Cougar Challenger ATX PC Case Review – A Bold New Arrival

The front panel of the Cougar Challenger is one of the coolest designs I have seen. There is a missile-style power/reset shield, which you manually lift up to press the power/reset buttons. Both buttons are push-based, and are quite large in order to prevent misfire. Right underneath them are two red LED strips for power and hard-drive activity.

Front ports are quite solid as well, featuring two USB 3.0 ports, as well as the audio and headphone jacks. One of my favourite features (which is lacking even in most high-end chassis) are external 3.5″/2.5″ HDD/SSD hot-swap bays for easy mobile data transfer. Not only are these convenient, but also eliminate the need for the eSATA interface.

The bottom is a little less exciting, and houses a simple dust filter for the PSU which is magnetic and great for fast and easy cleaning. An optional fan can be installed here as well.

A quick look at the four feet show they are made of plastic, and due to their size, allow a ton of airflow for ventilation. The case stands a few good centimeters from the ground, but I wish Cougar had opted to go for rubber feet of this size instead. Better vibration and anti-scratching control would have been optimal for flat surfaces (like laminated wood) with rubber feet, but overall not a big negative. Keep in mind that the feet are not screwed on; hence they cannot be removed easily in case you want to change them.

Finally we get to the sides, which are locked in place with thumbscrews. One side of the Challenger is completely barren. The other has a transparent plastic window with a cut-out. This is where the magnetic dust filter goes, and all it takes for installation is literally placing it in the correct orientation. Just bring it near the cut-out and it will snap into place. Keep in mind you can install a 120mm fan here if you wish.

I quite like this addition. The magnetic filter not only provides airflow, but is also extremely convenient to clean. In case you need to air-out the inside of the chassis, or quickly move/install a few components without having to take the side panel off, it is the perfect solution.

One downside about the side panels is that they have a lot of flex to them. They are not completely wobbly, but are not totally rigid either. Because of this, sliding the panels back into place can be very frustrating as the segmented grooves tend to lock before the panel is in the right position. Not a huge drawback provided you are paying attention.

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brantyn
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brantyn

I bought this case over the holidays,, came with soft rubber feet that were removable.

Davinder Singh
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Davinder Singh

what is the molex cable coming out of the top for ?hd power?