Overall Design of the Dark Blader X5 Case
The overall design of the case is appealing. The DarkBlader X5 is available in black or white. We were sent the black version, which I prefer. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen a bunch of white cases and desk setups that look killer, but the old beige boxes in the 90s left me scarred. Starting upfront, the translucent front panel is really nice for showing off a sweet RGB combo. The three front air slots are a smart feature. Not only for airflow, but the expanded metal backing adds to the overall aesthetics.
Immediately behind the front panel, you’ll find a dust filter and space for front water cooling. The design here allows for radiators up to 360mm. For air cooling, up to three 140mm fans can be installed.
Moving inside, you’ll find adequate room for almost anything you want to install. For a mid-tower design, the DarkBlader X5 feels bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside.
Shrouded basement compartments in modern cases are a welcome change from what I had when I first started building computers over 20 years ago. The DarkBlader X5’s basement has plenty of room for your PSU and standard 3.5” HDDs. Better still, it makes cable management much easier.
Speaking of cable management, Cougar includes some nice cable straps behind the motherboard tray.
GPU support has become one of the most important features in the last 12 months. Cougar has you covered in this area. The DarkBlader X5 can accommodate a GPU of up to 400mm in length, and the vertical mounting support is compatible with the RTX 3000 series cards. That is, assuming you can find one that’s affordable.
Along with another dust filter, the top of the case houses the usual I/O on most cases. You get one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, microphone, audio, power, and reset. It would have been nice to have a USBC port in place of one of the USB 2.0 ports, but that feature is available on the DarkBlader X5’s sister case, the DarkBlader X5 RGB.
The top of the case will hold a radiator up to 360mm or three 120mm fans for air cooling.
I really appreciate what Cougar did with the tempered glass side panel on this case. The glass is mated to a rigid frame and held in place by the chassis. The rear thumbscrews securely hold the side panel to the case, so there’s no chance of it falling off and breaking. I feel this is a much better approach to just drilling a few holes in the glass and passing some screws through those holes. I can’t count how many times I’ve almost lost a side panel because of that kind of setup.