Cougar Challenger ATX PC Case Review – A Bold New Arrival

INTERIOR

Getting inside, we see that the Cougar Challenger still retains its slick black finish. The interior is quite special, and has a ton of options that the user can configure, which we will address separately.

The motherboard area is quite large, and is able to hold practically any ATX build you throw at it. There are numerous wire pass-throughs encompassing the motherboard tray (non-removable) and are quite generous in size.

Looking from the back, there is a massive cut-out for heatsink installation, which accommodates roughly 22mm of cable-management clearance.

Next we see the drive bays, of which there are three external 5.25, one external 3.5, and seven 2.5/3.5 total internal bays (do not forget the aforementioned top hot-swap external 2.5/3.5 bay). The seven are split into two drive cages, the top holding three slots, and the bottom holding four.

There are many configurations you can do with these, including removing the top bay outright, or downsizing it using the 2.5 only drive trays that come with the accessories package. Standard configuration can support graphics cards 300mm in length.

The trays themselves have no metal properties for anti-vibration, but are quite sturdy and use the quick and painless snap-in/pinch out design. Note that only about 25mm of clearance is available for cable management in stock positions, but can be bumped to about 67mm by removing the 2.5 drive cage.

Of course we see the 120mm rear fan, as well as the seven expansion bays. Unfortunately, the bays are not held by thumbscrews or a tool-less locking system:

Right at the bottom is the power-supply area. The standard modification allows the area to hold a normal ATX power supply.

Last but not least, we have the front panel connectors. The usual power and reset switch/LED headers are present, as well as SATA for the external hot-swap bay, and HD audio/microphone inputs. The USB 3.0 header includes a USB 2.0 header in case your motherboard does not support front-panel USB 3.0 connections, a growing trend which I love seeing in the Challenger.

Finally we get to non-stock configurations. Cougar has provided examples of how the Challenger can be modified, providing at least three examples. Not only is this handy when doing research into the Challenger, but it also eliminates having to over-think your build:

My assessment of the chassis interior was based on vanilla impressions; hence, it is really quite something to see what you can make out of the Challenger. The ability to easily check and create modifications around the user really set the Challenger apart from the competition. There are just a plethora of options that will practically always make the case viable for any type of ATX build or installation.

2 comments

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

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

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