 

ProClockers was founded way back in 2004, with a goal to provide unbiased PC hardware and tech reviews. Whilst the first products we reviewed are long gone, we're continuing to review the latest and greatest every month.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

ProClockers was founded in 2004, and since then we have reviewed thousands of tech products, including motherboards, CPUs, graphics cards, PC cases, cooling solutions and more. Whilst many of the original products we reviewed back then have long bit the dust, we continue working hard to provide unbiased PC hardware and tech reviews.

    Copyright © 2022 I ProClockers.com I A Wealthy Gorilla Limited Brand I All Rights Reserved